The newest addition to the pool of blockchain projects headed by a female CEOs is Akropolis. Anastasia Andrianova, a former Lehman Brothers private equity investor is the founder and CEO of the new blockchain startup. This Distributed Ledger is aimed to provide solution to the pension crisis that has been evolving for over a decade now. Andrianova has been involved in the finance industry for a long time now and argued in a blog that this alarming situation had been predicted a long time ago. She stated that, “When an economic crisis occurs, the first thing that a state will do is tap into pension funds or reserves. Both public and private funds are raided. I’ve seen this happen firsthand, which was further reinforced by the global financial crisis of 2007. The fast points of attack are typically pension services. Pension payouts are cut first. This affects people the worse.”
Furthermore, the data that supports this argument is astonishing. According to the world Economic Forum, 48% of the retirement-aged population, do not receive a pension. It is also expected the retirement savings gap globally will grow from $70 trillion in 2015 to $400 trillion by 2050. Not only is America facing this dilemma, China has also been afflicted with the same monumental problem. Andrianova also lay emphasis on the fact that life expectancy is increasing. One solution to that could be that retirements should be pushed to a greater age so that the ratio of current workers would be greater than the retires ones who are entitled to pension, but still in the long run, this is not a very bright solution. She said,
The pensions system is simply no longer functional. Cost inefficiencies are decimating savers’ pots, mismanagement is rife, and programs are mired in complexity. Meanwhile, retirements are getting longer and more expensive as life expectancy rises. Individuals who have contributed to funds for decades are stuck in schemes which may not deliver their pensions. Meanwhile, alienated younger generations struggling with soaring rents and property prices aren’t saving enough for the future.
Anastasia has presented a solution to this problem in the form of a blockchain based platform that would provide an infrastructure for pension distribution that utilizes smart contacts. The goal of her project is to create an ecosystem for decentralized pensions on the blockchain so that the pension crisis does not crumble the economic situation of countries and safeguards the financial future of their people. Andrianova explained, “I wanted to come up with a solution that would provide for decentralized custody, an auditable track record that is accessible to relevant stakeholders and a single immutable source of truth. Naturally, this lead us to explore blockchain technology.”
Akropolis is in its early stages of development. They envision a future in which FinTech is able to diminish all threats that could cripple the economy and minimize risks. It is being designed to provide an immutable ecosystem through which people are assured to receive their pensions. Hinting on what the platform aims to acheive, Anastasia mentioned,
We are building a platform that users can trust, where no single party can take their money away. It’s as basic as that. I am not sure too many people are aware of this, but even in the U.S. pension fund raids have become a massive issue.
So far the Whitepaper of Acropolis was drafted in the third and forth quarter of 2017 and was subsequently released at the official website in the first quarter of 2018. The company has yet to schedule the Token Generation event as well as distribute the tokens, as it is listed in the things to be accomplished in the Q2 and Q3. A detailed Road Map is also provided below.
The total token supply is 900,000,000. The ICO will continue and the hard cap is $25,000,000. However there has been no such announcement about when the initial coin offering will begin.
Andrianova believes that blockchain is the best solution that can be provided for the pension crisis because blockchain is immutable and generally considered to be incorruptible. It could be an efficient tool to store the details of each individual who is entitled to pension. In addition, the abrasion of funds can be significantly reduced to be non-existent as there would be no third party involved in its deployment. She said,
The beauty of the blockchain is that no single entity is in control of the ledger — transparency can be built in at the protocol level. And once data is inputted, it can’t be erased or edited. This could be vital for the integrity of pensions.
She further added,
Even more importantly, a blockchain-based pensions ecosystem, built could utilize emerging smart contract technology to ensure exclusive delivery funds to beneficiaries, eliminating the risk of fund seizures or hidden costs. Safe in the knowledge that their funds will remain absolutely safe from raids by companies or governments, consumers of a blockchain pension system will enjoy now-impossible security.
Anastasia also lay emphasis on how not only the pension receivers will benefit from this system, but also the suppliers by cutting down on the costs of providing their services.
“Pension funds and fund managers would benefit, too, from reduced regulatory overheads, and improved direct access to clients.”
To conclude, Acropolis is the only blockchain startup that is being designed to control the catastrophic effect of the pension crisis. Andrianova does not believe that the pension crisis is avoidable, but she remains positive that blockchain could actively solve a lot of problems and soften the blow if a crisis does pop up. In her own words, the decentralised pension allotting system is the most secure way and “the best route to a safer financial future worldwide.”