A team of creative technologists based in Denmark have launched a Kickstarter campaign for a digital piggy bank and app that enable children to save in bitcoin.
The Ernit app is connected to an interactive physical piggy bank that uses light to show children how close they are to reaching their saving goals.
According to Thomas Bjerring, founder and partner at Ernit, the idea first emerged approximately three years ago, when members of the team – most of whom are parents – began to discuss the idea of giving their children digital pocket money.
Bitcoin, Bjerring said, seemed like an obvious option, adding:
"We believe bitcoin and the concept of decentralised currencies is an important part of the future, when it comes to money and means of exchange. Bitcoin was an obvious choice when we decided what should be available for our users."
Funding and monetisation
The team – which says it received a $15,000 grant from a Danish innovation fund and has attracted approximately $75,000 from investors to date – is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise an additional $80,000.
Bjerring told CoinDesk that, if obtained, the funds would be used for ongoing development; including the addition of new features, further beta testing and producing Ernit units in additional colours.
With regards to monetisation, Bjerring said the app and the service will be free for consumers. The piggy bank, however, will be sold for a fee.
How it works
"Contributions from parents are done through the app, where each family member is connected to the kid that saves money. Ways of transferring from patrons outside the family account depends on the account setup," explained Bjerring.
To start using the system, the adult is first required to set up an Ernit app account. Users are then able to link up an Ernit wallet, a bitcoin wallet or a bank account.
The parent is then able to add their children – and any other family members willing to contribute funds – to the family's account.
Once funds are sent to the child's Ernit account, he or she will receive an alert on the piggy bank, which will prompt the child to claim the funds by pressing its snout.
Now in possession of the funds, the child is able to distribute and track the money according to their individual saving goals.