The world's population did not see the Covid-19 crisis coming. In fact, an Ipsos, an internationally-renowned polling firm, report entitled "Global predictions for 2020" revealed that 65% worldwide believed 2019 was a bad year for their country. And while predictions for 2020 were not very optimistic, 75% of people polled by Ipsos in 33 markets said they were confident this year would be better than the previous.
They couldn't have been more wrong, as the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020, about four months after appearing in China.
By the end of this year, the global economy will have shrunk by 4.4%, according to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva declared the crisis "the worst fallout since the great depression."
The IMF also said the pandemic caused the loss of over 530 million jobs by Q2. Over the next two years, the pandemic's global cost could reach a staggering $11 trillion – more extensive than Japan and Germany's combined economies. According to a United Nations article, the Covid-19 could also push up to 100 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. More than 207 million more could see themselves in extreme poverty by 2030 due to the pandemic.
AnyTask, the most significant success of the year
AnyTask could not have come at a better time, providing an opportunity for income through online freelancing at no cost to sellers. It unlocks the global digital economy for even those who are unbanked or only have a smartphone.
"For the first time ever, we have created a way for people that do not have bank accounts to earn and to earn crypto with real use cases unlike all other blockchain projects," said Mr. Ells.
The Electroneum-powered freelance marketplace also looks out for buyers, providing them with full payment protection and a 100% satisfaction guarantee or a full refund.
Launched in late 2019, AnyTask drew the attention of the crypto as well as traditional sectors. Zero fees and no need for a bank account to use AnyTask, are the main reasons why the website is so appealing.
Nearly 600,000 people have registered on AnyTask as of 16 December 2020. There are over 27,340 tasks listed by just under 15,000 active freelancers. The support team has done a meticulous job of vetting tasks, and in that process, they have declined nearly 28,000 tasks that did not meet the requirements.
A very productive Q1
Despite the global health turmoil, the Electroneum team met all their goals for the year, which kicked off with a blockchain update to improve their network's efficiency and integrate the Ledger Nano. The Ledger integration is with the cold storage wallet provider, and according to the Head of Blockchain, Chris Harrison, they will review the coding in early 2021.
January 2020 ended on a high note as Electroneum became the first crypto project to work directly with a mobile network operator. Cellcard – the largest and fastest-growing MNO in the Southeast Asian country – began accepting ETN for mobile and data top-ups. The company also placed the Electroneum M1 phone on display.
By 21 February, Cellcard notified us the sale of the M1 phone had been a great success. And four days later, Electroneum announced that it had gone global with top-ups in 140+ countries, becoming one of the largest crypto providers of in-app airtime and data top-ups.
Q1 ended on a high note for Electroneum. The crypto startup received City AM's – the UK's most popular business news outlet – award for Social Impact and Sustainability, primarily due to its financial inclusion efforts through AnyTask and Electroneum.
Q2 saw major developments
The second quarter of the year was packed with significant developments, including ETN Rewards' finalization after 30 months that ended with great success. The purpose of ETN Rewards from Electroneum mobile mining was to spark adoption.
The marketing campaign successfully brought in nearly 3.9 million registered users, 2.4 million ETN app downloads, and millions of blockchain transactions.
"Our ETN Rewards systems and the referral model we put in place in November 2017 helped us reach these impressive numbers that no other crypto has achieved," said the CEO and Founder of the UK-based crypto, Richard Ells, in May.
In May, Electroneum sponsored the Austrian virtual ANON Summit. During the event, the ETN community demonstrated how engaged and committed they are to the UK-based cryptocurrency.
"The Electroneum community is one of the strongest in crypto," said Daniel Lenikus, CEO and Founder of the ANON Summit.
Towards the end of the second quarter, Electroneum took an unprecedented move in the crypto space by making public an internal technical analysis of the UK-based blockchain startup.
Cointelligence CEO On Yavin conducted the audit – widely regarded within the industry as the Scam Hunter – and his expert crypto and blockchain analysts team. As with all experts and influencers from within the industry, Mr. Yavin was impressed with the project leading him to become an Electroneum Advisor.
More places to use ETN
On 1 June, Cryptwerk enabled ETN payments at hundreds of online shops, bringing places that accept Electroneum to 1,760. Thus, Electroneum joined the ranks and 25 other top cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, XRP, and Binance Coin.
"Our listing on Cryptwerk is yet another example demonstrating the appeal for ETN and its real-world utility," said Electroneum Marketing Manager Jonathan Marriott.
A few days later, Electroneum got listed on CoinDCX, India's fastest-growing and most secure crypto exchange unlocking new users' potential in one of the world's largest countries.
As previously mentioned, On Yavin joined Electroneum in an advisory role on 15 June.
"After performing an audit on Electroneum, I have decided that they are completely aligned with 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 Mr. Yavin. "I've been impressed both by this project and by their community. I have personally verified all of their statistics and numbers."
Q3: First to launch in-app electricity top-ups
No stranger to the world's firsts, Electroneum became the only cryptocurrency with in-app electricity top-ups on 15 July, when it enabled ETN users in Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, and the Gambia to add credit to their meters.
Soon after the launch of electricity top-ups, Electroneum launched a fork, double-halving ETN block rewards for a second time.
"In this fork, we'll be updating our blockchain version from V8 to V9," said Head of Blockchain Chris Harrison at the time. "The frequency of discovery of blocks, however, will remain at two minutes."
Mr. Ells said, "We pledge to maintain ETN's overall token inflationary rate at under 2%, which is similar to Bitcoin's but much lower than most other cryptocurrencies.
