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Project i2i: An Ethereum Payment Network Driving Financial Inclusion in the Philippines

Project i2i: An Ethereum Payment Network Driving Financial Inclusion in the Philippines

At Consensus 2018 we unveiled Kaleido, ConsenSys’ new all-in-one enterprise SaaS platform that radically simplifies the creation and operation of private blockchain networks.

Justo A. Ortiz, Chairman of UnionBank of the Philippines, introducing Project i2i at Consensus 2018 as part of Kaleido’s announcement

As part of this exciting announcement, Justo Aboitiz Ortiz, Chairman of UnionBank of the Philippines, introduced one of our first projects developed on Kaleido, Project i2i: a payment network built on Ethereum to connect rural community banks in the Philippines.

In the whirlwind of Blockchain Week, we had little time to provide more details about this project, so we are now taking the opportunity to outline the scope, the underlying solution, the benefits for financial inclusion, and the future of Project i2i.

“Unbanked” Rural Banks: Inspiring the Design of Project i2i

The Philippines is a beautiful country of over 100 million people where more than a third of the population survives on less than $2 a day. If financial inclusion is going to take place in the Philippines, one must start in rural areas where 56% of Filipinos live with limited access to the financial ecosystem.

Despite the existence of more than 400 regulated rural banks spread through out the archipelagic nation, the rural banks are neither connected to any electronic banking service nor to domestic and international money transfer networks, thus limiting access for thousands of communities to affordable, trustworthy, and efficient payment and remittance services. These rural banks providing for these rural villages and invested in the economic progress of these communities are, unfortunately — in the words of UnionBank’s Chairman, Justo A. Ortiz — “themselves unbanked”.

In late 2016, UnionBank started an internal exploration of blockc...

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