jueves, 20 de septiembre de 2012

Aircoin: topping up digital currency

Nowadays, mobile payment platforms are one of the most active hypes of the technological arena. Banking and telecommunication companies are looking for a new era of services. Without the constraints of consolidated banking system, emerging countries provide the right scenario for testing new ideas.

Million of new mobile users, and a rich entrepreneurial ecosystem, provide the right scenario for a Cambrian explosion of disruptive innovations in banking throughout mobile companies. As usual with disruptive innovation, the ingredients can be very simple: provide liquidity to airtime (mobile prepaid time) throughout a digital currency.

The creation of a new digital currency, the aircoin, would introduce secondary markets for airtime, increasing their size, unblocking the users' money stuck in the mobile top-ups. Obviously there are still many details to be concreted, but defining a APIs platform for aircoins exchange seems to be rather easy.

Indeed, following an open innovation approach, it could as simple as providing to developers with an API to exchange top up between mobile users and just seeing what might happen. Besides to the entrepreneurial spirit, the phenomenon mobile first could do the rest. Successful experiences such as M-Pesa, Bitcoin, Ripple, Octopus Card or Chipknip could show the potential of the idea.

Walking one step further, the future MVNOs could provide complete solution for communication, messaging and payments based only on APIs and client app for differents platforms of hardware. I got some ideas about business models, but I prefer to keep them in my mind yet.