Project UBU
3 min read

Project UBU: Mobile app and PWA

The results were good, with 2 100 downloads in two months, and within the first year, over 19 000 UBU tokens were in circulation and up to 700 000 transactions were committed.

Case study image
Written by
Ed Vincent
Published on
July 6, 2021

Case Study: Project UBU

A cryptocurrency that unlocks currently dormant, inefficiently allocated and unrealised resources to create commercial and social value. In this Case Study on Project UBU, we outline the solution, tech and innovative advancements of the platform.

Company Bio

Industry: Fintech
Project UBU is a cryptocurrency payment system that aims to drive social development through the creation of a more resilient global economic ecosystem. The organisation makes use of a Universal Basic Unit, which is a freely issued digital token of exchange that derives its value from under-utilised assets, to improve global development by including millions of people currently marginalised in the global economy.

UBU sees value in everyone and freely distributes a digital token of exchange (the UBU) to enable participation in the global market. The ecosystem requires a simple sign-on and validation process for users which allows Citizens to receive UBUs from a Treasury, and redeem deals that Vendors have uploaded. Secure and easily accessible storage and transaction of UBUs allows for a self-managed and re-enforcing ecosystem to exist and deliver value with network-effect institutions driving growth.

Innovation Overview

Project UBU was South Africa’s first ICO and currently stands as the most successful universal basic income proof of concept (POC) to come out of Africa to date, helping thousands of people receive staple goods and services. UBU is a FREE universal basic income token of exchange built on the blockchain and distributed to any registered Citizen via a smartphone, enabling seamless transactions of these free tokens for goods and services offered by vendors throughout the country.

The concept is simple, each day registered citizens are issued 100 free UBU tokens to their wallet (created upon registration and pegged to a users cell number), on the application various vendors within their radius will display their ‘deals’, which can be purchased by registered UBU Citizens using these tokens. At the end of every day, unused UBU tokens will decay, encouraging Citizens to spend and purchase more and inevitably increase the velocity of money and in turn economic growth. Vendors can view their entire transaction history and deals via their portal.

SovTech has provided a number of core solutions to Project UBU, under tight deadlines and complex shifting briefs in cutting edge technologies like blockchain. There work has been professional, creative and on-budget, on-time. We have come to see them as a strategic partner. Steven Sidley, CTO, Project UBU

SovTech Solution

Technical Solution and SDLC

SovTech developed UBUs MVP mobile app and PWA using Javascript technologies on the frontend (React and React Native), backend-as-a-service technologies on the backend (GraphCool/Prisma), a blockchain service (Sequence), and hosted on an AWS infrastructure. SovTech is now performing product maintenance and feature upgrades as it evolves into an MMP and beyond, as well constantly optimising the infrastructure to allow for clear reporting and scalability.

Team Solution

The DaaS team deployed post MVP release consisted of two mid-level full-stack developers and an Agile project manager. The team operates according to the Scrum framework with a high level of client engagement to ensure requirements are fully understood and delivered, product and technical advisory can feedback into business decision making and a high level of transparency for peace of mind. The Scrum framework has allowed the team’s processes and performance to scale directly with the team size through time, reaching up to four senior and mid-level developers to meet the growth trajectory of the product and business.


Mobile & Web (React, React Native, Mongo DB,
Project Scope: UX Design | UI Design | Software Development
The solution leverages android only and has a web application for those on iOS, this is specifically to obtain a larger target market reach within the South African context. Tokens are issued each day on the blockchain and to each users wallet. Each newly registered Citizen is also baked into the blockchain, therefore, the entire solution is completely secure and partially decentralised.

UBU knows the exact amount distributed to each citizen and only have vetted vendors available for the transaction of goods and services, therefore each token is spent within the ecosystem. Tokens can also be transferred to other registered users seamlessly by entering their cell number and making the transfer. The application also allows vendors the ability to offer goods and services in a specific geographical area and offers them free marketing on the platform.

The Results

The application saw 2 100 downloads in two months of it being in beta phase, and within the first year had over 19 000 UBU tokens in circulation and up to 700 000 transactions committed.


2018 Finalist for AppsAfrica Blockchain Award.

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