A new and highly efficient mobile phone blockchain network is under development and is set to acquire large-scale consumer adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2021.

DéMars (DMC), a mobile money platform and new blockchain protocol for the young emerging market, is lite, fast, scalable, private, secure and virtually free. It’s also the first of its kind developed in Africa.

“I started researching the entry-level market and I was simply blown away to learn that 1.7 billion adults don’t have access to basic financial services and to learn that in the remittance space, families are paying about 45 billion US dollars a year in fees on the funds they are sending home. This is money being diverted from the poorest of the poor. The cost of payments to Sub-Saharan Africa and within Sub-Saharan Africa are the highest in the world, they range from 10 - 20% of the money being sent home. It’s simply an unjust tax on ordinary, hardworking people” saidShaun Burrow, a banker by profession andthe Founder of DMC.

Until now, various technological issues have held back large-scale consumer adoption of blockchain technology. Many early adopters have abandoned Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum due to poor user experience.

DéMars provides a new infrastructure, the beta version of which will be revealed by the end of Q2 2019.

The new technology aims to deliver financial services for the 1.7 billion primarily young, unbanked adults in developing markets like Sub-Saharan Africa, of whom two thirds own a mobile phone.

The “Banking as a Service Platform” will reduce the high cost of remittances to and within developing markets and enable access to simple lending, insurance and savings products.

This is made possible via a smart contract escrow feature, where you can place a classified advert on the network and trade goods, services and cash with others.

The solution responds to the resultant demand after global products failed to provide any real utility for the African consumer since they aren’t designed for a data-constrained environment. In addition, global products don’t support micro transactions and rely on credit card payments.

The project is currently pre-selling 8 billion coins to raise funds for further development with an initial selling price of €10 (R170) for 1000 coins. The price will increase by 10% for each round of coins sold.

Once deployed, entrepreneurs and developers will be able to build apps and offer services on the network too.

“This project is extremely close to all our hearts. Being inter-African immigrants ourselves, we personally send money home every month and have to pay exorbitant fees each time. We also saw how our Zimbabwean friends and colleagues in South Africa were taken advantage of and how their funds were often stolen when they were forced to use informal channels.

“You often only get one chance in a lifetime to make a real difference. To be honest with you, we completely stumbled on this, but it’s definitely our one shot at “making an impact”.

“Personally, I feel I’ve been training for 15 years for this “job” and I’m going to make damn sure that our technology and ultimately our solutions have a real, tangible impact on the communities we serve,” adds Burrow.

A mobile first for Africa

With the growth in technology, mobile phones and mobile accounts have dramatically increased over the last few years. For instance, Sub-Saharan Africa registered $19.9 billion in mobile money transactions, which was 63 % of the global figure.

Sub-Saharan Africa was recognised as the leading market in the global mobile money industry in 2017. This industry processed transactions worth $1 billion a day with direct revenue of over $2.4 billion.

The growth in this number is mainly attributed to the convenience and the simplicity of the user experience of these types of accounts.

Additionally, the reduction in price of mobile phones across the African market has greatly increased mobile phone penetration. The transfer of money using mobile phones in developing nations has been more successful and widely accepted when compared to sending money through the traditional banking system.