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A Letter from Our CEO: Reflecting on 2023 Progress and the Road Ahead

Happy New Year!

As we celebrated our 2nd anniversary last month, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to each one of you in the community for your unwavering support. It has been an incredible journey for cheqd in 2023, marked by milestones that have propelled us into the limelight beyond the identity and blockchain industries. Through consistent efforts, we’ve successfully bolstered the adoption of our use cases, and made our products more readily accessible to organisations and individuals.

2023 has proven to be a challenging year for the crypto and blockchain landscape. Many companies have faced substantial hurdles. Some even had to end their journey. Despite these industry-wide difficulties, I’m immensely proud to share that cheqd continues to thrive. Our team has expanded, our suite of products has launched successfully, and our presence in the market remains strong. I’m deeply appreciative of the trust and belief that both our community and partners have vested in our mission.

A Year Dedicated to Product Development

In Q1 of this year, we outlined a full-fledged product vision centred around five major development goals, delivering on cheqd network’s unique differentiators in decentralised identity. Much of our goals were achieved although we adapted some of these based on the market direction. I am glad to share our achievements below.

Our three flagship products were launched. Credential Service, our first Software-as-a-Service offering, allows customers to easily integrate identity solutions into their existing applications with just a few clicks. By simplifying the complexity of the Digital Credentials stack, customers can effortlessly build Credential-based apps and Trusted Data Markets from scratch, even without prior knowledge of the underlying technology.

Moreover, Payment Rails went live to monetise digital credentials. This incentivises companies to begin adopting credential-based technologies and standards, by providing a clear commercial model for giving individuals self-sovereign control of their data. Credential Payments is available to use through a set of easily consumable APIs within our SaaS offering, Credential Service.

Furthermore, we launched Creds, a no-code platform for organisations to build and issue verifiable credentials to their users, all while enabling them to build fully decentralised reputation and take them anywhere across the web. The Creator Studio was launched earlier with six inaugural partners, including the likes of Outlier Ventures, Injective, Secret Network, Regen Network, RescuePals and Kleomedes DAO.

If you are not aware of this, cheqd became one of the first Decentralised Identity networks to enable Zero Knowledge Credentials, ‘ZKCreds’, also known as AnonCreds. Leveraging the renowned and widely used AnonCreds Verifiable Credential format, cheqd, alongside Animo, has built ZKCreds into our tech stack, opening the door to a more privacy-preserving online experience for users.

On the other hand, we built a new cheqd driver into Decentralized Identity Foundation’s (DIF) Universal Registrar to enable out-of-the-box and highly efficient DID and DID-Linked Resource transactions on cheqd. This is a big step in simplifying the developer journey for client applications to use cheqd’s DID and DID-Linked Resource utility in a more light way than integrating with our Software Development Kits (SDKs).

Expansive Global Brand Recognition

Embarking on a global journey, this year we travelled through both Western and Eastern spheres, presenting at 10 conferences to weave our brand presence across continents, alongside attending 20 others. The list includes Web Summit, Zebu Live, Nebular Summit, Messari Mainnet, European Identity & Cloud Conference, Cosmosverse, and many others! In addition, we engaged in over 40 AMAs, marking a considerable leap in our interactive initiatives compared to the previous year.

Impressively, over 120 publications across the globe featured cheqd or engaged us in direct interviews. Notable mentions include Coindesk, Cointelegraph, BusinessInsider, Bloomberg, U.Today, Decrypt, and Hackernoon, among numerous others, emphasising our commitment to decentralised identity advancement. Besides, our groundbreaking endeavours were spotlighted in Nasdaq and CoinMarketCap, further solidifying our position as a trailblazer in the reputation industry. These press mentions not only validate our brand’s impact but also pave the way for increased credibility in the market. This year has undeniably brought us a substantial recognition we rightfully deserve!

