Africa's first blockchain-based digital payment system? Yes! It was recently introduced by one of our clients and it is growing!

Bartłomiej Różański - Senior Elixir Developer

For decades, banks have been operating with the use of databases. But with the speed and breadth of technological changes in various aspects of daily life, they might have fallen behind. Perhaps it’s time for banks to look into new, more efficient solutions - such as blockchain. A monetary revolution is already happening in Barbados, where one of our client, has set up a blockchain-based payments system.

Relational databases are over 50 years old. You know what else is about that old? Floppy disks. VCR tapes. The video game Pong. (Also, interestingly, Rubik’s cube.) It’s clear that none of these inventions are considered cutting-edge today. Most have been out of use for years. Does this mean that relational databases are too oldschool to use? No, but in some cases they are no longer the most effective solution.

The benefits of using blockchain

First of all, once a record is created and stored in a blockchain, it cannot be changed. In a standard database, data can be adjusted at any time. Security is a layer on top of the database. In a blockchain, on the other hand, security is part of the storage system.

Hyperledger provides a capability called smart contracts. They are small programs that determine how transactions are conducted. Using a blockchain to record transactions allows all users to have confidence that records are unchangeable - as opposed to a relational database. This is important to many different parties, from individuals to international organizations.

Secondly, all money minting activity is recorded, and immutability empowers delegation of trust. The use of a blockchain for record keeping allows organizations to outsource the maintenance of its monetary infrastructure, therefore reducing costs, while still maintaining confidence in the system. It’s a wonderful option for highly-regulated markets and companies that handle sensitive data - such as most of the fintech industry.

Meet our client

Our client digital currency system consists of an event-driven business logic layer that settles financial records in the form of a blockchain. The client app communicates with a GraphQL API where transfers are enqueued in Oban jobs as distributed transactions and through the Google PubSub processed in a Hyperledger blockchain network. Blockchain smart contracts installed in a blockchain govern the way wallet money is transferred. All transactions are independent and could be rolled back into a relational database. With an Erlang/Elixir ecosystem, they could be processed with a highly efficient bandwidth.

In particular, the technological stack includes:

  • Elixir 1.12.2,
  • Erlang/OTP 24,
  • Phoenix 1.6.0,
  • Postgres 11,
  • Kotlin 1.3.72,
  • Google PubSub,
  • Hyperledger Fabric,
  • Bitbuket CI/CD,
  • React,
  • GCP

Bringing mMoney to Barbados and Nigeria

Our client has successfully set up a payment system Barbados. mMoney, our client’s digital currency, is minted and issued under the control of a central bank and distributed to commercial financial institutions as an equivalent of physical cash. Our client has a consumer and merchant wallet app as well as a network of merchants who accept DXCD as payment for goods and services. They also act as an exchange, allowing users to exchange cash for digital money.

The Nigerian Govenrment and CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) have adopted the current solution under their own digital currency called eNaira. The Nigerian population has high usage of smartphones and not all people own bank accounts or credit cards. Therefore, the adoption of eNaira on top of blockchain allows the nation to establish a safe and efficient digital currency that is accessible and as useful as cash. People no longer need to keep a pocket full of paper bills.

Conclusions

In places around the world where traditional bank accounts and card payments have failed to take root, blockchain brings an incredible opportunity. It empowers people to make secure digital transactions while giving governments efficient tools for maintaining control over their currency. We are proud to have worked on a project that helped change lives for the better.

If your project could benefit from the blockchain technology, we’re your team.
iRonin’s developers have commercial experience of building highly secure and efficient blockchain solutions.


Let’s get in touch
Author's Bio
Bartłomiej Różański

Senior Elixir Developer

Developer of API services written in Elixir and Kotlin for a Central Bank Digital Currency system on top of a Hyperledger Fabric blockchain network.

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