In the opening comments, Vitalik commented that our technology will not gain wider adoption it has to provide real value to people which is reminiscent of Dave's post https://medium.com/akomba/thought-on-the-crypto-winter-bc4637d9c337.
Faced with a lot of really smart people building stuff so mind blowing that we can't even start to wrap our heads around it, we decided to go the other way. Inspired by the UNHCR blockchain that feeds refugees in Jordanian camps, we imagined a technology so simple even Dave's 84 year old Mum could use it. And built it.
What it does
Old folks in sheltered accommodation in a small village use their NFC door access cards (special ether.cards from the R & D labs at Akomba) to pay for goods in the local shops using a local coin while allowing the caregivers to allocate funds so that they do not overspend. The shopkeepers use standardNFC enabled tablets as a grannycoin payment terminal. Each week the shopkeepers submit the local coins back to get a bank transfer from the home. Other features get added such as acknowledging visits from helpers. In the process the shopkeepers like Colin, the 65 year old proprietor of "The Italian Kitchen", get used to the payment system which after trials could get rolled out into a local currency.
How I built it
We looked for a platform that offered accountability with low gas fees. We settled on Raiden as an accessible technology. Since the special cards are still a product's of Dave's deluded fantasy (at the moment) and we can't do mobile to save our lives, we mocked it up with embedding keys in web pages and tapping buttons instead of NFC cards.
Challenges I ran into
Having wasted the first night trying to build something else and apart from the usual "it works in truffle/embark, we really had to settle down to learn how to use payment channel technology and work out how to keep it as simple as possible for both the grannies as well as the rest of the community.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We were looking at building a system that would be reasonably economical
What I learned
Raiden Network is awesome and Dave can't do web3js to save his life.
What's next for CryptoGrannies
We imagined having managed wallet contracts for the grannies to solve the issues of lost cards where the users are not likely to handle backup methods well. We hope to inspire Akomba to really work on easy to use NFC key cards projects that use the technology as "a technology that can help solve problems rather than being "blockchain projects". We plan to continue to promote making things easy to use and accessible enough for Dave's Mum to use.