Advancing the cheqd’s Vision

In the quest to advance cheqd’s vision, our team introduced the first major version v1.x to the cheqd mainnet/testnet at the beginning of the year. This monumental achievement exemplified our commitment to innovation, positioning cheqd at the forefront of progress within the decentralised identity landscape. Simultaneously, we launched our new website to offer enhanced experiences and accessibility to our users, aligning seamlessly with our evolving vision for a more intuitive and dynamic ecosystem.

What’s more, our ardent dedication to innovation was showcased through the articulation of our vision on Trusted Data Markets, laying the groundwork for a paradigm shift across industries and use cases.

Partnerships on the Rise

  • Secured >70% of the SSI application vendor market to-date; worked closely with Animo, Veramo, walt.id, and Verida; supported in wait.id’s SSI Kit
  • Secured >20 organisations to adopt Creds at the initial phase, including big names such as Outlier Ventures, Injective, Secret, Regen, and Terra networks; >60 organisations on the pipeline, contributing to >0.5M overall end user base, all generated organically through referrals and our community
  • Secured bridge portal support on blockscape and IBC Bridge
  • Secured multiple partnerships in Web3: Observatory Zone, Magic Square
  • Delegated to 22 validators as per the cheqd Foundation Delegation Programme; a total of 53 active validators

All-Organic Growth Backed by Supportive Community

As mentioned, 2023 posed challenges for many projects and companies in the blockchain space. We witnessed communities shrinking from 100k+ members to under 5k, and projects experiencing a drastic downturn to 0 in various aspects, from token value to community size.

While our community inevitably scaled down to a little shy of 9k amidst these market conditions, we have continued to gain unwavering support from our core community members who relentlessly advocated for our progress and SSI infrastructure throughout the year. Huge shoutouts to our ambassadors Toatse, Minch, Ultra, and szapiszapo, plus our active community members Luke, Ghostbro, Oats, Radius, LWK, and sean.

A heartfelt thanks to all the awesome community members who joined our community campaigns and helped fuel our growth as well. Your enthusiastic participation in pitch competition, video contest, Zealy sprints, and our latest 2nd year anniversary campaign has been incredible so far.

Some shiny numbers to share regarding our all-organic growth:

  • 79850 wallets launched with $CHEQ
  • 100 messages per day on Telegram
  • 25 new community members join Telegram/Discord per day
  • 40 new people add $CHEQ to their favourite token list on CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko per week
  • 20 new followers on Twitter per week

Feel free to join the 400+ active participants in our ongoing 2nd year anniversary campaign – call to all Cosmos lovers!

Active Community Participation

Throughout the year, the cheqd community has remained enthusiastic towards shaping the future of cheqd. A total of 30 proposals have been launched with 9 of them successfully passing as shown below. The vibrant participation continues to drive the evolution and success of our network.

  • Proposal 40: Increase the Community Tax to 10%
  • Proposal 39: Increasing DEX Liquidity with Community Pool Tokens
  • Proposal 34: Increase the Burn Factor to 99% for DID-Linked Resources operations
  • Proposal 33: Create cheqd Community DAO
  • Proposal 31: zkCreds onchain verification with revocation checks
  • Proposal 30: Increase the Burn Factor to 99% for DID operations
  • Proposal 18: Increase the Community Tax to 5%
  • Proposal 16: Increase the Voting Period from 3 days to 5 days
  • Proposal 12: Software Upgrade proposal for cheqd-mainnet-1 from v0.6.x to v1.x

Liquidity Provision of CHEQ Tokens

A proposal aimed at increasing DEX liquidity with community pool tokens has been passed. It is currently underway to support a total liquidity provision of 1,000,000 CHEQ tokens or 27k USD (18/10/2023) on Osmosis and Uniswap.

Aside from the evident market benefits, greater participation in the network, by way of improved access, will in turn attract developers to build on the network, making the cheqd ecosystem more versatile and valuable. We also anticipate a more engaged and active community since CHEQ token holders are more likely to participate in discussions, governance, and other activities when they can easily enter and exit positions.

