De­liv­er­ing the crypto econ­omy to the world’s 3.5bn un­banked

Tech­nol­ogy for 3.5bil­lion, the in­clu­sion of vast tracts of hu­man­ity in the global econ­omy, a plug and play sys­tem with bound­less pos­si­bil­i­ties. Hu­maniq is driv­ing for­ward, writes JON MASSEY

The Wharf - - Front Page -

I t’s on the ground in Ghana. Then it’s rolling out to Zim­babwe, Mex­ico, Brazil and be­yond. But what ex­actly is Hu­maniq and why has it taken space at Ca­nary Wharf’s Level39?

At its most ba­sic level it’s an at­tempt to bring tech­nol­ogy with fi­nan­cial and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion ser­vices to the bil­lions world­wide who are be­low the radar. Those earn­ing tiny in­comes in hard to reach lo­ca­tions who aren’t seen as a vi­able mar­ket by the more tra­di­tional global banks and in­sti­tu­tions.

But in­stead of hook­ing that mass of hu­man­ity into the foothills of the ex­ist­ing sta­tus quo, Hu­maniq’s idea is for them to leapfrog the mod­els de­vel­oped na­tions op­er­ate and jump straight to the cryp­toe­con­omy, car­ry­ing out trans­ac­tions in its own cryp­tocur­rency – HMQ which can al­ready be ex­changed on a num­ber of sites. It was an idea born of its founder Alex Folk’s ex­po­sure to a bl­iz­zard of star­tups.

Ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and co-founder Dim­itri Kamin­skiy said: “A few years ago, Alex cre­ated a huge tech ac­cel­er­a­tor. In one year, about 100 prod­ucts went through that – some were blockchain, some were fin­tech – there were many dif­fer­ent types and he ab­sorbed a lot of sep­a­rate ideas.

“Each of those prod­ucts had some­thing good about them but the prob­lem was they were sep­a­rated.

“Even­tu­ally the idea came that in­stead of in­vent­ing new tech­nol­ogy, there should be some kind of sim­ple as­sem­bler. One year ago he started Hu­maniq and a lit­tle later he asked me to sup­port the next stage of it.”

In a nut­shell, Hu­maniq al­lows those with a ba­sic An­droid smart­phone (avail­able for about $20) to carry out trans­ac­tions via a mo­bile app in its cryp­tocur­rency logged via the im­mutable ledger tech­nol­ogy of blockchain, en­abling them to par­tic­i­pate in the wider econ­omy. It pro­tects its users through the use of a bio­met­ric iden­ti­fi­ca­tion process.

Hu­maniq vice pres­i­dent of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and in­vestor re­la­tions Va­lerie Zay­chuk said: “I fell in love with the idea of help­ing 3.5bil­lion peo­ple in the world.

“The term un­banked is prob­a­bly the soft­est de­scrip­tion of their lives.

“It is very tough for them. To give them the chance to be reg­is­tered like nor­mal cit­i­zens of the world, to add them into the econ­omy is ex­cit­ing for all busi­nesses across the globe.

“I think ev­ery­one would like to have an ex­tra three bil­lion clients. We will sup­port them in dif­fer­ent ways. The Hu­maniq ecosys­tem will de­liver dif­fer­ent prod­ucts and busi­nesses to sup­port those peo­ple.” A nd that’s the crux of Hu­maniq’s en­ter­prise. While it is start­ing by of­fer­ing ba­sic fi­nan­cial ser­vices for free, its ro­bust sys­tems are de­signed to al­low busi­nesses ac­cess to a vast, un­tapped chunk of the world’s pop­u­la­tion. Its model gen­er­ates in­come from those firms while users can earn for them­selves by work­ing on­line.

Chief in­no­va­tion of­fi­cer Hazem Danny Al Nakib said: “We cat­e­gorise Hu­maniq as an en­gine for so­cial good. What we’re dis­cussing with the gov­ern­ments we are talk­ing to is the ap­pli­ca­tion of our tech­nol­ogy, our ecosys­tem to some­thing very, very dif­fer­ent – build­ing next gen­er­a­tion economies that have a huge dig­i­tal com­po­nent al­most from the ground up.”

As for Hu­maniq’s as­so­ci­a­tion with Ca­nary Wharf, Hazem sees it as a key com­po­nent of an or­gan­i­sa­tion that likes to put down roots in many places.

What we’re dis­cussing with gov­ern­ments is the ap­pli­ca­tion of our tech­nol­ogy to build­ing next gen­er­a­tion economies Hu­maniq’s Hazem Danny Al Nakib

He said: “Lon­don is one of the top fi­nan­cial hubs glob­ally. The tal­ent here is fan­tas­tic. But also the cor­ri­dor we have here be­tween Lon­don, Ox­ford and Cam­bridge, you don’t find that any­where else.

“That’s in­cred­i­bly valu­able for us be­cause of our op­er­a­tions here, but also in Cam­bridge, where sev­eral months ago we launched an in­no­va­tion lab. That’s part of the ecosys­tem of Hu­maniq, which is there to use the dif­fer­ent in­no­va­tions that are com­ing out of labs or around novel tech­nolo­gies.”

Dim­itri added: “It is best to be some­where in be­tween East­ern Europe and the US. There is a phrase – data is the new oil. The great­est oil well in the world is East­ern Europe be­cause, by var­i­ous es­ti­ma­tions, there are 500,000 data sci­en­tists there. We have an of­fice at Shored­itch too but be­ing at Level39 puts us at the fore­front of all fin­tech in­ter­ac­tions.”

Left, vice pres­i­dent busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and in­vestor re­la­tions Va­lerie Zay­chuk says she fell in love with the idea of help­ing 3.5bil­lion peo­ple

Above, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and co-founder Dim­itry Kamin­skiy be­lieves Hu­maniq will al­low coun­tries to leapfrog to cryp­toe­conomies

Chief in­no­va­tion of­fi­cer Hazem Danny Al Nakib says Lon­don ben­e­fits hugely from its close links to Ox­ford and Cam­bridge

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