Accomplishments of 2020

EMURGO - a global blockchain solutions company and a founding entity of Cardano - set the objective of providing global blockchain solutions to enterprises and the general mainstream interested in digital transformation at the onset of this year. With this in mind, 2020 has proven to be full of company highlights and achievements and for the overall blockchain industry such as the launch of EMURGO Traceability Solution and the Brandmark joint venture. These highlights have been fueled by the developments across all of our units and by the ongoing tremendous support from the community. Thanks to these achievements, there is a lot of great momentum for the upcoming year.

Let’s take a look at our highlights of 2020 and what these highlights mean for EMURGO as we take another step forward into 2021.

EMURGO Establishes Strategic Task Force with Uzbekistan Government

To kick off the year, EMURGO announced the establishment of a blockchain task force with the National Agency of Project Management (NAPM) under the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and alongside advisors KOBEA Group &  Infinity Blockchain Holdings, to lead the development of a legal framework for security token offerings (STOs) and exchanges (STXs) in the Republic of Uzbekistan. In addition, EMURGO and our partners began to advise on infrastructure for digital asset banking & exchange, and blockchain education units, amongst others.

As Cardano continues along its development roadmap and with the upcoming Goguen era that will bring smart contracts, EMURGO and our partners will also continue to explore the potential for Cardano’s third-generation blockchain for infrastructure projects that show mutual synergies aligning with Cardano.

EMURGO Develops Traceability Solution For Real Enterprise Use

One of the biggest EMURGO developments to date has been the development and launch of EMURGO Traceability Solution - an enterprise solution leveraging blockchain technology to modernize existing supply chain traceability standards, and bring added value to supply chain stakeholders and end consumers.

EMURGO announced this news in March 2020 as the first blockchain-based solution developed by EMURGO’s Enterprise unit. EMURGO partnered with  Blue Korintji Coffee - an Indonesian coffee brand - to be the first commercial enterprise to integrate EMURGO Traceability Solution in its coffee supply chain to benefit all stakeholders including farmers and consumers. EMURGO Traceability Solution leverages Cardano’s blockchain technology to increase the visibility of purchasing prices between stakeholders and assure the immutability of accumulated private information.

Since the launch, EMURGO Traceability Solution is now being used to trace coffee beans with Indonesian coffee producers, and also with other clients in the cosmetics and food & beverage industries through our Brandmark joint venture announced earlier this year. EMURGO Traceability Solutions continues to be tailored and developed according to the needs of an ever expanding client list in several industries.

EMURGO’s Education Unit Launches Online Blockchain Course to Students Worldwide

As the global pandemic wore on around the world, this accelerated the digital transformation of many existing industries. To cater to a growing interest in blockchain technology via online education, EMURGO India developed and launched its own online blockchain proficiency course - Foundations of Blockchain (FoB) - to prospective students worldwide, covering the most in-demand blockchain platforms including Cardano. Leveraging its existing offline course content and education platform, Foundations of Blockchain offers 41 Hours of well-researched & tailored curriculum that suits working professionals to meet market demand for blockchain professionals. It aims to give students blockchain proficiency with a theoretical and practical study of blockchain.

To learn more and sign up for the next starting dates, please visit EMURGO India here.

EMURGO Partners with Ergo to Build Blockchain-Based Decentralized Financial Solutions

In June 2020, EMURGO announced a strategic partnership with Ergo - a proof-of-work blockchain protocol built to be a platform for applications that has a main focus on providing simple solutions for financial contracts with its UTXO-based smart contracts.

The scope of this partnership agreement covered the joint exploration of stablecoin R&D and the provision of decentralized financial services applications, by leveraging each other’s respective expertise in Cardano’s technical structures & privacy with UTXO-based smart contracts.

Through this partnership, Ergo’s native blockchain token (Erg) also became the first cryptocurrency after Cardano ADA to be fully integrated into Yoroi Wallet. Along with implementing ADA staking features earlier this year with Shelley, this step began the development of Yoroi to allow it to start processing various decentralized application requests to enable the smooth transfer between token types issued on Cardano and ADA.

In a few weeks, the inaugural Ergo Summit 2021 will be held and will cover the next era of development in the Ergo ecosystem. Speakers from EMURGO and Ergo will discuss the exciting R&D progress between EMURGO and Ergo and what to look forward to in the future with regards to the Ergo and Cardano ecosystems. To learn more about Ergo Summit 2021, please visit here.

EMURGO Partners with Online Travel Agency Travala.com to Drive the Adoption of Cardano’s ADA

On the Cardano ADA adoption front, EMURGO announced a partnership with Travala.com - the world’s leading blockchain-based travel booking platform - to enable travelers worldwide to easily book hotels & travel accommodations worldwide using Cardano’s native cryptocurrency ADA on Travala.com’s online platform earlier this year.

Through Travala.com’s existing partnerships with brand-name digital travel companies Booking.com and Agoda.com to integrate accommodations listings, Travala.com currently offers 2,000,000+ bookable properties across 90,000 worldwide destinations in 230 countries and territories, at competitive prices up to 40% cheaper than mainstream travel booking platforms.

With the expectation that international travel will become more readily available in the near future and the growing mainstream awareness of cryptocurrencies, this partnership provides a real use case for Cardano’s ADA.

EMURGO Traceability Solution Ushered Into New Stage of Growth Through Joint Venture with Blackbird

In August 2020, EMURGO formally launched Brandmark - a new joint venture together with Israel-based Blackbird Ventures - to leverage EMURGO’s tailored blockchain solutions suite and Blackbird’s expansive network in order to provide real world, blockchain solutions for large scale, multinational organizations in the current age of Industry 4.0.

