Unlocking free mobile airtime for smartphone users in emerging markets, the new Siglo blockchain protocol launches today on Ethereum. The platform connects airtime sponsors with prepaying smartphone subscribers, creating a decentralized mobile network powered by the value-transfer between users, providers, and brands, the company states. Powered by a new digital currency, the Siglo Token, the new protocol will enable providers and brands to directly reward consumers with mobile connectivity in exchange for engagement.
“In emerging markets, increased access to mobile connectivity creates new economic opportunities,” said co-founder and CEO of Siglo, Joel Phillips, in a statement. “The Siglo protocol will empower smartphone users in these markets by eliminating the barriers that previously prevented them from participating in the digital economy.”
Siglo’s aim is to promote financial and digital inclusion. To illustrate its business case, Siglo’s press release points to emerging markets such as Mexico, where data is, typically, expensive (in relation to the wages of many), and topping up a mobile requires travel to gas stations or shops; over 60 percent of subscribers have no bank account.
To build the protocol, Siglo harnessed the success of its first product, Pig.gi, an Android lock screen app used by more than one million smartphone owners in Mexico and Colombia to access the internet. Launched in 2016, Pig.gi garnered more than one billion impressions for its brand partners and distributed 45 million Pig.gi coins to its users, as well as a wealth of new data for its developers, according to Siglo.
“Siglo offers brands a scalable solution for connecting with customers in some of the fastest growing markets in the world,” said Isaac Phillips, co-founder of Siglo, in a statement. “Key transactional pieces of the ecosystem benefit from immutable, auditable ledgers on the Ethereum blockchain, including brand transactions, user transactions and user-to-user transactions. By tokenizing access to mobile airtime, Siglo is facilitating unbanked users’ increased access to networks through incentivizing the creation of decentralized mobile networks.”
The Siglo whitepaper is available here: Siglo | Whitepaper One-Sheet.