It's been a year since MELD first launched its revolutionary Initial Stake Pool Offering (ISPO), and since then, much has happened in the crypto space. Despite the difficulties and turmoil of the markets and the many criticisms MELD has faced, MELD has kept its head down and systematically focused on what it set out to do; developing an innovative and groundbreaking financial product. Here I reflect upon the humble beginnings of MELD’s inception and all of their achievements over the past year, including a look at what the future might look like for MELD.
The idea for MELD was first conceived in 2020 when Ken Olling, frustrated by legacy financial bureaucracy, wanted to break away from the arrogance of the traditional financial world and create something different, something pioneering, something for all people.
With over 20 years of experience in digital transformation, producing software products and consumer experiences for companies such as the likes of Ubisoft, Toyota, Sony, and Visa to name a few, Ken Olling, CEO and Co-Founder for MELD, has a vast knowledge of enterprise architecture and software design and has developed and led specialist teams of designers and software engineers all over the world.
Hai Nguyen Quang, has a wealth of experience and knowledge in blockchain engineering, having worked first in gaming, which quickly evolved into AI engineering. For the last few years, Hai has concentrated all efforts on developing trustless decentralized systems in blockchain and is now the MELD Co-Founder and CTO.
After about a month of discussions, brainstorming and prototypes, Ken and Hai presented MELD to the world on the 24th of April 2021.
The team at the very earliest stage consisted of Ken and Hai, 3 developers, 4 advisors and a freelance writer. This grew into 33 employees, 8 advisors and about 20 ambassadors in as little as 12 months.
Over the course of the year, MELD has been methodically working on development and hitting milestones as per their evolving roadmap. Here are some key highlights and a reflection of the many achievements MELD has accomplished over the last year, and WHAT a year it's been!
A Busy Year
1st July 2021 - MELD ISPO Launch
MELD made history by successfully launching the first-ever ISPO. The ISPO model was a staggering success and within the first 24 hours, delegators had delegated ADA to the value of $100 million. Within five days this value doubled to $200 million, peaking at $1 billion during its 6-month term with 40,000 participants. A major factor for its staggering success was the attractive risk-free environment where participants could earn rewards.
There was a special early delegator reward where if participants had started delegating in the first 3 epochs prior to the ISPO launch on the 1st of July, a special base level applied to them. The longer you delegated the more rewards you would receive.
Base Level - 0.065 MELD / ADA / EPOCH
Early Participation Base Level - 0.068 MELD / ADA / EPOCH
- "Diamond Hands" (30+ epochs): +25% Bonus MELD + Diamond Hand NFT
- "Steel Hands" (20–29 epochs): +15% Bonus MELD
- "Iron Hands" (10–19 epochs): +8% Bonus MELD
- "Copper Hands" (1–9 epochs): +0% Bonus MELD
The ISPO lasted 6 months, concluding on the 8th Dec and ignited a wave of projects adopting this revolutionary new business model that allows capital to be raised.
25th July 2021- MELD Ambassador Programme Launch
MELD launched its ongoing Ambassador programme looking for enthusiastic community members who are passionate and share the same visions as MELD. MELD compensates well for the hard work Ambassadors provide and are really open and flexible to the roles in which value can be added.
Community Management - Community managers will be adept at various forms of social media and keep conversations and communications going across various channels.
Content Creators - Blog Articles, YouTube videos, press releases and tweets. Literally any quality content that can communicate the complex and revolutionary nature of blockchain and MELD’s role within the space.
Translators - To get the message across far and wide, translators play a vital role in translating the intricate and complex language and understandings of crypto, DeFi and finance into other languages for global outreach.
27th July 2021 - MELD x VENT Partnership
MELD partners with VENT finance, a community launchpad project that helps startups and investors facilitate fluid and safe business and investment opportunities. The strategic partnership was MELD’s first and aims to complement and build each other's ecosystems and bring them together.
28th July 2021 - MELD / Polygon Bridge ADAmatic Announced
MELD and VENT collaborate with Polygon to build a two-way bridge from Polygon to Cardano. The bridge will enable users to bridge Polygon and Ethereum based assets to Cardano and back in order to interact with a plethora of amazing services available to them from each ecosystem.
