Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Ethereum and the founder of Cardano, has launched a new project aiming to improve provision of financial services to African people, Forbes reports.
Atala, as the project is officially called, is designed to target the governance system in the African countries, and ultimately improve government-offered services, such as property registration, voting systems, and supply chain management. Atala will be first tested in Ethiopia, where a new cryptocurrency will be created to “provide a secure and dependable means of payment for the nation’s capital.”
“While we have several MoUs signed, the most prominent of which we are going to build is a utility currency for Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. We are working with the Ethiopian government to create a new digital payments system that will allow six million users to pay their power and electric bills with cryptocurrency. We want to eventually combine this with an identity card,” said Hoskinson to Forbes.
Designed in a similar fashion as Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain framework hosted by the Linux Foundation and used by IBM Blockchain, Atala is an open-source blockchain framework which focuses on the adoption of digital currencies and overall improvement of the financial system.
“Atala is [designed] to be a solutions provider for governments in need of a municipal currency or a supply chain management system. This requires a type of framework that serves as libraries and modules that would allow governments to rapidly build a product for end users,” said Charles Hoskinson to Forbes.
If a pilot program with the government of Ethiopia goes well, the plan is to expand the program to other African countries, with a focus on those that lack legal infrastructure. The end goal is to create a blockchain-powered solution which will allow efficient movement of user value between different blockchains.
“We are trying to find the correct product market fit at this time, but I can also say that we have signed an MoU with a major shoe maker for anti-counterfeiting,” Hoskinson added.
According to Hoskinson, improving blockchain interoperability is crucial for a much-needed wider adoption of blockchain technology. Although Atala does not target enterprises and businesses, an improvement of the government-controlled financial system with assistance from blockchain technology would also help country’s economy and local businesses.