One of the most frequent questions we got from early skeptics was that Colendi could have worked fine without blockchain technology.
This diagnosis is precisely correct. There is indeed a very successful startup from California that has been doing very well. Tala, founded in 2011, now operates in five countries and has helped thousands of unbanked access credit.
As Colendi, we are already witnessing lots of interest concerning partnerships for lenders and merchants who want to make use of our product to reach out to potential new customers. Understandably, these parties are not very concerned about decentralization as their primary interest is to grow their business while complying with local laws. This situation poses an immense opportunity on which Colendi may capitalize.
The question comes down to developing the necessary technology. In a centralized manner, it is already proved that alternative credit scoring methods are viable even though they require lots of data and an extremely arduous development process. Working in the blockchain ecosystem, Colendi does not only rely on its development team but also several other fundamental issues to be resolved in the space such as scalability, zero-knowledge proof, and decentralized storage.
Understanding the business opportunity that lies before it, one may reason against Colendi’s decision to embark on such an endeavor that involves lots of uncertainties. Nevertheless, we believe otherwise.
It is indeed no secret that the microcredit markets are expected to experience exponential growth within the upcoming decade. This hype is primarily thanks to the nurturing of a world that is full of people who are not yet fully aware that they are exposing their data to anyone to gain access to services that either comes attached to their social network or as a de facto obligation for their work, interests and so on.
It has been too long, and a little too late for people to understand that data privacy of people is not guaranteed by the law, while legislators have made attempts such as GDPR to enable individuals’ sovereignty on their data. Disregarding the intricacies it may bring, GDPR is a right step towards bringing general awareness to the globe about data privacy. And the businesses will have to adapt.
Colendi’s mission is to provide the financially underserved a viable service that will help them become more included in the digital economy. And we believe that blockchain carries the most significant potential to become a gateway to a world that will have regulatory compliance with data protection laws. The democratization of data, nonetheless, is not about achievement, it is about expectation.
With all the recent scandals surrounding the most significant social platforms in the world, the concentration of the data in a few hands that not highly profit off of it but also may utilize the data according to any agenda they may have. Regular people are gradually becoming more aware of this fact by each passing day, and it is only a matter of time this starts to become mainstream in many locations across the world.
Eventually, people will seek benefits in return for allowing services to utilize their data knowing that large corporations have made fortunes by free-riding on the data they have abducted behind thick walls.
This perspective is the reason why Colendi has set off to its journey with a mission to empower individuals by taking control over their data as we build our service on top of a blockchain. Although our preliminary research shows that individuals will gain economic gains by getting lower rates on microcredits, the value proposition of blockchain is ostensibly way beyond that.