10th August 2021 - MELD x World Mobile Partnership
To bank the unbanked, you must first connect the unconnected. This is World Mobile’s famous catchphrase and a powerful one at that. MELD’s partnership with World Mobile capitalizes on their unique business model that empowers and incentivises people to run the network in a sharing economy, similar to how Uber and Airbnb work, and we all know how successful they have become. The partnership will see MELD’s groundbreaking financial instruments and services on the World Mobile network potentially reaching millions of people starting in Africa. More about World Mobile can be learnt through this MELDblog article.
20th Aug 2021 - MELD ISPO Dashboard Goes Live
The Dashboard was a much anticipated and welcome tool enabling delegators to view important and interesting information surrounding the ISPO such as:
- Total ADA Staked
- Total MELD Rewarded
- ISPO Participants
- Individual Live Stake
- IndividualAccumulated Stake
- Individual Accumulated Rewards
1st Sep 2021 - MELD x OccamFi Partnership
Launchpad OccamFi will be releasing a decentralized exchange (DEX) called OccamX built on Cardano. The collaboration will see users being able to perform swaps utilizing the MELD vault token pairs. In addition, the MELD wallet will be integrated so that MELD users will be able to use their crypto assets to utilize Occam.Fi products and services. More about Occam.Fi can be learnt through this MELDblog article.
22nd Sep 2021 - MELD x C-Wallet Partnership
CardWallet, now rebranded to C-wallet, is a non-custodial wallet solution with ambitions to become a major wallet provider for the entire crypto ecosystem. MELD plans to integrate its services and work towards contributing to the development of a DeFi ecosystem as a whole.
22rd Sep 2021 - MELD Featured in CITY AM
MELD featured on the cover of London's business newspaper CITY A.M where 85,000 copies were distributed from 600 outlets. Article snippets were also featured a number of times throughout the year on their website.
24th Sep 2021- MELD x Matrixswap Partnership
The partnership will see fluid integrations between MELD and Matrixswap, a unique decentralized virtual-AMM-based swap trading protocol deployed on Polkadot and Cardano which will allow users to long or short any assets’ perpetual contracts with up to 25x leverage. The partnership will bring about liquidity provision and swap support between wrapped assets.
25th & 26th Sep 2021 - MELD Attends the Cardano Summit
Dubbed ‘The Biggest Blockchain Event Ever”. A two day virtual event showcasing the latest in blockchain innovation from Cardano and IOHK. 70 hours of content was streamed with 208 speakers featured in 137 sessions. The summit was also physically hosted across 3 continents at 6 event locations: London, Miami, Berlin, Cape Town, Wyoming and New York.
29th & 30th Sep 2021 - MELD attends The London Crypto A.M Summit and Awards 2021
Hosted over two days, the Crypto A.M. London Blockchain & DeFi Summit Incorporating The Crypto A.M. City of London Roundtables celebrate innovation and excellence by exploring the most recent developments in AI, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, digital assets and distributed ledger technology (DLT) with various awards being given out. Ken Olling attends and speaks about MELD.
2nd Oct 2021 - $1 Billion worth of ADA staked in the MELD ISPO After only 3 months in. 🎉
3rd Oct 2021 - MELD x Tingo Partnership
Tingo International Holdings (TIH), is an ethical investment company dedicated to meeting the needs of individual consumers and businesses, by delivering financial technology through telecommunications and agri-tech services in Africa. TIH recently acquired Tingo Mobile PLC, Nigeria’s leading technology, device and service platform. Through their digital platform Nwassa, Tingo aims to empower local farmers through commerce, and bring economic growth and prosperity to the nation in compliance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The MELD x Tingo partnership will give the millions using the Tingo network access to MELDs revolutionary financial services. More can be learnt about Tingo through this MELDblog article.
5th Oct 2021 - MELD x Sundaeswap Partnership
MELD teamed up with one of the first DEXs on Cardano to support each other’s ecosystems, including token integration, mutual liquidity provisioning (including MELD’s innovative Credit Markets), and collaboration on some very exciting development efforts that will be shared in the future.
