It is now the early part of 2021, and at the time of writing this Electroneum review, Bitcoin is at $47,594.18. Gone are the days when Bitcoin was once considered to be a peer-to-peer exchange of value. Many consider it a form of a store of value, and many aren't too keen on transferring or exchanging something that is now worth tens of thousands of dollars to someone else. Not only because of the risk of losing it but also because of the lack of incentive to do so.
Miners are having to spend a woeful amount of electricity to solve the increasingly complex algorithm to verify transactions and earn those rewards, that they find it ludicrous to spend any of their hard-earned Bitcoin for coffee or sending it to their relatives.
Well, Bitcoin may no longer be a peer-to-peer exchange, but there is one cryptocurrency that is paving the way to be that easy-going transfer of payment worldwide. In fact, it has become such a success that in early 2020 it ceased its most iconic feature, allowing users to mine its native tokens from the comfort of their own mobile phone. More on that in a bit.
What cryptocurrency is this? Electroneum, a somewhat of a newcomer in the crypto world when it made its debut in September 2017, in the middle of the famous 2017 bull market. Since then, it has been making great strides in many parts of the world.
But what exactly is Electroneum? How does it work? And is it befitting of adding its token to your portfolio? These are the questions this Electroneum review article will be answering and more.
What Is Electroneum?
Electroneum is a UK-based cryptocurrency that was first formed in July 2017 but was then launched in September of that same year.
What the project seeks to do is accomplish two things. Firstly, it wants to provide quick, safe, and easy cross-border payments between users by allowing them to transfer value between each other. Their target audience is the estimated 1 billion people that do not yet have access to a bank but do have smartphones. To help with this, they launched their wallet manager in December 2017.
Secondly, in order to provide a reliable source of coin circulation that is fast, cheap, and easy to mine, in March of 2018, they launched their first Android mining app. This allowed people to take advantage of their device's processors to mine ETN coins right from their phones. This mining app effectively cuts the need for expensive, dedicated, power-hungry mining devices, giving greater access to people to earn an income. This feature quickly became Electroneum's more iconic feature.
Its native token is ETN. There are currently 10,235,352,135 in circulation at the time of writing this article, but its maximum supply is 21,000,000,000.
The organization boasts of being in 160 countries, but you can spend ETN in over 190 countries. According to their website, they process over 100,000 transactions per month on the blockchain, with up to 2094 merchants being part of the Electroneum network in 25 business categories.
Founders and Team
The founder of Electroneum is Richard Ellis. Not a stranger to startups, Richard is also the owner of two other successful digital businesses: SiteWizard, a digital agency, and Retortal, a social media management platform.
Head of Operations, Nick Cook has than 20 years of experience as a consultant for some of the world’s largest automotive brands, including Aston Martin, Bentley, and Jaguar Land Rover. You also have Chris Harrison, Head of the blockchain.
On their advisory board, you have members such as David Bull CBE, former CEO Unicef UK, Jillian Godsil, two-time award-winning crypto journalist, and author of 16 books. You also have host members Joel Comm and Travis Wright of The Bad Crypto Podcast.
How Does it Work?
Electroneum was originally built using the Monero blockchain and focused on the gambling and gaming industry. However, it soon saw the light and shifted its focus on the issue of making cross-border payments. To do that, it left the Monero blockchain and established its own blockchain while also creating a new consensus algorithm, proof-of-responsibility (PoR), in 2019.
This new consensus has three thresholds: to provide a safer, more responsible, and greener blockchain. However, unlike the case with other cryptos, Electroneum chose to go through a permissioned route by choosing who gets to be a Node.
This is because they want to ensure that only reliable miners can add blocks to the blockchain. Moreover, those hand-picked miners, Validators, have the expectation of using their earned funds in ways that meet with the organization's own humanitarian agenda. As such, 12 Validators were selected. Validators cannot be individuals but Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) whose own vision and policy are aligned with Electroneum's.
But why did they choose this type of consensus algorithm? Their reason has to do with preventing the system from experiencing the dreaded 51% attack. How do they do that? By hiring NGOs, these organizations can participate in helping secure the blockchain by verifying transactions and recording them on the ledger.
As a reward, they are paid ETN to cash out and use those funds for their charitable work, providing them a source of constant funds. Because of this, it provides a strong disincentive for NGOs to try and initiate a 51% attack on the network. This would not only cause them to lose a source of funds, but they could also damage their ability to continually receive ETN to fund their work in the future.
Not only that, but Electroneum's blockchain has a moderated layer, limiting various ways for NGOs to attempt 51% attacks. So, if a Validator were to attempt such an attack, the moderated layer would immediately pick up its location and shut it down.
