We are building a cash-back platform that will support an unlimited number of cashback ecosystems, all of them using their own digital token minted on the Hedera Token Service.

Our first such ecosystem will be a 100% social project, which should bring tourists to a very beautiful place where people are impoverished. One of our team members has been working for the past year developing a Strategy for economic diversification and growth for the former coal mining region called the Jiu Valley. The Jiu Valley is a place in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, in which 100k people live a life of shortcomings and sufferings. Their life changed drastically in the past 30 years, as the local pit coal mines ceased their activity. Many, especially the young generations, left the Jiu Valley in a desperate search for jobs. Those which remained here live a life of subsistence and seems like the entire society has given up.

Only a tourist can still see the beauty of the local surroundings, enjoy the clean air, and admire the local cultural heritage. And the Jiu Valley has plenty to offer! It is surrounded by natural reservations such as the Retezat Park and the Nature 2000 sites. The Jiu Valley has 2 ski areas, some of the best mountain bike trails in Europe, hundreds of natural caves and an impressive industrial heritage. The local food is all natural and many dishes are unique in the world. Here is an aerial view of the Jiu Valley: https://youtu.be/dhMinld5hLM

We want to build a cash back ecosystem in which all local vendors could collaborate, by giving and accepting The Jiu Valley Token, in order to gamify the touristic experience. This cashback system will lead to: longer stays of the tourists, increased daily spending, a higher chance for tourists to return and attracting new people in the area through referral-type incentives. Such a cash-back system will allow visitors to enjoy the most gamified tourist experience in Eastern-Europe and, as a result, local economy will have better chances of recovery.

But this will be only one ecosystem. We are building a platform that will support an unlimited number of them. Some ecosystems will even overlap geographically, making the participants migrate towards the one which gives the best rewards.

In all fairness, our prototype is very far from our vision, but it shows how the transactions between parties take place. We’ve also talked to vendors in the Jiu Valley, with the largest entrepreneurs there, and they are willing to participate in such an ecosystem, hopeful that such a tool would help the population get out of poverty.

In order to get closer to our vision, we aim to have more resources to hire back-end and front-end developers.

The Technology

We worked closely with Hedera's Token Service via their Java Software Development Kit, along with the SpringBoot framework and React Native. On the backend we have succeeded in developing our main features--a cashback system of 5% of each transaction of FIAT currency, rewards, promotions, and sending tokens to both users and vendors-- all done through the Jiu Valley Token we created on HTS.

Our react-native mobile application allows you to sign up and have an account with both Hedera and TokaBank. You can send Jiu Valley Tokens to anyone else that has also created an account with us via their AccountId. Both our backend developer and team were new to a lot of the technology, from the frameworks to Hedera's SDK. It was a challenge that none of the team members had previous Hedera Hashgraph programming experience.

Our projects vision is much more complex and we would have required more help on the front-end and back-end. We learned a lot about Hedera's distributed ledger and are excited to continue working with it ! We are also incredibly grateful for the resources provided by Hedera to help students and developers gain familiarity with their ledger and strengthen their skills.

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Updates

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Thank you for your support during the past days! There are still a few hours left to vote, and the results will be announced on March 2nd. Until then, this is a brief overview of our strategic approach in the pursuit of the Community Choice award in the #Hedera21 hackathon. Our entire project also has at its core a well formulated strategic growth plan which will allow us to build a robust technological platform.

February 12th was the deadline for project submissions. Voting wouldn’t start for another 3 days-- February 15th. Our team got friends and families to like and comment on our submitted project in order to build interest ahead of the official voting period.

February 16th: All people who liked the project voted. Friends shared the project. The Youth Branch of the Society of Power Engineers in Romania mobilized in support. Special thanks to the president Mircea Bitoiu.

February 17th: The NGOs in the Jiu Valley showed their support. Special thanks to Mihai Danciu and Adina Vintan. We have told the Hedera Hashgraph HBAR community about our project, both on the main international telegram chats and on our twitter page https://twitter.com/tokabank

February 18th: The employees of PwC Romania decided to get involved and significantly increase our chances of success. Many thanks to all employees and the entire leadership of the company because they CARED.

February 19th: Our project had media coverage in the Jiu Valley, although these were some particularly difficult days for the local society. The team was interviewed by the Cronica Văii Jiului newspaper and by the Hunedoara 365 TV station. Thank you Jiu Valley people and thank you Diana Mitrache for making it possible.

February 20th: We appreciate the help of Professor Diana Robescu, Dean of Faculty of Power Engineering from the Politehnica University of Bucharest. She raised awareness about Toka Bank among students and professors and increased our chances to succeed.

February 21st: It is much appreciated the support received from the students’ part of the Students Association of the Faculty of Power Engineering. Our thanks go to them and their president Adrian Dima.

February 22nd: On the last day of voting, word about our project got to Professor Shahrazad Hadad from the Faculty of Business Administration of Teaching in Foreign Languages, part of the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest. As one of the most appreciated professors at the University, her public support convinced a large number of students and professors to vote for us. The Toka Bank team thanks them all.

We don’t know if we have enough votes to win the Community Choice award, but we now know how much the society supports our initiative. We’ve done our best to obtain financing at this stage and we will do our best to build a reliable platform, regardless of the result in this hackathon. Thank you all!

Follow us on twitter at: https://twitter.com/tokabank

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