15th Oct 2021 - MELD x Netvrk Partnership
Netvrk is a metaverse creation, with powerful tools and infrastructure to easily create, share, experience, and monetize creations. With a focus on gaming, education, and virtual workplaces, built around ownership of virtual land and assets. MELD is going to be building a MELD HQ and is currently working with some metaverse architects to implement an amazing HQ on the platform. After the MELD HQ is completed, MELD will be integrating their lending and borrowing services directly into the Netvrk metaverse. Users within Netvrk will be able to go to the MELD HQ and interact with their products and services directly from the metaverse. How awesome is that!
22nd Oct 2021 - MELD x Sheesha Finance Partnership
Sheesha Finance is the leading decentralized DeFi mutual fund allowing for premium cryptocurrency portfolio diversification and rewards. Sheesha Finance rewards investors of any size, from small to large ticket holders, with unlimited DeFi tokens from a diversified portfolio of projects. Their easily convertible assets can be freely utilized to maximize rewards and gain exposure to existing and upcoming DeFi projects at pre-launch prices.The partnership will see a suite of community incentives.
27th Oct 2021 - MELD ISPO Full
With nearly 620 Million ADA delegated to the MELD ISPO along with a fully subscribed private sale, MELD met all of their goals set for the ISPO and the pre-sale!
11th Nov 2021 - MELD x KAMPAY Partnership
KamPay is a single international standard for mobile gaming and payments with existing licenses in over seven African countries. The partnership is in aid of MELD’s commitment to build ecosystems to support financial growth and responsibility in emerging African countries and will see Wallet Integration allowing crypto buying & mining.
30th Nov 2021 - MELD Blog Launch
Weekly articles written by talented MELD ambassadors covering all things MELD and crypto.
5th Dec 2021 - Bank Manager NFT Announcement
MELDs NFT collection —MELD Bank Managers! As a way to show gratitude towards the success of the ISPO, MELD will create 40,000 unique NFTs that will have utility.
7th Dec 2021 - MELD x Maladex Partnership
Maladex’s goal is to revolutionize the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) ecosystem through a vigorously researched and unique model that will eradicate impermanent loss and significantly increase capital efficiency. MELD will be working with Maladex to integrate each project's tokens into each other’s protocols and support each other’s ecosystems including MELD wallet integration into the Maladex DEX.
8th Dec 2021 - MELD ISPO Finishes
9th Dec 2021 - MELD Veritree staking donation
MELD decided to keep their stake pools open for an additional epoch with the ADA earned from that epoch to be donated directly to Veritree, who plan to plant and verify 1 billion trees by 2030.
11th Dec 2021 - MELD x IAMX Partnership
IAMX is a free Swiss based Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) and authentication solution allowing users to own and share their identity using their Biometrics. Biometrics include fingerprint, iris and facial recognition. Built on the Cardano blockchain, IAMX is a highly secure decentralized identity solution providing one-click identity at a governmental level. IAMX’s goal is to enable and protect human rights in compliance with the UN’s Article 8 of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). MELD will provide to users who have created an identity a wallet to receive funds and to utilize MELD tools and services. More about IAMX can be learnt in this MELDblog article.
14th Dec 2021 - MELD x Nervos Partnership
Nervos Network is a proof of work (POW) blockchain protocol founded in 2018 and was named after the nervous system in the body due to the flexible layered structure it shares similarities to. Nervos encompasses a collection of protocols in an attempt to solve the biggest challenges facing blockchains today: Security, Scalability and Interoperability. In Oct 2021, Nervos launched its Force Bridge on mainnet, a bridge allowing for cross-chain transactions between Nervos and Ethereum with plans to roll out further compatibility with other networks such as Cardano. MELD plans to utilize Nervos’s Force Bridge to leverage the liquidity Nervos and Ethereum networks can bring to MELD.
