Introduction and Proposal Owner
Thank you for considering this proposal, let me introduce myself and my team.
I am Andreiko (‘Drako’) Kerdemelidis and have been involved with crypto for over 5 years now starting with Bitcoin, but more recently I have been involved with Dash (since Darkcoin days). I feel that the Dash DAO is unique in the world of cryptocurrencies and aim to help to bring the benefits of Dash to as many people as possible.To this end, me and my colleagues James Saruchera and Steve August (Bio’s below) have been working on developing a service to launch Dash in Zimbabwe, where there is presently a cash crisis and a current demand for alternative means to store value and make payments. This service will be called “Kuvacash”.
We feel that the time is right to launch this service; Dash is the only cryptocurrency that can be used to make day-to-day instant payments for individuals and businesses and we have a team that can make this happen. By providing the right infrastructure and an easy-to-use app/wallet locally in Harare and wider Zimbabwe, it is possible to land Dash as a true alternative to physical fiat payments.
Our bio’s are below, together with links to our Linkedin profiles.
Summary and Goal
This project proposes to launch a Dash-based cryptocurrency service in Zimbabwe, to allow individuals and businesses an easier way to trade while addressing the current cash crisis. Following this, we intend to expand Kuvacash to the wider African continent as an inexpensive and convenient digital-cash service for day-to-day trading and payments.
The current cash crisis in Zimbabwe has proven to be difficult to resolve. Ballooning inflation has led to a collapse of the national currency, forcing the government to issue USD tethered bonds as a stopgap measureAlthough the formal economy is worth $4 Billion USD, there is $7 Billion USD in cash currently circulating in the informal economy. Currently, relatively expensive centralised mobile payments comprise more than 82% of all transactions in Zimbabwe. The remainder of trade and payments are made in cash (USD). Because the cash circulates without being replaced, it drives a lucrative trade in providing fresh/cleaned banknotes for a premium of between 10-20%.
For a more extreme example see here: www.ewn.co.za/2017/04/18/zimbabwe-marks-37-years-of-independence
We believe Dash is the perfect alternative for making payments in Zimbabwe.
Kuvacash aims to provide a digital payments platform (Dash to Dash) and facilitates payments both in and out of USD fiat (Dash to Cash). It will be extremely popular with the Zimbabwe public and local businesses, as the USD is considered to be the de-facto currency for non-mobile payments and is widely trusted.
The people of Zimbabwe have seen their savings dwindle during several cycles of ultra-inflation, and will benefit hugely by the security in owning a cryptocurrency that is tradable internationally, with trust-less issuance and supply rules. Dash is also the only cryptocurrency that allows instant transactions, which is necessary for rapid day-to-day trading.
To facilitate mainstream adoption, we will provide both ATM Services and a network of Service Agents to securely facilitate transactions in and out of Dash and into USD. We will demonstrate this model in the proposal webinar (date TBD following full proposal posting).
The team leading this project has experience in software development and technical operations, trade development, regulated currency exchanges and international payments solutions, consumer insight, branding, and business strategy.
James Saruchera – Managing Director
A creative change expert with more than 10 years’ experience in marketing and digital transformation. James is a National Arts Merit Award nominee and holder of two patents with hands-on experience across three continents building world-class challenger brands from the ground up in extremely competitive sectors. He uses the benefits of technology to compete with larger competitors and has developed brands such as: Diageo, Budweiser, 3M, Topshop, Accenture and more.
Andreiko Kerdemelidis – Finance and Technology Director
Andreiko (Drako) is a New Zealand-born digital entrepreneur who connects insight, technology and business strategy to build optimal brand, product and service experiences for people.Drako has built B2B currency exchanges (www.currencycart.com, www.regentfx.com), online consumer insight businesses (www.visionslive.com, www.teragence.com ) which service top-tier insight brands (GfK, IPSOS, YouGov, Havas). Drako holds a number of patents for which he is principal inventor, including advanced haptics, computer security and peer-to-peer network technology. He has expertise in, and is actively developing strategies and technologies for major blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, with a focus on the field of instant payments, exchange propositions, and smart contracts.
His work spans across several industries such as Banking and Finance (Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Currencycart.com/Regent Foreign Exchange), Telecommunications (Teragence Ltd) and Consumer Insight (Visionslive Ltd).
Steve August – Executive Advisory
Steve is a serial entrepreneur, creative technologist and founders’ coach. From 2006 until 2014, he was Founder and CEO of Revelation, a market research software company that he took from idea stage to a multi-million dollar exit. He has taken a lap around the C-Suite and boardrooms in private equity backed companies, serving as CEO, CMO and Chief Innovation Officer. Over the course of is career his companies have served a myriad of world class clients including Facebook, Twitter, Proctor & Gamble, Pfizer, Phillips and many others.
The consistent thread throughout his career has been a fascination with the creative application of technology. You can find his writings on Medium and LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Bios are included below:
This project will be implemented across several stages to minimise risks to the funding derived from the network and other investment partners. The summary plan and overall model, including financing for the project will be covered in the webinar (see introduction).
Zimbabwe has strict financial regulation in place for all forms of currency services, including mobile payments and money transmission. The key to the success of Kuvacash is to align with these regulations. We are engaged with the regulator to operate as an Authorised Dealer with Limited Authority (ADLA) for the purpose of making money remittances on a peer-to-peer basis, including fiat (USD) cash-out.
The operating business itself will be 100% owned by James Saruchera, as only Zimbabwean residents may be shareholders of an ADLA-regulated business. It is necessary to implement a connection to ‘Exchange Control’s Remittance Monitoring and Reporting System’ (ECOMORS) for compliance. Collateral must be posted with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe of between $50,000.00 USD (Tier 1, early phase) and $100,000.00 USD (Tier 2, full launch) in order to commence operations.
