The IOTA Foundation is starting a collaboration with The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to find a way to utilise distributed ledger technology to help the UN streamline its workflows.

UNOPS announced the partnership earlier in the week and stated that the two organisations will be aiming to increase the efficiency of the UN office using Tangle technology from IOTA. The reason behind the UNOPS decision to use IOTA is due, in part to the fact that Tangle does not use a blockchain in the way that bitcoin and Ethereum do. Yoshijuki Yamamoto, a UNOPS special advisor on blockchain technology stated that the IOTA distributed ledger, “can be operated on battery power or alternative connectivity networks, which can be extremely useful in areas with sporadic access to high-speed internet connections or even electricity.”

The Internet of Things

In addition, IOTAs ledger is compatible with Internet of Things devices which do not require a large amount of computing power. This being said, the partnership revolves around the way that IOTA and UNOPS will be able to utilise the technology. Yamamoto continued;

“We are working with the IOTA Foundation to identify the most appropriate use cases for the first [proof-of-concept], to help address some of the challenges that UN as a whole faces when working in the field. It’s very much a collaborative process. 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.”

This is a collaboration that will be educational in nature and for this reason, it is difficult to predict how long it will take to move from the pilot face to full implementation.

“It depends entirely on the complexity of the problem being tackled and how many different parts the solution entails need to be integrated: hardware, software, user experience, etc. It is difficult to know in advance what the sticking points will be,”

Partnerships with multiple other stakeholders

But IOTA is not the only new technology that UNOPS is working with as they have already started a partnership with a number of different start-ups and incubators from the DLT sector. It is clear that the UN sees this type of technology as promising and it is also obvious that such an organisation would not experiment with the technology unless its members thought it could have an impact.

“We don’t do blockchain for blockchain’s sake. We have limited resources and personnel, so we have to focus our efforts on solving real-world challenges. Our priorities stem from our mission as an organization, not from the fads of the crypto space,” he concluded.

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