Harnessing an unrecognised economic power

Grassroots innovation

Saving Circles drive global innovation and entrepreneurship by letting people save, invest and access low-cost loans.

They’re called Tenda in Latin America, Hui in China, Chit Bishi Funds in India and Investment Clubs in the West. In Kenya, they’re called Chamas.

Better
financial security

Kenya has over 1,000,000 Chamas. They’re vital to the country’s social and economic fabric, with collective savings accounting for 46% of Kenya’s GDP.

As well as letting people save, some Chamas offer low-cost loans to start and grow businesses, or to improve social infrastructure through transport, farming, health and education projects.

And, as 75% of Kenyan adults use M-Pesa Mobile Money in daily life, familiarity with digital currencies and mobile payments is already well established.

Unlocking the full potential
of Saving Circles

Chamapesa makes managing Chamas easier and more secure. Creating a digital record of transactions makes bookkeeping more transparent, which reduces error, fraud and theft.

Chamacoin, a new utility token, will help support an open network that delivers financial opportunities to millions.

A new, open network to support real-world needs

Chamapesa builds on the Chama ecosystem, and is designed to support Chamas through:

DIGITISED
BOOKKEEPING

IMMUTABLE LEDGER - ENHANCED
SECURITY AND REDUCED FRAUD

COMMUNITY BASED
IDENTITY

EASIER GROUP GOVERNANCE
IMPROVED TRANSPARENCY

A new ERC-20 token to support Saving Circles

Chamacoin is the utility token of Chamapesa. It will be used to collect and distribute fees, and can act as collateral for Chamas.

Low transaction fees - 0.5% - per transaction, will help speed up user adoption and ensure long-term demand for Chamacoin.

Through the App, Chamas and Members can trade local and digital currencies for Chamacoin (and vice versa) and participate in local, national and international commerce.

A LIGHTER BLOCKCHAIN WITH FULL SECURITY

Chamapesa features Ricardian Litechains. These are small, private blockchains that fit on mobiles without compromising security benefits.

  • Group transaction approval reduces fraud and theft.

  • Members can see their Chama’s financial performance.
    Security features prevent individuals from altering records.

  • Financial details are private to everyone except Group members.

A new identity model

Chamapesa supports Members with a new, community-based identity model.

It supports activities that benefit the Chama, like making assurances and guarantees to others, increasing overall saving levels, prompt loan repayment, and introducing new Groups and Members. These are further incentivised by earning Chamacoin.

The Chamapesa Team

Ian Grigg

Chief Technology Officer

Senior software engineer, financial
cryptographer and inventor of the
Ricardian Contract.

Ian Grigg

Chief Technology Officer

Senior software engineer, financial
cryptographer and inventor of the
Ricardian Contract.

Best known for creating the Ricardian Contract in 1996, and his seminal paper on Triple Entry Accounting in 2005, Ian has worked as a consultant to R3 Corda, BlockOne EOS and Intuit. www.financialcryptography.com is Ian’s blog, which has been a trusted source of information on secure payments

and webs of trust since the 90s. Ian’s ‘eureka moment’ came when he realised Chamas are the ideal way to provide working governance to blockchain projects. In his latest e-book, Ian explores the potential of Chamas for creating a web of trust and identity models.

Toffene Kama

Head of Product

Mobile payments entrepreneur, with a decade’s experience in telecoms, financial services and mass-transportation.

Toffene Kama

Head of Product

Mobile payments entrepreneur, with a decade’s experience in telecoms, financial services and mass-transportation.

Toffene is focused on helping turn social savings groups into fully-fledged credit unions by leveraging their savings to drive entrepreneurship. As Head of Mobile Payments at Redknee he helped create the roadmap and scaling for M-Pesa. He founded Willstream Labs, a token-based remittance service that offers migrant workers a low-cost way to send money to local businesses in their native country.

Toffene is also co-founder of Ay’Wa Markets, dedicated to improving Africa’s mass transit systems using Blockchain technology. In his role as Head of Mobile Financial Services for Millicom, he created the Tigo Paaré mobile wallet, shortlisted as AfricaCom’s Best Mobile Money service in 2015.

Ken Griffith

Chief Executive Officer

Digital currency veteran and inventor of the Distributed Ricardian Contract.

Ken Griffith

Chief Executive Officer

Digital currency veteran and inventor of the Distributed Ricardian Contract.

Ken’s involvement with digital currencies goes back to 1996. In 2012, he persuaded Ian to visit Kenya to found a fin-tech project that evolved into Chamapesa. Ken managed the team who created the first Chamapesa App, then partnered with Chamas for its Alpha testing.

In 2002, Ken oversaw the successful launch of a payments startup which gained 250,000 users and turned a profit in its first year. Ken also created the Distributed Ricardian Contract as a way to offer decentralised asset-backed digital currency.

