ICO Analysis: Humaniq
The dilemma of poverty is complicated, but investors who concern themselves with social issues have always believed it’s actually the biggest opportunity. Humans, after all, are a resourceful breed of primate. Given the correct tools and motivation (another day of abject poverty), “pulling up from the bootstraps” isn’t impossible. But it can be near impossible once the possibility of theft is so large as to discourage saving; the risk of government seizure is normalized; wages are depressed because of being limited to accepting local currencies and participate only in localized exchanges, among other reasons.
To this end, enter Humaniq. Nowhere close to the first “third world banking” program, Humaniq, on first glance, is an attempt to learn from the mistakes of previous efforts. Kenyans have had the option of M-Pesa (“cellular money”) since 2007-8, and it has grown to be a common way for individuals to receive salaries and pay invoices. Much of the developing world still had no reliable telecom system from the time mobile adoption was on the rise in the west, so they jumped over landlines and cellular phones are normalized. A few years after that, services such as Bitwala and Bitpesa were introduced to permit individuals to use Bitcoin to cover M-Pesa customers. These services have had a small rocky road, with Bitpesa eventually having a dispute with the owner of M-Pesa and then losing access to the network.
Humaniq aims to supply the services which M-Pesa, Bitwala, and Bitpesa provide all in 1 app. One obvious disadvantage to losing the centralized clearing house of transactions that M-Pesa acts as is it will take more engineering to ensure that transactions can be safely done with phones which don’t have whole operating systems (non-smart phones).
Our aim is to enable a market of 2 billion people who currently don’t have access to banks throughout the world. Nearly half the world — more than three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80 percent of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. More than 80 percent of the planet’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.
The purpose of Humaniq’s first coin offering is, allegedly, an altruistic measure. In the White Paper, author Alex Fork claims that Humaniq’s team already has the funds required to complete development, but they want everyone to have a fair chance to invest in the stage. Using the ICO version, in this respect, is a way of gauging community interest and offsetting costs that will come from the firm itself. Humaniq has a comprehensive road map in the investors page, outlining what they will do if they reach specific goals. Alex Fork is the Russian author of Bitcoin: More Than Money as well as the controversial holder of a patent on “Bitcoin” in Russia.
Unlike most cryptocurrency-related projects, only whole coins are permitted on the Humaniq network.
Any Humaniq balance maynot be fractional. It can only be integer. We’re targeted at supplying undereducated people with modern finance, and we do not expect all of our customers to be good at fraction calculus. The integer quantity of coins makes it easier for people to rely on their cash.
Presumably, Humaniq isn’t a “direct” competitor to M-Pesa or other existing networks in impoverished regions. Instead, in theory, it should be able to interact with them, being an open network. So if a person wanted to send funds from Humaniq to M-Pesa, Bitpesa, Bitwala, Western Union, MoneyGram, or some of the others, then the firms would simply have to develop third-rail plugins to allow as much. The history of financial companies interacting with each other is plagued with self-interested chaos monkeys, but ultimately the large networks such as SWIFT and Interbank, amongst others, should also be able to interact with Humaniq when enrolled agents of those networks decide to make it feasible.
For its part, however, Humaniq is focused on making it effortless for the global unbanked to secure their capital and take part in the world economy.
What is unique with Humaniq?
But what’s novel about Humaniq? Why is it unique? The answer: biometrics.
A big part of the issue for the banking business and the underbanked are global regulations which require people to be “extremely vetted.” Especially in areas where extremist terrorism is common, banks are wary that anyone may be proxy banking for a terrorist group. They therefore often require more documents than a given citizen can provide, compounding the trouble for these people. Humaniq has no need of these lengthy sign-up processes since it intends to use biometrics to secure accounts. Employing facial recognition and voice recognition, user funds can be secured against warlords and corrupt government thugs. To be persistent, Humaniq also enables people in these situations to take part in the world economy, which then creates market opportunities for different start-ups.
Humaniq’s application is currently in the alpha stages, available for download and testing on both major mobile app stores.
Given that the technology is currently in development, the concept is already tried and true, Humaniq is likely a fantastic investment opportunity. On a scale of 1-10, this writer provides it a 6.5 in terms of security. Potential risks include local market penetration proving difficult, governmental interference (it is trivial for authorities to ban a mobile application in their region), or adoption being slow enough that it never really takes off.
The earlier people invest, the larger a bonus in Humaniq they can get.