New app makes crypto-currency easy for kids

By Kauthar Gool
Johannesburg, 30 Apr 2018
The Pigzbe app will be launched in 2019.
The Pigzbe app will be launched in 2019.

A new app called Pigzbe, due to launch in 2019, aims to teach kids about crypto-currency, finance and the importance of saving.

Pigzbe was developed by Filippo Yacob, who also created Cubetto, a wooden robot that teaches young children about the basics of coding.

According to its creators, Pigzbe is a 'piggy-wallet' for children, parents and families, making use of its very own family friendly crypto-currency called Wollo (WLO).

The app is aimed at children from age six and up, and is made up of both a physical and electronic component. The physical part is the gaming device, used as a cold storage mechanism, and the electronic part is the downloaded app.

Pigzbe can be used to transfer money from parent to child, with a game version of the app available to kids, while adults use a simpler version of the mobile application.

Parents can reward kids for achievements and special occasions, and even start a network by inviting grandparents, aunts or other family members or family friends to join from anywhere in the world. Kids will receive notifications through the physical device every time money is transferred into the app.

"The physical device is a notifier and game controller that connects with the app and engages children in a dialogue with Pigzbe through sound and visuals that enhance the saving and learning experience, by taking it out of the screen and into the real world," explains Pigzbe.

Another physical component is the Wollo payment card that can be used in stores, with Wollo converted to any required currency for payments. The card includes parental restrictions, forbidding the purchase of goods such as adult items like alcohol, tobacco, online gambling and adult entertainment.

According to its creators: "Pigzbe will provide the public with the benefits of blockchain technology, enabling families to make payments, no matter how small or large, within their own network, irrespective of where they are in the world. Transfers will happen in seconds and cost a tiny fraction of a cent each."

According to the company, Yacob was looking for technology that would allow him to make small payments electronically to his son for chores or pocket money, but found there was nothing that didn't come with restrictions or high costs.

The short-term aim of the company is to hit funding goals and get the product into the hands of consumers, says Pigzbe. "Following this, [in the] long term, we want to increase financial capability among people and families through the app."

The app will show users their Wollo balance. It also displays the balance in Bitcoin, ethereum and the amount in physical currency, for example, how many rands the Wollo adds up to.

When fully launched, Pigzbe will be a free-to-download app, available in all countries, including SA. The price of the physical wallets are still unknown.

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