Moroccan startup UnitedCoin has launched an initial coin offering (ICO) in an ambitious bid to raise US$250 million for its multi-currency banking system.
Formed last year, UnitedCoin has developed a web and mobile app that combines traditional banking with cryptocurrencies.
The aim is to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions, allowing members to trade cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies through its state-of-the-art exchange. They can also “lend” any spare capacity on their device to other members for mining, earning rewards. UnitedCoin rewards members by injecting 20 per cent of its operating revenue each month into the system, as well as with an annual savings reward.
The reward system and mining proceeds are distributed to the community in the form of UnitedCoin’s own cryptocurrency, the UNIT, which is launching via a members-only ICO today. The funds raised will be used to meet the financial needs of the fast-growing business.
“The idea was sparked in 2013 when I began mining and trading cryptocurrencies,” UnitedCoin co-founder Derek Jones told Disrupt Africa. “After much difficulty getting my parents involved I decided cryptocurrency would need simpler onboarding in order to achieve mass adoption.”
UnitedCoin is designed as a solution to this problem, going up against other cryptocurrency exchanges. However, most of its competitors only allow users to buy and sell crypto.
“Now what? Most people just have their crypto sitting doing nothing. With UnitedCoin that crypto can work for you. Gain a return and be incentivised for supporting the network,” Jones said.
The startup, which raised US$175,000 in 2016 to develop its platform, recently closed a deal with a Mexican bank, which is using UnitedCoin’s technology to offer services to its clients and to manage its US$4 billion portfolio.
“We make money trading,” Jones said. “We charge a 20 per cent success fee to members and institutions. We are trading funds for ourselves and private clients. We will begin trading for members on August 18.”