British entrepreneur Richard Ells and his team of developers had been thinking about launching a cryptocurrency for a of couple years. The idea, as Ells explains, has always been to get “crypto in the hands of as many people as possible.”
Various ideas of how that cryptocurrency would look like and its purpose were discussed for many months before Richard decided the best way to get crypto adopted massively would be through a cryptocurrency mobile app.
He was spot on as he and his team’s journey has proven now as Electroneum celebrates its second year in existence holding various records, being a world’s first in many categories and at the gateway of making a difference globally as it launches a platform that has the potential to change the lives of millions forever.
Richard Ells, a serial entrepreneur
Richard Ells has been a successful entrepreneur for nearly 30 years. He mined Bitcoin in his garage for many years and today remembers a few awkward conversations trying to explain to people who saw the odd devices and had no idea what cryptocurrency was.
“The journey since then has been a very long one, but a very fulfilling one as well,” says Ells as he remembers how amazing the mission to help eradicate the financial exclusion of billions of people began. “In 2015, we started to research and develop the inception of the amazing company that we call Electroneum. The idea was that we needed to get crypto into the hands of as many people as possible. It was a fiercely complicated thing.”
He goes on to recall that “we thought, what if cryptocurrency was on a smartphone? That would be a game-changer, and if we gave out rewards to incentivize people to get involved in crypto and learn about this amazing new digital currency, then great.”
Electroneum has come a long way since those brainstorming days and later, weeks of development that meant long hours into the wee hours of the night.
Eradicating financial exclusion
In a world where 1.7 billion people are unbanked and about a third of the world’s 7.7 billion inhabitants either live in poverty or struggle to make ends meet, Electroneum’s mission to help end financial exclusion with their smartphone crypto positions it in a place were very few cryptos find themselves today.
Today, Electroneum is in the midst of launching a global freelancer platform called AnyTasks and another one dubbed TaskSchool. These two and ETN Everywhere positions Electroneum at the threshold of becoming massively adopted.
"Electroneum is creating a lot of value for the end-user,” says Dr. Scott Stornetta, the co-inventor of blockchain and chief scientist at Yugen Partners. “So, to me, the fact that you have users that can in a very near term see the ability to realize some value makes your project stand out from the rest. Moreover, the fact that your system essentially is sustainable for the long term also means your project is setting itself apart from so many others," he said.
AnyTasks and TaskSchool
AnyTasks is aimed at giving the billions of people that are unbanked and living in poverty the opportunity to access the global digital economy. AnyTasks will allow people with smartphones or laptops to sell skills globally and thus earn ETN rewards they can use to purchase everyday items, pay for services, and top-up their mobile phones. Those interested in buying digital freelance tasks on AnyTasks will be able to pay for these with credit or debit cards. The seller seamlessly receives the payment in ETN with no fees to them.
Communication or messaging on the app for people that speak different languages will also be seamless, as Electroneum has developed an automated translation system, whereby a buyer that speaks English and wants to purchase a gig from a seller in Latin America, for example, will not require knowledge of Spanish or the other 20 languages supported on the platform. And thus, instantly, billions of people will have access to the global digital economy and an opportunity to earn more and spend it locally, bringing prosperity to them, their families and their localities.
TaskSchool will provide people with free online courses to learn skills they can perform with a smartphone or other mobile devices that they can sell on AnyTasks.
What is ETN Everywhere?
The ETN Everywhere is our on-the-ground merchant education and incentive program that is aimed at signing up many more merchants and service providers. Already, thousands around the world are accepting ETN, so these numbers are soon to escalate further and faster. This and AnyTasks is the start of an ecosystem that will bring greater prosperity to millions of people who are unbanked or living in poverty as well as to the localities where they live.
Electroneum is intensely focused on giving cryptocurrency a human face, and they will do that through the ETN Everywhere program. This platform is a place where everybody everywhere can see where ETN payments are accepted. On-the-ground ambassadors will be deployed globally. They will be entrusted with visiting merchants and in face-to-face encounters to educate them on the benefits of accepting ETN payments. They will also encourage these merchants to take and expand the ETN Everywhere program.
Merchants will be able to go onto the ETN Everywhere platform and participate in its education program, which will enable them to earn accreditation and ETN rewards while learning about ETN and Electroneum.
Accepting ETN Everywhere
Kazibwe Edris runs a shop called Electroneum Mart in Naalya, some 30 minutes away from Kampala, Uganda. He told us his story on how he became involved with Electroneum and began accepting ETN as payment at his shop.
“Electroneum has made a positive difference in my life,” says Edris. “For example, I posted some handmade sandals on Twitter, and someone from Singapore wanted, ordered, and paid for them in ETN.”
Edris explains he did his research into Electroneum, and “the rewards system gave me confidence and it has worked for me as I have gotten more customers.” He has spread the word and talks of at least 80 more merchants in his town and in Kampala, Mbarara, Kamuli, and Bushenyi, among other locations, who have also begun to accept ETN.
“I have a friend who runs Jonny’s Majestic Restaurant. He accepts ETN too. He has told me that he has done many transactions with ETN,” he said.