Who Is This Product for?
Electroneum was created to integrate the hundreds of millions of people who are still left out of the financial sector. It seeks to keep the promise envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto by making the ETN token a truly peer-to-peer exchange of value and provide greater access to many people who are in desperate need of an alternative for financial freedom.
That being said, Electroneum has been at work in providing various programs to help meet that goal (More on them in a bit). Given its humanitarian agenda, Electroneum should not be looked at as a purely investing/profitable endeavor.
Even though its token has experienced price volatility, the price has remained relatively stable for much of its history. Although investors and everyday users could still earn a tidy profit during a bull market, its main target is those living in large parts of the world who remain out of reach from benefiting in the financial/banking sector.
Launching Humanitarian Platforms
Mining ETN Tokens on Your Mobile Phone and its Cancellation
As part of its strategy to popularize Electroneum and incentive mass adoption, one of its earliest and more well-known features was allowing users to mine ETN tokens from their own mobile phones. Do note that as of May 2020, this feature has been canceled.
First off, this is a bit of a misconception. Users don't really mine actual ETN tokens on their mobile phones. It simply benchmarks your phone and allocates a certain amount of hash rate to it. This feature can be more considered to be an airdrop in order to promote the token.
Although the process was really simple, users downloading the app to ‘mine' ETNs had to go through a KYC process that included taking a selfie and verifying your location. Only after that were you allowed to start mining ETNs directly to your wallet.
In a blog post, the Electroneum organization announced the cancellation of this feature as part of their closing of Phase One. On this blog, they outlined how successful their initial phase was;
“The ETN mobile reward system used during Phase One has attracted a massive 3.9 million registered users, a huge 2.5 million app downloads, millions of blockchain transactions, and as of May 2020, we have reached an astonishing 100,000 airtime top-ups via the Electroneum app in over 100 countries.”
In a matter of short years, they expanded to millions of users and thousands of merchants in a way that no other crypto, not even Bitcoin, was able to do.
Therefore, users will no longer be able to receive relatively free ETNs. Their only options are to now purchase some via an exchange or to continue interacting with users through their various programs and platforms that are out or will be launching soon. One of them is AnyTask.
AnyTask is a website platform where people can hop on to buy and sell ‘digital tasks.' From photography to web creation/design to writing and translating, users who have specialized skills can create an account and do freelance work for just about anybody.
Interestingly, this website shows that many of those who are selling their skills come from Third World countries or regions where there are limited opportunities for employment and very little access to the internet and financial help. AnyTasks provides a much-needed opportunity to allow those to seek employment, however temporary, by connecting them to recruiters beyond their country's borders who are looking for such talent.
If a recruiter or buyer finds someone who has the skill they are looking for, they can message them and come to an accord. If a deal is reached, the buyer can simply use their debit/credit card to pay the seller. The seller, in turn, would receive ETN. The funds the buyer gave would be converted into ETN. This way, the seller would be able to receive payment without ever having to sign up for a bank account.
In the same blog, Electroneum Ltd. stated that they would be launching two new platforms to help drive for mass adoption of ETN.
Another project Electroneum has been at work with is the Electricity Top-ups. Electroneum Ltd is working with various African governments from Gambia, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal to allow users to pay for electricity with ETN.
It is hoped that electricity companies will see the value of this new payment method since it is more convenient for its clients to pay their bills without having to wait for in-person payment that may be delayed due to underdeveloped infrastructure.
Expanding its Validators
In order to further distribute the number of trusted organizations and provide greater security on the network, Electroneum has been partnering with several universities such as MIT, the Indian Institute of Technology, and the Philippines Institute of Technology to join NGOs as validators. Universities and students who contribute to the network will be rewarded with ETN, which they can use to fund other projects.
Electroneum also launched its very own and affordable android smartphone. Called the Electroneum M1, this smartphone costs a measly $80. Not surprisingly, in a 2019 review, the smartphone was given a really bad review for its many defections. However, the article praised Electroneum for its grant humanitarian effort.
It stated that the phone's purpose was not to woo traditional, well-off clients. Rather, the smartphone was created specifically for people living in low-income countries. Its intention is to provide easy, affordable communication and easy access to earn extra income while also providing them greater integration opportunities. The same review article stated:
“For many in the developing world, where monthly income is often less than $50 per month, an additional $3 per month can make a significant difference to their daily lives, allowing them to have a little more each day.”
Although users are no longer able to earn ETN through ‘mining,' they can earn them through interaction with others.
