[Grant Application] - GRID: Banking the Unbanked


Find attached in the given link above, a list of links that you’ll be referred to as you read through our grant application.


Development / Community Activities

GRID is a mobile decentralised finance platform by Team GRID. GRID is set to be an efficient and transparent financial platform for Africa developing economies and hence banking the unbanked. Our ultimate goal is to create a platform that helps people in Africa to live on cryptocurrency as much as possible. GRID strategy to achieve its goal is such that its products and features are user friendly, cheap, easily accessible and ultimately secure.

GRID will be starting out in Nigeria as a crypto to fiat p2p exchange/wallet where users can buy and sell ICON and Bitcoin with Nigerian Naira (NGN) through the use of their debit cards and USSD bank transfers. GRID at this stage is an escrow service between verified users who want to buy and sell ICON and Bitcoin, hence an over-the-counter (OTC) trading. Users are also required to provide their bank verification number (BVN) for KYC during signups and hence their profile name must match the BVN given. Users can deposit and withdraw fiat and cryptocurrencies. We will be integrating Paystack’s API for fiat deposits and withdrawals.

Unlike other OTC platforms’ escrow, GRID will be done automatically with a messenger interface. The idea is to capture the existing offline trader market. Offline traders are those who trade in messaging platforms like whatsapp and telegram, we are trying to capture them while still known predominantly as a cryptocurrency exchange. “In our country (Nigeria), there’s a lot of bitcoin trading that happens offline”, said BuyCoins co-founder Tomiwa Lasebikan. “People who trade a lot on WhatsApp groups. No one can accurately estimate how much trading activity there is.” Lasebikan said his exchange now handles roughly $5 million in monthly volume. It is also worth noting that Paxful recorded BTC trading volume of as high as 4 million dollars per week for NGN trade during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Team GRID is seeking funds to build the first version of the GRID platform which is a mobile App available on Android and iOS, a web administrative and support panel and to market the GRID App to Nigerians strategically targeting those at home and in diaspora. This funding also covers 6 months of operational cost as we believe this time duration to be sufficient enough for GRID to be a profitable platform.

✓ GRID Escrow fees:

Team GRID charges 0.5% of all completed trades as trade fees (0.25% from both parties). 15% of all trade fees are used to buy ICON that are further distributed to users weekly based on the ratio of their individual weekly trading volume to the weekly trading volume recorded by the platform. We call this transaction mining.

✓ User story for a buy/sell trade on GRID:

  • As a verified user, you need to create a buy/sell trade ad which will involve setting your buy and sell price per USD rate for ICX and BTC trades in your user profile.

  • Then you need to fund your GRID wallet with ICX, BTC and NGN in order for customers to be able to open trade requests from your trade ad.

  • As a user who is interested in trading you can also see a list of top rated traders and merchants with their trade price (BUY or SELL) and make trades with them in the exchange tab.

  • When a user opens a trade with you, either on your terms as seen on your trade ad or on mutually agreed terms in the private messenger, be it a buy or sell order, you need to approve the trade request on receiving a real time notification after which the ICX, BTC or NGN for the full amount of the trade is automatically taken from your wallet into escrow and is further moved to the buyer’s/seller’s wallet. You get the user’s funds securely with zero risk exposure as GRID ensures fulfillment from both parties. If within 5 mins, you don’t approve, the trade becomes a global trade and all users of the app are notified. In the event that no one agrees to trade on that term, you are advised to revisit your rate to attract potential traders.

  • The final step is for both parties (buyer and seller) to give feedback on their experience with the opposite party in the form of star ratings as the feedback is important in order to gain reputation on the platform and make more trades.

Please view the GRID App Interface Mockup here (PLEASE VIEW LINK 1 IN THE ATTACHED LINK)

Additional in-depth details of GRID’s app structure are available and will be provided if needed upon request by the ICON Foundation team.

✓ Why launch an OTC with no trading orderbook?

As opposed to Centralized Bitcoin exchanges with orderbook which are relatively slow and difficult to understand by a layman, trading directly with other peers using an OTC makes trades to be executed faster. OTC trading is still the most preferred Bitcoin trading style in Africa.

✓ Research and data on target market:

GRID platform targets Africans. GRID will be launching the first version of its platform in Nigeria and our headquarters will be located in the said location.

