No, you do not need a bank account. You can simply join the network, find other users whom you know or already do business with, and start accepting their credit. You can also contact them and ask them to accept your credit. And if you own crypto-assets, you will be able to use them in the Sikoba system. This will give you access to most of the functionalities of the system.
However, some functions will be available only to users who have gone through Sikoba’s KYC process. These users will be able to interact with banks in the system, which will allow them to use additional functionalities which will be almost like having a normal bank account.
We will support the world’s major currencies such as USD, EUR, CNY, JPY, GBP. Crypto-currencies (e.g. bitcoin), as well as commodities, may also be supported at some stage. In addition, groups of users will also be able to request the creation of new currencies in the system.
In principle, the app will work in any country, however, we will launch a few pilot projects with our partners in the following countries:
We aim to launch our mainnet in December 2020.
We will achieve mass adoption because we are addressing something that is widely popular all over the world: informal credit. Especially in developing countries, many business transactions are already made using this "informal credit", where people promise to pay at a later date. This works but is not always very efficient. Sikoba provides a tool that makes using informal credit much more efficient, in particular with the debt clearing function.
For that reason, we think there will be a large demand for this app. For example, our partner in Colombia is targeting 1 million users within 12-18 months.
Users of sikobaPay app will have to pay small transaction fees expressed in SKS to use the platform. The value of SKS will be fixed against a basket of currencies, making them stable and predictable over the long term. Initially 1 XDR = 150 SKS.
We expect Sikoba fees to be extremely low compared to bank fees.
However, you need to remember that credit conditions between users may be ruled by “credit scripts” of almost arbitrary complexity, and payment may involve a chain of such credit relationships. Fees will need to reflect that. This will be similar to gas costs in Ethereum, where transactions involving complex smart contracts cost more gas than those with simple smart contracts.
Finally, some transactions will require interfacing with the financial system, such as foreign exchange operations or withdrawals of fiat to a bank account. These transactions will incur fees at levels similar to the ones that a competitive bank or forex broker would charge.
There will likely be a demand for fiat money from Sikoba users, in particular, to settle outstanding IOUs inside the Sikoba system rather than outside. We, therefore, aim to have banks and/or payment service providers join the Sikoba system to provide an interface to the world’s financial system. Although there will be obvious regulatory hurdles to overcome, we hope that the opportunity to earn fees on fiat deposits and withdrawals, and on forex, will provide a sufficient incentive.
Sikoba is for people and businesses who know and trust each other already, and who already owe each other money from time to time.
What we do is provide proof that the debt exists, as it is registered on a blockchain. We can also flag users who do not repay their debt.
However, we cannot help with debt recovery. That is up to the creditor, in the same way as when debt is not registered using the sikobaPay app.
Sikoba users are strongly encouraged to grant credit lines only to users (individuals and companies) they know and trust personally. For that reason, we have made the choice to not measure creditworthiness as such, because it might encourage some Sikoba users to give credit lines to users whom they do not actually know, just because of their credit rating. This would go against the Sikoba philosophy - although we will, of course, have no way of controlling actual user behaviour.
That said, Sikoba will flag users who do not discharge their obligations, and we may introduce a simple rating system based purely on the credit lines a user is given by other users - which reflect the combined trust of other users.
Remember that in the Sikoba system, a user will only ever have exposures to users to whom he or she has explicitly given credit. To give an example: if Bob trusts Alice, and Charles trusts Bob, and Bob allows what we call “credit conversion” for Alice, then Alice can pay Charles. However, Charles will only see Bob as his counterparty, and not Alice.
SikobaPay is an application which will be used to register, track and clear debts. There will be no fiat money nor crypto in the system. For that reason, we will not be subject to regulations in most countries, at least as long as we do not have a really large user base.
We do plan to have fiat money in the system as soon as possible after mainnet launch, so then we will need an e-money license, but that can be done with partner banks.
Yes, Sikoba is DeFi for Business. We are addressing traditional peer-to-peer decentralized finance in the real world on a massive scale.We bring decentralized finance to the countries with limited financial access by reintroducing blockchain-based IOU credit systems.
The Sikoba project is not some kind of crusade against banks, and it does not aim to replace banks. It is about bringing back credit to its rightful place in the financial system, alongside bank money.
We would not necessarily call it an “experiment”, given that credit (in the classic meaning of the term) has been used in business since time immemorial, and continues to be used widely today - even though nowadays its use is somewhat eclipsed by the omnipresence of banking. When a company sends out an invoice to a client, a debt is created and a credit relationship exists until the day the client pays. In Germany, until a few decades ago, promissory notes (“Wechsel”) were still routinely used by businesses - until bank credit became more easily accessible. And all over the world we still find examples of business networks transacting with credit rather than bank money - even in Europe.
Currently, Android and IOS versions of sikobaPay app are available in beta version for internal testing. We aim to deliver our mainnet in December 2020. You can apply to become a beta tester by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, the beta version of SikobaPay desktop app was released in September 2020.
Sikoba will be built on blockchain technology which provides a tamper-proof digital ledger and accounting of transactions. All transactions are validated and verified. Once verified they become permanent and unalterable. The Sikoba nodes will be run by known and trusted parties, selected by the Sikoba users themselves, these groups or entities running these nodes will have incentives against cheating, for example via a goodwill deposit of assets. We may also require them to sign legally binding contracts ensuring that attempts to cheat could have legal consequences.
Currently, we are using blockchain middleware created by Mosaic Network which is called babble.io. However, we plan to create our own blockchain, using existing “blockchain as a service” components in the future.
We are in talks with a number of leading exchanges but are not commenting on this for the moment.
Sikoba tokens (“SKO”) represent an electronic form of value which will be used to (indirectly) pay for transaction fees on the Sikoba network.
SKO is the main Sikoba network token. Its price will fluctuate based on supply and demand and tend to follow the transaction volume on the Sikoba Network.
SKS is the internal Sikoba Gas token, an accounting unit whose value will be fixed against a basket of currencies, initially against XDR 1 with 1 XDR = 150 SKS. All transaction fees on the Sikoba network will be expressed in SKS, making them stable and predictable over the long term.
SKS can be purchased using SKO and will be transferable between accounts, but cannot be exchanged back to SKO.
If you have questions about our past token presale, please contact us at email@example.com
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. The way it works that you grant other users, whom you know personally, credit on certain terms which you yourself specify. These users can then pay you by drawing on that credit. Fiat, crypto or other assets can still be used for payment, for example, if payment by IOU is not possible or not desired. Also, fiat or crypto may actually be required to repay debt. Both for practical and philosophical reasons, this is not intended to be, or ever become a pure IOU system.
Another somewhat similar project is Trustlines, however, we specifically address business use cases.