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Serving The Underserved: The Lofty Mission Of Kora Network

It’s terribly easy to get lost in life’s small pleasures and to suffer from tunnel vision when reflecting on one’s own privilege. Few at the top of the pyramid consider those under them, and instead choose to affix their eyes to the sky rather than help denizens at the bottom rung of the ladder to gain a foothold. The financial industry is no exception, with billions of people around the world remaining ‘unbanked’ in this modern age, meaning that they cannot benefit from the flexibility or purchasing power that comes with credit and other modern financial services.

 

A common misconception is that there is no urgency towards addressing the world’s unbanked populations, predominantly because they are not perceived to have much to contribute anyway. This is patently false. Poverty has little impact on an individual’s ability to save money or think of a solid business plan.  However, complete isolation from the financial sphere means that some of the best ideas will never get off the ground.

The goal of accumulating money and investing it is familiar and attainable even for the estimated 2 billion who aren’t connected to the rest of the world.  Furthermore, there is immense value, creativity, and brainpower locked in these underserved markets. Even if banks were to realize that it’s in their collective best interest to improve the economic mobility of these individuals, their own bottom lines prevent them from pursuing such an effort.

The costs for setting up efficient and safe financial services are high, regardless of where they’re established. To cover overheads, a bank must charge fees for everything from account maintenance to money transfers, and they know that many people under the poverty line won’t be able to afford them. Though blockchain has shown that it can drastically reduce these incidentals, it still takes dedication, skill, and experience to create a platform that caters to the unbanked effectively.

Kora Network is the likeliest candidate to make it happen, with a founder and CEO who grew up in Nigeria being intimately acquainted with the struggles facing this and similar countries’ residents. The man in question, Dickson Nsofor, also recognized that a suitable blockchain solution must integrate the most basic and accessible technologies in these markets, like older mobile phones with  functionality only.

Nsofor’s new blockchain product takes a comprehensive approach towards maximizing financial accessibility by tackling all the reasons why the unbanked remain so. Though the Kora Network blockchain benefits from the reduced costs of decentralized infrastructure, its peripheral services address other problems facing these populations. Identity is an issue that would preclude many from signing up for services, because they simply lack the documentation necessary for verification.

Click the video above to learn more about why Dickson Nsofor founded Kora Network

To hasten the onboarding process without installing undue barriers for emerging market users, Kora Network has developed a low-stress verification process that makes joining easy. Users who give the most basic identification details will still be able to benefit from the banking services delivered through Kora and its partners.  As the platform’s trust system collects data over time, users will earn greater flexibility and access to tools. They’re also able to operate with the most outdated technology, which is still the cutting edge for many of these communities.

The feather in Kora Network’s cap is that the platform welcomes integration from existing financial services, which otherwise have no way to access these markets. Kora represents a turnkey solution for these services, whether local or international, to reach customers who have already been proofed by the network’s KYC protocols. They can operate with eFiat—a stablecoin solution more suited to underbanked groups than cryptocurrency, which is speculative and non-static in value. It’s crucial that Kora doesn’t displace the facilities that currently serve these markets, and instead only enhances their utility while also granting access to outside platforms.

There are already financial services companies who are excited to piggyback off Kora Network’s thorough and inexpensive infrastructure, including Consensys BSIC, Rivetz, and Aeternity, all of which share a similar goal. Alongside its partners, Kora has launched a beta testing phase in Nigeria, and is already bringing financial services to the vast communities there who demand better banking.

Kora Network maintains its promise to unbanked populations by eliminating the aspects of blockchain that were developed for established, highly technical markets. Instead of volatility, lofty KYC standards, and smartphone verification, Kora portends to put blockchain in the hands of the world’s most needy individuals in a way that is familiar. To accomplish this ambition, it has developed one of the most exhaustively empathetic blockchain solutions available.

The project successfully completed its private presale and collected over $4 million, with the public sale set to begin on May 18, 2018. Investors in the public sale will have a chance to invest in areas that have enormous sources of unmet demand, in the process becoming stakeholders in an idea that boosts the velocity of money that’s currently trapped in emerging markets worldwide.

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