European Blockchain Incubator Launches First Public Proof of Concept

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MoneyCircles.com, created by Outlier Ventures, Europe’s first dedicated blockchain incubator setup,  is a decentralised peer-to-peer lending app built on Uphold (formerly Bitreserve) which allows circles of people to get together and mimic a credit union to save & lend with one another based on a ‘common bond’.

By using smart contracts this allows for total transparency and verifiability, a first in the financial services market. This is a groundbreaking publicly verifiable and decentralised peer-to-peer lending platform using fiat pegged crypto-currency and is the first publicly released proof-of-concept from Outlier Ventures.

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Ambition

The commercial ambition of MoneyCircles.com is to enable financial institutions like credit unions, challenger or traditional banks, as well as a constituted, MoneyCircles to lend to people who can’t access mainstream credit facilities with greater flexibility and on better terms for both savers and borrowers.

Problem Solved

MoneyCircles.com believes the growing wealth divide across our societies is compounded by lack of access to affordable credit. In the UK alone there are 6 million people locked out and trapped in a permanent state of indebtedness and in the developing world half of households have no access to credit at all. 

At the same time millions of savers have money trapped in low interest savings accounts with institutions that want to lend, but that are unable to. Savers desire better rates and want their money put to better use. By making money more socially active, not just an abstract concept, we hope to encourage the 9m Britons with no deposit accounts to also start saving.

MoneyCircles.com aims to reconcile these two parts of the market, by making saving and lending more socially based, to better deploy deposits which will help significant parts of society build a positive relationship with financial institutions. The aggregate effect would be ongoing stimulus to economic growth, fairer rates and reduced inequality in financial services. 

The Status Quo

MoneyCircles.com believes most new ‘challenger’ fintech focuses simply on enhancing user experience and the growing p2p lending market, estimated to be worth $150bn by 2025, rather than improving lending parameters to actually reinforce outdated risk averse credit scoring. They believe none fundamentally create a fairer marketplace that borrowers see as part of a long-term solution to managing indebtedness rather than just another creditor.

Proof-of-Concept

The POC demonstrates how, by building a decentralised application (DApp) on Uphold (formerly Bitreserve) blockchain and API, its users can mimic a credit union through deployment of Ethereum smart contracts. This means users can form ‘money circles’ with friends, family or local communities of ‘common bond’ to save and lend with full control and flexibility on saving & lending terms without the need for a middleman.

MoneyCircles.com intends to build their own cross-circle ‘trust score’ based on positive relationships people have across the network of circles. Circles can be connected up to external data sets including social media or traditional credit scoring through the use of ‘oracles’, a method of giving smart contracts access to information in the outside world in a decentralised manner.

MoneyCircles.com intend to exploit the technology and findings through Money Circles Ltd initially targeting the $1 trillion credit union market and are actively seeking investment and partners including a submission to a leading fintech incubator.

Outlier Ventures Ltd was created by  to seed, develop and launch a new startup every 3-6 months across a variety of sectors.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST
2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency
($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company
Blockchain Partners
(Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser
at leading industry event CryptoFinancing (Europe's first ICO event now
branded Tokenomicon)
– Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher,
innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards
of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500
articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and
has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.  Irish Tech News put him in the top
10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of
Blockchain
at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang
at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he
was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School
for Business Automation 4.0 programme. Chevalier (Knight) - Ordre des
Arts et des Technologies at Crypto Chain University and an Advisory
Board Member of International Decentralized Association Of
Cryptocurrency And Blockchain (IDABC) as well as Advisory Board Member
at U.S. Blockchain Association. Over a half a decade experience judging
and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the
European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor
and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain
technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels,
Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki,
London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, San
Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel
Aviv,  Utrecht, Venice,  Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and
Zurich.  His network is global and extensive.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has
ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean
& Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business
Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work
and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and
French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart,
Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to
TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to
marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian
expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the
world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called,
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on
yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently
lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage
daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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