A crypto payments network is celebrating its third anniversary — and has bold ambitions to give the unbanked and those living in developing countries greater access to digital assets in the next 12 months.

Since launching in 2017, Electroneum has launched an intuitive app that allows people in 140 countries to purchase mobile phone top-ups using cryptocurrencies. The company was also the first to introduce electricity top-ups that could be bought with digital assets.

Back in 2019, the digital payments firm even launched a smartphone capable of mining crypto. At the time, Electroneum said users could then rely on these digital assets to pay for their shopping and online services. Crucially, this device has been offered at an affordable price point, selling for a fraction of what other Android phones typically cost.

In February 2020, Electroneum launched AnyTask, a crypto-focused freelancing platform that aims to give a fairer deal for hard-working individuals. Its platform doesn’t charge fees to freelancers and allows them to access their earnings instantly — plus, in a boost for financial inclusion, a bank account is not required to get involved.

March saw Electroneum win the Crypto AM award for social impact and sustainability, in recognition of how its platform is helping to level the playing field and unlock new opportunities for people in developing countries.

The next 12 months

AnyTask is at the center of Electroneum’s plans for the future. Next year, the company’s goal is to help at least 10,000 freelancers find enough work for it to be their sole source of income. The platform’s launch came shortly before the coronavirus pandemic caused lockdowns around the world, prompting millions of us to start working from home — and fueling renewed demand for freelancing opportunities.

More insights from Electroneum here

Other priorities for 2021 include registering with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, listing on major crypto exchanges in the U.S., and ensuring that people can spend the platform’s ETN tokens anywhere. To this end, mobile phone and electricity top-ups are going to be rolled out to even more territories worldwide. 

In time, the platform’s goal is to ensure that food essentials, medicines and other staple items can be purchased through its app and sent to family and friends around the world — a more cost-efficient alternative to remittances, cross-border payments that can attract prohibitive fees.

A growing community

According to the latest figures, Electroneum now has 4,071,296 registered users — an increase of 5,600 compared with the week before. Every month, its users carry out more than 100,000 ETN blockchain transactions, and this cryptocurrency is now accepted by 2,048 merchants.

Over at AnyTask, an army of 12,000 freelancers have listed 20,000 different tasks across dozens of categories, including design, marketing, photography, writing and translation.

The Electroneum team say they have witnessed seismic changes in the crypto industry over the three years they’ve been in operation — with financial institutions and governments starting to explore central bank digital currencies, decentralized finance gaining dominance in 2020, and PayPal announcing its plans to get involved in crypto.

Electroneum CEO Richard Ells told Cointelegraph: “The regulatory environment is changing quickly around the world as government bodies realize crypto is here to stay, which makes it more urgent that rules be imposed. In turn, this will build greater trust in digital assets and spark true mass adoption.”

The company’s passion for regulation is evidenced by how the network was unveiled as the 10th member of Blockchain for Europe last month, joining the likes of Binance and Ripple.

This group “focuses on blockchain promotion and education to help the EU remain at the global forefront of innovation” — and it’s hoped the organization will enable prominent businesses in this industry to influence policy-making across the trading bloc.

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