Although Nigeria is the continent’s largest economy, last year it overtook India as the country with the largest population living in extreme poverty with almost 87 million of its 200 million people. Despite the nation’s high poverty rate, Bitcoin trading volumes on the peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins was over 600 million Nigerian naira last week ($1.65 million) according to data compiled by Coin Dance (PLEASE VIEW LINK 7(i) IN THE ATTACHED LINK). As at 6th of April 2020, coinmarketcap reports that BTC/NGN 24hrs volume was 333 million Nigerian naira ($1.004 million). Also, some African economies with Nigeria topping the list have been leading the daily Google search trend for Bitcoin for the past 2 years (PLEASE VIEW LINK 7(ii) IN THE ATTACHED LINK).

The reason for the huge bitcoin volume can be linked to the high number of people in the country struggling to make ends meet. Nigeria is quite reliant on remittances from migrants who live and work abroad. Between January and November 2019, it received $17.57 billion from the diaspora as announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in January 2020. The total represents an increase of 56.4% over the same period in 2018. Like other African nations, however, Nigeria pays very high fees for cross-border transfers that can reach almost 10%, as news Bitcoin reported.

Localbitcoins which is the biggest escrow OTC trading exchange in Africa does not support online bank or card deposit therefore, transactions are usually slow with very high fees as opposed to what GRID will be offering.

✓ What will GRID do differently to attract customers?

  1. Transaction Mining: We will be introducing transaction mining which will allow people to earn 15% of all trade fees in ICON. Team GRID will buy ICON with the 15% of fees and will distribute every week based on each user trade volume that week. This will bring ICON into the hands of many Nigerians, thereby promoting and increasing ICON trade activities in Nigeria.

  2. All users are verified using their Bank Verification Number (BVN). This action reduces the risk exposure of traders to near zero.

  3. Reputation system for filtering trustworthy users.

  4. Significantly low trading fees in comparison to what currently exists.

  5. Trade rate will be monitored by us, regulated based on traditional banking regulations and flagged where necessary to prevent the large margin in buy and sell price and cases of fraud which is often seen in other OTC platforms.

  6. Social messenger like interface during trades helps us in capturing the existing offline trader market.

  7. Flexibility

✓ Value for ICON.

  1. Exposure to African’s Giant Economy, Nigeria which further exposes ICON blockchain to more users.

  2. The fees used to buy ICON during transaction mining increases the market demand on ICON.

  3. Exposes ICON to more liquidity and utility.

  4. Team GRID represents the interest of ICON alongside the interest of GRID in all major cryptocurrency events that are held in GRID supported countries.

5 months (3 months of development and testing and 2 months of marketing).

5 payment milestones with equal funding amount where each milestone funds is released when previous milestone is completed and reported:

✓ Milestone 1:

  • Final UI/UX prototyping with interactions.
  • Project Setup - backbone of Mobile App and Admin Panel (Architecture and Repositories).
  • Infrastructure Setup - Setup of the infrastructure that will be used to run the applications on Servers, development environments, deployments system.
  • Authentication System - Authentication and Authorization of the application (Backend + Mobile App part), Register, Set Password, Login, Forgot Password Pages in MOBILE APP.
  • Settings Page - Mobile App page related to Trade Ad, PIN, Default withdrawal account.
  • File System - CDN used to store picture profiles of the users, covers file upload functionality.
  • Wallet management part 1 - this feature is wide and we are going to tackle it during two milestones. In part 1, we will deliver: Trading Data API integration such as CMC, Currency Integration for BTC & NGN (BitGo API integration for BTC & PayStack API integration for wallet management, transaction management for BTC & Withdraw for NGN), Mobile APP Screens for the Wallet Management.
  • Chat - Integration with CometChat and Deliver the Chat functionality in the Mobile APP (screens where you can see users list, conversions & the chat page).
  • Trade List - deliver page with all the trades.

✓ Milestone 2:

  • Wallet management part 2 - this is the second part of the wallet management feature where we will cover the following: SEND/ RECEIVE BTC/ICX, Deposit NGN, Withdraw NGN. Integration with ICON blockchain. Interaction with jsonrpc/main chain API.
  • Trade System - this will contain all the Buy - Sell functionality + Mobile Screens, The Trades List VIEW & the Approve Flow.
  • Rating - the system is responsible for displaying the users rating and also the flow of giving a rating for a user after a trade.
  • Trade List Algorithm - used for displaying the trades based on Rating & Volumes.
  • Wallet management part 3 - Transaction History & the QR Generation Service.