20th Dec 2021 - MELD x Enegra Partnership
Enegra is an international mineral commodities trading business based in Malaysia and MELD has been working with them to create a unique DeFi application consisting of a credit security token market for borrowing fiat and cryptocurrencies against security tokens. Through this, EGX token holders will be able to use their EGX tokens on the MELD protocol as collateral to borrow both fiat and cryptocurrencies.
21st Dec 2021 - Weekly Twitter Spaces #MELDWITHUS Initiates
Rockstar MELD Team members Matt @deltabaymatt and Victor @Virvus0 host a weekly collection of Twitter spaces talking to influential and integral members of the Cardano community with community Q&A’s.
- 21st Dec - ISPO Retrospective - ISPO Chat with CEO and Co-founder Ken Olling @Kenblaue and Founder for Silicon Valley Blockchain Society, Amit Pradhan @amitto.
- 5th Jan - DeFi - A Chat about the genesis of Maladex and DeFi with Jarek Hirniak @ravanave CEO of @CardanoMaladex.
- 12th Jan - Cardano Branches Out - A talk about the successful completion of the Cardano Global Impact Challenge with @veritree & @CardanoStiftung.
- 19th Jan - Cardano NFT’s With IOG Josh - Discussion with @IOHK_Josh, Charles Hoskinson’s former assistant, about NFTs on Cardano.
- 26th Jan - IAMX - Step Into RealFi Using SSI - Discussion with the team about Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) and IAMX’s roadmap @IAM_X_IDENTITY.
- 2nd Feb - MELD Token Launch - Founders HAI @kk_hainq & Ken @kenblaue talk about all things MELD.
- 9th Feb - Conversing With Crypto YouTubers - A Discussion with highly regarded YouTubers Pete @astroboysoup and Rob @NewsAsset about all things Cardano.
- 16th Feb - Going NFT’s Full Time - How @timothysshaw, @Cypherkicks, @BurgermaniaTV, @YPayfer, @SheeshLaBoi, @FahadoukenNFT, and @fencemakerNFT, all created their collections and got into NFT’s.
- 23rd Feb - Talking With JPG.Store - A talk with the team behind @jpgstoreNFT and the future of CNFT’s.
- 2nd Mar - MELD Roadmap - A chat with Ken Olling and Andrew Klein about MELD’s evolving roadmap.
- 9th Mar - Genius Yield - Talking to the team behind @GeniusyieldO, with @MarvinBertin
- 15th Mar - Decentralizing Transaction Submission - Discussions with the team @FreeLoaderz2022
- 23rd Mar - Ukrainian Pool - A community discussion in support of Ukraine talking to @UkrainianPool.
- 30th Mar - Developments On Cardano - A community discussion with many Q&As.
- 6th April - Hosky - A chat with the Hosky team @hoskytoken about the decreasingly worthless coin Hosky and its inception.
- 13th April - The Decentralised City - Talking to James Rupe @Kriator7 founder of CardanoMint.com.
- 20th April - Technical and NFT Update - A Team update regarding all things MELD
- 28th April - WingRiders - A Chat with the team behind @WingRiders and their DEX development.
- 4th May - Minswap - A chat with the team behind @MinswapDEX One of the first DEXs to launch on Cardano.
- 11th May - TA, DCA and Sideways Markets - YouTuber goliaths Kelly Kellam @Kellykellam and Dan Gambardello @cryptorecruitr discuss all things crypto.
- 18th May - Orbis ZK Rollup - The team chat with Ryan Matovu @orbisproject, a layer 2 scaling solution built on Cardano.
- 25th May - Scaling on Cardano - the team talk to legendary KtorZ @_KtorZ_, a blockchain developer who has contributed heavily to Cardano’s development, about the technical side of Cardano scaling.
- 1st June - Optim - A Chat with the @OptimFi team, a project concentrating on yield optimisation within the Cardano DeFi space.
- 14th June - ADA Handle - A Chat with the co-founders of $handle Calvin @CalvinsBrew, Conrad @conraddit & Mr.Goose @GooseOfCrypto.
- 22th June - Celsius, Solend & The State Of DeFi- The team talk to Rob from Digital Asset News @NewsAsset, about the current troubles surrounding centralized entities using DeFi.
