Imagine a cryptocurrency for social impact that solves many of the issues the 1.7 billion unbanked people around the world face today. Now envision one with the potential to empower hundreds of millions anywhere with instant access to the global digital economy unlocking for them the opportunity to earn crypto and use it to live life on their own terms.
Electroneum was born with that vision and with the mission to spark crypto adoption, and in September 2017, Richard Ells, a very successful serial entrepreneur, and his talented launched an ICO. Within hours they reached their target of US$40 million and beyond. They broke a record they still hold today: the largest initial coin offering by the number of participants with 115,000.
In the first 30 months since its official launch in November 2017, Electroneum has garnered nearly 3.9 million registered users, almost 2.4 million ETN app downloads, 100,000 blockchain transactions per month, 250,000 app-to-app ETN transfers, over 100,000 mobile airtime and data top-ups, and hundreds of places where you can use ETN. In late 2019, AnyTask came to fruition by way of its soft launch. Two months later, nearly 270,000 people had registered as sellers or buyers. Almost 3,400 tasks are listed on the platform, and about 640 tasks had been purchased.
The numbers are impressive. And they were achieved through Mr. Ell’s insightful decision to create a mobile cryptocurrency that does not require users to have a bank account and also to airdrop up to US$3 in ETN for a limited time to all those who downloaded the Electroneum app. The purpose: spark ETN adoption and educate people on crypto, how easy it is to use and its benefits, such as the capability to send instantly send ETN to anybody, anywhere in the world at a click of a button at a fraction of a US cent. The goal to educate and incentivise ETN adoption was a complete success even before the campaign was finalized.
The Electroneum app is a new way to pay for goods and services, both in-store and online, at a tap of a button or by using the QR code function. Payments and transfers are instant. That empowers the unbanked who have no traditional digital payment options, such as Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal.
While in the front end, Electroneum was busy in 2018, becoming the first cryptocurrency in the space to comply with KYC/AML regulations, including the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive. That helps unlock opportunities to work with governments and corporations and pave the way for FCA regulations, the team began development of AnyTask.
And the world’s first kept rolling in as Electroneum became the first crypto to manufacture its own smartphone and made it available to the public for as low as US$40. The first batch of M1 Electroneum smartphones has sold out in Cambodia through an agreement, the first of its kind in the crypto space, with that country’s leading mobile network operator Cellcard.
In 2019, Electroneum enabled mobile phone top-ups in South Africa, in an experiential journey that would lay the groundwork for global in Electroneum app airtime and data refills across more than 140 countries. The community response there was amazing, with dozens of vendors and service providers signing up to accept ETN as payment.
By July of that same year, Electroneum’s blockchain developer team, headed by Chris Harrison, implemented the Moderated Blockchain, powered by their unique Proof of Responsibility protocol. That made their network unsusceptible to 51% attacks (the largest threat to all the Proof of Work cryptocurrencies), making it one of the most secure in the industry. HackerOne, who service top organisations including the US Department of Defense, had since 2017 been verifying and auditing their security.
The blockchain upgrade also made their network the greenest in existence as it removed the need for the nearly 150,000 ASIC miners that were validating their transactions. Despite processing tens of thousands of transactions every day, the Electroneum network’s energy consumption is now equivalent to a couple of standard lightbulbs.
Their Proof of Responsibility protocol enabled them to become the only cryptocurrency to work with NGOs. They benefit from their work by using the ETN block rewards they receive to enhance the long-term, on the ground assistance they deliver in developing countries.
Development continues at Electroneum, headquartered in Maidstone, Kent. Their offices are packed with about 50 staff members working hard on the products and services that are soon to be launched. ETN Everywhere, the platform where you can already find hundreds of vendors that accept ETN around the globe. In Uganda, there are already 80 merchants accepting ETN. There are clusters of merchants in Argentina, Brazil, and in other countries that are already accepting ETN as payment. ETN Donate is already a reality. It is a website where NGOs can sign up to begin accepting ETN donations.
Another significant piece of the Electroneum ecosystem (electricity top-up) has also been rolled out in four African countries: Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Gambia. And then to the rest of the world.
As Electroneum finalizes Phase One, and kicks off Phase Two as a top 100 cryptocurrency, all eyes turn to this project as it continues to stand out as one of a handful of crypto startups that are creating real utility in line with their vision to make a difference in the world.