There’s lots of talk about how mass adoption of digital currency depends on getting kids interested. I think this is somewhat wrong. Kids are are already familiar with digital payments because of their experience with video in-game tokens, pre-paid credit cards, and gift cards. Sure, these things aren’t genuine cryptocurrencies in that they are simply converted from cash. Realistically, however, this is what Bitcoin is to most people right now. Something you buy with cash and can be sold for cash. What’s really missing is a larger economic infrastructure that lets people use crypto for day-to-day activities. If the infrastructure were there, kids could easily translate their experience with in-game currencies into using digital currency for day-to-day purchases.
Thus, it’s only partially true kids are key to the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. Indeed, shifting them from using in-game currencies to cryptocurrencies isn’t much of a stretch. However, to translate this into mass adoption we need an economic infrastructure that supports the way kids already interact with in-game tokens for general economic exchanges.
New Startup Targets Kids
Efforts to create this infrastructure to support kids use of crypto are on the move. ‘Pigzbe’ is a new Swiss-based startup creating a crypto wallet specifically for kids. The “piggy-wallet” will be the world’s first digital piggy bank. Most parents still give kids a weekly or monthly allowance with the aim of teaching them the value of money and giving them some independence. The piggy-wallet facilitates this and much more. As the whitepaper states, “the Pigzbe experience (token + dApp) is designed to replace physical money normally stored in a traditional piggy-bank with a digital alternative that caters to modern globalized families.” This market niche of ‘modern globalized families’ (i.e. tech-invested and interested parents) will undoubtedly embrace a tool to teach their kids about earning, saving and managing money in a safe way, while at the same time providing an entry point into the world of cryptocurrencies.
Keeping Kids Safe
Pigzbe uses a native token called Wollo. Parents buy Wollo and send it to their kids’ piggy-wallets using the Pigzbe app. Children can also collect Wollo by playing finance-oriented games on the piggy-wallet. Wollo will have a fixed supply and will be traded on the Stellar Distributed Exchange.
All the features of the Pigzbe wallet could be achieved without Wollo except one: security. We are all aware of the number of scammers in the cryptocurrency community. Kids would be especially vulnerable left purely to their own devices. The Pigzbe wallet and app creates secure a network that operates exclusively with Wollo. This means parents can rest assured the Wollo allowance they send their kids will not be stolen.
Empowering Families as Microfinancing Networks
One dimension of Pigzbe I think is underplayed in its whitepaper is how it can empower families as microfinancing networks. The Pigzbe dApp allows families to create their own enclosed, autonomous financial networks and to exchange money within them. Multiple piggy-wallets can be linked to create family-based cryptocurrency ecosystems that allow families to make payments to each other, no matter how small or large, within their own network irrespective of geography.
This functionality has implications not for families spread out in different countries. In today’s globalized world, lots of families have members who have traveled to other countries for work and are financially supporting those they have left behind. The model Pigzbe is developing could help these families send payments to each other outside of the regulated financial channels. This would make it easier and less expensive to support family members in other countries.
Pigzbe promises to be a safe and easy to use. I think if it is developed to support multiple currencies in the future, it could be a success. I also think a product like this could even get older kids, adults, parents, grandparents, etc. using cryptocurrency. However, I see it making the biggest gains when a larger infrastructure is in place to allow cryptocurrencies to be used in everyday transactions. Short of that, it could be a popular niche toy choice for parents who are cryptocurrency enthusiasts and want to share that with their kids. At the same time, I think there is some under-explored potential in marketing the Pigzbe system as a tool for families who have members that have left for other counties to earn money to support those back home.
Full disclosure: I own Wollo and have not participated in the ICO. This article is not investment advice. It is just my personal opinion. Please do your own research! frauswif.