Many small and medium-sized businesses grapple with the issue of late invoice payments. Late invoices cause businesses to miss many money-making opportunities, not considering the error and fraud-prone paper-based trails of the existing invoicing system.
Blockchain technology can solve this by enabling decentralized, transparent, and error-free invoice financing that would save businesses money and time.
Populous is a platform that promises to simplify invoicing for businesses. In this explainer, we explore in more in-depth detail on how Populous achieves this, the role of its three tokens, how the future looks for the platform, and more.
What is Populous?
Populous is a peer-to-peer platform built on Ethereum’s blockchain that uses its distributed ledger technology to provide small and medium-sized businesses a global and efficient invoice financing platform. Populous describes invoice finance as “a form of funding that instantly unlocks the cash tied up in outstanding sales invoices. Business owners allow invoice buyers to buy invoices at a discounted rate in order to unlock the cash quicker. Once invoices are paid by the invoice debtor, the invoice buyer receives the amount previously agreed upon.”
In short, Populous wants to reduce or eradicate the need for third parties, intermediaries, or moderators in invoice processing and transactions.
How Does Populous Work?
On the Populous platform, there are two types of transacting parties: buyers and sellers. These parties exchange invoices via smart-contract-based auctions. We can think of invoice sellers as borrowers, with invoice buyers as investors.
To sell an invoice, you must first register your company. You will then wait until you receive approval from a Populous administrator. Once you’re approved, you can offer an invoice with specific sales goals. This will also need to be approved.
If your invoice offer is approved, an invoice buyer will view available invoices and identify which one they would like to invest in. The buyer will then make a bid for the invoice. They will also set an interest rate for the invoice.
Next, the invoice seller will view the bid, and if satisfied, confirm it. The seller then releases the invoice and then, via a smart contract, receives funds equivalent to the bid.
Populous’s Altman Z-Score Formula
The approval of bidders is done using an in-house credit rating system called the Altman Z-Score Formula. The formula is a financial modeling tool that assesses businesses’ credit risk based on these three factors:
- The probability that a business will become bankrupt within two years
- The probability that a business will default on terms of the agreement
- The control measures of a business in times of financial distress
The Z-Score formula solely assesses a company’s suitability for the platform.
Sellers’ bids usually only last for 24 hours. A bid ends under either of the following circumstances:
- An auction is successful – meaning your sales goal is matched with a bid
- 24 hours elapse before your sales goals match a bid. In this case, you can either take the best available bid, cancel your offer, or submit another offer
- You withdraw your offer, in which case you can completely cancel the auction or accept the best bid available
Explaining Populous Tokens
The Populous platform has three tokens, which can be confusing at first glance. Let’s break them down below.
Pokens are the in-house currency of the Populous platform. The currency is pegged to an equivalent of fiat currency. For example, in the U.K, 1GBP Poken is equal to 1GBP, and in the US, 1USD token is equal to 1USD. Pokens are ERC 20 tokens, and users pay with them to acquire invoices. The Pokens themselves can be directly purchased from Populous with GBP, USD, EUR, and Yen. Other currencies will be converted to GBP on the London Stock Exchange rate before you can purchase the tokens. You can also buy Pokens using supported cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Pokens are ERC 20 tokens, meaning you can store them in any ERC 20 compatible wallet.
Populous Platform Token (PPT)
These tokens were distributed to the public during the ICO and are used for investment purposes. PPT tokens have a capped supply of 53, 252, 246.
Apart from holding PPT, you can use it to invest in invoices. When you invest in an invoice through Populous, your tokens are put up as security for the investment, after which you receive Pokens in exchange. Once the invoice is paid, you receive Pokens as profit together with your Original PPT investment.
PXT (Populous eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) Token) is a token that allows you to access Business Intelligence (BI) data on the Populous XBRL Platform. With PXT, you can access the one quadrillion bytes of business on the Populous Data Platform. This data enables you to create customized reports regarding credit scores, SWOT analyses, your business’s financial health, and so on.
As of December 19, 2019, PPT has a market cap of $21, 423, 195, and a 24-hour trading volume of $1, 108, 105. Its all-time high was $76.49, while its all-time low was $0.298937. The token has a circulating and fixed supply of 53, 252, 246 tokens.
Where to Buy and Store PPT
Most exchanges do not allow you to buy crypto with fiat currency. You’ll thus need to buy BTC or ETH so as to exchange it with PPT. You can get the token on exchanges like Binance, Kucoin, P2PB2B, IDEX, Coinplace, LATOKEN, Bitrue, Livecoin, etc.
PPT is an ERC 20 token, meaning you can store it in any ERC 20 supported wallet, e.g., MetaMask and MyEtherWallet.
If you prefer tighter security (and who doesn’t?), you’re better off using a hardware wallet. Trezor, Ledger Nano, and Parity are some of the popular PPT compatible wallets.
What’s the Future of Populous?
So far, there doesn’t seem to be any serious competitor of Populous. The biggest challenge it faces is getting clients to ditch existing invoicing models and transition to their platform. For now, the Populous system is limited to the UK and China/HongKong markets. That means only invoices originating from those territories can be sold on the platform. Populous is likely working to implement support for more countries – something that will help it achieve its goal of being a global trading platform.
Populous is a platform with an excellent model and vision but is yet to truly capture the imagination of cryptoverse. This can partly be blamed on its current country limitation, or it could be because it’s still a ‘teething’ project. Either way, PPT needs to expand its platform and market itself better if it hopes to make a bigger impact on the crypto and blockchain sphere.