Dear Velo Community,
Happy New Year!
I hope you’re all doing well and please forgive the short delay in the publishing of my Q4 update.
As we close out 2021, I could not be more excited about what we achieved at Velo over the course of the year, and now, as we begin 2022, I’d like to kick things off with an update on the market, some of Velo’s 2021 achievements, what to look forward to in 2022, and provide more insight into some questions from the community.
Velo is focused on delivering value through Blockchain technology and Decentralized Finance. Both of these areas have the potential to significantly reduce costs and paperwork, as well as speed up transactions across a range of financial services for consumers and businesses by reducing the role of intermediaries.
Because of this value creation, both have seen phenomenal adoption and growth. In June of 2020, the total locked value of cryptocurrency deposited in DeFi applications was $1Billion USD. Today, that figure exceeds $60 billion USD. It is clear the market is realizing that DeFi is no longer a fad or experiment but rather has clear benefits over the incumbent, “pre-internet” financial service options — and people and businesses are flocking to reap these benefits.
Similarly, Blockchain and the novel usage of blockchain applications such as the Velo Protocol, are on a course for rapid expansion, with projections to grow from USD 4.9 billion in 2021 to USD 67.4 billion by 2026 -a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 68.4%. The major driving factors behind this growth include increasing venture capital fundings and investment in blockchain technology; extensive use of blockchain solutions in banking and cybersecurity; high adoption of blockchain solutions for payment, smart contracts, and digital identities; and increasing government initiatives.
Blockchain and DeFi have the potential to fundamentally reposition how individuals and businesses take control of their finances, and we at Velo Labs are excited to help drive this revolution.
2021 saw Velo drive exciting advances in Blockchain, DeFi and our organization to deliver value to our ecosystem. We finished the first quarter of 2021 with the acquisition of Interstellar, combining two great organizations, bringing over fantastic technology as well as a new senior management team (including myself). We continued that momentum with key strategic hires within our Product and Tech teams, hiring our new Head of Product, Armin Ajami, as well as multiple Software Engineers, Developers and Product Managers.
2021 also saw us opening our first corridor, Europe to Thailand. Developing partnerships and opening corridors will help us achieve our goal of building the most efficient settlement network in the world, where cross-border transactions take minutes not days and where payments are more open and interoperable. So far this year we have announced new partnerships with TEMPO Payments covering Europe, Bitazza covering Thailand, Inception covering Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and more, and FinClusive covering the United States — which we just announced last week: FinClusive and Velo Labs Announce Partnership to Streamline Cross-Border Payments with Financial Crimes Compliance. With these announcements we are starting to bridge the world and are bringing our goal to life.
Velo products and technology also saw tremendous advances. We automated our processes to help onboard new remittance anchors faster with minimal manual procedures; enhanced our core foundational Velo protocol, including upgrading to smart contracts capabilities from BSC; launched VELO tokens on Binance Smart Chain, increasing yield opportunities for our community and partners; and integrated with MetaMask and Freighter wallets to streamline the process to transfer Velo tokens between Stellar and BSC.
As we begin 2022, we will continue this momentum across all areas — product, technology, partners, corridors, and team members. Velo’s primary product focus remains on growing a world leading remittance business. We will continue to do this through increasing our ecosystem of partners, corridors and transactions volumes by delivering a faster, cheaper and more transparent network. In addition to remittance, 2022 will also see a focus on delivering additional financial services and products that benefit from blockchain capabilities, as well as creating products and solutions to support our Velo token holders and ecosystem.
We have built amazing capabilities to complete superior remittance transactions, and these same capabilities are extendable to other financial services we are looking to launch in 2022 . One example is democratizing investing in commercial real estate development. Traditionally, only institutional investors and wealthy individuals have access to this attractive asset class. Through the tokenization of real estate — utilizing Velo tokens, the Velo Protocol, and the Digital Reserve System — we can make this investment class available to everyone. Furthermore, by bringing this opportunity to everyday investors we are also opening up a new pool of capital for the real estate developers; a true win-win solution!
Another key area of focus is supporting our token holders. To this end, we are developing capabilities such as high yields, staking, and farming. We are focused on creating and improving products that reward our community and the believers in our project. We recognize that your support and belief in our project is critical to our success, so we’re excited to be bringing unparalleled opportunities to our token holders in 2022.
Lastly, we wanted to update the community on the exciting product roadmap and the token release plan for 2022.
As many of you saw, we recently refreshed the 2022 Roadmap. We are excited to share our major planned releases for next year. While not an exhaustive list, the milestones show our commitment to further our core mission of using the blockchain to improve cross-border payments, while expanding to other areas of financial services, and also providing exciting yields for our community and investors. Over the course of the coming months, we’ll be sharing more detail on the positive impact of these releases.
We also want to increase transparency to our token release schedule. 2022 includes distributions to a number of groups such as founders, early investors, ecosystem development, and employees, and is graphically represented below where we’ve shown the cumulative token release amounts for each category.
While I only joined Velo this year, the project has been in existence since 2019. In order to get Velo off the ground the founders put in blood sweat and tears in exchange for future token distributions, some of which are planned for 2022. While tokens are moving from Velo control to the founders, most of these are being locked up. For example, 340 million Velo founder tokens being distributed this month are immediately being invested by our founders into our ecosystem partner Lightnet — who has pledged to lock up 90% of these tokens for two years, with the other 10% going toward ecosystem development and employee incentives. We are hopeful that future founder distributions will also be locked up as these founders are extremely committed to doing whatever they can to support the project.
The next group of distributions is to early investors. These investors funded the first few years of company development, in exchange for future distributions, which you will see in the release graph. The project would not exist if not for their upfront financial contributions.
The other categories in the release graphic are ecosystem development — such as encouraging banks and MTOs to join and transact in the network and developers to build on our technologies — and employees and advisors who are currently working on Velo to deliver our products and services.
For the January release, our circulating supply numbers will be updated within the coming days, and moving forward, updates across all of our listings and exchanges will occur in tandem with each release. You can always return to this post for further clarity on the release schedule .
That brings us to the end of another exciting update. We are ecstatic for what we accomplished in 2021, and equally so for what we have planned for 2022. We hope you share our excitement, and thank you for your continued support.
From the Velo family to yours, wishing you a prosperous New Year!