Suchat Thongwimolpan is a dentist in Thailand who is very enthusiastic about ETN. He has tweeted out he accepts Electroneum’s ETN as payment for his products and services. Hewerton Campos runs a bike shop called HW Bike in Sao Paolo, Brazil. He too, accepts ETN. Gabriela Herrera is a prominent artist in Argentina that has begun to accept ETN as well. She says she’s excited about AnyTasks and is anxiously awaiting the launch.
And then there is an amazing man who for security reasons is to remain nameless and who out of an undisclosed location in North West Province, South Africa, is doing his share to save the Southern White Rhino from extinction with some help from the ETN community.
“I cannot say where I am nor can I reveal my name because poachers represent a huge risk to me,” he told Electroneum in an exclusive interview. “We care for 1,734 of these majestic creatures on 8,500 hectares (21,000 acres). Our project makes it possible for rhinos to live and breed in relative safety from poachers. Since 2008, we have only lost 32 to poachers.”
Patrick runs the Emerald Gift Store that offers a variety of children toys and accepts ETN. Musician Dave Rich sells his creativity and along with the nutrition shop Sport Kinelab also accepts ETN. Italian UK restaurant Rustico Italiano and Asian food shop in Virginia, US, Basket Basket, are also among the thousands who are already accepting ETN everywhere. Sonia, Marcus and Calvin run the Electroneum Bazar out of Singapore.
They have great stories about accepting ETN as payment and how it has helped them increase their customer base. The eCommerce website has everything from pet supplies to vehicles and artwork, which can be purchased with ETN.
And let’s not forget medical hypnotist and Master Practitioner Jason Scoltock who out Derry, North Ireland, also runs a website through which he offers his hypnosis services and accepts ETN. “I added ETN to my website because the fees are minimal compared to PayPal and Stripe, for example,” he said. “And as soon as I started accepting ETN, I saw visitors to my site triple. I’ve sold many items that were paid with ETN.”
Making a difference through NGOs
We live in world of inequality, where children and women are mostly affected by a lack of opportunities and are therefore trapped in cycle of poverty. However, this is another area where Electroneum is making a huge difference. Firstly, it is the only cryptocurrency which works with highly reputable non-governmental organizations as trusted miners.
Project Child has helped thousands of children and their families in Indonesia since 2011. They recently said they were “proud to be the first NGO” in that country to work with cryptocurrency and that already the ETN rewards they have received have helped make a positive impact on the ground.
WONDER Foundation said “our partnership with Electroneum gives women and girls” in various countries “the chance to access quality education leading into good work.”
“Our partnership with Electroneum will help us break the cycle of poverty for over 2,000 vulnerable children and their families, and will ensure that a child’s birthplace does not determine her future,” Ubuntu Pathways' UK Director Beth Honig said.
Growing team of talented individuals
Ells, who has run successful businesses for nearly three decades, has surrounded himself with highly talented professionals. For example, Chief Operations Officer, Nick Cook, worked for the world’s largest automotive brands, including Aston Martin, Bentley, Porsche, and Jaguar Land Rover before coming to Electroneum.
Chris Gorman OBE is the Head of Business Development. He came to Electroneum with 30 years of experience in the mobile industry. He is widely known for helping Bob Geldof organize the worldwide 2005 concert series Live 8, aimed at putting pressure on G-8 leaders to help African nations out of poverty. Headliners included U2, Pink Floyd, Elton John and Coldplay, among others.
Head of Mobile Development Nigel Pooley has more than 25 years of experience that has taken him from Nokia to Vodafone, AT&T and now Electroneum. Chris Norris heads Corporate Relations for Electroneum after having worked over 18 years for Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, among others.
Electroneum Head of Marketing Conor Doyle has, over the last ten years, provided advertising strategies and consultancy work for some of the world’s most renowned brands. These include Mini, Sony, and Unilever.
In the beginning, Electroneum operated with just under ten people on staff, remembers Sabrina Ford, of marketing and design. Now there are over 50.
“It has been a great journey. I am excited because we are helping the people in the world who really need it and can’t wait to see how many more we will help in the future,” she said.
Costin Cristoi (app developer and user interface) said that for him it has been:
“A wild ride, a world of experience. I am happy to be here working on a project that is trying to make a positive difference.”
Electroneum is the only cryptocurrency in existence that has been so successful it is a top-four ICO project in terms of the number of users with 3.3 million registered to date. The strategy has been to educate people in the developing world on how cryptocurrency works and its benefits. They offer a free crypto mobile app that shows people how easy it is to use ETN. It is the only cryptocurrency that rewards those who have downloaded the mobile app to their smartphones. And it does so with up to US$3 a month in ETN rewards.
Website visits to Electroneum.com are massive. Amazon’s Alexa has certified 322,000 unique users and 1.78 million page views a month. It also has a massive Twitter community of well over 122,000 verified users, as well as more than 145,000 on Facebook.
As Electroneum enters its third year, its vision and mission to help millions live more and to assist in ending financial are all that much closer to becoming a reality.