Updates As of October 9th, 2017

-We submitted our project! We also created an awesome whitepaper for more detail into the solution -Handshake 1.0 is up and running on the Rinkeby testnet. Check out the link in the "Try It Out" section and follow the instructions here to try out the app in your browser (requires Metamask)
-We still have more meetings this week to demo the product with recruitment agencies in the Philippines and the Gulf, stay tuned!

Updates As of October 4th, 2017

-Just a few more days until the hackathon concludes. We are either coding, working on the pitch deck, or both :)
-Handshake 1.0 is up and running, and we are doing a pilot this week with a few ethical recruitment agencies we've spoken to
-Great discussion with Humanity United who is a supporter of ethical recruitment agencies and technology solutions to help the ecosystem
-Integrated uPort to allow migrant worker candidates to sign employment contracts, and employers at the destination country to confirm worker has arrived to the job site -Deployed onto Rinkeby testnet

Updates As of September 28th, 2017

-Jordan wrote an awesome story on Hackernoon about the problem and our solution
-Our whole team was interviewed on Cryptocurrency Virtual Summit
-Met with an employer based in Saudi Arabia and another recruitment agency based in the Gulf interested in testing our solution
-Built Solidity backend to register agencies, create and sign contracts

Updates As of September 21st, 2017

-Our website is up! Check out Handshake.tech :)
-Back-end structure diagrammed out for Recruitment Agencies, Government Agencies, and Migrant Workers
-Basic contracts written out in Solidity
-Solidified partnership with the International Organization for MIgration
-Met with first recruitment agency based in the Philippines who may be our first user


When international migrant workers are recruited for positions in a destination country they have never been to, unethical employers and recruitment agencies can exploit these workers. While we cannot change the whole system over night, we aim to solve an aspect of the problem that can lead to change on a broader scale.

Recruitment agencies, sub-agencies, and other middlemen can tamper with paper documents and/or centralized databases managed by government agencies that approve labor contracts. Blockchain distributes the trust between:

  • Employers & Government Agencies
  • Government Agencies & Recruitment Agencies

What it does

Using a combination of uPort and IPFS, Handshake can be utilized by recruitment agencies to offer immutable labor contracts to international migrant workers. See the images for flowchart of how the system works.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We have gained the support of numerous intergovernmental agencies and associations such as:

International Organization for MIgration
Institute for Human Rights and Business
Center for Business and Human RIghts - NYU Stern
Pulse Lab Jakarta
STAFFHOUSE International Resources

Future Features and Beneifts

  • Show metrics behind agencies that are charging recruitment fees and manipulating labor contracts to enforce better behavior among agencies
  • Grievances by workers can impact the reputation of the agency
  • Hours and wages are not fulfilled in smart contract and therefore prove that workers are not being treated fairly
  • Agencies use uPort as their “corporate identity” and can get verified by governmental organizations. The agencies maintain reputation through the government agencies
  • Intergovernmental associations such as IOM monitor if agencies have a 90% approval or 20% approval to assist with audits instead of relying on human audits
  • Payment, jobs and placement fees are public on the blockchain to prevent recruitment agency scams

Built With

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posted an update

Week 2 Deliverables

Who are you clients/users?
5 separate parties - Worker, company, agency, sending country (Country A), receiving country (Country B)

What is your product’s value proposition?

  • Standardized contract process for international migrant workers. Transparent labor contract terms provided to recruitment agency, government agency, and migrant workers.
  • Future applications mean measurable and transparent remittance (on blockchain)
  • In-line with economic development goals of origin country (remittance) and SDG 8 of United Nations

For workers: Consistency of contract, safety, entitlements, rights, can trust that contracts are legit and placement fees are paid and received, and that there will be a log of them

For Sending Country - Protection of worker rights and entitlements, including wages, positive effect on remittances

For Receiving Country - Standardised and protected contract for multi-national immigrant worker populations

What is your distribution and go-to market strategy? Who can you partner with?
We can partner with Migrant Workers’ Rights Associations, Home Governments and Agencies. We will start by providing a use case with agencies that are already being ethical (mostly NGOs and non-profits who may not be getting that many job orders).

What are the risks associated with your solution?

  • That we don’t solve the underlying problem of workers being forced into these jobs away from home.
  • That agencies avoid the terms of their contracts in real life and coerce workers into not reporting it.
  • That technological barriers-to-entry prevent the widespread adoption required for the solution to help migrant workers at scale.
  • That focussing on a middle-income country prevents functionality from being useful in low-income countries due to substantial differences in infrastructure.

What is the impact of your solution? How will it be measured?
Migrant workers will not end up in situations where their working situation differs significantly from what they initially signed up for. The processes surrounding applying and travelling for work will be increasingly transparent. Recruitment agencies’ demonstrate more accountability for issues with labor contracts due to their publicly visible on-chain reputation.

This in turn increases accountability and ethical behavior by the hiring organisations, as they try to only work with well-reputed recruitment agencies to avoid legal/social/media kickback.

Define technical specifications and development roadmap
Components & Actors
Job seekers have uPort app on mobile. Corporates and recruitment agencies have uPort app on mobile too. Can complete 2-way link with LinkedIn or Twitter profile, or company website even? If we require this, we prevent Sybil attacks when companies have bad reputations and just create new identities.

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posted an update

Week 1 Deliverables

Team Members Al Chen, Leandra Tejedor, Jordan Andrews, Foluso Ogunlana

Challenge Identity & Vulnerable Populations

Problem Labor contracts provided to migrant workers in origin country may differ from the actual contract in the destination country due to fraud and unethical behavior by recruitment agencies and their sub-agencies.

Why Is Blockchain Necessary -Private recruitment agencies, sub-agencies, and other middlemen can tamper with paper documents and/or centralized databases managed by government agencies that approve labor contracts. Blockchain removes trust required between: 1) Employers & Government Agencies 2) Government Agencies & Recruitment Agencies -Complaints and grievances from migrant workers are documented from origin to destination and do not pass through a filter imposed by a middleman or agency

Size of Market -Global: 105,000,000 migrant workers worldwide (International Labor Organization) -Regional: 15,000,000 migrant workers in Southeast Asia (International Labor Organization) -Country/Local Recruitment Agencies: 1,130 licensed agencies in Bangladesh (Situation Report, source); 550 licensed agencies in Java, Indonesia (BSR)

Current Solutions -Existing government authorities/agencies such as BLMRA (Bahrain), POEA (Philippines), BAIRA (Bangladesh) who act as centralized “clearinghouses” validating recruitment agencies and maintain “blacklists” -Outdated online tools like BMET (for BAIRA in Bangladesh) -In-person audits and monitoring of agencies every 5 years to ensure recruitment practices in-line with legislation -Informal associations such as IHRB (Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment) to ensure fair migrant labor practices for large corporations -Memorandums of Understanding estbalished by governments between origin and destination countries encourage protection but lack enforcement

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