Sikoba A P2P IOU/credit platform on Ethereum Blockchain
The sikoba concept
Sikoba is a decentralised money platform based on peer-to-peer IOUs and built on blockchain technology. Participants who know and trust each other in real life grant each other credit lines in the Sikoba system. They can then pay each other without using fiat money. These peer-to-peer credit relationships are governed by contracts with specific conditions, fee structures and repayment rules. Using credit conversion, a kind of configurable rippling, payments between participants who do not trust each other become possible. Fiat money or cryptocurrencies are used when there are no credit links between participants, or to repay outstanding balances when needed.
P2P payments are already above $1 trillion annually. From almost nothing 10 years ago, P2P lending has grown to $26bn in 2015 and is expected to reach $900bn in 2024. We believe that P2P IOU systems have a similar potential and that they will soon become the next frontier in finance.
Paying with credit
Only a few centuries ago, most trade was done on credit. In addition, many monies circulated: the king’s money (which, by the way, was not always strongest), money issued by bankers, money issued by local princes, by monasteries, by merchants. Paying with credit was a normal occurrence. The Sikoba system will allow a flowering of this monetary diversity, adapted for modern times.
The backing of money
There is, in the end, only one possible backing of money, and that is the promise of human work. All the mechanisms of banking and finance tend to hide this basic fact
The aim of Sikoba is to provide a generic platform for money systems. A few use cases are listed below.
Inter-company credit system
Groups of companies that do business with each other on a
regular basis, for example because they are located in the same
geographical region, will profit from setting up interco credit systems.
Instead of systematically paying each other's invoices, they register
invoices in the system and only pay residual balances after periodic
clearing. As a result, less bank credit is needed. More Info
Jump-starting local economies for the world’s unbanked
In some situations, the poverty is such that even the access
to micro-credit is very limited. Here, a system such as Sikoba can help
to jump-start local economies. Once people realise that bank money is
not absolutely necessary, and have a tool for precisely keeping track of
mutual credits and debits, even primitive economics may get a boost.
Alternatives for micro-credits
Micro-credits carry very high interest rates, sometimes over
50% annualised. They are also difficult to obtain, especially in areas
where the next bank is far away. Bank money will always be needed for
some purchases, such as specialised equipment. However, when artisans
and merchants start using their own credit on the Sikoba platform for
local trade, their reliance on micro-credits may decrease significantly.
Setting up local currencies is a natural use case for
Sikoba. We aim for an easy set-up that will make it possible to start a
local currency even for very small communities. Local currencies using
Sikoba will become easily exchangeable with other local currencies.
Also, such currencies can be tied to local cost of living indices.
When a financial crisis hits, local and even central
governments may find a need to quickly issue new monetary instruments.
Sikoba aims to provide more flexibility than the banking system, while
being linked to state-of-the art KYC systems.
Follow our progress as we work on making the iou economy a household concept.