Welcome to the brave new world of blockchain startups, where ideas range from the straightforward to the esoteric to the “what IS that?” Different angles toward distributed ledger technology, different industries impacted, and different levels of buzz, all in one emerging, exciting, and sometimes downright crazy industry.
So we thought we’d talk about one of the ideas that falls into the “straightforward” category: a company called Sikoba, whose ICO we started tracking a couple weeks ago here on the site. (And, of course, if you’re part of an ICO or blockchain startup, reach out! We’d love to hear from you. Info – at metacoin – dot – co.)
Don’t Call it a “Lending Platform”
When we caught up with Sikoba CEO Aleksander Kampa over email, we were very quickly corrected on one point: Sikoba is not a peer-to-peer lending platform. Here’s more:
Metacoin: Please give us your elevator pitch.
Kampa: 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.
Metacoin: How is Sikoba different than btcjam or other peer-to-peer lending platforms?
Kampa: Sikoba is not a peer-to-peer lending platform! It is a peer-to-peer IOU platform, which allows payments to be made without having money (whether fiat, crypto or any other asset) to begin with.
Metacoin: Why is blockchain technology needed?
Kampa: Sikoba is being designed as a decentralised system with the goal of eventually becoming independent and self-organising. Blockchain technology will make this possible.
Metacoin: What is the consensus model of your chain? (if applicable)
Kampa: We’re designing the Sikoba blockchain as a “federated blockchain”. This is a permissioned mining model where only authorized nodes add blocks to the blockchain. The Sikoba federation will be self-governing, meaning that members will be added or removed from the federation based on votes of the federation members themselves.
Metacoin: What are the tokens people get for participating?
Kampa: Following the presale, Sikoba presale tokens will be issued on the Ethereum blockchain. They will eventually become exchangeable into Sikoba (SKO) tokens, which will be used to pay for transaction fees on the Sikoba network.
Metacoin: When exactly does the sale start?
Kampa: The pre-allocation phase has started on 17 March 2017, the public presale will start on 25 April.
Metacoin: When will the token be released to participants?
Kampa: Sikoba presale tokens are expected to be released by the end of June 2017. Participants will receive usable Sikoba tokens when the Sikoba platform launches, which is expected in 3Q2018.
Metacoin: What is the current state of your project?
Kampa: We are a technical team of 3 people, plus several people providing support on a part-time basis (Ethereum coding, admin, legal). Sikoba is still at the concept stage, elements of technical documentation exist but are as yet incomplete. With the funds raised in the presale, we aim to expand the team, finalize a detailed white paper and develop a MVP before the end of the year.
Where to find info…
You can check out the Sikoba Presale Page to learn more. Sikoba is also on Twitter.
Kampa is pretty active on Medium, and you can see his take on “replacing banks” here.