MoneyCircles.com 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.
MoneyCircles.com is created by Outlier Ventures Ltd, Europe’s first dedicated blockchain incubator setup to seed, develop and launch a new startup every 3-6 months across a variety of sectors.
MoneyCircles.com is a groundbreaking publicly verifiable and decentralised peer-to-peer lending platform using fiat pegged crypto-currency. It is the first publicly released proof-of-concept from Outlier Ventures Ltd.
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.
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lending market, estimated to be worth $150bn by 2025, rather than improving lending parameters to actually reinforce outdated risk aversed credit scoring.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.
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.
About Outlier Ventures Ltd
Outlier Ventures Ltd is a European blockchain incubator setup by investor and entrepreneur Jamie Burke to seed, develop and launch a new startup every 3-6 months across a variety of sectors.
All projects are technically delivered through BlockStars.io, a 50/50 joint venture with Dutch blockchain developer Aron van Ammers, which offers its applied learning to Enterprise clients via partnerships with major management consultancies. BlockStars.io is also planning an annual event called Blockchain 2020, bringing together the ecosystem of blockchain tech vendors, related startups, consultancies, their enterprise clients and partners to realise industry-wide ‘blockchain design’ programs.
Outlier Ventures has two more POC’s roadmapped over the next 6 months, the proceeding one exploring the possible use of OpenBazaar, Ethereum and common blockchain payment channels like Coinbase or Uphold.
Outlier Ventures intends to finance its companies by leading rounds of further investment with VC’s and/or sector relevant Angels post incubation.
Founder, Jamie Burke, says; ‘We’re unique in that we created an infrastructure to power rapid deployment of a new DApp every 3-6 months’.
‘Not only do we have a raft of home-brew startups but we have built a leading blockchain centre of excellence, that is BlockStars.io, to support our companies in an evolving technological space. We have put in place funds for seed financing for up to 6 more DApps over the next 12 months and are now directly building relationships with open innovation teams within large consultancies to look at how we can scale working with, not against, incumbents’.
‘Because we’re working cross-vendor, are stack agnostic, and not limiting ourselves solely to the financial services sector we believe we have hedged what is a risky bet to invest in the blockchain DApp space at this moment in time. We do this with the confidence of knowing that even if few startups in themselves become viable businesses, for any number of reasons, we at least ensure the learning-from-doing is preserved in BlockStars.io and can be monetised in any number of ways as the blockchain space takes off’.
‘Whilst everyone talks about the disruptive powers of blockchains, and they very much have the potential to disrupt even the disrupters, we believe they’re more a platform for collaborative, perhaps more reformative, innovation with established industries and incumbents’.
Founder Aron van Ammers says: "We see vast possibilities in the paradigm that blockchains offer to create more open, trusted and verifiable systems to collaborate. Blockchains give us the ability to audit the world."
"The MoneyCircles.com POC demonstrates how smart contracts on a blockchain can add value to a financial application, with centralised and decentralised components each having their merits. We have gained great insights while building it, which we are excited to apply in the further development of MoneyCircles.com and other proof of concepts in the near future."
DApp business development process
Outlier Ventures model is to validate and quantify a market opportunity for a DApp with seasoned experts from that given industry then prove it’s technically possible through a POC. If it works we then put in a place a senior management team of experts from that space and either lead a further round of angel funding or put its team through a related accelerator.