Financial literacy among children is a hot-button topic for parents and educators. Instilling money-management and savings concepts at a young age is crucial. Children are typically introduced to this topic with a piggy bank, where it is easy to deposit money through a slit at the top of the pig. However, it also discourages withdrawals, as traditionally the only way to use the money is by physically breaking the pig and retrieving the contents.
However, in an increasingly digital age, piggy banks for physical currency alone are becoming more and more obsolete. This is where ERNIT comes in. ERNIT markets itself as a piggy bank for digital money, with the two-part solution consisting of a smart piggy bank and an app you download to your phone via the App Store or Google Play Store.
After installing the app and pairing it to the bank, you are greeted with an app that is divided into two sections: one for parents and one for kids. The kid’s responsibility is to select one or multiple goals to save towards, which could be a new toy or anything of your child’s choosing.
After the goal has been set, the pig serves as a physical reminder, allowing your child to quickly see how much progress has been made towards their goal as well as when new funds have been received, which is where things get interesting.
Funds can be made through bank transfers, credit and debit cards, as well as Bitcoin transactions. Thomas Bjerring, one of the founders of ERNIT, firmly believes in blockchain technology, and is likely to have been an influential factor to why Bitcoin was included as a payment method.
“We believe Bitcoin and the concept of decentralized currencies will change the very concept of money as we know it. It will not happen tomorrow, but it will happen. By embracing the Bitcoin technology and making it possible for our users to use it with ERNIT (along with fiat and funny money), we do [our part] to bring it into the family homes, where the future really is: our kids,” said Bjerring.
As blockchain technology develops more applications in the future, the ERNIT platform plans to grow and change as well. “We see huge potential in the Blockchain technology…and we have a lot of ideas for future mechanics on the ERNIT platform,” Bjerring added.
To get ERNIT off the ground, they have started a Kickstarter campaign with a fundraising goal of $80,000. ERNIT plans to ship the first products to Kickstarter backers by May 2016.