Boloro And Blockchain Startup BanQu Win ‘Innovate for Refugees’ MIT Enterprise Forum Global Competition

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Boloro, a USA-based global payments gateway platform,  and leading Blockchain economic identity platform company BanQu are pleased to announce winning the ‘Innovate for Refugees’ global competition held by MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab and sponsored by Zain Group, MBC Hope, under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. The solution is being implemented by Boloro MENA, based in Amman, Jordan.

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“The BanQu and Boloro partnership fills a huge gap that is preventing refugees and people living under $2 a day a long-term and stable path towards dignity and economic resilience. We are excited that the award recognizes this value add,” said Ashish Gadnis, Founder and CEO BanQu.

“Boloro is honored and excited to be selected as a winner of the MIT EF Pan Arab global competition to bring innovative solutions to the refugee crisis. Our solution brings true financial inclusion to those who have been marginalized from financial services inJordan and is being replicated across the world,” said Karim Rammal, Founder and Chairman Boloro Global Limited.

The winning project leverages the strengths of BanQu and Boloro, enabling the ‘first-ever’ portability of critical data needed by refugees and people living in poverty across organizations, across borders and across economic opportunities. In collaboration with Payment Service Providers (PSPs), licensed by Central Bank of Jordan, the holistic solution will create a full payment ecosystem throughout Jordan, allowing the end user to have a unique identity, a legal source of funds & enable usage for purchasing goods and services, online and offline. The solution allows international NGOs (such as the United Nations) to transfer grant funds to refugee wallets in a secure and transparent way. Thus providers of financial and development resources can drive stronger data-driven insights on the outcomes of their programs.  


Together, Boloro and BanQu are bringing this award-winning solution of financial inclusion and economic opportunity to refugees and extremely poor populations across several markets.

Boloro is a unique, patented, handset neutral two-factor authentication technology and payments network that offers users the ability to securely transact using any kind of mobile phone and account without the need to download any app. Boloro replaces cash and offers financial services to the many unbanked in emerging markets thus accelerating financial inclusion and access. Boloro delivers financial dignity to the population at large.

Having processed over 40 million transactions in the last two years, Boloro Global Limited is headquartered in New York City, and currently operates in South Asia, Middle East and Africa, with expansion into the United States, India and other markets already underway. For more information, visit

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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