BABB is one of the more interesting blockchain projects coming out of the “fintech” (financial technology) space. The project is located in the famous Level39 space in Canary Wharf in London, which is the hub of Europe’s fintech innovation.
So what is BABB? BABB stands for Bank Account Based Blockchain. The project aims to create a banking platform for the peer to peer economy. However, it is more than just another blockchain project. It allows users access to a UK bank account, based on biometrics and AI technologies in addition to blockchain.
Once you have your bank account, BABB has a special product called the “Black Card”. This is linked directly to your BABB bank account. The Black Card lets you spend any cryptocurrency or fiat in any country. All this is done in a peer to peer fashion via blockchain. This isn’t another one of those “crypto debit cards” that have become popular of late. The Black Card works independent of the legacy payment systems, so it isn’t a visa or mastercard. Instead, Retailers can accept payment using the BABB card by simply downloading the BABB app and scanning the QR code or via NFC. Payment is made instantly into the retailer’s bank account.
So why does all this matter? It matters because there are billions of unbanked people today in the world that can only dream of being able to have access to the financial services provided by the banks, especially ones in ‘desirable’ locations like the UK. The project is built for those people who rely on micro-payments for small tasks. These small payments from the first world mean much more to a person living in the third world scraping a living. The goal is to bring those billions into our economy.
Another aspect of BABB is its peer-to-peer nature. Now if you think every blockchain is essentially peer-to-peer, you’re right. However, BABB goes beyond just that. It has an element of ‘Social KYC’ built into the platform, which allows for faster on-boarding and adoption of the technology. This means no more cumbersome paperwork and proofs for everyone. Instead, you can rely on vouches by your friends that have undergone the process.
This may seem small from a first world point of view where identity is easy to prove. However, it is a boon for the developing world where identity information isn’t as easy to obtain. Someone else vouching on your behalf makes the process much smoother for you.
An added element to this is the creation of network effects in the process. When you have a social vouching system, you create the right network effects and incentives for others to onboard their friends. This building of network effects is crucial when a project aims to start from the ground up and build a network.
End of the day, BABB is one of the more interesting projects coming out in the space. You should check out their website for more information.