Three years ago, successful British serial entrepreneur Richard Ells launched Electroneum with a vision for a mobile-based cryptocurrency that could help end financial exclusion.
He and his team launched an ICO in September 2017 that exceeded their expectations by selling over $40 million of ETN tokens, and becoming the largest in crypto history by the number of participants – more than 115,000.
Today, Electroneum marks its third anniversary with nearly 4.1 million Electroneum users who have completed millions of ETN blockchain transactions, including app-to-app transfers and mobile airtime and data top-ups.
And as one looks back at the level of adoption and most significant achievements, Electroneum and its community celebrate how far the UK-based cryptocurrency startup has come since 1 November 2017, the day of its inception.
Ahead of the curve
Richard Ells takes a look back at how Electroneum became the first crypto to enable the unbanked of the world a way to earn ETN and the only crypto to have the foresight – over 24 months ago – to build a KYC/AML system in advance of regulatory requirements.
"Two years ago we predicted this being important to the FCA at some point in the future and wrote a KYC/AML system a full 24 months before it became a legal requirement, " said Ells. "And once the UK financial watchdog implements cryptocurrency regulations – they are well on their way – we will be the one crypto that is the obvious choice for this massive new market sector."
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Ells explained how his award-winning crypto project had become the first cryptocurrency to unlock the global digital economy for billions of unbanked and financially underserved, as well as for freelancers who were facing too many struggles on other leading freelance platforms.
The launch of AnyTask
In late February of this year, we launched AnyTask, the first freelance website that does not charge freelancers any fees or commissions while enabling the unbanked of the world to earn an income," Ells said.
"Our freelance platform has proven to be scalable. It currently has over 555,000 registered users and more than 12,000 active freelancers who have listed over 20,000 tasks across dozens of categories and subcategories."
Thousands of new users are signing up for Electroneum and AnyTask daily. The trend has not gone unnoticed by other crypto, blockchain, FinTech, and traditional companies.
"We are experiencing genuine Electroneum adoption," said Richard Ells.
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"Gaming firms, travel websites, payment providers, crypto exchanges, and many other companies are approaching us and exploring ways they can work with us because of our success and our massive user base," he added. "We can also expect to shortly see more of integrations that will include video on demand, in-game payments, ETN offramps and onramps, crypto exchanges with presence in the US, and access to lots of digital services, providing our users with more ways to earn and spend ETN."
AnyTask sign-ups and task listings have exceeded all expectations, said Ells. "Our next goal is to enable at least 10,000 people to live entirely off of earning ETN through AnyTask and other resources we are currently developing. And then, 50,000, 100,000, and so on. We are gradually launching ongoing advertising campaigns online and on television to ensure we meet our goals."
Third year's most remarkable achievements
Electroneum became the first cryptocurrency to enable in-app mobile phone top-ups during its second year of existence. And just four days after its second anniversary, Electroneum expanded this function to three more countries. In February 2020, Electroneum went global, activating mobile top-ups in about 134 more countries for a total of 140.
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In January 2020, Electroneum achieved another unprecedented feat in the crypto industry. It partnered with Cellcard, Cambodia's largest mobile network operator. The agreement – the first of its kind in the crypto space – included the sale across Cellcard's shops of the M1 phone.
City AM, the UK's largest daily business news outlet, bestowed upon Electroneum the Social Impact and Sustainability prize during their first annual Crypto AM Awards ceremony in London, a testament to the fantastic work the startup is carrying out in favor of financial inclusion worldwide.
In July of this year, the UK-based crypto project also became the first to launch in-app electricity top-ups in four African countries – Nigeria, Senegal, the Gambia, and Mali.
The Electroneum team launched a second upgrade to double-halve ETN block rewards for a second time to ensure token inflation remains under 2%. Thus, other than Bitcoin, Electroneum is perhaps one of the only other cryptos to have this level of inflation.
The select Blockchain for Europe group admitted Electroneum as its tenth member on 1 October, along with Binance, Billon, Ripple, and others. The membership enables Electroneum to enhance its leadership role in the UK and across the European Union.
