Ethereum-based blockchain banking app Humaniq, offering financial inclusion solutions for the unbanked, launched its public crowdsale on April 6, 2017. The Humaniq ICO, which will continue through April 26, 2017, raised more than $2 million in its first day.
“Humaniq is an entirely new banking experience that does away with all the barriers to entry of traditional banks by providing a simple UX and UI via mobile app that allows users to work, borrow, lend, save and pay using a protected biometric ID that no one can take,” said Humaniq co-founder Alex Fork. “I am considering Humaniq not as a company or a project, but as a mission. Recently, the latest advances in FinTech and Blockchain technologies lead to quite impressive results in a highly competitive market of the developed world. But being applied for the underdeveloped world not yet integrated into the global financial ecosystem, these technologies could allow us to make a qualitative leapfrog, as in Peter Thiel’s book ‘From zero to one‘. There are already existing all required technological components, we just decided to assemble them into the new equation. This can have a big impact on improving the quality of life of unbanked people, opening up entirely new opportunities and giving more chances for their future.”
Humaniq wants to provide mobile finance to the 2 billion unbanked population through its mobile app that uses biometric authentication to replace traditional methods of ID and security. Humaniq’s open source stack and API will be available for startups and other businesses to build services on its core technology, making it easy to adapt their service and plug it into Humaniq’s network. Other noteworthy features of the Humaniq network are a marketplace for small freelance gigs and options to invest in selected startups.
“Typically, we are interested in the advanced Deep Tech projects on the forefront of cutting edge technologies and science,” said Dmitry Kaminskiy, co-founder of Humaniq and managing partner of Deep Knowledge Ventures. “But in the case of Humaniq we recognize that this project has a very high probability to be able to create Deep Impact for Social Good on a global scale. Therefore we decided to support it in its early stage, and on the next stage we will ensure with all our capabilities that Humaniq will be empowered by direct access to the best world scientists and experts in the field of Artificial Intelligence and next-generation IT technologies. This will be the first project where the best human minds will work together in a straight-forward way for the real benefits of humanity.”
Crypto Insider reached out Humaniq leaders to find out more.
“I would not like to talk about Humaniq, as a company, or as a project,” Fork told Crypto Insider. “It’s much more pleasant for me to talk about Humaniq as a mission, which is to include a huge number of people in the global financial economy.”
“At the moment, the best solutions that I see are Blockchain, bioidentification by the face and mobile application. Of course, we will integrate them first,” added Fork. “There are two major components of the project development. The first is technological, and the second is integration. The technological component is closed by a group of companies involved in our project – such as Distributed lab, Etherion Lab, Digital Invaders and Vision Lab. Prototypes of our application can already be downloaded and tested now. We are moving according to White Pepper, in May, we plan the release of a working version, in July – a combination of applications, which will allow convenient use of this tool. The integration component includes an ambitious program for Ambassadors we started already in various continents.”
“Humaniq is a disruptive tech platform innovation for good,” Humaniq CEO Dinis Guarda told Crypto Insider. “As a professional executive, writer and thought leader working with both for profit, non for profit organizations and leading tech players I feel we need to do much more. That is why I have been working with organizations such as UN and Greenpeace and others. There is no excuses for so much issues we have in society. We have both fantastic innovative technology we just need to make it accessible and use it for good– doing special work to educate and integrate people in the economy. Humaniq was created for that!”
It is my life’s goal to dedicate my energy and strengths to tackle the issues of financial inclusion, education and find effective solutions for social good,” continued Guarda. “Of course we are conscious of the necessary hard and difficult work. We believe the crypto community and blockchain are the most advanced communities in both tech, new economic models, and for our natural habitat to work. For that we are working in Humaniq’s DNA through innovative partnerships looking at all the best ways to find solid definition of infrastructures, improve legacy systems and optimize the relationship between Financial inclusion, P2P community platforms, AI, big data, healthcare systems, IoT with Blockchain mobile app solutions. I feel there are billions of people that can be integrated in the world economy and in the process create a positive wave! We are working on that and Humaniq is the community that has that mission and is building financial inclusion tools and a plural platform for all of them.”
Fork and Guarda answered some specific questions from Crypto Insider.
What’s Humaniq business model?
We are a financial inclusion organization based in blockchain decentralized tech.
Our product, the Humaniq financial inclusion app, allows users to work, borrow, lend, save and pay using a protected biometric ID, which eliminates the need for traditional methods of ID and security, replacing passports and signatures, and enabling distribution as well as trading of digital assets via Humaniq’s cryptocurrency, HMQ. Humaniq will earn a small fee from access to the platform from the FinTech startups and financial organizations and a percentage of shares of FinTech startups which will grow in the Humaniq incubator/accelerator and participation in their profits.
