Whereas the Africa Continental Free Trade Area has laid the ground work for the continent to have common trade regulations and duty free access to each other’s markets, there’s a need to address issues of currency exchange, faster transaction times (24-7, 365 days), an all inclusive financial network and easier remittance from diaspora to increase the purchasing power of the populations on the continent and all this in a secure environment (technologically).
The onset of COVID-19 brought out the need for digitization especially in the financial services sector to support universal inclusivity, speed, security, micro transactions and a cashless business ecosystem.
What it does
The above was the basis for our idea named DUSH, a block chain enabled P2P platform for payments, cross border transfers, international transactions and exchange.DUSH will comprise of a multi currency wallet that will enable an individual to virtually receive or make payments, send or receive money and exchange currency anytime anywhere. A USSD capability in-built will allow for analog access for users without internet or in areas where internet penetration is low or very poor. The platform and application will allow receiving micro transactions from world over (for as low as dollar) because we know that most African nations have overly-inflating currencies which hinders economic growth. This will not only allow for easier continental trade but also increase foreign currency within the continent which you could as well term as ‘reserves’.
How we built it
Our users needed to create Celo network accounts so they could be able to send, deposit, receive, exchange, sell, and buy all Celo based assets via DUSH.
This was part of our three primary goals; 1. Building on top of Celo for mobile purposes, 2. Creating an on and off ramping gateway to support Celo Asset to Fiat related transactions like exchange to local currency, merchant support, P2P selling, purchase of Celo assets using local fiat, 3. finally the off ramping using widely available services like mobile money, banks, other Celo DApps, and decentralized exchanges.
We therefore started with a User Experience & Interface Design (UX/UI design) that centered on providing the value for our targeted beneficiaries.
We focused on simplicity and a bit colorfulness to make the interface easy on the eyes.
We then started working on the backend part which included the API that integrates with the Celo network and will allow users to open Celo addresses, deposit, send, and receive Celo and other Celo assets in the DUSH wallet.
Challenges we ran into;
Implementing the UI within this period was quite impossible since we had little frontend expertise on the team. We also faced challenges of understanding how to link the Celo network with the payment services provider APIs via DUSH, so it’s undone.
We’ll also need to delve deeper into the Celo ecosystem to understand interoperability between the different projects thereon to support a wide variety of DeFi services for our users.
There’s also the legal prospect of things including incorporation, local regulations on financial service provision (where we fall apparently), and payments settlement with third party service providers etc. We may require extra hands for this.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Integration with the Celo network, working on a fairly great UX/UI, contributing to a future of equitable financial services access, and meeting great projects and people
What we learned
Everything however awesome it seems, there was a time when it was just an idea occupying room in someone’s head.
What's next for DUSH
Implementation of the UI, working further on the backend to allow usage of mobile numbers in place of Celo addresses, working to integrate with our first mobile money network and test out the purchase of Celo assets and payment services like utilities, data, airtime. Launching a beta.