Banking the Unbanked through AirFox ICO

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What can half of the world’s unconnected population offer investors in the AirFox ICO?

Bridging the digital divide is no small feat, the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that there are nearly 4 billion people in the world, without internet access. That is nearly half of the planet’s population. The factors that lead to such a scenario are numerous, but chief among them are lack of infrastructure, missing skills and cultural acceptance, lack of adoption but primarily the reason why people don’t use the internet is that it is unaffordable.

It is estimated that 13 percent of the world’s population lives below the poverty line, which is a road block to eliminating the digital divide. Radical new ideas are needed to help get the world online and AirFox is one such project that is gearing up to do just that. AirFox’s groundbreaking idea involves using a mix of micro-credit and advertising to facilitate to make mobile data plans accessible to the world’s poor and underprivileged.

How a crowdsale can fix the world’s Internet problems.

AirFox will launch their initial coin offering (ICO) on September 19, 2017 at 10:00 am EST. The token on sale is called AirTokens (AIR) and the period of sale has been fixed at 31 days. There are plans afoot to sell a total of 1.5 billion AIR, out of which 1.05 billion (70 per cent) are on offer at the crowdsale. AirTokens are based on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. AirFox plans to make these tokens redeemable for a myriad of services such as mobile data, physical goods as well as digital services. Users will be able to redeem their AIR through the AirFox Browser App as well as the AirFox Recharge Android app. There is a whitepaper available that lists out all the nitty-gritty of the project as well as the details of the ICO.

Is it possible to profit from the AirFox Crowdsale?

There is a potential opportunity hidden away in every challenge. Bridging the digital divide may sound daunting but investors can profit from dead mobile capital. Laying out his vision Victor Santos, CEO and Co-founder of AirFox says, “Investors will be able to hold AirTokens that will be used by Lenders and Advertisers to sponsor the mobile internet of millions of users. There will be a market for buyers and sellers of AirTokens. Those who wish to take the AirTokens and lend micro-credit to users, will also be able to earn an interest using the data that we collect on the smartphone.”

The Internet can have a profound impact on the daily lives of people and can greatly stimulate economies. A working paper titled ‘Information Technology’s Impacts on Productivity, Welfare and Social Change’  of the University of Queensland by Clem Tisdell revealed that increasing broadband diffusion raises GDP per capita by 0.9 to 1.5 percentage points for each 10 percent rise in broadband point section.

An opportunity awaits investors

Smartphones are the primary medium of internet access for many poor people. Smartphones are cheaper than laptops or computers and thus sometimes they are the only device a household has for gaining access to online information.  According to the World Bank, 1 per cent of the world population exclusively uses mobile phones for money accounts, in Sub-Saharan Africa, this figure is as high as 12 percent. AirFox is planning to combine micro-credit with mobile data access and capitalise on this prevailing situation. Victor Santos explains with regards to how he envisions the future , “The AirToken microfinance system will allow peer-to-peer lending in AirTokens at more affordable rates using the mobile data and airtime ecosystems that already exist in these markets. Additionally, the overhead involved with traditional lending caused by inefficient intermediaries and government regulation is eliminated by using the blockchain to match lenders with borrowers at transparent terms, and reduces the transfer fees involved.” There is even a credit-score system that can be put in place.  Victor tells us, “Using AirFox’s Android applications, thousands of quantifiable data points can be tracked and analyzed to create accurate credit scores. These credit scores will segment users into tranches, allowing lenders to provide micro-loans in AirTokens through an Ethereum contract. The AirToken system provides greater access to capital at cheaper rates, expands access to mobile capital through pre-paid wireless accounts, and improves the lives of under-served lower socioeconomic classes.”

We were told that AirFox clients would be able to borrow between US$ 5 – US$ 50. They would be able to collateralise a percentage of the users’ AirToken balance as well as mobile prepaid balance and will also be able to use the creditworthiness score generated from “thousands of data points”  on the user smartphone.

How and where will it all work?

AirFox Browser, as well as AirFox Recharge app, will play a key role as they will allow mobile phone subscribers to earn free AIR. They will also be able to use the recharge application to avail micro-credit. Advertising will allow users to gain tokens for purchase of services, data and products. Users will be able to take surveys, watch videos or make purchases and get rewarded for these. There are also plans to put non-intrusive advertising that can be triggered by some actions on the phone. The best part is that the AirFox browser removes data consuming advertising and trackers and helps users in saving precious data, which as of now may consume as much as half of a consumer’s data quota.

By using data as a currency AirFox has brought about an element of universality that did not exist before. It is claimed that as many as 500 mobile networks will partner with AirFox. We talked to Victor about their future roll out plans and he tells us that the focus is on developing parts of the world, “We intend to focus on Latin America first but eventually South-East Asia as the secondary market. Brazil is the first market that we will test micro-loans and get the model right before expanding to Mexico and surrounding countries.”