Sikka is a digital asset transfer platform designed for the financially marginalised, at-need population. With Sikka, community members can receive cash transfers on their feature phones through local vendors or a local financial cooperative in their village, thus allowing both unrestricted as well as restricted cash-based transfers (CBTs). Sikka is designed such that it can provide unrestricted CBTs through local financial cooperatives or restricted CBTs and distribution of humanitarian aid goods through vendor networks. In this way, Sikka’s asset transfer platform opens the benefits of blockchain-based services to those lacking either the knowledge, technology or resources generally required of other similar services.
After a disaster, the distribution of aid in the form of cash is often complicated due to a lack of
infrastructure and services in remote and rural areas. Blockchain technology delivered over cellular
networks can play a key role in implementing Cash Transfer Programs (CTPs) through the use of smart
contracts and digital token transactions that directly address the needs of rural communities. Sikka helps
in enabling communities to recover from disasters and reinvest in their families.
Some of the problems in existing cash transfer interventions are identified are as follows:
1. Organizations do not want to share beneficiary’s private information with external stakeholders.
2. High cost associated with other technologies or means of aid distribution
3. Intense trainings and long implementation timeline required before the distribution.
4. Numeracy among beneficiaries and traders is very low
5. High service charges associated while acquiring services from banks.
6. Extra costs associated with logistics and staffing during distribution. Sikka in Nepali means “coin”, which is an apt name for a currency-backed token. Sikka forms the core of an e-voucher system that incorporates blockchain technology over cellular networks to provide a CBT solution for aid agencies to reach remote communities with limited access to financial services. The CTP model of Sikka is designed to facilitate and monitor both cash and commodity based aid operations.