The current political controversy surrounding immigration in the United States has once again thrown into sharp relief the plight immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers face when crossing international borders. The situation in the U.S., including the separation of children and indefinite detainment of illegal immigrants, has also highlighted the need for systems that can make immigration agents’ work easier and guarantee that families are kept together and treated with respect and civility.

We’ve been seeing more and more stories emerge of parents looking for their children unsuccessfully, and of asylum seekers being detained indefinitely without due process. Ships carrying refugees from Syria and other war-torn areas have been making their way to Europe regularly over the past few years, raising tensions, creating a massive workload for immigration officials, and making it hard to provide refugees and asylum-seekers with the help they truly need.

Recently, blockchain has been making waves in many industries with its transparency and security-oriented technology. In the field of migration, asylum, and refugees, there are already several projects that have shown many areas where blockchain could help alleviate the suffering and struggles of those who are many times left in the wake of political fights.

From tracking funding and aid to offering refugees financial services and even improving the processing of asylum requests, blockchain could revolutionize the way the world welcomes refugees. Migration and asylum in the 21st century remain not all that different from how they looked 50 years ago.

Despite the major improvements in technology and systems that can track and store information, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are rarely carrying the type of documentation most countries require of foreign nationals. Moreover, the process can be murky from a government standpoint, raising questions about who gets detained and who doesn’t. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of