For this we are creating both a Foundation and a Fintech company that will coordinate the activities. Initially we are aiming to raise ideally $5 million during the ICO. The investors in the ICO (in Humaniq Foundation) will benefit from the systematic rise of the capitalization of HMQ cryptocurrency. The goal is to achieve something similar to the level of capitalization of ETH during 2018 and grow after that. 25% of shares in Humaniq FinTech company will generate enough revenue for the long term financing of the Humaniq Foundation – the team of the core software development, and the management team of Foundation. The 25% (block package of shares) of Humaniq FinTech company will ensure that the company will always be in alignment with the Foundation.
Why should I want to buy in the ICO?
Funds raised during the Token Sale will power Humaniq’s mission to bring its mobile finance services to the 2 million unbanked people in different countries an communities all over the world, through the Humaniq app. Token Sale participants will receive an added bonus of 49.9 percent for the first 48 hours, a 25 percent bonus between April 8–14, and 12.5 percent during the final bonus period from April 15-21. Plus, Token Sale participants can invest – at preferred rates – in selected future startups with winning ideas and solutions to build third party products on the open source stack via a sister corporation.
Does Humaniq include a micro-lending system?
Our focus is to grow based on partnerships and building solid financial inclusion solutions for the various unbanked communities with which we will be operating. We are focusing on financial inclusion and the broadly defined concept of “social finance” that describes a range of investments that generate financial return and include a social or environmental impact. This market comprises a massive, global asset pool worth roughly $22 trillion, according to global investment company BNY Mellon study in 2016. It encompasses strategies including impact investing, development finance and microfinance, environmental finance and socially responsible investing (SRI).
The shift toward investing with a social purpose is coming not a moment too soon—the size and complexity of the 21st century’s environmental, social and economic development issues are daunting as we know, and we want to be a part of the solutions to its problems. By 2050, the world population is expected to rise by more than 30%, with the majority of growth taking place in developing world cities, most of these people are unbanked and will face a series of integration and social issues.
For that we are building Humaniq’s financial inclusion platform app and we are working with various leading fintech, social finance and crowdfunding software companies, as well as not-for-profit organizations to see best ways of creating powerful and simple solutions. With Fintech players we want to use their APIs and white label solutions to better scale our technology and software. Our idea is to have a straightforward social finance platform that empowers its users and offers both community engagement features, social features and a portfolio of financial services, special remittances, micro payments and of course building, as we scale the community, a solid micro-lending system. We are already talking with various Fintech players and financial organizations and will soon announce some meaningful partnerships.
How robust is the face/voice recognition system?
Our biometric technology options include a combination of voice, face and fingerprint; and the information submitted will be held in a central encrypted database until blockchain technology evolves to the point where we are comfortable putting it in a public shared P2P decentralised database. We are working with various software blockchain leading providers and cyber security experts to get the right balance of product offering, security, UI and UX while having a simple to use app with community features that can be used in different languages and by people with limitations in education and access to technology. At that point when we find the right balance in the blockchain landscape we are also considering moving the entire framework over to a DAC run completely on smart contracts.
What are the differences between Humaniq and other projects?
Our differences is that we are a financial inclusion blockchain crypto currency driven biometric platform. There are very few organisations and technology apps doing this with all the new tech available. We are focused in creating solutions using decentralised ledger solutions, IOT and AI driven solutions but our aim is to use it in a simple way to help people. Our mission is based in highlighting a system that uses technology for good, and works to enable solutions for emerging economies using a global network of partnerships both in the crypto world, blockchain community and special with leading education organisations, (we will announce soon leading partnerships with top Universities around the world), non for profits, foundations and other organisations that are determined to tackle financial inclusion. Mostly our use of blockchain tech and AI in particular will allows to create sustained solutions while building a community of people.
As the World Economic Forum put recently in a research paper Blockchain technology and its vision of decentralised economy and society is critical for the shifting world economy and society. On this note the Bank of England thinks that Blockchain related digital currencies could increase GDP by 3%, by introducing a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Our project based in the tech that is powering the new digital economy aims to be leading solutions to empower the financial excluded from society. On the top of this we are a company of people. We have people in all continents ambassadors and we are listening to them and working in concrete solutions to answer to the big issues they are facing. Our leadership team comprehends people with experience working with UN, top Universities, technology, policy making and we are working hard to get results from day one.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.