BX Smart Labs: Developing a decentralized app for saving circles
At BX Smart labs our team is building a decentralised application for saving circles. The payments will be done on the blockchain allowing the saving circles to be built regardless of the location of the users,using smart contracts to automatize the payments and withdrawals on each period ensuring the users receive their funds.
During the pandemic, Gabriela (Co-Founder), who is a mom, met the challenge in our Mexican society of having credit and financial support, understanding that this is the reality with which many Mexican and world families face having to get money to educate their children and even be able purchase resources for education, especially at a time like the one we are living. Her own experience prompted her to do something about it and called on the rest of the team.
Our solution is based on a system that we in Mexico know as “tandas'' that allow people to access interest free loans from their own network. This system also known as ROSCA (rotating saving and credit association) is also used in communities from Latin America, Africa and Asia. It is based on savings circles, in which the participants make payments to each other for the same amount at a certain date previously agreed until all have received their payment and the cycle is completed or a “tanda is closed”. The habit of using "tandas" is a tradition inherited from previous generations and they are often made up of friends, family, or coworkers.
The administration of these saving rounds can be a complex task that not everyone likes to perform. This person is responsible for reminding participants when they should make payments, verifying that all participants make their payments on time and keeping timely records of the payments made. The latter point may cause problems among the participants if it is not conducted with transparency, which leads users to perform these saving rounds only in trusted environments.
Our implementation will enable ROSCAs to be done remotely, in a decentralized platform and what we consider to be essential, securely. Also it is being developed with blockchain technology, which makes the transactions transparent and reliable. Additionally, with the use of the third generation blockchains it is possible to ensure that more and more people can benefit from technology with low fees and near instant transaction finality.
We are very excited to be able to create an application that modernizes a practice that has been used for many years and that remains as one of the main methods of community financing, but above all that by being Open Source allows the community to get involved, contribute, and reach the hands of those who need it most.
We form a multidisciplinary team with experience in science, engineering, development, and marketing, that is how each member contributes in their own way with a different point of view but always keeping in mind the objectives of the project. We share the vision of making a positive change in our society through technology. We all live in different states of Mexico and have had technology’s support to make this project a reality, so we are a 100% innovative team.
We are overjoyed to be able to participate with UNICEF's Innovation Fund and we are ready to work on a product that can be used by different communities around the world,, but above all so that families find a different and creative solution to the challenges they face daily. We know that diversity is already in our culture, but one of our visions is that in the future our application can help people create saving communities multiculturally, between states, countries and continents.
The project has prompted us to want to do more for our community and begin to investigate other ways we can innovate and help communities. Being part of a startup group that is working for objectives where technology is essential, makes us feel motivated and hopeful to be part of a change, as technology is a tool of growth, in every way. We are ready to start to see the results.