UNOPS and IOTA Sign MOU for Services Agreement
IOTA and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) have signed a memorandum of understanding to begin discussing how IOTA’s open-source distributed ledger technology can “bring transparency and efficiency” to the operations of the UN.
IOTA Hopes to Bring Blockchain to the UN
The partnership will begin by exploring how IOTA can improve the management and tracking of UN documents, supply chains and cross-border payments for UNOPS. The two organizations will also conduct training workshops, thought leadership seminars, and the development of specific proof-of-concepts, according to a statement.
Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, UNOPS Special Advisor on Blockchain Technology, said:
“We share a vision where machines, devices, sensors and people connect and communicate to each other–it’s the world of ‘Industry 4.0.’ Harnessing technology that allows for these processes to work simultaneously, without the need for intermediaries, will help expedite our mission as an organization.”
UNOPS also tweeted out the announcement:
“Shared 🌍 problems require shared 🌍 solutions.” We've partnered w/ @iotatoken to explore how innovative data management tech can enhance the efficiency of humanitarian & development operations. | #distributedledger https://t.co/GHbbB2Pm9d
— UNOPS (@UNOPS) May 22, 2018
Going Forward from Here
UNOPS assists the United Nations to implement humanitarian and development solutions across more than 80 countries. They provide services related to infrastructure, project management, procurement and human resources. UNOPS have worked the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Syria, helping to verify and monitor the stocks of weapons production facilities there. In 2017, UNOPS delivered more than $1.8 billion USD in projects in 2017 and have 11,000 people on contract.
IOTA is an open source protocol that enables machine-to-machine transactions, such as payments or data transfer. Though it uses a distributed database, it is not a blockchain in the traditional sense, as it uses no miners and doesn’t process transactions in blocks. Instead, it relies on a technology called Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), also known as a “Tangle.” Its use cases include supply chain management, transportation, digital records management, and the energy industry.
IOTA has in the past year announced multiple partnerships and plans to build test projects using its technology. It is part of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) consortium, which involves companies such as BMW, IBM and Groupe Renault. Additionally, a laboratory at the German University RWTH Aachen is researching industrial use cases for IOTA. And last year, German electronics firm Bosch invested in IOTA tokens, also revealing they had been working with the blockchain startup for more than a year.
There have some live tests using IOTA’s technology as well, such as a partnership with Taipei City, the capital of Taiwan, on smart identification and sensor systems. There was also a completed test project for electric car charging station where IOTA was used to manage the payment system.
Memorandums of understanding are non-binding agreements, so whether the announcement will turn into a realized project for IOTA and UNOPS remains to be seen. IOTA’s cryptocurrency MIOTA is presently tenth on the Coinmarketcap list, with a market cap of around $4 billion.
What’s your take? Do you think IOTA and UNOPS will make good partners? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via Leafly, Oportunidadeuropa