In October, Electroneum scored another world's first by being the first crypto to partner directly with LockTrip. This online blockchain travel agency offers 2.1 million hotels worldwide at a discount of up to 60% over other booking services, including Skyscanner and Hotels.com.
In total, over 2,050 outlets around the globe accept ETN as payment, including food shops, restaurants, online retailers, and more. The growth of outlets accepting ETN prompted Electroneum to launch its ETNeverywhere.com directory and map.
"We expect to see the number of places accepting ETN to increase quite significantly in 2021," Ells anticipated.
The growth of the team
The Electroneum ecosystem is on a path of ongoing expansion as more and more people register as users on AnyTask and Electroneum. As previously noted, growth has not gone unnoticed, which means more integrations and partnerships are already in the process of coming to fruition.
To face new challenges, Electroneum has gradually increased the size of the team. It has gone from 40 to nearly 60 staff members and advisors.
Earlier this year, and in light of the exponential user growth on AnyTask, Electroneum more than doubled their support team's size to provide a 24/7-assistance, including a live chatbox service. The tech development team has also grown to deal with all the integrations already in the works.
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As far as the board of advisors goes, David Bull CBE joined in late November. He is a former UNICEF and Amnesty International executive director who came to prominence due to his highly-successful fundraising strategies.
"Electroneum is an ecosystem of initiatives working in innovative, dynamic, and creative ways to bring digital and financial inclusion and better and more sustainable livelihoods to those who are left behind," he stated upon joining the team. "This seems to me to be just the kind of innovation which can help ensure that by 2030 no-one is left behind, unconnected and financially excluded."
Soon after, On Yavin, the CEO and Founder of Cointelligence joined the team as an advisor. He is has become the world's foremost crypto-scam hunter.
"After performing an audit on Electroneum and personally verifying all their stats and numbers, I have decided they share my goals, and those of Cointelligence, with regards to making cryptocurrency accessible and 'banking' the unbanked, and enabling mass adoption of this revolutionary technology," said Yavin. "I've been impressed both by this project and by their community."
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Then came Mati Greenspan, a world-renowned crypto analyst, and former eToro senior market analyst. The CEO and Founder of Quantum Economics. He said Electroneum is a project at the heart of Satoshi Nakamoto's vision of financial freedom and inclusion and is already delivering on what Facebook has dreamt of for the crypto project Libra.
"I am thrilled to join Electroneum because it is a project that has garnered incredible grassroots support and a large following," said Greenspan. "Electroneum already has a strong user base and is promoting financial inclusion on the ground."
Jillian Godsil, a leading global blockchain leader and a two-time award-winning journalist, came on board in an advocacy role.
"I've been looking forward to working with Electroneum for quite some time now," she said. "Since the early days, I have watched the project and love their focus helping the unbanked to earn ETN in practical, and then to spend it directly on real services without having to go via a bank or an exchange. It is amazing."
The Bad Crypto Podcast team joined as advisors in October 2020.
"We've been tracking Electroneum since the ICO and are pleased to bring this project into the Bad Crypto Family," said Joel Comm. "As occasional users of Fiverr over the years, we much prefer the way AnyTask operates to reward those in the gig economy and onboard the masses to cryptocurrency."
Now, Electroneum enters its fourth year of existence with a freelance platform that has made waves across the industry as one of the most powerful financial inclusion and social impact projects in the space.
What the future holds
"We've already gained more real-world adoption than virtually any other cryptocurrency, and in the world of the unbanked and underbanked have developed a system to allow them to earn ETN and join the global digital economy,” Richard Ells said.
The fact that AnyTask has grown faster than any other leading platform despite it being so new and so radical, shows that the market is ready to embrace cryptocurrency when it solves a real-world problem.
“Imagine world markets having access to millions of new market participants that have never bought digital services before. What payment method will they choose? The choice is becoming more obvious every day. Electroneum aims to be the PayPal of the unbanked and underbanked only with lower transaction fees than any other mainstream payment method,” Ells stated.
“Our KYC/AML system and our embracing of regulatory requirements make us the perfect choice as the financial technology of an entire global market sector,” he added.
“We've proved our ecosystem works and is changing the world.“The future of Electroneum has never been brighter,” Ells concluded.