NEM Foundation awards New Zealand startup $1 million
The startup is a new blockchain payment system that drops fees and donates a portion of proceeds.
The NEM Foundation has announced one of the winners of its community fund program. New Zealand startup Choice aims to give New Zealanders a better way to pay, using blockchain technology to cut out the 2-6% transaction fee charged by companies like Visa and Mastercard.
As an added bonus, it also donates a large portion of profits to a registered charity of the user's choice, letting them do well by doing good. It's a system similar to Australian company Energy Locals, which offers electric plans that include donations to charities of the customer's choice.
"As the first NEM community proposal project in New Zealand, we see Choice as a leading contender to showcase the practical use of the NEM blockchain to the entire world. What makes this an even more attractive project is clear purpose to have a real impact in society. Choice has a strong passion and enthusiasm to utilise the NEM platform with their value transfer protocol, which will contribute to the growth and the significance of our technology," said Jason Lee of the NEM Foundation.
"Nowhere in the world is there an agreed standard for the measurement of social impact. Choice has set out to empower the growing number of consumers wanting to make a positive change in the world and create a new measurable way to track the impact of charitable donations," said Ossie Amir, co-founder and blockchain lead at Choice, emphasising the benefits of setting a new standard for social impact while simultaneously addressing the issue of "crippling" transaction fees.
"Simultaneously, we’re addressing the transaction fees crippling New Zealand’s merchants, of which majority are small to medium enterprises, and ensuring that we keep those billions of dollars in transaction fees from going offshore. By using blockchain technology, we’re creating a payments solution that consumers and merchants can trust, with a transparent means of exchanging value, and a choice to pay with impact."
"We're thrilled to be working with the NEM.io Foundation to help position New Zealand as a global incubator for NEM blockchain based projects in the fintech space and beyond."
The NEM cryptocurrency is designed to be a flexible platform on which developers can host and create many applications. It's designed to host innovative and charitable projects like Choice, but has also been used to create more socially and ethically dubious projects, such as Venezuela's Petro.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC, NANO