A holding company based in Delaware, United States, will hold and license intellectual property. A Swiss-based operations company will run technical and exchange operations and license this accordingly to the Kuvacash-regulated entity based in Zimbabwe. The IP holding and licensing company providing technical services will be 100% owned by both James and Andreiko together with additional investors that may be brought on board. This provisional business structure and jurisdiction is subject to more detailed legal advice and ongoing discussions with the regulator.
To allow for rapid adoption and ease of use for the Zimbabwean market, we will develop a cryptocurrency wallet (based on Copay wallet for Android) that allows peer-to-peer transfers using cryptocurrency network methodologies. We will also provide for payments to be made directly via phone-number-based messaging. It will allow Dash to be bought with cash, and cash to be booked and withdrawn from our ATM infrastructure – a critical factor to drive adoption of the cryptocurrency in the market. Our app will allow users to invite others to download the App and get paid as part of our member-get-member strategy.
We have been in discussions with a major ATM supplier and identified cash-in-transit and storage suppliers. We have developed a cash replenishment model, including an automated cryptocurrency exchange float management method.
Currently, most people in Zimbabwe (94.8%) have a mobile phone, 43% of which are smartphones. Internet penetration is at 40%. An increasing number of users are able to use Apps in order to make payments if such a service was available. As a part of this proposal we are developing an application (App) based on a customised build of a ‘Copay’ driven Android Dash wallet to allow for simple phone-number based currency transactions, similar to what the local market is accustomed to.
Marketing and local adoption
The executive team has deep experience across finance, consumer insight, analytics and marketing. We have already implemented in-field insight in Harare, covering both agents and customers. This insight shows there is affinity with a new and economical mobile-payments system, based on a ‘safe’ cryptocurrency (which is not subject to interference from a third party, and can be used to store and transfer value). The average payment values and frequencies are known, as well as the reasons for making mobile payments. This allows a suitable proposition and brand to be developed for the local market. A unique member-get-member strategy has also been developed, which we believe can drive very rapid adoption while allowing us to control and manage growth.
A combination of network funding through this proposal and private investment is used to implement the initial stages of this project, including developing the regulated entity, setting up business structure, and completing the MVP technical development.
The founders will bring a minimum of $50,000.00 USD investment into the project to demonstrate their commitment, but have also engaged other investors to raise further funds (potentially up to $200,000.00 USD). We are seeking network investment of $550,000.00 USD which includes 10% exchange rate/volatility cover.
It is important for us to have flexibility in the application of funds, as this is an ambitious project for which there may be several unforeseen risks. For this reason, network funding is critical, since institutional private investment for such a project is very difficult to obtain. Although there may be further network funding and potentially private investment to cover additional or unforeseen costs, we are aiming to become cash-flow-positive as soon as is possible. We will look towards applying this and additional investment for further expansion in the African continental region across our Scaling Phase.
To adequately control risks and track milestones, a 5-point stage plan has been developed spanning;
- Initial development of the business structure, legal framework and regulatory operating environment (USD 30K)
- Software and technical operations development phase (USD 300K)
- Operations implementation and controlled launch (USD 220K)
- Full launch and initial local scaling (TBD)
- Scaling phase (local expansion and planning/pilot of new territories/countries)
Progress summaries will be sent to a public email list on a monthly basis, and full transparency of costs provided.
We believe in transparency. Given the nature of the Kuvacash project this is key to maintaining ongoing support from the network and wider stakeholders. Prior to the full proposal passing, we will hold a web conference for interested parties and will endeavour to answer any questions you may have.
We will hold a quarterly briefing via web conference that anyone can request to join, and other briefings at stage-gate milestones. We will also maintain a subscriber mailing list and blog to cover the progress of our project at https://www.kuvacash.com
Benefits to the Dash DAO and network
Although we are asking the network to fund a large proportion of this project, Kuvacash must eventually be profitable and self-sustaining to be viable in the long term and therefore yield real value to the Dash network. This funding will allow for growth in the region (employing local agents, back-office staff, developers etc) and eventually transition to operating as a cash-flow positive business.
Our current focus is on providing a rigorous approach and solution to the Zimbabwean cash crisis; we aim to build a highly scalable peer-to-peer payments system that provides opportunity for unbanked/underbanked populations to more easily participate in the economy, as both consumers and entrepreneurs. We feel that this is a unique opportunity to use our skills and the Dash platform to give users an alternative way to pay and get paid in cryptocurrency, while retaining confidence that they can on and off-ramp from USD fiat at any time.
When appropriate, we will also introduce merchant services that address the needs of the local market, and aim to generate additional revenue from this that ultimately results in a self-sustaining business.
We want to prove that a Dash-based cryptocurrency-backed peer-to-peer payments platform can be established, to learn from the experience and use this as a launch pad into as much of the African continent as possible.
550K USD = 1692 Dash @325 USD/Dash + 5 Dash proposal fee
TOTAL 1697 Dash (565.67 * 3)
Treasury payments over 3 months (rounded down);
Month 1 : 565 Dash
Month 2 : 565 Dash
Month 3 : 565 Dash
We aim to answer all your questions below, so please let us know what you think!
Thank you for your time and we hope you will help us to move forward with this exciting project!
Drako – James – Steve
For anyone who would like more details, we are arranging a webinar to bring everyone together from the team and to describe the project.
The date for the first live webinar is 23rd September at 3.30pm Eastern US time, see the top of this proposal posting for details. You can also subscribe to updates over email on our holding page at www.kuvacash.com
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