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Move over bitcoin, here comes BowMoney

17 June 2017 | Fintech, Finance, Tax, Mergers and Acquisitions, Competition

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are not abstract concepts for leading pan-African law firm, Bowmans. From 1 July this year, Bowmans’ staff will be using ‘BowMoney’ to reward fellow employees who exemplify the firm’s values.

BowMoney is the cryptocurrency that will underpin the innovative new Blockchain-backed reward and recognition system for Bowmans employees in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

“Although a traditional system with a database and web server might have been far simpler to implement, driving internal blockchain awareness is an ongoing initiative at Bowmans, aimed at creating further innovative blockchain applications for the firm and its clients,” says Daren Mudaly, head of Innovation at Bowmans. The Innovation team has been investigating blockchain and cryptocurrencies as a research and development initiative.

How this blockchain-driven system works

“Employees can use this system to nominate their co-workers for reward and recognition when they demonstrate the firm’s values in the workplace,” says Mudaly. “They will do so by transferring BowMoney, the firm’s private blockchain value token, from one employee to another via a user-friendly web front.”

Mudaly explains that, along with this transaction, the person doing the transfer chooses the applicable corporate value, and provides a brief motivation for the nomination.

A running leaderboard is displayed on the same internal website showing the employees with the most BowMoney per corporate value. This leaderboard is reviewed every quarter and the top nominees are awarded prizes.

Innovation a strategic focus

The underlying Ethereum blockchain serves as the immutable public ledger upon which the nominations are recorded, says Chris Martinus, the lead developer on the project. The value token, BowMoney, is the cryptocurrency mined from the private blockchain and used for employee nomination. Geth is used as the Ethereum client and the integration point with the firm’s internal corporate network context and systems.

Bowmans managing partner Alan Keep notes that implementing innovative programmes and embracing technological change are key strategic focus areas for the firm.

“Workable innovative solutions such as this drive employee integration and awareness and spur creativity, enabling us to create and implement exciting new legal service solutions for our clients. In rolling up our sleeves and doing this ourselves, our lawyers gain a deeper understanding of the risks and legal issues at play,” says Keep, who concludes, “Innovation is a critical part of our service delivery model.”

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