Innovating to reduce poverty through financial inclusion, Kora has launched a new network built on blockchain technology to unlock global growth by linking the value in local ecosystems with global markets. Already piloted in Nigeria with the next pilot to launch in Ghana in June, the Kora Network platform was designed to create trust, security, efficiency and transparency.
Currently, there are an estimated two million unbanked and underbanked people in the world, according to the World Bank’s Global Financial Inclusion database. Bank accounts are critical to small businesses, to secure payments and savings, and to making transactions efficient and effective. When people lack a bank account, they lack critical resources.
“Businesses and individuals in emerging markets are severely underserved when it comes to their ability to access capital, chiefly due to lack of trust in financial agreements and data,” said Dickson Nsofor, CEO and founder of Kora. “Unlike many similar projects that fail to go beyond the idea stage, the Kora Network is making financial inclusion a reality.”
Accessible without internet or a smartphone, the Kora Network originates under-securitized assets, such as agricultural cash flow, mining and corporate equities and bonds into security token chains. Ongoing user testing is focused on unlocking untapped capital in emerging economies; the program is in Nigeria works in concert with 300 farmers, who now have the ability to quickly and easily send and receive funds from cities to rural areas at a low cost. Kora has partnered with Aeternity Blockchain for joint collaboration on its financial inclusion initiatives in Africa.
The company’s first beta test will take place in Ghana next month, supporting agricultural communities by providing identify, secure storage, marketplaces, money transfer and more via connections to global trade finance. Blockchain technology will support record-keeping, revenue-splitting and access to capital to grow the agricultural value chain. The goal is to expand to other markets throughout the year, onboarding 100,000 users by the end of 2018.
“While the cost of serving the unbanked is high for traditional financial institutions, technology makes everything possible and scalable,” Nsofor added. “It is my purpose in life to help more of the unbanked and underbanked achieve their dreams and goals while supporting industries in emerging markets as well. We focus on empowering individuals, businesses and communities through our network.”
The company’s public sale will launch on Friday May 18th 12:00UTC and run through June 18th 12:00UTC