The Trump administration has developed blockchain solutions for long-term political conflicts in the region through Israeli password startup Orbs.
This week, the White House held a summit in Bahrain to discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. According to The New York Times, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that investment in the Palestinian territories is like a "hot IPO." The White House’s goal is to spend $50 billion to support its Peace and Prosperity program.
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Orbs co-founder Netta Korin revealed in an email that her team "has been working with the US government and the State Department… to conduct several projects that are not yet open."
Korin is also the co-founder of the non-profit Hexa Foundation, which focuses on the social impact of blockchain projects, adding:
“I was invited (to Bahrain) to demonstrate the enormous potential of blockchain technology to address some of the issues facing the government in an efficient and transparent manner.”
Korin said that this approach symbolizes a “paradigm shift” in dealing with economic assistance to the Palestinian people. She said:
“The usual practice in the past was to donate, and the future will be based on investment. The solution we are looking for will be highly innovative and can change the rules of the game.”
Korin is one of the few Israelis to attend the Bahrain summit. US economist Kevin Hassett even proposed the idea of using blockchain technology to resolve Palestinian land ownership disputes, which may overlook the fact that such conflicts usually involve the Israeli military.
Earlier, an anonymous person who understood Pakistan-Israel diplomatic relations said that in the past year, relevant agencies have discussed the blockchain program to track capital flows in Palestine.
Sources said that in particular, in October last year, with the US Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Sigal Mandelker and several representatives of the Israeli Central Bank and the Israeli Ministry of Finance, explored the blockchain solution. Anonymous sources said that no Palestinians were present at the meeting, but it is reported that the Palestinian Monetary Authority is also exploring blockchain solutions.
At the same time, the personal relationship between the Israeli cryptocurrency industry and government agencies is deepening. Korin used to be an advisor to the Israeli Ministry of Defence. In addition, Korin’s husband, Nadav Shemesh, was an assistant to Shai Babad, the Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Finance. This is not uncommon in Israel. For example, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's niece Guy and nephew plus Galia Ben-Artzi is the co-founder of blockchain startup Bancor.
On the surface, the situation has not changed much since last fall's meeting, as the Palestinian Authority boycotted this week's Bahrain summit. Although Korin declined to disclose any specific Palestinian partners or project plans, she said her team is working with Palestine to “be in the design and landing of these projects”.
The Palestinian technology industry leaders have not responded to requests for comment.
“The blockchain will play an important role in this region in the future.”