How DooCoins Is Disrupting Kids’ Rewards Patterns: An Interview With Jake Kemsley

In today's world, screens often take away from basic childhood experiences. Jacob (“Jake”) Kemsley, the mind behind DooCoins, wants to change how we think about technology, parenting, and learning. Created with a dad's perspective and a developer's creativity, DooCoins wants to make daily chores and achievements a chance for kids to grow, learn, and get savvy with digital tools.

Initially launched as a Web2 app, DooCoins quickly captured the hearts of 27,000 users with its simple yet powerful concept: rewarding kids for good behavior, completing chores, and achieving personal milestones. Children earn “DooCoins” in reward systems that parents can customize, reinforcing positive behavior in a secure and private environment. The project aims to empower parents, reward children, and teach children about the importance of financial literacy.

Today, reborn in Web3 as a decentralized application (dApp), it marks the dawn of a new era for young digital natives. With early adopters already on board, DooCoins is pioneering a path where digital currency becomes a child's first memorable encounter with the financial world of tomorrow.

We sat down with Jake Kemsley to learn more about DooCoins, his ambitions with the project, and the problems it hopes to solve.

When did you realise blockchain could be used to combat digital addiction and how does DooCoins do that?

That’s a great question. Originally, I didn’t consider blockchain or DooCoins to be a solution to digital addiction, but since using it for a while with my kids, I found it to be a great tool to negotiate screen time. Our son doesn’t really like reading, but he loves playing Minecraft, so he earns 3 DooCoins for 30 minutes of reading and then trades them for 30 minutes of gaming. This has taught him to value his screen time and has got him reading more.

What roadblocks do you see in the acceptance of crypto for children, and how do we overcome them?

Crypto for kids is a tough one. When it comes to trading, due to the volatility of the crypto markets, it’s seen a bit like gambling. So I’ve kept DooCoins as a kind of fantasy coin that the parent or carer can decide the value of.

The app is designed to familiarize children with simple concepts found in fintech, such as the transaction screen, a digital wallet, and goal setting. Financial literacy is an important subject. I believe that when our kids are adults, crypto will be mainstream, so I hope DooCoins will be their first step to financial wisdom. Kids are the future; crypto is the future - kids + crypto = DooCoins!

In our family, we put a value of 1 DooCoin equal to 10 cents, and as a reward, we can cash out 100 DooCoins for 10 euros. I’m considering getting some DooCoins branded pre-paid credit cards that parents can use to transfer funds. Another feature I’m exploring is the ability to create a savings account/trust fund so that when the child reaches a certain age, they’re gifted with a loaded real-life crypto wallet!

How has ICP helped facilitate the development of DooCoins?

I felt that DooCoins was well-suited for blockchain, given its ledger-like nature. I started learning Solidity in 2020 but encountered limitations in its functionalities and faced high gas fees. While living in Switzerland, I attended a meetup where someone mentioned Dfinity.

Upon researching, I came across ICP, which addressed the challenges I encountered while developing on Ethereum. The importance of being truly decentralized and maintaining a 100% on-chain approach is key when dealing with children's data, which requires careful consideration. I built the app as a PWA (Progressive Web App) so that it can be added to the home screen on a device without needing to be listed on (centralised) app stores.

My strengths are in frontend dev and product design, so it was quite a steep learning curve getting my head around things like data structures; I found the learning material on the Dfinity website to be great, and the support channels on Discord and the Dfinity forum were really helpful. I also took the Motoko Bootcamp, which was a good refresher.

Looking back, it wasn’t as hard as I thought; I think I just had a mental block because I thought blockchain is complicated - which it is, but you don’t need to get too complex to build an app because the tools provided by the ecosystem (DFX, CandidUI, etc.) are there to help.

What does the future of DooCoins look like?

I want to create a utility token to offer premium features and proposal voting. This will also allow me to grow a team as I can distribute tokens in exchange for expertise. I have a long list of features I’d like to add, but I need to prioritise based on research.

To do this, I need to build a community around Web3 parents to get feedback to refine and grow the app. Marketing isn’t my forte. I’ve had some conversations with the guys at Lunar Strategy and the Lisbon ICP hub, and I’m excited to work with them to create a growth strategy over the coming months, join their hackathon, and attend their meet-ups.

How Will DooCoins Evolve?

In an era where young eyes are glued to screens more often than not, DooCoins emerges as a beacon of hope, offering a dual solution to the digital dilemma facing families today. It not only presents a novel approach to mitigating screen addiction among children but also instills in them the value of financial responsibility from a tender age. Leveraging blockchain technology, DooCoins ensures that your family's data remains decentralized and secure, safeguarding your privacy while nurturing positive behaviors.

Jake Kemsley's vision extends far beyond the app's current capabilities. Among his innovative plans is a partnership with a screen time app developer, allowing children to 'earn' their screen time through DooCoins. Furthermore, Jake envisions incorporating a fitness tracker into the platform, promoting physical activity among its young users. But that's not all; the forthcoming Dooza NFT collection and the DiscoverDoo online marketplace are set to enhance the DooCoins ecosystem, providing children with a tangible reward system that extends into the real world.

As DooCoins continues to evolve, it stands as a testament to Jake Kemsley's ambitious plans for a future where technology is a tool for empowerment and education rather than a source of endless distraction. Through his pioneering efforts, DooCoins is set to redefine the digital landscape for families, fostering a generation of financially savvy and physically active children ready to navigate the complexities of the modern world.

The DooCoins app was originally built on Web2 technology, where it amassed tens of thousands of users. Now, DooCoins is being rebranded and relaunched as a Web3 app to help kids learn about digital currencies, empower parents, and reward positive behavior in children worldwide.