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Moldova Eyes Blockchain IDs to Help Curb Child Trafficking

The Eastern European nation of Moldova is mulling the use of blockchain technology to help combat child trafficking in the country.

To discuss possible blockchain-based solutions to the growing issue, digital identification experts from the U.N. Office for Project Services (UNOPS) attended a meeting this week in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, a Reuters report states.

The lack of official identification documents puts rural children especially at risk of trafficking, according to the report, with fake IDs being used to move them across borders.

Reuters cites Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, UNOPS special adviser for blockchain, as saying the technology could be used to provide immutable, unfakeable digital IDs based on biometric data.

Mihail Beregoi, state secretary for Moldova’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, told the news source:

“This is a pressing issue and we are eager to find efficient solutions to help us address it.”

Just this week, the U.N. announced a partnership with World Identity Network (WIN) for the launch of a blockchain identity pilot to protect children from being illegally trafficked.

According to Mariana Dahan, chief executive of WIN, Moldova has become the first country to show a solid interest in its partner pilot project with the U.N.

There have been reports of increasing sex trafficking and forced labor in Moldova. According to a recent classification of countries in terms of human trafficking by the U.S. Department of State, Moldova has been downgraded to Tier 2 level – meaning the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is significantly increasing.

Chained hands image via Shutterstock

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Transnistria Dreams Of Bitcoin Mining, Its Govt Wants To Build Farm

The tiny unrecognized republic of Transnistria is the latest jurisdiction to announce it wants to join the Bitcoin mining race.

The breakaway segment of Moldova, which unofficially declared independence in the 1990s and has received support from Russia since, is looking to capitalize on cheap electricity costs.

Laws are “already in place” to facilitate wholesale cryptocurrency creation, according to Russian news outlet Lenta.

“The Transnistrian government is already talking about how they are fourth in Europe in terms of internet speed and penetration, they have very cheap electricity and this is one of the key factors supporting the creation of a mining farm,” the founder of major export conglomerate Russkiy Eksport Igor Chayka told the publication.

The tiny state sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine has a population of around 500,000, with electricity around $0.03 per kilowatt hour.

Authorities will likely have keenly eyed Russia’s own decision to conquer the Bitcoin mining market, leveraging its own spare power capacity and creating a state-sponsored outfit to take over a reported 30 percent of total output.

“In Transnistria, there are movements in terms of partnerships in the information technology sphere, which include Blockchain and cryptocurrencies,” Chayka added without giving specific details.

Neighboring Ukraine has recently taken an altogether more hostile view of virtual currencies meanwhile, refusing to recognize it as a means of payment.