For the launch, Brandmark reached agreements with Ahava - a multinational cosmetics company; Angel Bakeries - the largest commercial bakery in Israel; and HydroShop - the largest provider of cannabis growing equipment in Israel and self-owned medical cannabis brands - to onboard as initial clients and provide Brandmark’s blockchain solution for full traceability and transparency.

Brandmark is also in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology; Ministry of Agriculture; and CultivAid - an Israeli non-profit organization working with the government of Ethiopia and academic institutions to ensure food security, economic development, and technology transfer initiatives - to explore applications of Brandmark’s solutions.

Technologically as a solution, Brandmark is designed to be scalable for organizations and compatible with the future development of the Cardano blockchain.

Brandmark continues to work with our initial clients and other prospective clients, as the current global pandemic and ongoing digital transformation of traditional industries has forced organizations to accelerate trust and transparency in global supply chains.

EMURGO Releases Oracle Core for Developers

Following the momentum of the Ergo partnership from a couple of months prior, EMURGO released its latest product development, “Oracle Core”, for the developer community in August 2020. With an increasing interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) services, in-depth research led by EMURGO's Robert Kornacki reimagined a new model - Oracle Pools - for UTXO-based dApps to meet this increased interest.

Oracle pools generate accumulated oracle data with built-in theoretical incentives for oracles to provide more accurate datapoints - an improved attempt at upgrading current oracles. Oracles are an integral part of allowing data outside the blockchain (off-chain) to interact and be used on the blockchain inside of smart contracts, and have played a significant role in the surging popularity of DeFi services which “require access” to off-chain financial data.

By utilizing the "Oracle Core”, developers can build and run their own oracle pools on top of the Ergo blockchain. The "Oracle Core" provides the blockchain developer community with all the necessary tools such as code, tooling, and smart contracts, to build and run oracles pools. This marks an important moment in the history of UTXO-based dApps, as technically competent users now have the ability to earn crypto for running core smart contract infrastructure.

EMURGO Joins Hyperledger

Along with IOHK, EMURGO joined Hyperledger in September 2020 to explore collaborative opportunities with fellow members possessing a wealth of varied experiences. It allows EMURGO to strategically exchange valuable resources and collaborate on furthering the maturation of the overall blockchain ecosystem with real solutions to meet the needs of clients and widen the potential for Cardano’s applicability to real industrial use cases.

EMURGO expects further opportunities to arise coinciding with the overall development of Cardano and EMURGO’s Brandmark & Traceability Solutions.

The Successful Road to 50,000 Yoroi Wallet Extension Users

In November 2020, EMURGO was proud to announce that Yoroi Wallet - a secure and lite wallet for Cardano ADA and others developed by EMURGO - had surpassed 50,000 extension users. Since the successful development and launch of Yoroi in September 2018, it has taken just over two years to successfully onboard more than 50,000 users alone for Chrome extension. In just a short amount of time upon its launch, Yoroi Wallet got approval from Google Play Store to have the Yoroi Mobile Android App available for free download as well as the Yoroi Mobile Apple App, and browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

EMURGO has also successfully integrated Yoroi with leading blockchain hardware wallets Ledger and Trezor to allow Cardano ADA users to securely store, send, and receive Cardano ADA.

EMURGO Portfolio Companies API3 and Crayonic Successfully Secure Funding Rounds

To finish the year, EMURGO was excited to hear that two of our portfolio companies from the EMURGO/dLab accelerator had successfully raised additional funding rounds from some of the world’s leading blockchain funds and angel investors.

API3 (formerly Honeycomb) raised $3 million and is an API marketplace that links blockchain-based smart contracts to the datasets they need to create meaningful, real-world applications.

API3 works by connecting premium API data providers to decentralized oracles. This makes the API available for smart contracts without a centralized point of failure, which is one of the unique properties made possible by utilizing blockchain technology. On the API3 marketplace, smart contract developers can browse and access a wide library of APIs from various different categories. Through an easy-to-use interface, connecting smart contracts to the data that developers need is made extremely simple.

Crayonic raised $1.3 million from European angel investors and provides blockchain-based identity solutions for organizations and users to avoid cumbersome passwords and insecure online personal data.

Using a secure, offline multi-factor authentication hardware token, Crayonic significantly increases the security of personal accounts and eliminates all types of data phishing – currently the most common form of cyber and hacking attacks. To achieve this, Crayonic provides a decentralized identity solution that is both secure for organizations and easy-to-use for the end users. A spoken or written PIN code can replace all passwords to different systems and give users full control over their encryption keys regardless of the use case – authentication, blockchain transaction signing, or even signing of PDF documents.

Crayonic’s signature product Crayonic KeyVault relies on a certified secure chip, behavioral biometrics, machine learning algorithms, and advanced PKI (public key infrastructure) cryptography.If you have an interesting project and would like to receive mentoring and assistance from EMURGO’s technical teams, please reach out to us here.

Looking Ahead to 2021

EMURGO is excited to look ahead to 2021 with so many highlights this year that have provided momentum. If you have any questions or would like to reach out to us about our blockchain solutions services for your project and/or organization or to learn more about the highlights above, please contact us here. We look forward to hearing from you!

As always, please follow us on Twitter (@emurgo_io) to receive the latest updates from EMURGO and we would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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