Retirement represents a milestone for most adults, but despite the feelings of adventure and excitement that come with leaving the working world, retirement must first be viewed through a financial lens. The ability to generate income in one’s elderly years is limited, and no one wants to be a burden on their family or the state. That said, there are social security programs and savings vehicles that are designed to help individuals prepare for their big vacation.
Akropolis is helping to rid the world of flaws in pension funds with a new immutable and transparent Smart Contract-Based Pension Infrastructure. Akropolis is a technology platform designed to address deep-seated structural issues of the global pensions sector. It is designed to be a multi-jurisdictional platform for the delivery of pensions, social welfare and future benefits in a portable manner that over time brings together individual end users and large institutional players in a new system of incentives.
The current pensions system is based on outdated assumptions, is rife with conflicts of interest and lacks transparency and accountability. Akropolis are addressing that by designing from the ground-up solution that meets peoples’ needs. The two aspects necessarily have to be brought together in a coherent protocol in order to create a future-proof solution that takes into account how it’s live, work and consume.
PROBLEM & SOLUTION
As observed by a many a sector analyst, most of the world’s state pensions systems function like glorified Ponzi schemes, diverting the savings of younger investors to support the obligations to the older demographic. But like Ponzi schemes, these pension systems can avoid collapse only if the number of people working outpaces those retiring, which is no longer the case. Moreover, these funds must return more than inflation for the beneficiaries to remain independent of state support and maintain their standard of living. With these flaws, aging populations and mismanagement, the collapse of these systems is mathematically inevitable. Akropolis can only avoid this collapse by radically redesigning how the pension systems work.
At the center of every major Roman town was an ‘akropolis’, a fortified hilltop structure which served as a last line of defense. In dire times, the city would secure its wealth within its walls. The akropolis ensured that once the tide of war had receded, the city would have the funds to rebuild. Akropolis creating a pensions fund infrastructure that will make pensions what they are supposed to be: a means of ensuring a safe-and-secure financial future. By design, Akropolis will show individuals how pensions are invested and guarantee that money is never used to pay other people’s debts in an unsustainable glorified Ponzi scheme.
The core vision of the Akropolis project
1. To use technology in bringing about a future that is sustainable and increases resilience in the face of future risks.
2. To harness the power of blockchain and blockchain tokenization in the creation of transparent and economic efficient coin that uses minimum fee erosion.
3. To place a firm control in hand and to the advantage of end users, thereby eradicating the reliance on third parties.
But how is Akropolis going to solve this problem if no government or private company has actually managed to do it so far? At the moment, the company is elaborating plans to create an ecosystem in which they can solve this problem. The company reunites experts in blockchain technology, pension and savings funds which are already working on solutions to these problems and issues.
What Akropolis actually plans to do is to use the potential of the blockchain technology to develop a system in which the users have more control over their pensions and do not need to rely on third parties to pay for the pension. The reliance of third parties generally ends up badly, so the company is aiming to avoid that.
By using the blockchain technology, Akropolis’ objective is to create a decentralized and transparent system in which the users can really be sure that they will reap the rewards of investing in the system.
The Akropolis platform operates in accordance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), a document that guarantees the protection of personal data of citizens in the EU. Good news for investors: the product is aimed at a large European market.
Benefits of the Akropolis platform
1. Provision of a pension record that is secure, immutable and transparent with ease of auditing and real-time feedback.
2. Secure peer to peer lending by leveraging the use of smart contracts.
3. Monetization of data by users
4. A portable, decentralized and single source of pension truth.
5. The same protocol for fee and performance reporting.
6. A transparent governance protocol and outcomes.
7. Presence of a ranking mechanism and incentivized accountability for pension funds to differentiate between good or bad actors.
8. A new source of capital pool such as cryptocurrencies.
9. A modern product and services that meets users’ needs for real-time data and feedback.
10. Tamper-proof data storage for transparency.
11. Singular onboarding event.
12. Easy verification of document and authentication of counterparties.
The Akropolis (AKT) platform will initially be launched on Ethereum with the ultimate goal of becoming blockchain agnostic. Akropolis users will have complete control over their pensions without the need for a third-party. Individuals may allow various Akropolis platform parties to access some or all of their private data and receive AKT tokens as a reward. These tokens will subsequently be added to the individual’s pension.
There will be two main tokens on the Akropolis platform. The Akropolis (AKT) external token and the Akropolis internal token (AIT). The Akropolis (AKT) external token is a fixed-emission token, the value of which depends on the market situation. It can be used to access the platform and questionnaires, purchase premium services on the platform, access the platform database, and other incentive functions and platform services.
The Akropolis internal token (AIT) is an independent token, which is a stable coin. The main function is to reduce volatility in payments and incentive mechanisms for participants on the platform. AIT also serves as an accounting tool in the Akropolis system.
Participants of the Akropolis system:
An individual user can join the platform to create a system of their savings or a pension plan. Users will have access to various personal saving plans offered by institutional users on the platform. The user will decide what data to disclose about himself, and the more data he discloses, the better saving plan he can choose, as well as obtain a reward for disclosing his data and completing certain tasks. Institutional user (pension fund, fund managers) gets new users and clients, as well as the opportunity to build their services on the Acropolis pension platform. They can also offer their saving plans to individual users through the platform. Institutional users will have access to a library of smart contracts covering the most common functions, as well as pre-set costs, so there will be no extra and hidden costs, and the system will be transparent. Developers (decentralized) get the opportunity to participate in building of a platform, help in finding bugs and get paid for it. Third-party service providers with platform development will have the opportunity to provide their services through the Acropolis platform. For example, auditing and accounting companies, KYC providers, and other organizations and companies will be able to use the Akropolis platform to provide services that are needed by both individual and institutional users. Thus, they will receive new customers and users, as well as the ability to reduce costs and dependence on obsolete infrastructure.
The site lists 10 members of the main project team and 9 most influential developers. Everyone has profiles in LinkedIn and an impressive description of merit. Interestingly, among the technical advisers there is Bokky Poobah (one of the important developers in the team Ethereum), and among the industry experts — the former Minister for Pension Matters of the UK Ros Altman. Perhaps, this composition speaks for itself. Akropolis will handle regulatory compliance and make the pension management process simple for the end user, making pension savings transparent as everything will be recorded on the blockchain.
Blockchain is already showing the world how it will solve the most enduring problems in the pension fund industry. With greater transparency and the lower costs that come with more convenient ways to address fund management, stakeholders in the pension system can finally move closer together and align their interests.
Akropolis, led by Andrianova, connects individuals, fund managers, and institutional finance in one greatly improved ecosystem. With an incentivized system for rating funds and financial entities based on their performance and behavior, cryptocurrency motivates the maintenance of a system where all aspects of a pension are out in the open. Accordingly, individuals responsible for picking retirement plans for their employees or themselves can see what a fund is invested in and, more importantly, how capable they are of building a sustainable financial future while honoring obligations.
The Akropolis project aims to be the largest alternative pension’s infrastructure in the world. They are creating decentralised pensions on the blockchain and a safer financial future for humanity, built by and for the people.