A new cryptocurrency hardware wallet aimed specifically at kids aged six and above is coming soon. Despite the name, though, Pigzbe isn’t a simple crypto-piggybank — it doubles as an educational tool that teaches kids about money, helps them manage their finances, and even attempts to create an inter-family token economy.
Pigzbe is the latest project by two entrepreneur-developers with experience designing devices that teach kids about technology. Filippo Yacob created the wooden Cubetto to introduce children as young as three to programming, while Jon Marshall designed the Kano computer-building kits for ages six and above.
The Pigzbe wallet device itself appears simple, with a minimal two-button interface and dot display showing basic information like balances, and a few cute animations. It has a wrist strap and a magnet so it can live on refrigerator doors. There are two versions: the pink one for kids (the video hints other colors will be available) and a black one aimed at older users.
Pigzbe’s creators decided to use a token called “wollo” — a Stellar-based digital asset that all users can send between devices and also send, trade and spend outside the Pigzbe ecosystem. The kids’ version of the wallet holds only Wollo, while the black version is a cold storage unit compatible with more well-known cryptocurrencies.
Pigzbe App Gamifies Financial Education to Teach Good Habits
There’s a partner app for mobile devices where the real interaction happens, though. It attempts to gamify money management in an appealing way, teaching kids the value of earning saving, while also teaching the basics of money/token value and exchanging for other assets.
Parents will use the app to pay allowances and send wollo in return for chores. A social networking feature allows families to connect with each other and (hopefully) create a “token economy” based on wollo.
Since wollo can be exchanged for other assets and potentially even fiat currencies, it is intended to be more than just play money. Pigzbe says it plans to release a debit card so wollo can be spent in the “real world” — though like other cryptocurrencies and digital assets, the ultimate goal is to create a digital economy separate to the traditional financial system.
The debit card works via Bigzbe’s partner network of merchants, and will have parental controls to make it appropriate for children to use themselves.
Unfortunately, all this is still in development and coming soon — the Pigzbe wallet devices will be available for pre-order starting July 2018, and won’t ship till Q2 of 2019. However the team behind its development appears solid, with experience at companies like Apple, Google and Nike.
Traditional Banking, Fees and Digital Money Make it Hard to Educate Kids
In the company’s official news release this week, Yacob said he created Pigzbe because it was getting harder to teach young kids about developing positive financial habits in a cashless world. Piggy-bank apps exist, but they’re based on fiat currencies and have the exorbitant charges associated with transferring them — forget about sending five cents or less, and forget even more about sending money across borders.
Cheap/free transfers in micro amounts would put Pigzbe ahead of competitor kids’ financial education offerings like Go-Henry, Ernit and Oscar.
“Families today are globalized. It is common to have grandparents, uncles and aunts living in separate countries. They should all be able to partake in the ‘piggy-banking’.”
“When I created Cubetto in 2013, I did it because I couldn’t find an adequate coding toy for my son, and we turned that into a multi-million dollar global brand that has now introduced coding to over one million children globally with offices in Tokyo and Seoul. Pigzbe in a way is now driven by the same need to make something great for myself and my family, with potential for enormous impact globally.”
Wollo Token: Technical Details
Wollo might be a digital asset for kids, but its functionality is much like that of any similar token. Built into the ecosystem are earning and spending incentives including the “Active User Incentive Pool”, the “Network Growth Pool” and an “M&A Pool”. Founders and service providers get pools too.
There will be 675 million wollo tokens total, with supply locked to make that number impossible to alter in the future.
And yes, there will be an ICO — 175 million wollos (or 25.9 percent) will be up for public sale. The other two public pools take the amount of wollo publicly available to 70.3 percent. The remaining 29.7 percent will stay with Pigzbe the company, its partners and advisors.
According to Pigzbe’s whitepaper, the wollo token has the approval of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Wollo holders would also be able to vote on proposed new features for the ecosystem. Wallet devices purchased come loaded with a certain amount of wollo for starters, which users will have to register to claim and use.
The token is tradable on the Stellar Decentralized Exchange (SDEX). Developers have studied research on patterns and behaviors associated with children’s earning and saving, and built the economy around them. For example, the average six to eight year old’s (regular) piggy bank grows around $6 a month, and kids spend up to 50 percent of their money online.
Does Pigzbe sound like a good idea to you? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Images via Pigzbe.com
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