"We will continue to release ETN rewards for promotional purposes at a similar rate to that of the emission of ETN block rewards to contain our overall token inflation below 2%," he added.
In September, globally-renowned crypto expert Mati Greenspan and award-winning journalist and blockchain influencer Jillian Godsil joined the Electroneum team in advisory and advocate roles, respectively.
"The addition of Jillian and Mati is a clear indication that Electroneum is a crypto project with which many what to get involved because of their financial inclusion and social impact objectives," said Mr. Ells.
Fourth and final quarter of 2020
On 1 October, Blockchain for Europe welcomed Electroneum as its 10th member alongside Blockseed, Binance, Fetch.ai, and other leading projects.
The prominent group focuses on blockchain promotion and education to help the EU remain at the forefront of blockchain innovation.
For Electroneum, the membership enhances the UK-based startup's leadership role in shaping the space's regulatory climate.
"We look forward to playing our part in helping European authorities and lawmakers better understand the important technological advances blockchain enables," said Mr. Ells.
In a welcome statement, Blockchain for Europe Chair Maria Minaricova said, "Electroneum has a record as a well-established company led by a highly professional team with a goal of financial inclusion that has caught the eye of crypto and blockchain experts worldwide."
The month also saw the popular Bad Crypto Podcast hosts, Joel Comm and Travis Wright, join Electroneum as advisors. The objective: to reach new audiences and work with the BCP team of marketing experts.
"We are very excited to work with Joel and Travis and their Bad Crypto Podcast team of experts, who will help get more crypto enthusiasts involved with ETN," said Mr. Ells. "They will help further our success by reaching a broader audience to whom they will explain why Electroneum is today one of the best crypto projects in the industry."
Joel Comm said his team "has been tracking Electroneum since the ICO and are pleased to bring Electroneum into the Bad Crypto Family. 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."
In late October, Locktrip added ETN to the list of payment options on its website, which offers an average 20% discount at 2.1 million hotels worldwide when paying with crypto.
"Today, we are excited to announce a major partnership with Electroneum — a leading project for empowering people in emerging countries and the builders of the freelancer platform AnyTask.com," the LockTrip team said.
On 5 November, Host Havoc added Electroneum to its list of payment options as well. Host Havoc is a top international gaming server provider for games such as Minecraft.
"We look forward to working with Electroneum, a crypto project that has millions of users and one whose goal for financial inclusion aimed at the unbanked and developing countries we strongly support," said Host Havoc CEO and Founder Clay Berndt.
In mid-November, CryptoUK, a leading crypto association in the United Kingdom, welcomed Electroneum as their seventh Executive Member alongside Coinbase, eToro, Ripple, Binance, and Cryptocompare, to mention a few.
COINTELEGRAPH: Game on! Crypto users can rent servers with ETN
In the role at CryptoUK, Electroneum will help develop a balanced regulatory framework that protects businesses and customers while fostering innovation.
"We aim to work in partnership with these actors (executive members) to help develop a balanced regulatory framework which protects businesses and customers and fosters innovation. Electroneum brings further expertise to our Executive Board, which will be instrumental in these efforts," said Ian Taylor, Chair of the not-for-profit association.
On 25 November, Electroneum became the number one crypto startup provider of mobile airtime and data globally, servicing 163 countries. It also expanded its unprecedented electricity top-up offering to a fifth African country, Guinea-Bissau.
Two days later, MeconCash added Electroneum to its wallet app, bringing the Electroneum ecosystem full circle in South Korea. People in that country can now use the ETN they earn like any other exchange medium at over 13,600 ATMs.
"Our 4.1 million registered users can earn ETN on AnyTask, our global freelance platform. They can also earn ETN by accepting it as payment for products and services. And now, in South Korea, they can all use ETN for purchases with MeconCash Wallet," said Mr. Ells.
A month with great news
In the first week of December, Electroneum teamed up with the Bad Crypto Podcast's Blockchain Heroes in a venture into the world of NFTs.
By mid-December, Electroneum expanded its unparalleled in-app electricity top-ups to four more African countries for a total of nine. Both electricity and airtime top-ups are a fantastic way for overseas workers to purchase the two essential services at no extra cost remotely.
More exciting news for the entire Electroneum community came on 18 December, when Mr. Ells announced a massive, long-term TV ad campaign.
The advertising plan is to take AnyTask and Electroneum to the next level. Along with the announcement, Electroneum said their top priority moving forward is the user interface (UI) and experience (UX) to ensure user journeys are the best in the space.
On Yavin, Advisor to Electroneum and Cointelligence CEO landed the world's first for crypto by launching an ETN reward pilot with a World of Warcraft guild.
"As an ex-gamer who got back to playing recently to explore this collaboration, I am super excited to be a part of a potential world-first collaboration between a crypto company and a gaming guild," said Mr. Yavin. "One of the biggest potential growth markets for crypto is gaming."
The whole purpose of his adventure back into the World of Warcraft was to promote Electroneum with guild leaders and explain why using ETN for rewards, and in-game payments could be beneficial.
On Christmas Eve, DigitalSelf announced that it is working directly with Electroneum as the only crypto payment option on their unprecedented live VR and 2D streaming, which is predicted to be one of the fastest-growing industries in the next five years.
They debuted with the staging of "A Fairy Tale Christmas," that feature world-acclaimed violinist Yury Revich, platinum-selling start Pixie Lott, Daniel Koek, and others.
Electroneum farewells 2020 after a year of great success, ongoing user-base growth, and an unrivaled crypto ecosystem that positions the UK-based startup to become the most accessible cryptocurrency in 2021.