A new, highly-efficient mobile blockchain developed in Africa is set to acquire large-scale consumer adoption by 2021. Supplied

CAPE TOWN - DéMars (DMC), a mobile money platform and new blockchain protocol for the young emerging market is lite, fast, scalable, private, secure and virtually free. 

It’s also the first of its kind developed in Africa.

Until now, various technological issues have held back large-scale consumer adoption of blockchain technology. Many early adopters have abandoned Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum due to poor user experience.

DéMars provides a new infrastructure, the beta version of which will be revealed by the end of Q2 2019.

The new technology aims to deliver financial services for the 1.7bn primarily young, unbanked adults in developing markets like Sub-Saharan Africa, of whom two thirds own a mobile phone.

The “Banking as a Service Platform” will reduce the high cost of remittances to and within developing markets and enable access to simple lending, insurance and savings products. This is made possible via a smart contract escrow feature, where you can place a classified advert on the network and trade goods, services and cash with others.

The solution responds to the resultant demand after global products failed to provide any real utility for the African consumer since they aren’t designed for a data constrained environment. In addition, global products don’t support micro transactions and rely on credit card payments.

The Founder of DMC, a South African now residing in Mauritius, Shaun Burrow, a banker by profession, states: “I started researching the entry-level market, and I was simply blown away to learn that 1.7 billion adults don’t have access to basic financial services and to learn that in the remittance space, families are paying about 45 billion US dollars a year in fees on the funds they are sending home. This is money being diverted from the poorest of the poor. The cost of payments to Sub-Saharan Africa and within Sub-Saharan Africa are the highest in the world, theyrange from 10 - 20 % of the money being sent home. It’s simply an unjust tax on ordinary, hardworking people.”

A mobile first for Africa

DéMars has worked out a more efficient way (versus other protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum) to transfer data and validate transactions. The key innovation is a novel blockchain protocol which leverages a hypercube distributed hash table (similar technology to that used in file sharing speeds up the network and allows it to scale efficiently.

All transactions are completely private as they are only stored on your mobile phone as unlike in the case of bitcoin or Ethereum it is not necessary to download the entire blockchain, which is a complete waste of data. There is also no centralized or decentralized servers as the network is stored and “lives” on the users’ phones. This means it’s completely distributed and free of censorship.

Best of all, the network and application are free and it is owned by its users. All transactions are virtually free too. All you need to access it is the native currency, DMC.

Only 10 Billion DMC, the cryptocurrency, will ever be issued, so there is a limited supply.

The project is currently pre-selling 8 Billion coins to raise funds for further development with an initial selling price of €10 (R170) for 1000 coins. The price will increase by 10% for each round of 500m coins sold.

Once deployed, entrepreneurs and developers will be able to build apps and offer services on the network too.

Trade local, pay global

The new digital currency falls under all three categories of digital currency. It has transactional uses, like Bitcoin. It’s the native currency of a platform, like Ethereum, and it’s has utility as it is designed to fulfil a specific task, like Ripple.

A new global currency is under construction

The new currency has features that cross multiple traditional forms. In evaluating this new currency, we should rethink everything. Technology is fundamentally changing financial interaction and the new peer to peer decentralised currencies, including DMC, are taking the lead in this transformation. This is a currency you own and you control. No bank or government can take it away from you and you can choose to exchange it with whomever you please.

“The current financial infrastructure is like an old road, full of potholes, tolls and dilapidated petrol stations. DéMars is digging the tunnels and laying the sleepers to build a new railway line - in fact, it’s more like a hyper-loop. And DMC is the electricity which will power the new system. It’s a new high-speed train with better and more convenient stations,” concludes Shaun Burrow, Founder of DMC. 

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