Our focus is on technology here at Hackster, and so, when it comes to products for kids, we like to feature educational toys. Those are great for getting children interested in STEAM, which is a goal we wholeheartedly support. But, it’s even more important to teach kids good money habits, which is the selling point of the Pigzbe smart piggy-wallet™. The question is whether its actually doing that.
Pigzbe is essentially a modernized version of the classic piggy bank that has been designed to teach kids how to be smart with their money in today’s world — ostensibly, at least. Pigzbe just launched on Kickstarter, but its already well past its funding goal. That’s because it looks like a fun way for children to learn money-management skills, all with their parents’ supervision.
The Pigzbe device is a cute little device with a beautiful LED display and a simple two-button interface made for ages six and up. It has a companion app that kids can use to interact with their money, and a separate app that parents can use to send their kid’s allowance, monitor their savings, and so on. Kids can even use the device itself to play games and unlock rewards.
At least that’s their sales pitch. In reality, it actually seems downright exploitative. Pigzbe is essentially a hardware wallet for Wollo, which is a blockchain-based digital currency similar to Bitcoin. Primo Toys, the creators of Pigzbe and Wollo, will tell you that Wollo has a number of advantages over Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, such as quick transactions with low fees.
But, the truth is that Wollo is still a digital currency that isn’t secured by any tangible assets. Like all digital currency, it’s a risky investment. Bitcoin, for example, was worth USD $17,394.97 at its height, but is now worth less than $4,000. Despite being called “A Token of Strength” and “The Family-Friendly Token,” Wallo’s value has dropped by a whopping 37.5% over the past 24 hours alone.
It would be difficult to console a child after a massive portion of their savings just disappears, and even more difficult to explain why. More importantly, Pigzbe is touted as a device that will teach kids how to be responsible with their money, and investing in any digital currency is essentially the exact opposite — particularly a brand new one. That ad campaign may be upbeat, but Pigzbe seems ill-advised at best, and deceitful at worst.