The BABB ICO seeks to combine the innovations of blockchain technology with traditional, central banking practices. The service will be designed to give users access to a reserve of digital currencies that can be used to drive normal, everyday transactions as well as overseas payments.
The fundamental idea of the project is that consumers will be able to leverage BABB – Bank Account Based Blockchain – for both fiat and crypto payments. One of the project team’s stated main objectives is to bring banking to the world’s unbanked – any individual or village with access to a smartphone should be able to access banking services.
The BABB team believes that modern banking methods are outdated and exclusionary. With over 2 billion people of the world’s five billion adults of working age currently unbanked and disconnected from the global financial network, vast swathes of humanity are currently unable to access basic services such as loan programs and over-seas payments. On the other hand, many of these do have a smartphone.
BABB wants to reach this untapped market, providing individuals with all-inclusive banking services that are more secure and reliable than those offered by the traditional model. All users need to do is download the BABB smartphone app, verify their identity and BABB will connect them to a UK-based bank account.
Account holders then leverage this account for a variety of peer-to-peer financial services such as personal payments, loans, fundraising or even for organising an employee payroll. Funds can also be transferred from one currency to another making it an ideal platform for international remittances. With BABB, money changes hands without needing to deal with the bank directly.
Babb will also offer the Black Card, its equivalent of a credit/debit card. The card will be linked to individual accounts, and its holder can use it to purchase goods online or in store with near instant transactions as with any normal credit/debit card.
BABB has a focus on security. Its blockchain and smart contracts ensure tamper-proof transactions and verifiable payments. It aims to implement a series of hi-tech solutions including voice print, face scan and geolocation methods for hyper-secure verification methods.
BABB has achieved some minor milestones, including:
- Product design and development to MVP stage
- Full outline of the business model and services offered
- Patent application
In November of 2016, the team successfully tested their biometric ID software and the application interface user experience. In 2017, they began drawing up their financial model and started their concept design for the BABB Black Card.
Throughout 2016 and 2017, they filed a total of five patents for their biometric technology, banking innovations, and prepaid card services.
This appears to be an unusual ICO in that it is demonstrating previously committed capital and energy to the project it is seeking to finance.
Final product developments and a full launch are anticipated for Q1 of 2018. January will see a pilot for their central banking feature and the creation of BABB’s Black Card, while a live version 1 of the system is scheduled for February.
The BABB team is vetted with experience from across business, financial, and technical fields. It includes veteran entrepreneurs in FinTech and traditional financial institutions, and its team has worked with such industry leaders as Bank of America, Microsoft, Vodafone, and others.
Jorge Pereira, CTO, has a prolific entrepreneurial track record in the tech world, founding Seegno, FinTechServer, Wayfex, and LoyalChain.
The project’s CEO and founder, Rus Averroes, holds an MA from the University of Greenwich in Microfinance and Financial Inclusion.
The COO, Adam Haeems, has his Master of Finance from Cambridge and came to BABB from QCM, a UK-based $1bn hedge fund.
All team members provide links to their personal LinkedIn profiles on the project website.
BABB’s coin, BAX, is an ERC20 token built on Ethereum’s blockchain. BAX will be a utility token that powers BABB’s network and give users access to its various products and services.
The BABB website states that the ICO hard cap will be set to $50 million with the token price itself being dictated by the market price of Ethereum two days prior to the commencement of the token sale.
The token reserve stands at 38% – 20% for the project team and 18% for the foundation which will be managing the BABB platform once it is up and running. Unsold tokens will be burned.
With a 20% of its budget being set aside for marketing and 2% of its tokens being allocated for its bounty campaign, there are indications of a healthy, aggressive approach to the marketing aspect of the project.
However, for the time being, the project appears to be going under the radar of the mainstream media. On the other hand, it is receiving reasonable attention from cryptocurrency-focused publications including Bitcoin Magazine.
The BABB team maintains an active Telegram channel, Twitter account and Facebook profile. The numbers associated with each are currently modest but there are hints that they are beginning to adopt a more aggressive marketing strategy.
The BABB project needs to provide a little bit more clarity on the token circulation that will result from the ICO sale along with some more details in relation to the patents it has filed.
Otherwise, this is an ambitious project lead up by a solid team in an industry that is ripe for disruption from blockchain-based technology. The project is a worthy one and deserving of more attention than that it has so far been grabbing, particularly given its innovative aspects which both differentiate it in a highly competitive space and serve up evidence of the (just under) two years of financial commitment and human capital that have so far gone into the project – somewhat unusual in the ICO space.
Ratings Score Methodology: a weighted average across three scores: Concept (10% weight), Blockchain Fit (30% weight), Execution (60% weight).
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