Trading the First Tomatoes on the BlockchainMama Evelin (right) in Bangladesh, Mombasa is learning to trade her Bangla-Pesa using the Bancor system; taught by Ruth Ngau of Grassroots Economics.
Written by Will Ruddick, Bancor’s Director of Community Currencies.
Thanks to Bancor, blockchain is finally becoming a tool we can use to fight poverty.
Yesterday we had an amazing day in Mombasa field-testing the Bancor Wallet on the POA Network to enable zero-transaction fees and fast payments for local transactions. As tomatoes and chapati changed hands, local shop owners and their customers marked the first-ever community currency transactions on the blockchain. More broadly, we are digitizing and tokenizing the Sarafu-Credit system of paper currencies that began with the Bangla-Pesa in 2013.
Now community members like Mama Evelin (in the photo above) can:Trade any amount of Bangla-Pesa (We never had below a 5 paper denomination due to cost of printing.) Keep a digital record of transactions which are stored securely on the blockchain. Exchange their Bangla-Pesa for Ng’ombeni-Pesa (another neighboring community currency that couldn’t be easily converted to before.) Advertise on a community marketplace to get wider awareness of their goods. Easily locate and buy goods and services in the community when Kenyan Shillings are not available — with no transaction fees and verification in seconds. Easily send local tokens unrelated to commercial transactions to friends and family instantly and without fees. And much more to come, such as voting systems, SMS notifications and more.
For Grassroots Economics and similar community currency creators, this means:Creating a currency takes a few minutes. All you have to do is specify your token supply and decide which tokens to connect it to in your network. We have the security of the blockchain — meaning that the ledger of transactions and the supply of community currency tokens ...