British Virgin Islands Put Emergency Crypto Plan into Action

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The British Virgin Islands (BVI) sits right in the path of major hurricanes that batter the Caribbean every year. The BVI still relies on aid and support from surrounding nations such as America and the United Kingdom to help recover from such tragedies. In a bid to become more independent and secure against these tragedies, the BVI has teamed up with LifeLabs to develop a crypto wallet and blockchain platform that will be used when traditional methods don’t work in case of emergencies. The network will be used to transfer funds between islands, as well as an emergency source of cash for the country.

For Use in an Emergency

In the case of a natural disaster – much like hurricane Irma in 2017 – traditional financial systems remain down for months leaving citizens to fend for themselves. The government’s partnership with LifeLabs will allow citizens to receive funds from the government to begin rebuilding and living as soon as possible. The LifeLabs blockchain runs using Ethereum, so as long as there is an internet connection, the project will remain active. Bitcoin has already proven that it can work without the need for internet, as one enthusiast sent Bitcoin across America using only the radio. That being said, the LifeWallet app can be used for every day purchases throughout the BVI. This is great news for businesses looking to start accepting crypto, as they now have a government-approved crypto wallet and peer-to-peer (P2P) payment system ready to use.

Would Bitcoin be a Better Option?

The Ethereum blockchain has proven itself to be highly scalable and much better suited to small transactions, but it doesn’t have the same pedigree as Bitcoin. Bitcoin transactions can continue to be processed even in the absence of internet thanks to the help of Blockstream. Blockstream began beaming the entire Bitcoin blockchain from space using satellites back in December 2018 – helping people without internet access transact in BTC. This distribution network could be vital in emergency situations that the BVI could face, making it a standout option for emergency plans.

Ripple Could Also Play a Key Role

While the LifeLabs partnership will allow locals to transact in Ethereum, Bitcoin, and LifeCoin, XRP could be another potential cryptocurrency to add. Thanks to its ultra-low cost transaction fees and its brisk transaction times, moving money around the islands could be cheaper and quicker than ever before. Ripple and its token – XRP – aren’t the most popular pair out there, but the properties are perfectly suited to this situation, so long as Ripple’s servers remain online throughout the ordeal.

This new partnership isn’t forcing companies in the BVI to begin accepting crypto, but instead serves as a foundation of support in times of disaster. There will be a huge government reserve piled into the crypto world so that when disaster does hit, the government is fully prepared and can issue aid where it’s most needed in seconds – rather than the weeks it currently takes.