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The IOTA foundation announced a collaboration with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on May 24, 2018, to facilitate the latter’s push to implement blockchain technology in its administrative systems.

UN’s Blockchain Push

The UNOPS looks to increase the operational efficiency for United Nations (UN) offices across the globe, streamlining the workflow processes as well as ensuring immutability of sensitive records.

nterestingly, IOTA is not a blockchain-based protocol and uses a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) framework over which its native “Tangle” is built. The UN, however, still refers to this as a blockchain and is looking forward to work with the foundation.

Speaking about the partnership is Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, advisor to UNOPS’ blockchain division:

“We share a vision where machines, devices, sensors and people connect and communicate to each other – it’s the world of ‘Industry 4.0.’”

The Tangle is considered a part of the so-termed “blockchain 4.0,” or protocols which share blockchain’s decentralized ethos but run on DAG networks, integrating Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies within their applications.

A UNOPS Activity in Haiti (Source: Oportunidad Europa)

According to the release, UNOPS and IOTA are still exploring use-cases that best leverage the system and are in the stages of identifying key challenges – adding that “it is very much a collaborative process.” Yamamoto continued:

“As we identify gaps in the proposed test solution or additional elements that need to be added, we’ll work together with IOTA to identify and involve suitable other partners as well.”

Implementation Stage Remains Unknown As observed in the release, the partnership mainly calls for a cooperative effort between the two organizations and shall extend to thought leadership seminars, training workshops, and development of Proofs-of-Concept (PoC) in areas specific to the UN’s mission.

The release added that the collaboration is “educational in nature,” with Yamamoto agreeing to a lack of clarity on when the UN’s systems will move from a testing phase to a fully-implemented Tangle administration.

More importantly, the IOTA deal is not a one-size-fits-all either, as the UNOPS is working, testing, and implementing several decentralized ledger technologies in a bid to continue searching for better immutable solutions for their administration.

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