- 29th June - ADAZoo - The team chat to @michaeldotada, @uberbelg and @BlucollarCrypt0, the team behind @adazooNFT, an NFT gaming project.
5th Jan 2022 - MELD Global Impact Challenge
MELD managed to raise 86,693 ADA from the extra epoch after the ISPO and topped it up to make a neat 87,500 ADA which they donated to Veritree who then matched this resulting in the planting of 175,000 trees, practically a forest!
11th Jan 2022 - MELD X Cudos Partnership
Cudos is a metaverse project, bringing together DeFi, NFTs, and gaming experiences to realize the vision of a decentralized Web 3.0. The purpose of this strategic partnership is for MELD and Cudos to support each other’s protocols and offer a more complete financial service to customers. MELD will build out a MELDapp wallet integration into the Cudos crypto mining infrastructure through a simple user interface available on mobile and web wallets.
30th Jan 2022 - MELD Token Airdrop
Tokens earned, including all bonuses and Diamond Hand NFTs, airdropped to all eligible participants of the MELD ISPO 24 hours ahead of schedule. Wow what a team!
31st Jan 2022 - MELD dApp Launch Announced
Users are able to connect their NAMI wallet and stake MELD for 12 months at 15%APY or 6 months at 12% APY.
31st Jan 2022 - MELD Provides Liquidity on Sundaeswap
MELD provides 100,000 ADA and 500,000 MELD as liquidity on SundaeSwap to enable efficient swaps.
3rd Feb 2022 - MELD Lists On Bitrue and FMFW Centralised Exchanges (CEXs)
MELD lists on Bitrue with MELD/USDT and MELD/ADA pairs. MELD is also listed on FMFW with MELD/USDT pair.
1st March 2022 - 15% 12 Month MELD Staking closes
12-month staking closes with 500 Million MELD staked in the protocol. 6 Month staking still remains available.
13th Apr 2022 - MELD / ADA Pair added to OccamDex & Wingriders
MELD/ADA added to the @OccamDEX liquidity mining program & MELD/ADA pair listed on @wingriderscom DEX as part of the $WRT rewards program.
22nd Apr 2022 - MELD Diamond Hand Utility Announced
Diamond hand NFT holders will benefit from utility in the form of:
- Early access to the mobile app and its services
- Early access to bank accounts and no fees for the MELD crypto debit card and holders will not have to lock up MELD to use the services
- There will also be additional benefits and discounts for the mobile app, and bank to be announced in the future.
29th Apr 2022 - MELD ADAmatic rebranded to AKAMON
Akamon (previously ADAmatic) will be a decentralized bridge to multiple blockchains starting with Polygon and then adding others in the future. More about AKAMON can be learnt in this MELDblog article.
5th May 2022 - MELD Akamon Testnet Alpha
Users can interact with the testnet by linking their testnet Nami wallet to the MELDapp.
8th May 2022 - MELD Akamon Bridge UI/UX teaser and RoadMap Update
Akamon Bridge UI/UX teaser, showing just how easy it will be to bridge your liquidity to and from Cardano and Polygon!
17th May 2022 - MELD Akamon Alpha Testnet Live
MELD decided it was time to release the gateway to the public.
- 3,800+ unique Cardano addresses
- 1,400+ unique Polygon addresses among the testers
- 57 issues since launch. 14 addressed so far in the first 10 days. The remainings are being worked on as we speak
- Roughly 1,700,000 tADA wrapped from Cardano to Polygon
- Roughly 2,900 tMATIC successfully wrapped from Polygon to Cardano.
- 8,068 transactions originated from Cardano.
- 2,015 transactions originated from Polygon.
- The slowest transaction waited 3 days 9 hours 36 minutes to be processed.
- The fastest transaction waited 9.4 seconds to be processed.
