Decentralized crypto exchange Bancor has revealed Monday that it will roll out a network of blockchain-based community currencies in Kenya. The initiative aims to eradicate poverty by means of stimulating the local and regional commerce as well as peer-to-peer collaboration.
By using the Bancor Network, disadvantaged communities in Kenya will be able to create digital currencies that can hold one or more balances in a connected way such that integrated currencies can be swapped for one another without needing a counterparty.
Bancor will launch the new currencies by contributing capital from the proceeds of its $153 million token sales in 2017.
In correspondence with Bitcoin Magazine, Galia Benartzi, Bancor’s co-founder, said, “Bancor will serve as one of several donors in the program providing initial capital to fund the token balances contained within each of the community currencies. In addition, Bancor will provide in-kind operational support, including technical and integrations work, marketing and hardware to get the currencies distributed and operational.”
The company will be working with Kenya-based non-profit foundation Grassroots Economics, who already has experience creating community currency programs in Africa.
Will Ruddick, Grassroots Economics founder, will supervise the launch of the community currencies from Nairobi. Ruddick is also Bancor’s newly appointed director of community currencies. The team is expected to use Bancor Protocol to expand the current paper currency system used by local businesses to battle poverty and generate stable markets.
Ruddick thinks that when “communities have the same right as nations to create and manage currencies, they will unlock their full potential.”
Kawangware and Kibera are the focal points for the pilot launch. These communities, which happen to be the largest slums in Kenya, will be used to circulate the currency by incentivizing customers to use it.
Bancor expects that as more people in the community buy and hold the local currency, its market cap can increase, which will create more wealth and a higher purchasing power for the holders.
Community members and supporters of the initiative will have the option to buy and sell the local currencies via the open-source Bancor Protocol using any of the popular cryptocurrencies or a major credit card.
Bancor had launched a similar program in Israel prior to its collaboration with Grassroots Economics. Focused on mothers, the pilot project was processing more than 1,000 daily transactions before activities peaked attributed to problems in transferring wealth outside of the community.
Image Source : Relocationafrica.com
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