The Cryptonomist interviewed Amrit Kumar, CEO and and Chief Scientific Officer of Zilliqa (ZIL).
How did 2020 go? What are the achievements you are most proud of?
2020 was a year of great uncertainty, with many companies facing unpredictable challenges in the midst of the pandemic and the resulting economic turmoil. Despite this, we have worked to adapt to the ‘new normal’, launching several growth projects over the past year. Seeking to promote Crypto Trader blockchain development in the region, we welcomed 8 new projects into the Zilliqa ecosystem as part of the ZILHive Accelerator Programme, which seeks to support early and late-stage start-ups using or intending to use the Zilliqa protocol to build blockchain solutions. In addition, we have also launched the ZILHive Open Finance Consortium to further our commitment to accelerate the adoption and awareness of blockchain within the FinTech space across ASEAN.
As we continue our expansion, we have also seen positive growth across the Zilliqa ecosystem. Monthly transactions reached 1,027,263 in November 2020, 15 times higher than monthly transactions in April 2019. As the Zilliqa ecosystem continues to grow into a more comprehensive environment, we have also supported a growing number of partners, totalling 56 compared to 38 last year. In addition, we have also launched several exciting partnerships, including that of Incognito, Switcheo, Travala, BUSD and Onchain Custodian, which address the diverse needs of users in the institutional, commercial and retail landscape. With usage as a key objective, we have also significantly expanded our global network of exchange and liquidity partners with the likes of Binance, OKex, Onchain Custodian, Crypto.com and Changelly, among others. Looking ahead to 2021, we are confident that we are well positioned to bring forward a more comprehensive, user-friendly and valuable experience for our community.
What are the plans for your 2021?
Zilliqa has always aimed to enable organisations and partners to take advantage of blockchain in an integrated and seamless way – removing the pain points that have often been a deterrent to experimenting with new technologies. This is why we are making usability, commercialisation and user experience our key areas for 2021.
Over the past year, we have been looking to increase both usage and community engagement by leveraging social platforms to develop rewards programmes that can bring value to both users and organisations. Examples include the community-focused SocialPay and the Zeeves loyalty programme. SocialPay, a Twitter-based rewards tool, was introduced to amplify Zilliqa’s community engagement by incentivising users with $ZIL for their contributions. In using SocialPay to give back to the wider community, we partnered with the Singapore Red Cross for their Covid-19 relief efforts in a donation matching campaign. Zeeves, the most advanced bot on Telegram, saw over $52,000 worth of ZIL purchased, registering over 30,000 new sign-ups and processing over 20,000 transactions. Just this month, we also launched the Zeeves loyalty programme as we continue to push for the commercialisation of blockchain technology into the mainstream.
Over the years, our smart contract technology has proven to be a sufficiently robust and secure infrastructure capable of handling complex, high-value transactions. As part of our commercialisation push, we have also brought our Blockchain-as-a-Service microservices to market, ensuring that they can be easily leveraged by users. This is something we hope to continue to do in the coming year as the robustness of our infrastructure continues to strengthen over time.