- 11,318 unique Cardano addresses (+7,531)
- 5,804 unique Polygon addresses (+4,375)
- About 25 more UX issues addressed since the last update
- Roughly 6,976,000 tADA wrapped from Cardano to Polygon (+5,300,500)
- Roughly 37,700 tMATIC wrapped from Polygon to Cardano (+34,800)
- 33,069 transactions originated from Cardano (+25,001)
- 17,078 transactions originated from Polygon (+15,063)
- The slowest transaction waited 14 days 21 hours 39 minutes to be processed
- The fastest transaction waited 6.9 seconds to be processed
- 12,558 unique Cardano addresses (+1,240)
- 6,606 unique Polygon addresses (+802)
- 55,230 transactions originated from Cardano (+22,161)
- 26,137 transactions originated from Polygon (+9,059)
- The average processing time is 7 hours 21 minutes 49.229193 seconds (down around 4.5 hours, with most transactions completed in minutes!)
MELD has allocated 300k MELD Tokens to testers and feedback providers who have provided them with the most valuable feedback and those who have completed more than 100 transactions, along with some record holders. On top of this, MELD will be minting Akagado Tokens (a Cardano Native Token) which will provide users 25% off Akamon transaction fees come mainnet launch.
- 25,000 unique wallets
- 300,000 transactions
30th June 2022 - AKAMON Testnet Beta
Users can interact with the testnet by linking their testnet Nami wallet to the MELDapp.
I set out writing this article thinking I could quickly list everything that MELD has achieved and soon realized the enormity of the task. MELD certainly has been busy, and the hard work delivered over the past year lays down the foundation for MELD’s fortified financial pillars to be built upon.
One of the biggest challenges MELD encountered early on was the criticism it faced in regards to the ISPO, being a model that had never been done before, there were many uncertainties. MELD navigated this difficult period with a determination to continually work hard and engage with the community professionally and honestly.
Another major challenge was that whilst the technology behind Cardano is solid, development is slow and the programming language, Haskell, difficult to master. Translating these relating technical hiccups and issues to the community, who are thirsty for progress, is always a difficult path to tread, but yet again honesty, transparency and a professional approach has seen MELD rise as being a composable and leading institution.
Regulatory endorsement is and continues to be a big challenge especially for DeFi where regulators don’t fully understand its complex nature, increasing the height of those pesky hurdles. If such challenges are to be successfully met, MELD must continue doing what it does best in the face of adversity, buckle down, work hard and deliver.
Crypto markets are in turmoil and at a historical low with contributing factors such as the US Federal Reserve struggling with the inflation crisis, Celsius and Three Arrows Capital concerns and the war in Ukraine to name a few, all compounding the issue. There is much fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) regarding the future direction that crypto may be headed towards.
It is of my opinion that this is just yet another blip in the road towards mass adoption with crypto experiencing heavy and uncomfortable growing pains. Crypto tech hasn’t changed, only getting better, and aims to improve the lives through financial means to millions. The adoption curve so far, follows that of the internet and we are still in the 90s by comparison. With over one hundred million users, and strong pressures to iron out regulatory integration, the next 10 years are going to be wild within the crypto space!
In the next 12 months MELD plans to grow their community significantly and launch a crypto-to-crypto and fiat banking service merging the two together. This financial merge has never been done before, however, if anyone is going to pioneer the way, it’s MELD with their never-been-done-before record, such as with their ISPO.
Achieving these goals will bring the economic freedom deserved by millions of people of which the Western World has failed. Standing on the shoulder of giants has seen humanity pushing at the boundaries of the impossible and making it possible. We are privileged to have front-row seats and see history in the making with MELD standing upon the shoulders of Cardano, and I for one look forward to seeing the future of DeFi rest upon MELD’s shoulders to witness what pioneering boundaries will be continually punctured and realized.
The future is decentralized. The future is freedom. The future, in part, is MELD!
The opinions shared within this article are those solely of the MELD Ambassador. Note that the content within should not be considered financial, legal, or tax advice. Neither the author nor MELD Labs PTE Ltd. are financial, legal or tax advisors. None of this content should be used to make any form of financial, tax, or legal decisions. Do your own research and consult professionals as needed for official policies, restrictions, and requirements in your jurisdiction.
If you believe in the MELD vision, want to support this initiative, and want to help promote the future of finance then we want you to join the MELD Ambassador Program!