Some of the smartphone's features are:
Exploring DeFi Integration
In September 2020, Electroneum announced they were exploring integrating decentralized finance (DeFi) into their ecosystem. According to their announcement:
“We are researching how to introduce atomic swaps with smart contracts, which will enable ETN to integrate into the DeFi space more seamlessly, “Chris said. “We are exploring ways to employ custom blockchain oracles via smart contracts to enable decentralized trading.”
While the information was rather vague, Electroneum hopes to soon join other platforms already integrating DeFi into their ecosystems.
Tutorial on How to Get the Most Out of Electroneum
Below are a few videos that explain what Electroneum is:
Below are videos on how to set up your Electroneum paper and offline wallet, respectively:
Not the only Humanitarian Cryptocurrency
While Electroneum can be praised for its attempt to focus on those who have virtually no help from their own government or financial institutions, they are not the only ones.
Since 2019 Cardano has been developing a strategy to enter the rapidly growing African market and untap the hundreds of millions of Africans who are yet out of reach of financial institutions. By utilizing blockchain technology and a decentralized platform, Cardano hopes to bring together various stakeholders in delivering projects that solve real issues.
Dash is another cryptocurrency that has been making headways in developing economies. Its main users reside in Latin America, especially among Colombians and Venezuelans. While cryptocurrency's agenda has not been strictly humanitarian, it has helped many people in the region from losing whatever little wealth they possess.
Venezuelans especially have been benefitting from the coin's peer-to-peer and private exchange features. With the current hyperinflation, mass government repression, and corruption going on, many businesses in Venezuela have been accepting Dash as payment for their services. Ordinary Venezuelans are now able to hold onto their wealth and easily transfer them to their peers.
Another coin that also has its eyes on Africa is Akoin. Developed by the Senegalese-American singer, rapper, songwriter, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Akon, it is committed to bringing a trusted and interoperable digital currency to countries within Africa. Akoin seeks to be a cheap cryptocurrency that offers a wide variety of decentralized applications (dApps) that many Africans can use for interactions and business.
Electroneum Review, Conclusion
In conclusion, unlike other cryptocurrencies and platforms, Electroneum is very unique in its concentration on promoting itself strictly for humanitarian reasons. By seeking to promote mass adoption in many areas of the world that remain out of reach for the modern, technologically advanced part of the world, Electroneum has a great favor in becoming that necessary bridge between these two worlds. It continues to promote cryptocurrency and blockchain technology while also helping those who are still struggling.
Moreover, its marketing campaign has been relatively successful. It has achieved this by getting millions of users to utilize their wallet, ETN, its platforms such as AnyTask, and integrating thousands of merchants to use its token. However, despite these advances, there are several drawbacks.
Firstly, Electroneum remains in 167th place within the entire cryptocurrency market. Because of this, it has remained largely unknown among veteran crypto holders, especially among newcomers. While news articles and YouTube videos are still being posted, many of them are now outdated.
For example, many YoutTube videos are instructional videos that help users set up their mobile phones in order to mine new ETN rewards. This feature is no longer in service and it has been hard to find any updated video that provides instructions on setting up your mobile wallet purely to interact.
As a result of this lack of media attention, Electroneum's massive potential to help millions of people has been obfuscated by other more well-known cryptos. In addition, because of coin's dedication toward humanitarian efforts, those that do know about the project, while having noble intentions, do not see it to have strong, profitable intentions. Other coins have a much stronger potential for their price to increase substantially than Electroneum.
Yet, this may well benefit the project and the users who actually need it. The lack of profitability potential can deter whales from attempting to hold a bunch of ETN and manipulate its price, which will no doubt hurt the millions of users who depend on the cryptocurrency to transfer/exchange whatever little wealth they have.
That being said, there is no doubt that Electroneum is striving for mass adoption by tearing down much of the boundaries and restrictions and lack of opportunities for millions of people.
However, because its main focus is on helping people rather than on making profits, investors should not look at Electroneum as another cryptocurrency that can lead them to massive wealth gains. It is true that with the current bull market, it is expected for the price of ETN to rise.
However, unless investors' first prerogative is to help those less fortunate, perhaps it is for their benefit as well as for the projects to not fill their portfolio with ETN.
Value for Money
Ease of Use
- It strives toward good, humanitarian causes
- Has seen mass adoption worldwide
- It is expanding by implementing other platforms and programs for creater user interaction
- Has been looking to integrate itself into DeFi
- Has established partnerships with organizations and investors whose vision aligns with Electroneum's
- It utilizes its resource to help those living in poverty, being the #1 number crypto or making profits is not their main agenda.
- less profit potential for investors.
- It is below the top 100 on the crypto market list, making it less known.
- Does not have a decentralized network.
- It is a permissioned network.