Interview: Meet the Social Wallet team!

We’re rapidly moving into a digital-first world, which requires a different set of skills. That creates a real risk that certain groups of people will be left behind. Those with weaker socio-economic backgrounds, in vulnerable personal circumstances – old, sick, incapacitated, homeless – or are already marginalized, like certain minorities, refugees, or internally displaced. The Social Wallet project specifically supports these vulnerable people.

Can you briefly present your team?

Absolutely, I’d be delighted to introduce our team. We are a dynamic group of 10 seasoned professionals, each bringing a wealth of experience in both software and business domains. Our team is truly international, drawing on diverse backgrounds and perspectives, yet we all come together in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a hub of innovation and technological advancement.

What sets us apart is our well-balanced skill set. Each member contributes unique capabilities, creating a synergy that’s essential for our mission: ‘Creating Trust in a Digital World’. This mission is at the heart of everything we do, guiding our projects and aspirations.

In an era where digital interactions are ubiquitous, our focus is on developing solutions and strategies that enhance security, transparency, and reliability in digital transactions and interactions. This not only involves technical proficiency but also a deep understanding of the business implications and societal impact.

Our team thrives on challenges and is committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the digital realm. Through our collaborative efforts, we aim to make a significant contribution to building a safer, more trustworthy digital environment for businesses and individuals alike.

In summary, our team is a blend of technical expertise, business acumen, and a shared vision for a more secure digital future, all working cohesively to make a meaningful impact in this rapidly evolving digital landscape.

How did you come up with this project idea and what benefits will it bring to the end users?

The idea for our project, ‘The Social Wallet’, emerged from our observations of the digital landscape and its impact on various social groups. We noticed a significant and growing gap in digital literacy, particularly among socio-economically vulnerable groups. This gap not only limits their access to digital resources but also risks leaving them behind in a rapidly evolving digital world.

Our team’s ‘aha’ moment came during a collaborative project with the Dutch municipality of Weert. We developed a system for providing digital tokens to financially disadvantaged families, enabling them to purchase new clothes for their children. The success and impact of this initiative were profound, and it led us to think bigger.

We decided to expand this concept into a more comprehensive solution – The Social Wallet. This platform is designed to assist socially and economically weak groups by providing them with tokenized funds. These funds, sponsored by municipalities and NGOs, can be used to access free or discounted goods and services. The key innovation here is the use of a digital application to manage these tokens and use their phone to ’buy’ goods or services at participating shops and businesses.

The benefits of The Social Wallet are twofold. Firstly, it provides immediate, tangible aid to those in need, enhancing their quality of life and alleviating some of their financial burdens. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it serves as a gateway for these individuals to develop crucial digital skills. By incentivizing the use of our app, we are indirectly fostering digital literacy among a demographic that is often overlooked in the digital revolution.

Our project, therefore, not only contributes to immediate social welfare but also equips vulnerable communities with the skills necessary to navigate and thrive in the digital world. By doing so, we are working towards a more inclusive digital future, where access to digital resources and literacy is not a privilege but a right accessible to all.

How is TrustChain supporting your growth and what role does it play for the next steps in your development?

TrustChain has been a pivotal element in the evolution and growth of our project. Through its Open Call #1, which focuses on decentralized digital identity, TrustChain has opened avenues for us to address some of the core challenges in creating a trustworthy digital environment. This aligns perfectly with our project’s goal of ‘Creating Trust in a Digital World’, especially for socially and economically vulnerable groups.

The support from TrustChain extends beyond just financial backing. It includes access to a wider network of expertise, technological insights, and infrastructure, which are invaluable for a project like ours. Their emphasis on open-source solutions and cutting-edge technology for full-stack development resonates with our approach to developing The Social Wallet.

Looking ahead, TrustChain’s role in our development is crucial. Their guidance and resources will be instrumental in helping us refine our digital identity management system. This is particularly important as we focus on transparent and user-friendly solutions that cater to marginalized communities. TrustChain’s commitment to creating a more resilient, secure, and reliable digital landscape is a cornerstone for our project’s future endeavors.

Additionally, TrustChain’s support in fostering interoperability and sustainability in digital solutions ensures that our project remains aligned with the broader vision of a decentralized and user-centric digital future. Their focus on not just technological advancement but also ethical considerations and user-centric approaches guides our project’s trajectory, ensuring that we create a product that is not only technologically sound but also socially responsible and inclusive.

In summary, TrustChain’s support is more than just a funding opportunity; it’s a partnership that helps us stay at the forefront of digital innovation, ensuring our project remains relevant, impactful, and aligned with the needs of a rapidly evolving digital world.

