Lee Gibson Grant of TXT Coins Now has launched a project on Max Keiser’s Cypto crowd funding platform STARTJOIN with the aim of integrating StartCoin and Maxcoin into TXTCoinsNow.
TXT Coins Now is a mobile-to-mobile payment service that allows users of basic feature phones (i.e. not smart phones) to send and receive crypto-currencies to each other across the world. Their platform is currently integrated with NXT, BTL, Scotscoin, LTC and BTC and they are aiming to support many more crypto-currenices in future.
Grant launched the project on StartJoin ten days ago with a target to raise $20,000 and StartJoin is offering 10x Startcoins for every dollar donated to the the TXTcoinsNOW project as a reward for donors who wish to see the project succeed. The hope is that, once the new currencies are integrated into TXT Coins Now the supported currencies will go up in value and serve to increase the ease with which crypto-currencies can be used across the world, particularly in developing nations.-
Grant is entering into talks with the Ethiopian embassy, offering to provide them with a payments back-end solution for Ethio Telecom so that 23 million subscribers can start to use mobile money in the same way that Kenyans use M-Pesa in Kenya. He also started discussions with a representative of Manx telecom ”Isle of Man” at CoinSummit last week, hoping to provide the same services for Fiat and Crypto Currency on the island, and consequently to the whole of the UK.
TXT Coins Now is also working on is its own Crypto Secure MVNO Global Network enabling users to Roam globally with discounted internet pricing with Free Roaming in over 100+ Countries. This would mean more security on the TXT Coins Now Mobile MVNO Network than traditional Mobile Networks, giving Crypto Currencies listed on TXT Coins Now more success to Mobile payments globally and further options for alliances with other mobile money operators.
TXT Coins Now is flexible in that it can be integrated into Mobile Networks just like M-Pesa is or it can run outside of the networks like other micropayment solutions. This is a cutting edge difference between TXT Coins Now and other mobile money solution providers in the Crypto Market Place. Ultimately, TXT Coins Now is aiming to be the gateway bridge between the Fiat world and Crypto world.
NXT and TXT Coins Now have always had a close relationship, NXT having crowdfunded TXTCoinsNow via their Nxt Asset Exchange in return for being listed on the TXT Coins Now platform.
Grant believes this is part of the reason why NXT has grown in value and reached number 3 in the CoinMarketCap charts, up from number 6 earlier this year. Crucaillly, NXT have been doing a lot of work promoting and supporting their developers, sponsoring Pay Expo 2014 as ‘Crypto-Sponsors’ alongside Barclays bank. NXT also reports that and they have secured the title of Crypto Sponsor for Pay Expo 2015 as well.
For donors to the Start Join project, the questions are: will the TXT Coins Now platform be successful in integrating with the government and telecoms infrastructure in Ethiopia and other developed and developing countries? Will the system get traction enough to be used by users around the world, and will international diaspora communitites easily be able to learn and adopt the TXT Coins Now system?
TXT coins Now started out 4 years ago under a slightly different name, but their model turned out to be an unviable due to money transmitter regulations, but since regulations do not apply to handling crypto-currencies yet, their operational risks are somewhat mitigated, particularly as: a) They don’t actually handle fiat currency at any point, and b) there’s a public audit trail by virtue of their use of the block chains they use that handle the crypto-curency transmissions, but with regulators nervous over the transmission of crypto-coins, how long might those mitigating circumstance prevail?
When asked about the project, Max Keiser said that the test of how successful Grant’s project to integrate TXT Coins Now with MaxCoin and StartCoin is, will be in whether the community assess them to be competent to reach their business objectives. Keiser said it was “The community will decide” – in other words, it is up to the community to do their due diligence on ether they think they’ll get a return on their investment. Payments to the project are donated to StartJoin via Paypal, and if the project doesn’t reach it’s $20,000 target within the next 60 days, the money will be returned to the donors. If TXT Coins Now do reach their target, donors to the project will receive StartCoins, (of which there are a maximum of 84,000,000 coins) and which, based on the strength of the crowd’s ability to choose winners for the StartCoin platform, could increase in value overtime, and hence act as a potentially profitable reward mechanism, akin to owning equity in the StartJoin platform.
Kickstarting projects with rewards in Crypto-coins is very popular at the moment, SWARM are also offering a form of ‘crypto-equity’ for the projects being launched on their platform, but offering any kind of security in return for a donation is a regulated practice and as such, these rewards do not represent legally defined equity, and there are no guarantees of a return.
Close scrutiny of the individuals and companies involved in every venture listed on Crypto-equity platforms is therefore a major activity for every potential investor to engage in. Keiser’s approach to simply ‘let the market decide’ is fair enough, but responsibility ultimately lies with the investors. Those projects which succeed in their crowd funding goals may well grow into successful businesses, but it is still unclear as to how the success of the TXT Coins Now platform itself will have an effect on the value of Maxcoin and Startcoin.
StartJoin and TXT Coins Now are also aiming to support a charity worker known as‘The Machine Gun Preacher’ in South Sudan. The Machine Gun Preacher became famous after a life of crime and violence, for finding religion and turning his cause to freeing child soldiers from the Lord’s Resistance Army and opening orphanages. Keiser aims to have the celebrity on his show to talk about the project soon as, currently, he’s the ‘preacher’ is only able to accept a moderate amount of donations through normal banking channels in Ethiopia and Uganda.
Again, questions of due diligence and accountability arise. Bringing mobile payments to Africans and shielding them from the risk of volatility is a undoubtably a noble aim as BitPesa have tried to do in Kenya with a little success already. Bringing transaction costs down and undercutting Western Union and Moneygram worldwide are arguably (in line with the World Bank’s thinking) an essential target for the global money remittance industry, and TXT Coins Now may well help bring down transaction fees to Africa and other parts of the world, but is involving the Machine Gun Preacher a good idea to attract publicity?
Grant already has strong connections across Africa due to his previous work there in the Telecoms Industry and Carbon Credits. If the Crypto-community believes in his cause strongly enough, and the crowdfunder is successful, he has plans to visit Ethiopia, Uganda and South Sudan to get the project going there.