Softjourn Demoes Cryptocurrency for Employee Rewards

Cryptocurrency and blockchain offer many potential benefits to banking customers, such as faster and more secure cross-border payments.

But how about bank employees?

A software development company Softjourn demoed “SJ Coins” (or Softjourn Coins)– a rewards system for employees– at the FinDEVr conference today.

“Employees received an account and an equal number of coins; the first thing they could do was download the mobile app and use their coins to make a purchase from the vending machine in the office,” Emmy  Gengler, CEO of Softjourn, said at the event. “We are developing and releasing this in stages; the first version was released December of last year.”

Version 2.0, released a month ago, added the ability for employees to contribute to “corporate social responsibility projects”–which employees can also pitch–using these coins.

Next, according to Gengler, the company will be adding a social network on its own node to the blockchain–which was built not on bitcoin’s codebase or using Ethereum, but through Monax’s Eris chain.

According to Yuri Kropelnytskiy, project manager for SJ Coins, Eris was chosen because it is a permissioned chain, it supports smart contracts (which the company is using to help employees receive discounts and other perks), and it’s easy to set up–not to mention that  the system allows Softjourn to control the number of total coins, which is quite important for a rewards system.

Softjourn’s system utilizes mobile apps–available both on iOS and Android–for the use of its employees, and describes the program as a mix of IoT, blockchain, and cryptocurrency designed to “enhance employee engagement and corporate social responsibility.”

“Their accounts can’t be hacked–no one can take their coins, use their coins, and the accounts can’t be changed,” said Gengler, all components of cryptocurrency which are held up as prime examples of is usefulness.

For Softjourn employees, the perks of the program seem to be widely enjoyed: since launching in December of last year, 67% of employees have used the mobile app to make a purchase at a vending machine (though not every Softjourn office has one), and 50% of employees have both signed up for and contributed to a crowdfunded project.

Could this be useful for bank or fintech startup employees? Combining mobile and the blockchain means that employees can easily engage with company projects (such as getting some plants or new desk chairs, by way of entirely random example) and access other perks, without worrying about the security of their rewards.

Plus, blockchain.

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