Why did you apply to the TrustChain call and has your vision changed since then?

When we initially applied to the TrustChain call, our primary motivation was the funding opportunity it presented. As a project focused on developing ‘The Social Wallet’ for socially and economically vulnerable groups, securing financial backing was crucial for us. However, our experience with TrustChain quickly transcended our initial expectations.

Once we became part of the TrustChain community, our perspective broadened significantly. Interacting with other participants, engaging with expert coaches, and attending various workshops opened up a whole new world of possibilities and learning for us. This collaborative environment proved to be immensely beneficial, far beyond the financial aspect.

The community’s collective knowledge and the hands-on guidance we received have been instrumental in refining our project. The challenges posed and the support offered by TrustChain have not only enhanced our technical capabilities but also enriched our understanding of the ethical, privacy, and security aspects vital for digital trust.

This involvement with TrustChain has, in many ways, reshaped our project’s trajectory. It’s not just about building a digital platform anymore; it’s about creating a solution that’s robust, user-centric, and aligned with the highest standards of digital ethics and security. The interaction within the TrustChain network has been a catalyst for growth, pushing us to think more innovatively and critically about our work.

In summary, our engagement with TrustChain has evolved from just a funding opportunity to a journey of holistic development. The community, the expertise, and the collaborative spirit we’ve encountered have significantly improved our project and increased its chances of success. Our vision now encompasses not just the technical execution but also a deeper commitment to the values of trust, security, and inclusivity in the digital world.

What is the most valuable takeout from the TrustChain project and why was the topic of the Open Call important to you/your team?

The most valuable takeaway from our involvement with the TrustChain project extends far beyond the initial funding we sought. It’s the comprehensive support system – the vibrant community of peers, the insightful coaching, and the interactive workshops – that has been the real game-changer for us.

Did you establish collaboration with any of the TrustChain teams or plan for any kind of synergies? If yes, what is the biggest potential in such collaborations?

Our collaboration with Methics’ MUSAP project, which focuses on advanced electronic signing technology, marks a significant stride in enhancing our solution, ‘The Social Wallet.’ By integrating MUSAP’s secure signing capabilities, leveraging smartphone security features like Android Key Store and iOS Secure Enclave, we aim to bolster the security and integrity of digital transactions for our users. This partnership not only enriches our platform with top-notch security features but also aligns with our mission to make the digital world safer and more accessible for vulnerable groups. The potential of this collaboration lies in combining our strengths to deliver a solution that is both secure and user-friendly, highlighting the importance of community and technological synergy in achieving digital inclusivity and trust.

What are your expectations regarding the TrustChain software ecosystem and its contribution to the NGI priority areas?

Our expectations for the TrustChain software ecosystem, especially in its contribution to the NGI (Next Generation Internet) priority areas, are high. Given the ecosystem’s wide array of projects all aimed at enhancing trust in the digital world, the potential for a significant overall impact is substantial.

The TrustChain initiative, by focusing on a diverse range of projects from decentralized digital identities to secure data exchange and privacy-preserving technologies, aligns perfectly with the NGI’s goals of creating a more human-centric, trustworthy, and resilient internet. Our expectation is that the TrustChain ecosystem will act as a catalyst in these efforts, fostering innovations that prioritize user privacy, security, and inclusion.

With the robust support system provided by the NGI TrustChain team and the collaborative dynamics among participants, we are optimistic about the ecosystem’s ability to drive substantial advancements. These advancements are not just technological but also societal, as they aim to rebuild user trust in online spaces, protect personal data, and ensure that the benefits of the digital revolution are accessible to all.

What are the next steps for your team?

Our immediate focus is on launching ‘The Social Wallet’ with our two initial customers, ensuring a successful rollout and gathering vital feedback. Following this, we aim to expand our footprint across Europe, targeting new customers and scaling our impact.

This streamlined approach prioritizes product refinement and strategic growth to achieve broader adoption and foster digital inclusivity.

What is the message you would give to new and potential applicants to TrustChain Open Calls?

To new and potential applicants of TrustChain Open Calls, my message would be unequivocal: Seize this golden opportunity. TrustChain is not only equity-free —it’s a gateway to free professional support and collaboration. You’ll gain access to a professional team dedicated to nurturing your project and become part of an ecosystem brimming with innovative, cutting-edge teams. This is more than a financial boost; it’s a chance to connect, learn, and grow within a community of like-minded pioneers committed to shaping a trustworthy digital future. Engaging with TrustChain means embedding your initiative in a network where collaboration and support amplify your project’s reach and impact, setting a solid foundation for success in the Next Generation Internet space.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

Subscription Form