Bancor: Trading the First Tomatoes on the Blockchain

poa-network kenya community-currency blockchain bancor

Mama 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 are in a safe, decentralized place — distributed across the Internet and transparent for all to see.
  • Designing a customized currency just became much much easier: economic incentives, taxation, demurrage, community funds, voting systems and more can be built directly on the Bancor Liquid Token smart contract.
  • The cost to develop a community currency has dropped to training and implementation — rather than the cumbersome and costly process of printing paper vouchers or paying service fees and licences to digital providers.
  • Teams can focus on their users, rather than the backend technology. This will go a long way in communities where resources are scarce to begin with.
  • Sending blockchain-based community currency payments from the mobile-friendly Bancor Wallet.

    What makes these tokens special is their ability to connect to one another (i.e., convert back and forth without exchanges) — building a decentralized economy of currencies powered by the Bancor Protocol. These currencies can be designed using their smart contract to share assets, deploy a UBI and facilitate voting and community services.

    Fundamentally, community currencies can empower women like Evelin to develop zero-interest credit that is usable among her network. The World Bank claims there is a 2+ trillion dollar deficit in the credit supply — this solution could pull communities out of poverty, increasing trade and local resilience.

    There is still a lot to do and we need everyone’s support to really make this a tool that can be used around the world. We look forward to our first usability pilot in rural areas and Nairobi to give us all the use cases and success stories to help us make the case. Onward!

    Feedback? Tips? Advice? Get in touch at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.

    Trading the First Tomatoes on the Blockchain was originally published in Bancor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

    Original article was created by: Bancor at

    Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency or ICO.

    Interested in Cryptocurrencies and ICO's?

    Follow our telegram channel for daily cryptomarket reports!

    Join @cointrends

    Stay on top of Altcoins and ICO trends.

    Subscribe to our free Weekly Cryptomarket report

    Delivered once a week, strongly to your inbox.

    Subscribe to our mailing list
    August 09, 2018
    July 23, 2018

    Bancor Progress Update: July 2018

    Bancor entered recovery mode earlier this month in the aftermath of a $12.5 million theft from the network. The team worked tirelessly to repair the damage and reinforce our defenses before bringing the network back online. In its first full week since reactivating, Bancor came roaring back,...

    From: Bancor
    July 20, 2018

    Decentralization is a Journey, Not a Destination

    Last week, following the theft of roughly $23.5 million worth of cryptocurrency from the Bancor Network, Bancor used its publicly disclosed Anti-Theft Override to freeze stolen BNT in order to immediately recover $10 million of stolen BNT before it was liquidated. Some have claimed that the use...

    From: Eyal Hertzog
    July 12, 2018

    The Road Ahead

    Dear Community,Earlier this week, Bancor experienced a security breach that resulted in the theft of roughly $23.5 million worth of crypto, after which $10m worth of BNT was immediately recovered. As a decentralized liquidity network, Bancor neither holds nor has access to user funds and no...

    From: Guy Benartzi
    June 21, 2018

    Bancor Progress Update: June 2018

    Our team recently took a moment to recognize a series of milestones all landing seemingly at once — Bancor’s 1-year anniversary, the network’s 100th live token, the election of our LiquidEOS block producer upon activation of EOS Mainnet, and the launch of the world’s first natively...

    From: Bancor
    June 17, 2018

    EOS Is LIVE: Now the Real Work Begins

    The EOS blockchain is officially live! More than 15% of the total EOS tokens in supply have been used to validate the chain, activate its functions, and elect the first 21 block producers to serve and support the EOS blockchain. We are thrilled and honored that Bancor’s BP, LiquidEOS, was one...

    From: Bancor
    Upcoming ICO's
    This week overview
    Token Name Starts
    Rubius (RUBY) logo Rubius (RUBY) 1 days
    Cryptocurrency rates
    *Last hour average price&change
    Coin Name Price Hour
    Bitcoin logo BTC $6460.66544095 0.04%
    Ethereum logo ETH $289.890586986 0.43%
    Ripple logo XRP $0.3341621164 -0.19%
    Bitcoin Cash logo BCH $548.373799066 0.31%
    EOS logo EOS $5.1039789748 0.83%
    Stellar logo XLM $0.2231860843 1.27%
    Litecoin logo LTC $56.2310625573 0.44%
    Tether logo USDT $1.0022547744 -0.04%
    Cardano logo ADA $0.0982930892 0.05%
    Monero logo XMR $96.706669633 0.98%
    IOTA logo IOT $0.5260170818 0.71%
    Tronix logo TRX $0.021772396 0.41%