First Zurich, now the Rwandan capital: Encointer’s second community is bringing the concept to a very different economy – just as we wanted.
There are now two Encointer communities to be found on our Explorer – with the new Aslah forming a radically different testing ground to our Swiss debut.
After refining the system in Zurich, where LEU was enthusiastically adopted, ASL is now launching in Kigali, Rwanda. In this less developed economy, but one with rising crypto usage, we have a chance to prove Encointer’s potential for economic uplift.
Polkadot Ambassador Joab led a social meetup this week to prepare local bootstrappers for the first key-signing gathering on Sunday. The gathering for Aslah will take place on Sunday, 30 October, at almost the same time as the Leu gathering in Zurich, true to the unique Encointer identity protocol: there’s no way to cheat by double dipping in two separate communities, because you can’t be in two places at the same time!
Remember that these gatherings are the core of Encointer’s functioning. All you need to do to claim the regular income is register and turn up at a key-signing, to have other participants confirm that you are a real person. No official papers, no need to connect a bank account. That will be important in Rwanda, which, like many African countries, has a large unbanked population.
It also has a thriving informal economy, and following the advice of the local community leaders, Aslah is being launched without a peg to the national currency and without a list of participating merchants. In this context, it makes sense to start with informal trades. We’re excited to see how this works out – it will be a far more organic and demand-driven approach, a truly community-based currency.
As the Aslah grows, we will be able to put lessons from the Kigali experience to work in establishing further communities across the global south. We are already exploring interest in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Argentina, Uganda and Mexico (as well as Germany, Canada and the US) – things are moving! The global Encointer family is growing, and we are so excited to see what happens next.
Want to be part of it? See how you can get involved here.