✓ Milestone 3:

  • Notification System - this will cover all the existing types of notifications and the actions related to them + Push Notification integrated with Firebase Cloud Messaging.
  • Commission System - the feature is responsible for the logic behind platform’s commissions for each transaction.
  • Static Pages - here we deliver the following static pages - Invite Friends, GRID FAQS, Contact Us and Terms & Conditions, For the Contact us page we will also deliver the system that creates tickets in the Admin Panel.
  • Admin Panel - we will deliver the WEB Application for the Admin Panel, based on the specifications that you sent us on the AdminPanel Project Description document.
  • Begin all legal business registration and compliance.

✓ Milestone 4:

  • Transaction Mining Contract.
  • Internal Code Audit.
  • Testing all App and Admin Panel features and logic.
  • Listing App on Playstore and iOS store.
  • Complete all legal registration and compliance.
  • Launch of GRID App.
  • Social-Media marketing through influencers and ads commences.

✓ Milestone 5:

  • Billboard marketing commences.
  • More Social-Media Marketing.


✓ Allocation of Funding:

  1. Development Cost ($43,877): this refers to all the cost required to build GRID mobile App (using Vue.js hence available on both Android and iOS), the web administrative and support panel and SCORE transaction mining contract. Please view the Development Cost Breakdown here (PLEASE VIEW LINK 2 IN THE ATTACHED LINK)

  2. Infrastructure & Miscellaneous ($6,000): this refers to the cost for Domain for the duration of 3 years, cost of servers operation for the duration of 6 months, MySQL Database, WebSocket and API servers, Queue System, Admin Panel Server, Firebase FCM, JIRA and Confluence subscriptions and creating an Android and iOS developer account.

  3. Operations and Marketing ($23,700): Operations include registering GRID with the Corporate Affairs Commision (CAC). During the course of Developing the platform, Team GRID will also make an effort to reach a working partnership agreement with Rubies Bank (PLEASE VIEW LINK 3 IN THE ATTACHED LINK) with the aim to make all GRID’s NGN transactions cheaper and even more mobile and thus cutting out the involvement of Paystack’s services from its model. Operational costs include Design and Branding cost. Marketing plays an important role in our success, we have included a marketing budget for 6 months of promotion strategically targeting several types of users. View GRID’s marketing budget breakdown here (PLEASE VIEW LINK 4 IN THE ATTACHED LINK)

  4. Legal and Compliance ($1,500): This involves acquiring the services of a lawyer who will act as a legal adviser to draw up a disclaimer, platform policy amongst other legal documents. He ensures that GRID remains compliant with all regulations pertaining to it.



  • 2 Co-founders, and
  • 1 Finance and Accounting Director.

✓ Other members of Team GRID alongside their function during the project’s delivery timeline:

  • 1 Lead Dev: manages and monitors the workflow of remote developers and coordinates the project delivery using JIRA and Confluence.
  • 1 Lead Graphic Designer: manages Design and Branding.
  • 1 Blockchain Developer: would be handling the development of the transaction mining contracts on ICON using SCORE. (40 hours of work @ 50$ per hour).


  • FrontEnd Developer
  • BackEnd Developer
  • 1 Fullstack/Blockchain Developer
  • QA Lead: with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the platform and business logic, the QA will test all the features implemented by the development team. Testing will be done for both the mobile app and the administrative and control panel.

CEO Mail: gideonholmesjnrayo@gmail.com
Telegram: @Sir_Gidx | @thedeftexecutioner


Initial Review Result Comments

Review Result


Review Comments

Definitely this is an interesting proposal, but the requesting amount is too large and no prior track record or contribution to ICON ecosystem that we can evaluate. This project is too early stage for this grant program given the cost of development. For something like this we like to see functioning MVP with traction then are open to supporting grant to grow platform and integration with ICX.

Similar to previous point, we are open to paying grant for ICX Integration specifically but not for funding entire development of initial platform. Integration of ICX in this platform would be interesting and we hope you pursue this project and have success!

Thank you for your response, we will definitely pursue the project.