Okay…so we’re told that folks really want to know about what’s been happening at UTU? Perhaps you’re wondering where’s the suite of smart contracts that we talk about in our UTU Protocol White Paper?
Truth is there’s a whole lot more going on at UTU than smart contracts! We are trying transform broad scale how people trust online - and there’s tons to be done. Our vision is not simply to serve the small but growing decentralized economy, but to offer our services to the massive centralized economy in such a way as to build easy on-ramps for millions to move from centralized to decentralized platforms. Our vision is huge with many moving parts, but I’ll break it up into a few areas where we’ve been focused: Team, AI, Decentralized Protocol, Distribution/Pipeline, User Acquisition/Transaction Volume, Ecosystem Development
Just this year we added our Lead AI Engineer Brian Muhia and Head of Data Science Dr. Alex Mwai. Together with @databu they are diving deep into modeling trust at the individual level, contextually aware, and fraud-proof.
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Turns out, understanding human trust, in all its brilliant complexity is tough! Who’d have guessed?! Well we did…we always knew our challenge was huge, but we’ve also always believed (and proven) ourselves up to the task!
I won’t go into all the technical details here but UTU’s first IP was awarded this year in Kenya, one of the rare Utility Models awarded for software in Kenya! That same patent is pending in the US still. We can’t give away too much right now but the UTU AI team is developing some super new machine learning IP. So stay tuned…
We also had the opportunity to give a Technical Keynote address at the World AI Show, a prominent role in the Deep Learning Indaba, and a Flash Talk at AI Expo Africa!
That’s right people…can’t stop, won’t stop!
Ok so you probably saw that we released our White Paper (linked above) which required more than a year of work to ensure we got our economics and privacy concepts right! We still welcome feedback BTW. Your probably also saw our IDO Announcement at the incredible æternity Universe One Conference as well as the first public demo of our endorsement smart contract! You can also check the Roadmap on protocol.utu.io
What you maybe haven’t seen is all the work behind the scenes to partner with @r0b0t0 to bring our protocol to life, extensive R&D on privacy preservation within our system, and the careful planning of our system architecture to handle the scale of our vision. We’ll be releasing more soon!
We love amazing future tech (as much as any AI/Blockchain company) but we are also pretty tethered to reality. As an African startup things don’t really work the same as they might for our counterparts in Europe, America, and Asia. There are no sky-high speculative valuations that let companies raise huge sums of money. So companies here learn how to be fierce, resilient, to grow within their means. We’ve learned that building future tech has to go hand in hand with client development.
We’re excited to report that UTU now has more than 30 clients in its pipeline spanning every major sector and geography, and including numerous large institutional clients! We also launched in beta after many months of diligent work by our AI team with major client Jamborow to financially include 30 million Tanzanians. More news on this soon. We’re also working on major partnerships with lending, insurance, telecom players across Africa to transform and decentralize trust in these sectors. In case you missed it, we announced a partnership with Gray Chain toward this end and we have a couple more massive partnership announcements coming soon!
User Acquisition/Transaction Volume
Did you know that UTU owns a massively growing African ride-hailing player called MARAMOJA transport with UTU’s trust infrastructure baked into it? Did you know that MARAMOJA was the first taxi app in Africa? Or that MM is on the ground in 5 African countries and scaling to millions of users across the continent through an innovative network of franchisees? Just imagine the paradigm shift as we decentralize the equity and value creation of the ride-hailing business? Did you know that all of this mobility business will form the foundational volume and distribution of UTU protocol and will bring millions of tech-savvy Africans into the Æ ecosystem? Did you know that MARAMOJA will reach profitability long before any of it’s behemoth competitors due to our business model innovations?
Now you know…
We’ll continue disrupting the global mobility space from our tiny perch in Kenya, generating our own cashflows to make us independent from big investment needs as we lay the foundations for a fully decentralized sharing economy built on UTU and Æternity!
One of my favorite things about the Kenyan Startup scene is the way young companies support each other. As we’ve grown we’ve stayed focus on being a positive actor in our ecosystem. There are gaps throughout waiting for hungry entrepreneurs to fill them and we’re excited to support them. We’ve done this in a few ways, including UTU’s Dr. Bastian lecturing on blockchain at two Kenyan Universities under the Æ banner (for free ) , our opening of a community space for AI and blockchain projects in Kenya - UTU House where we also host æternity Hub Africa and mentor several local projects, and our offering of free trust infrastructure services to startups. UTU is also supporting the growth of pan-African projects to develop fiat-crypto on-ramping channels and in-app crypto payments for sharing platforms. We are working with getraise.io to move toward digital cap tables and security issuances, as well as end user applications like @Jassy and @Benson’s RideSafe Africa!
At UTU we tend to live and grow by our favorite African proverb - “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
We’re going far, karibu (welcome) to come with us!