Blockchain Community Currencies Launched By Bancor In Kenya To Combat Poverty

News | June 22, 2018 By:

Blockchain startup Bancor is launching a blockchain community currencies in Kenya aimed at combating poverty.

The Bancor Protocol is a token conversion protocol which allows anyone to design new tokens using smart contracts, which implement the reserve system. In June 2017, the company raised $153 million in its initial coin offering (ICO), which lasted under three hours.

The new project aims to enable Kenyan communities to create and manage their own digital tokens. It will utilize blockchain technologies to break down barriers that have historically hindered the use of community currencies worldwide, despite their documented benefits to community members.

The project will be supervised by Will Ruddick, Bancor’s Nairobi-based Director of Community Currencies. Ruddick was previously imprisoned while building his non-profit foundation Grassroots Economics and its community currency programs, which he later re-launched in partnership with the Kenyan government. The nonprofit is currently serving more than 20 schools and 1,000 local businesses.

Grassroots will use the Bancor Protocol to expand its existing paper currency system into a blockchain-based network. The initial community currencies will be seeded with money raised during Bancor’s ICO. Supporters of the project will be able to buy and sell the community currencies using popular cryptocurrencies or a major credit card, allowing users globally to support the communities from afar.

“We have seen the crypto world generate roughly $300 billion for new currencies, and we believe the same mechanics can be applied to help communities create wealth on a local level through the use of blockchain-based community currencies that fill regional trade gaps, enable basic income and food security, and promote thriving local and interconnected global markets,” said Galia Benartzi, Co-founder of Bancor.

The first pilots from the project are planned to launch in two economically disenfranchised regions of Kenya, Kawangware and Kibera. These communities will be used to circulate the currency by incentivizing customers to use it.

“Communities should be afforded the same privileges as nations to develop their own prospering economies with the stability of their own currencies,” said Ruddick.