The race to replace Ethereum continues unabated, with the progenitor smart contract platform struggling to meet high expectations. One of the larger competitors, Elrond (EGLD), continued an aggressive acquisition program recently with the purchase of Utrust, a crypto-based payment system. Elrond’s stated goal is to establish a system they have titled ‘Merchant Yield’. This new dynamic would replace traditional point-of-sale payment services, alleviating the associated fees charged. Through their platform, merchants would effectively earn staking rewards more than the cost of the service itself.
The concept of staking is well known in the crypto-sphere, and their business plan appears viable. This also ties into Elrond’s previous purchase – a company named Twispay. As one of very few licensed electronic money institutions in Romania, this positions Elrond to turn Merchant Yield into a reality. While Elrond’s acquisition process would be well at home in a traditional corporation, it remains a novelty within the cryptocurrency industry.
Innovation through Acquisition
Elrond’s purchase of strategically placed companies makes sense, given the nature of their business. It removes the initial research and development period, potentially bringing planned services online at a rapid clip. Further, it allows Elrond to build a portfolio of necessary licenses, effectively ‘jumping the line’ to avoid any expected red tape in the certification process.
To this end, Elrond’s base platform helps immensely. Offering many of the features Ethereum lacks, Elrond can piece together a final working product by using their blockchain to upscale innovation brought from smaller startups. This is entirely dependent on the competence and ability of their acquired businesses.
Elrond: Beyond M&A
Beyond acquisitions and core products, Elrond’s platform also allows developers to build smart contract enabled dApps. One such project, Itheum, recently completed a high-profile funding round that saw them earn $1.5 million. Itheum intends to create a backend system for projects to migrate to web3 while incorporating necessary technologies to empower metaverse features.
Beyond the virtual world, Elrond also worked closely with analytical service Offsetra to determine its overall carbon footprint. This led to Elrond’s use of a carbon offset unit retirement system to become the first carbon-negative blockchain in Europe – accounting for 1.4M kg of CO2 over their total production.