ZIMBOCASH: If you want a new currency for Zimbabwe … watch this!
Economy / 4 September 2019, 6:30pm / Sizwe Dlamini
CAPE TOWN – Economist advisor, writer and speaker Philip Haslam believes Zimbabwe urgently needs a decentralised currency system for Zimbabwe to solve the severe problems in its money and banking system.
Haslam, who authored the book “When Money Destroys Nations” says using blockchain technology the cryptocurrency ZIMBOCASH will create a fixed money system. “No-one will have the ability to print more money once it is launched. It will make it practically impossible for anyone to shut down, seize people’s money or stop cross-border flows.”
Haslam has appeared on various platforms such as TechCentral’s podcast, CNBC TV as well as SABC Current Affairs being interviewed on his digital solution for Zimbabwe’s currency issue.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his finance chief want a new currency by March, would seek financing from the International Monetary Fund and may even consider a Eurobond offering as the struggling economy emerges from almost two decades of isolation.
The introduction of a new currency is crucial to his efforts to revive the economy, said Mnangagwa, who secured a five-year term in July elections after the military deposed Robert Mugabe in 2017.
As Haslam and his team are learning, creating a game-changing currency is not an overnight job. “We’re engaging with legal advisors, technology developers, architects and coders offshore and in Africa, funders, hosting providers and a host of other service providers. We are spurred on by a belief that if we work together, Zimbabwe can become the nation that leads the world with sound money. It is a big dream. And we can do it with everyone’s support.”
How it works
ZIMBOCASH is free to join and only available to Zimbabwean residents and Zimbabweans in the diaspora who have a Zimbabwean ID document. Those who sign up receive 25 000 ZIMBOCASH and further allocations if they refer others, with the amount allocated being halved every three months. From the end of September 2019, the amounts allocated will be 12 500. When registrations close, the registration database will be converted into fixed ZIMBOCASH coins transferable with an online wallet. ZIMBOCASH will then also be listed on an international exchange. “ZIMBOCASH will look like any normal online bank account or Ecocash wallet – you will be able to log in, see your balance and send ZIMBOCASH to others when doing trading,” says Haslam.
Haslam and his team of experts are currently working to get a token established on the TRON decentralised platform. “We are in discussions with some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world to launch an Initial Exchange Offering for ZIMBOCASH,” says Haslam. “The exchange would market ZIMBOCASH to their networks of international buyers.”
ZIMBOCASH plans to sell 10% of the tokens in order to get a listed price. Zimbabweans will then be able to sell their ZIMBOCASH on these exchanges for dollars, bitcoin and other foreign currencies once they have made the mandatory six transfers to other people on the exchange. “While we want people to be able to cash-out, our goal is to establish a transactional currency on the ground in Zimbabwe using the latest price as a reference,” Haslam explains.
“With international buyers, we are creating value in the hands of ordinary Zimbabweans. The important thing is to create the network of people living in Zimbabwe. You add value when you are part of the network similar in concept to whatsapp – each additional person who joins adds value to everyone else in the network,” says Haslam. “Our ultimate goal is to get people buying and selling real goods in exchange for ZIMBOCASH, with reference to a market price. It’s bold – but considering Zimbabwe’s current economic crisis, we need to do it.”
What about the Government?
While cryptocurrencies are not governed by the country’s regulations, Haslam says ZIMBOCASH has had discussions with individuals at various levels in government about this solution. “We are absolutely committed to working with the government and we want them to be involved. In fact, we are allocating 10% of the tokens to the Zimbabwe government and are making one third of the transaction fees available for building Zimbabwe.”
Growing a network
The success of ZIMBOCASH relies on a credible education campaign to achieve its reach, says Haslam. As part of this process, ZIMBOCASH has appointed 230 ambassadors, with 13 Lead Ambassadors positioned in each of the major regions around Zimbabwe. Laswet Savadye, head of the Ambassador team, says “Zimbabweans must be able to trust the money and the banks that they use. We want to see the economy of Zimbabwe transformed with sound money built on blockchain technology. We’re driving a movement that can truly change our beautiful country. Zimbabweans, it is in your hands to choose a system that protects you.”