Children aged six and over can now own cryptocurrency using an app called Pigzbe, which functions as a digital piggy bank.
Created by entrepreneur Filippo Yacob, the app aims to teach children about cryptocurrency and finance while encouraging saving.
Described as a “piggy wallet”, the service operates using a blockchain-enabled currency called Wollo, which is described as the first cryptocurrency targeted specifically towards children.
“More than a piggy bank, Pigzbe is a ‘piggy-wallet’ for children, parents and families, powered by its own family-friendly cryptocurrency called Wollo, designed to be suited to thousands of tiny transactions as parents reward chores or give pocket money,” explained its creators.
The “family-friendly” cryptocurrency is part of a growing trend in blockchain-enabled currencies, which include Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, as well as more obscure coins like Dogecoin and Putincoin.
The app encourages children to save in a cashless society, which is difficult with digital piggy bank apps that either do not allow small transaction or charge large transaction fees.
“Learning about money early is key to developing positive financial habits, but it will be impossible to do in an increasingly cashless society, and with current banking products,” said CEO, Yacob.
“When I looked for digital piggy-bank apps for my own son, I couldn’t find anything that would allow me to make small payments – even one penny or two pence at a time – let alone cross-border,” he explained. “Most digital piggy bank apps would charge me 50 pence just to send 50 pence!”
Pigzbe uses an app to transfer money from parent to child. An immersive game version of the app is available for children, while adults use a simpler version of the app.
“Pigzbe pairs a physical device with an app that turns gifting and saving into a game, while allowing families to transfer as little as one penny between one another globally, and within seconds,” continued the brand.
An accompanying pink controller for children is used to control games and receive notifications from relatives, while a black controller for parents has been designed for offline storage of Wollo coins.
A Wollo Card can be used by children and adults in many online and offline shops. The card includes pre-programmed parental control settings that restrict the spending of money on adult items like alcohol, online gambling and tobacco.
While physical money can be spent without any record the cryptocurrency allows parents to see exactly where their children’s money is going.
Last month, the MIT Technology Review listed blockchain as one of ten technologies it believes will make the most impact over the next 12 months, while Paul Coletti called it a design classic in an opinion piece for Dezeen.