Simone Smith Bean

Legal counsel and corporate law specialist

Civil Litigation, Merger & Acquisitions, and Corporate Services.

Simone Smith Bean

Legal counsel and corporate law specialist

Civil Litigation, Merger & Acquisitions, and Corporate Services.

Simone was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 
July 2008. She obtained her Compliance Diploma and AML Certifications in 2010.

She is a former associate 
of Lockhart & Co. (formerly Lockhart & Munroe) resident 
in The Commonwealth of the Bahamas and Charter Chambers Bermuda Limited.

Simone is the owner and operator of Smith Bean and Company Limited, and SBC Corporate Services Limited, offering legal services related to Civil Litigation, FinTech Consulting, and International Corporate Services.

Michael Kimani

Chief Marketing Officer

Co-founder of Chamapesa, and Kenya’s leading Bitcoin evangelist.

Michael Kimani

Chief Marketing Officer

Co-founder of Chamapesa, and Kenya’s leading Bitcoin evangelist.

Michael is a researcher with a background in Business Development and Derivatives trading. He’s one of East Africa’s leading cryptocurrency experts. Since 2014, Michael has helped increase Cryptocurrency use in Kenya through community engagement, education, training, and industry events.

As a researcher in East Africa’s informal economy, Michael has extensive experience of East African savings groups and has consulted for the digital currency startup BitPesa. Michael’s experience and people-centred research background will help maximise Chamapesa’s business development and customer experience.

Hon. Marc Bean JP

Chairman

Retired Member of Parliament. Former Leader of the Opposition. Minister responsible for Telecommunications reform in Bermuda.

Hon. Marc Bean JP

Chairman

Retired Member of Parliament. Former Leader of the Opposition. Minister responsible for Telecommunications reform in Bermuda.

Marc has high level business and political contacts throughout Africa and the Caribbean. A Director of multiple companies, Marc operates several E-commerce businesses, including online gaming.

Marc is interested in developing digital currencies and mobile payments for African and Latin American/Caribbean markets.

Arthur Doohan

CFO

Highly experienced trader, increasingly focused on activism.

Arthur Doohan

CFO

Highly experienced trader, increasingly focused on activism.

Arthur Doohan is an engineer by training, a banker by experience & an activist by choice. After graduating from Trinity, Dublin he immediately started in banking and soon found a niche in London trading all forms of credit, debt and their derivatives.

Having left banking for more ethically coherent work, he soon made time to campaign for a debt reform proposal after the GFC on the basis that the answer to 'too much debt' cannot be 'more debt' and the asymmetries of fiat currency and bank created debt are unsustainable. He is currently CFO for a hardware startup, a blockchain consultancy, a social cohesion initiative as well as for Chamapesa.

Niti Bhan

Advisor

Human-centred design and business strategy.

Niti Bhan

Advisor

Human-centred design and business strategy.

Niti adapts methods and tools from formal economies, applying them to the needs of informal economies. At Aalto University Design Factory, Finland, she developed a robust problem framing and solution finding methodology that integrates elements from business development, human-centred design and engineering.

In 2008, she won a grant from the IDRC-supported iBoP Asia project which used design ethnography methods to understand household finance among low income and rural communities in the ASEAN, the foundation for the Prepaid Economy project, and EFL’s body of knowledge-based practice.

Gabrielle Patrick

Advisor

International Corporate Law, leading the Bar Association’s dialogue on blockchain-related legal issues.

Gabrielle Patrick

Advisor

International Corporate Law, leading the Bar Association’s dialogue on blockchain-related legal issues.

Gabrielle is a Corporate Lawyer with over 18 years experience in both the UK and USA. As Chief Legal Officer for a global insurance company, she’s responsible for over 30 territories. Since 2012, her focus has been on blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT). She was involved in the UK’s FCA Regulatory Sandbox First Cohort, a testbed for new models, and runs her own DLT businesses, bringing the benefits of DLT to people.

Gabrielle also leads the International Bar Association's dialogue on blockchain technology, and a multi-disciplinary committee that examines related legal issues.

Eva Stöwe

Governance Architect

Highly-experienced Governance Architect.

Eva Stöwe

Governance Architect

Highly-experienced Governance Architect.

Eva oversees Chamapesa’s Governance Architecture, drawing on her extensive experience of governance with associations and communities, including the EOS community blockchain. She joined CAcert five years ago, quickly becoming its most active arbitrator.

Before her involvement with Chamapesa, Eva worked as a Programmer in sectors including Transport, Banking, Insurance, Medical, and Energy. Her academic background is in Law and Computer Science.

Meet the Chamapesa team in one of our upcoming events:

25
May
The Blockchainhotel
Essen, Germany
14
June
Blockchain Developers Festival
Nairobi, Kenya
25
August
FrOSCon
Sankt Augustin, Germany

Join the Chamapesa community:

Harnessing an unrecognised economic power