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MenaPay ICO Review: The 100% Islamic Payment Gateway

Blockchaining the Middle East & Northern Africa (MENA)

The MenaPay project seeks to provide the MENA region with a replacement for cash and credit/debit cards.

The team’s overall goal is to empower users with a secure and convenient method for paying for everyday goods and services.

So, what is MenaPay and their startup project all about? You’ll find a few answers below. But first, a quick note for newcomers to this blog…

Disclaimer: This is not investment or financial advice. I’m not a financial expert by any stretch of the imagination. Most information within this article is speculative and merely my own personal opinion. Always conduct your own research before contributing to any startup projects.

Always remember that what you do with your money is your decision to make. And if that decision proves too difficult to make by yourself, seek guidance from a financial professional.

I plan to receive a small allocation of tokens for creating this content. That said, I will do my best to remain unbiased and fair. I try to avoid all FOMO and FUD and never wish to impart those emotions on my fellow crypto-heads.

Have a look at this explainer video to gain an understanding of what MenaPay wants to accomplish:

All MenaPay transactions will use an Arabic interface

Serving an Underserved Corner of the Globe

The MENA territory spans 20+ countries and hosts over 400M residents. As you can imagine, from a monetary standpoint, the region is heavily fragmented.

Let’s just say they don’t operate from the same ledger. Numerous currencies spread over many countries mean the area’s payment options are anything but unified.

But despite the fragmentation, a common language exists: Arabic. Well over half of the people living in the MENA region speak the language. That’s exactly why MenaPay chose Arabic for all interactions within its ecosystem.

The MenaPay project wants to provide a universal currency for the multi-country MENA region. The goal is to give the area’s massive population a compelling reason to forgo fiat in exchange for crypto.

And to accomplish their mission, the team is going to need a blockchain solution…

DApp Before Tokens

Big plans for the future…

Looking at the project’s roadmap, next month will bring the ‘grand’ launch of the project’s DApp. That’s a refreshing approach within the ICO space — lots of ICO projects are nothing more than a grandiose idea.

My theory is that before collecting funds from contributors to the project, the MenaPay team wants to give participants a home for their soon-to-be-minted tokens.

At the end of the day, absolutely everything hinges on the MenaPay DApp. If merchants are to begin accepting their token and the MENA population is to start transacting with a custom crypto, the platform must be absolutely stable.

And speaking of stability…

The MenaCash Stablecoin

There are a couple of reasons why paying for everyday goods and services with crypto is a risky proposition.

The MenaPay team addresses both with the creation of their MenaCash token, a stablecoin tied to the US Dollar at a 1:1 ratio.

The token flows through a private ecosystem comprised of P2P (peer-to-peer) and P2M (peer-to-merchant) transactions.

There’s also a reserve fund — created from network transaction fees — used for rewarding ecosystem participants in the form of MenaPay tokens.

The difference between ‘MenaCash’ and ‘MenaPay’ tokens lies in the specific blockchain they operate on.

MenaCash tokens are on their own private blockchain, acting as the ecosystem’s native currency.

Whereas MenaPay tokens are tradable, ERC20s used to reward HODLers. More on that a little farther down the page.

Value Roller Coaster

Multi-digit swings — in either direction, and on a daily basis — put a damper on the use of crypto.

If you’ve been in the space long enough, you’re aware of the early Bitcoin adopter who in 2010 traded a few greasy pizzas for what would become millions of dollars in BTC at 2017 prices.

As much as I love my crypto, I rarely get the urge to spend it. The notion of unrealized gains is too strong. The regret would be too much for me if I filled my stomach in exchange for what would one day transform into a life-changing windfall.

Plus, the law of supply and demand is at play here. in the case of bitcoin, only 21M coins will ever exist. And, it’s estimated that a good 4M of the total supply is lost to phantom wallets with owners lost their private keys.

Currently, I view bitcoin as a store of value rather than a means to make purchases.

Tying the MenaCash token — in an ironic twist within the cryptosphere — to USD overcomes this issue.

You may not be a fan of your fiat and its diminishing spending power, but the USD’s years-long losses and gains are nothing compared to what happens on CoinMarketCap every single day.

And when you can easily trade a stabilized cryptocurrency for fiat — back and forth within a DApp — and vice versa, spending crypto is a non-issue.

Crossing Borders

Since some of the countries within the MENA region are small or downright dangerous, it’s common for residents to travel back and forth between many of them.

Think of all the scenarios in which one member of a family is working in a foreign country. And a good chunk of their earnings needs to find its way back to the worker’s country of origin.

And now comes the fun part: Fiat exchange rates. Remittance fees can be astronomical, which is a frustrating reality for those who are merely trying to provide for their family.

Paying high fees, sometimes equal to or greater than the remittance itself, can be nothing more than a forgotten, unnecessary evil transformed by the blockchain.

Value for HODLers

Remember when I told you how MenaPay needs to give the MENA region a good reason to abandon using vapor-backed fiat?

Well, one way the team plans to do that is by distributing the network’s revenue to holders of MenaPay tokens.

Fees must be collected in order for any network to survive. Think taxes and toll roads on highways and byways.

Whether the transaction is a simple trade among friends or a payment to a merchant, platform users are charged MenaPay tokens. This is how the project will pay the bills.

And holding those tokens comes with the privilege of sharing in the proceeds. MenaPay plans to give HODLers a generous 75% of the project’s earnings.

Now, if MenaPay manages to establish a large digital footprint within the Arabic market, and their native currency begins to see adoption, we’re talking big, big potential.

Even a 5% market penetration rate is roughly 21 million users. That’s a lot of transaction fees. And 3 of every 4 tokens generated by those fees are passed along to the user base.

Final thoughts…

MenaPay wants to become the currency used throughout the MENA region. Given the inherent distrust for certain governments within the area, coupled with the inconvenience of carrying cash — the project has a good chance of gaining traction.

The overall MENA market is certainly large enough to sustain the effort. Marketing is a key component of any project, and if you’ve explored their website you know that the MenaPay team plans to spend 40% of their ICO funds on getting their message to the Islamic masses.

Introducing a stablecoin into a closed-loop ecosystem is an interesting idea. (Let’s hope the project doesn’t operate like Tether by refusing to have a proper third-party audit.

And by disbursing the lion’s share of revenue back to its user base — something you’ll never see in a fiat-based economy — the MenaPay project is giving residents of the MENA region a strong reason to ditch fiat and use crypto everywhere they can.

Considering the poorly structured banking system within the MENA region — coupled with a high adoption rate of mobile devices — the market is primed for a project like MenaPay.

Can the project’s massive, 50+ person team bank the unbanked within the Middle East and Northern Africa? Can the project deliver on its roadmap and reach a 1B dollar market cap in about a year?

Time will tell, and we’ll know more come September. Once the network’s codebase is up and running, the onboarding process can begin.

It certainly behooves the team to focus their efforts on creating the project’s main product — the custom MenaPay wallet for mobile and desktop.

September is right around the corner and I’m certainly looking forward to what the team delivers.

The MenaPay project is still in the early stages of development. The main ICO won’t begin until November of this year.

And though we’ve covered a lot of information here, the MenaPay Website has even more. You won’t yet find a full-fledged technical whitepaper, but the MenaPay OnePager is available now.

By the way…

If you like what you see here and need help getting your crypto message to the masses, I’d love to hear about your project.

Feel free to reach out to me here: blockchainauthor at Gmail

This article was created in exchange for a potential token reward through Bounty0x. *** BountyOx username = blockchainauthor ***




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Writing for the love of disruptive technologies. You’re always free to reach me here: blockchainauthor at Gmail

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