Speaking of Osmosis, we fired up pool #1273 on the platform. As well as being paired with USDC, it offers supercharged liquidity. Here is an overview of liquidity incentives from various sources on Osmosis.

Launch of the cheqd Foundation Delegation Programme

In Q2 this year, we launched the cheqd Foundation Delegation programme. This programme is intended to reward validators that build with and alongside cheqd, incentivising innovation and collaboration. The ultimate goal is to create a virtuous cycle, where constructive participation in the network leads to higher rewards, which in turn encourages further participation.

After two months of entries and evaluation, the cheqd Foundation was pleased to delegate 22 validators a total of 172,000,000 CHEQ tokens in this cycle, taking into account contributions from both the present and the past few years since the cheqd network was launched in 2021.

Proudly Acclaimed Awards — Top in the List

cheqd is humbled to receive immense recognition in the form of prestigious awards this year. At the European Blockchain Convention, among a pool of 100 esteemed nominees, cheqd emerged as the runner-up. This accomplishment underscores our dedication and innovation within the blockchain landscape, showcasing how our solutions transcend the blockchain sector, offering valuable applications to traditional industries as well.

Additionally, Hackernoon has listed cheqd as one of the nominees for Startups of the Year in London. This acknowledgment fuels our drive to continue elevating our presence and impact not only in London but also across the broader tech community in the UK and Europe.

This month, we are nominated as the top 5 projects for the INATBA Awards for the Most Exciting Project of 2024 in the DeFi category. Final winners will be announced at the end of January.

Vibrantly Flourishing Team. Build Great Things.

At cheqd, we are a thriving team of diverse talents. This year has been a blossoming journey of growth and expansion for us. We have welcomed new members into our ranks, from tech, product, to marketing, each adding their unique flair and expertise to our development. We came together in various conferences, including the immersive Cosmosverse and Web Summit, to conduct product demos and attract new partnerships. I am extremely grateful to lead such an exceptional team and create a culture of Trust. Together, we are architecting a paradigm shift towards Trusted Data markets.

Promising Journey Ahead in 2024

Over the past year we’ve boldly delivered on our promise to make decentralised identity real and usable, a sentiment we’ll be taking even further in 2024. We’ve also proven that payment for credentials is possible, and show promise for catalysing decentralised identity. 

In the next year we’ll demonstrate the power of what can be achieved with a fully integrated stack, building Credential Service into Creds, to offer revocation and payments to Creators within the Creator Studio, enabling new commercial models not seen before to be tested and launched.

We’ll also be honing in on a selection of key markets and use cases, diving deep into the Cosmos ecosystem through a network upgrade to enable on-chain proofs for off-chain credentials, bringing novel opportunities for Creds to be leveraged in governance, incentivized loyalty programmes, Quests and more. 

And as the world waves goodbye to cookies, cheqd is ready with a privacy-first solution. 2024 will see a massive shift in advertising towards a cookieless era, and we’re primed to show how decentralised identity can promise a new way for individuals to take control of their data and preferences, enabling a more private, secure and truly personalised online experience.  

From a product partnership perspective, we also can’t wait to tell you more about some of our latest partners and customers, ready to build on the cheqd Network, bringing with them a host of new ecosystems and end users.  We believe identity vendors can, and should, become fintechs, ready and able to inspire their customers to monetise the credentials they offer, in a privacy preserving and user centric manner.

Stay tuned as we unfold our comprehensive 2024 Product Vision. We’ll delve into our goals for new products, our priority use cases, and the ways in which we’ll leverage the cheqd Network and token to drive outcomes for our customers. The future of identity is decentralised, and at cheqd, we’re writing the rules.

Thank you for sharing our mission of building a marketplace for Trusted Data!
Let’s toast the end of this year with a glass of champagne!

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