Former Ethereum Co-Founder, Founder of Cardano and CEO of IOHK, Charles Hoskinson, announced the launch of an enterprise blockchain framework that aims to provide financial services to billions of people living in African countries.
Known as “Atala” (named after a butterfly that resides in Florida), IOHK’s framework is intended to serve as a solutions provider for developers, companies and governments looking to implement new products.
Atala is an enterprise framework similar to Hyperledger Fabric. However, the point is to be a solutions provider for governments in need of a municipal currency or a supply chain management system. This requires a type of framework that serves as libraries and modules that would allow governments to rapidly build a product for end users,” Hoskinson told me.
While Atala is similar to the open-source blockchain framework, Hyperledger Fabric, which is used by IBM Blockchain, the solution takes a different approach by focusing less on fortune 500 companies and more on governments in developing countries. The framework has been built from the ground up, for real-world use cases such as property registration, voting systems, and supply chain management. Moreover, unlike other enterprise blockchain frameworks that are cryptocurrency neutral, Atala focuses on digital currency adoption.
According to Hoskinson, Atala will first be used in collaboration with the government of Ethiopia to develop a new cryptocurrency to provide a secure and dependable means of payment for the nation’s capital.
While we have several MoUs signed, the most prominent of which we are going to build is a utility currency for Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. We are working with the Ethiopian government to create a new digital payments system that will allow six million users to pay their power and electric bills with cryptocurrency. We want to eventually combine this with an identity card,” said Hoskinson.
While Ethiopia’s government will be one of the first to use Atala, the framework will also be introduced in other African countries that lack legacy infrastructure, with a focus of enabling a new smart economy. Additionally, Hoskinson noted that Atala will service other enterprise industries seeking blockchain adoption.
“We are trying to find the correct product market fit at this time, but I can also say that we have signed an MoU with a major shoe maker for anti-counterfeiting,” Hoskinson revealed.
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