2021 in review by Jori Armbruster

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How did you feel in 2021? Did you reach your financial goal? Did you make as much positive impact as you planned for this year? 

We are super excited about all the milestones we have achieved this year, and we are more excited that we did it all with our great community of Ethichubbers.  

For those of you who still do not know our project, EthicHub was born with the mission of solving a dysfunction of the current financial system, which has excluded almost a quarter of the world's population. That is why we are focused on small farmers in developing countries because they are the majority of those who are unbanked.

Our solution consists of a lending protocol with an innovative collateralization system operated by our impact token, the Ethix.

We have always opted for Blockchain technology and crypto incentives because we see the opportunity to change the world, starting with the financial system. Ethichub was born in 2017 when this was a minority's vision dominated by a wave of excessive optimism that led to the bubble of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), which ended in a long crisis like the one that came after the dot-com bubble.

To overcome that crypto winter we had to focus mainly on our impact facet, but opposite to the dominant trend, we never stopped believing that a well-designed token could create the incentive loops necessary to catalyze the goals of any project.

In the summer of 2020, the decentralized finance ecosystem (DEFI) was built on blockchain and smart contracts. Cryptocurrencies began to grow exponentially and in just two years it has grown from USD 600$M to USD 250,000$M. In this environment, few doubt this is the future of finance.

NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), metaverses, and Play2Earn or GameFi games have been the main new trends this year. Long before all this was a trend, at EthicHub we were already talking about gamifying investment and that EthicHub at some point must become the new Farmville that brings financing to real farmers.

Sustainability is the other macro trend that has always accompanied us. Our name is a statement of intentions. We do not want to be just a new financial protocol that is more efficient or more profitable but neglects that profitability must include three balance sheets: the economic, the social, and the environmental. We believe profitability only exists if it is sustainable in the long term.

Luckily we are not the only ones to think like this because now the people with a social and/or environmental conscience are more and more. While years ago it was difficult to undertake an impact project, today it is a catalyst since the number of investors who value the impact and consumers who demand sustainable products and services is growing. Most of them prefer these projects and therefore provide them with a competitive advantage that will be increasing because it is an unstoppable trend. 

While the consumption of food products has been growing at a rate of between 2% and 3% for years, sustainable food products have been growing at rates of over 20%.

Both macrotrends (Crypto and impact) were perceived as water and oil and it was very complex to be positioned at an intersection between them because the crypto world was tremendously focused on the speculative financial facet and perceived the impact as a burden, while the traditional impact sector distrusted cryptocurrencies.

2 years ago nobody believed us, but a year ago we began to generate interest when our vision focused on crypto began to become a reality so now EthicHub is at the right time in the right place: we are the best positioned to connect the crypto world with the world of impact and generate an exponential change for the farmers of the base of the pyramid.

Ethichub in 2021

In 2021 our main objective was to consolidate the innovative compensation system to mitigate the risk of default.

The Ethix operates the compensation system and therefore is the cornerstone to keep it solvent: throughout 2021 we consolidated risk minimization by maintaining collateral ratios 10 times higher than the farmers’ outstanding loans.

Ethix and our compensation system have overcome the test of time of their first year and also there have been other relevant milestones for us in 2021. To begin with, we are already present in two new countries with pilots in Brazil and Honduras, where we have learned a lot about how we are going to grow the network. 

We have reached 2000 users, and the volume of credits has exceeded one and a half million dollars, doubling the volume accumulated in the previous two years. 

Our first defaults, which account for less than 1% of the platform's volume, were 100% covered by the compensation system. 

The volume of intermediated coffee has also grown very significantly, almost tripling the previous year's turnover. After having sold more than 60 tons of coffee, we sold an entire container for the first time, and this was paid for in Ethix. 

We have greatly improved the user experience at the product level by making it easier to open a wallet linked to your email. 

We have taken the Ethix to the xDai chain where operating costs are almost none compared to those of the Ethereum network, and it has been integrated into the lending platform to facilitate non-crypto users to start interacting with it.

In 2021 we have once again attended face-to-face events, highlighting the Ethereum Conferences in Paris and Lisbon where in addition to participating as speakers on how to connect decentralized finance to the real economy, we won a prize in the hackathon. We also had a presence at Web Summit, theDAOist,4YFN,Malta Blockchain Week, Naked Festival, Foro de Cripto Economía, además de un sinfín de eventos online. 

We created another way to relate to our community: the Coffee with EthicHubbers, a recurring event in which we invite you to have a coffee after a half-hour talk to catch up on all the news and to solve all doubts that may arise. It is a hybrid event (online and face-to-face) so do not worry if you do not live in Madrid because you can enter our live.

This year we organized 4 Coffee with Ethichubbers where we had the pleasure of personally meeting 70 Ethichubbers (due to Covid restrictions, only 20 people could attend per event).

This year we want to thank very especially Cryptoplaza, Kim Barista, Kaya Impacto, Bit2me, IOV Labs, Sustainable Startup&Co, Quality Blends, YAP Global, Cafés Gener, Loom, Smeg, Juan en crypto, Irrazonable México, Mare Terra Coffee, Glocal, Social Nius, Amazonia y Salvatge and all the EthicHubbers who have shown us a constant affection and support.

Ethichub in 2022

We have very high expectations for 2022. EthicHub's path has always been to innovate to solve the Poverty Cycle where millions of small farmers in developing countries are trapped due to lack of access to financing at a reasonable cost.

This should be one of the main objectives of the crypto world and yet we are one of the few projects that focus on this blue ocean of opportunity since the bulk of the ecosystem is focused on 100% crypto projects where returns can be much easier to harvest in the short term.

Since 2017 we have been building a new ecosystem and we are confident that in 2022 growth will begin to accelerate exponentially. We have built step by step, tirelessly, constantly building alliances so we are a more mature product with solid credibility.

In 2022 we will launch tokenized bonds, the product we were given a prize for at the Lisbon hackathon: a  more passive and trustless way of investing where the user will buy a bond that comes over-collateralized with Ethix to which he automatically accesses in case of default. In addition, these bonuses will take the form of NFTs that in the future, will be the base of the gamification process we want to implement. 

In 2022 we will become an increasingly multi-chain EthicHub, starting with RSK and CELO, the two blockchains most aligned with our purpose.

In 2022 we will open the first EthicHub coffee shop to continue building hyper credibility, where users can see we are way more than a digital entity. They will be able to enjoy the products they help to produce and to ask the EthicHub team their doubts since our offices will be located inside the coffee shop: physical presence in a market that increasingly demands to be more multichannel.

But above all, 2022 will be the year EthicHub delivers governance to a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). Decentralization has always been part of the value proposition of the crypto world.

In the world of impact investing, there is a lot of talk about Multi-Stakeholder Governance (that all the participants in a project can participate in governance). In the crypto world, this is being implemented through these DAOs. Many already have a long way to go and even manage Billions of Dollars, and it is becoming clear that taking this step helps to have a community much more committed to the project.

We want to start 2022 full of gratitude and hope, acknowledging our entire team and our amazing community of Ethichubbers for making it possible to continue creating new ways to achieve a regenerative economy where no one is excluded!

Jori Armbruster- CEO y cofundador de Ethichub

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