Progress Report — Next steps for Etheal
Here’s a look at what has happened since our last update in December.
Progress to date
From day one, we’ve laid out three main directions to work on to achieve our ultimate goal of connecting billions around the world with affordable, high-quality healthcare. Both in our light paper and progress reports, we always seek to update you on how we:
- increase demand,
- and integrate crypto.
Our goal with the Etheal ecosystem is to bring transparency to healthcare, and the first pillar in our platform is Doklist.com, where we help millions of people globally find trusted healthcare providers.
Our expansion goal in 2018 was to include 5 more countries in the Doklist system. We’ve far overreached this goal, and currently, our users can search among medical tourism focused doctors and clinics in 93 countries. That means that we help more than 450,000 physicians worldwide create a reliable online presence.
To truly serve our customers, having unbiased, real patient reviews is a must. Originally, we only planned to dip our toes into these waters and test a proprietary review system in 2019. We hoped to realistically collect a few hundred reviews during this phase, but exceeded our own expectations by gathering 4,271 detailed reviews, which we’ve stored in an easily translatable and scalable format.
Thanks to a unified team effort, we’ve grown our traffic from 2.5 million to 4 million visits per year, beating our competition in almost every regard, using significantly less financial resources.
One quick example is medigo.com, a medical tourism based startup with $11.8M raised in traditional venture capital. Despite heavy funding, their site has actually lost significant traffic this year, and has achieved much lower conversion rates:
As it stands, our websites now serve +25% more users than Medigo, with a much higher conversion rate:
Crypto integration and adoption
Our first HEAL token integration, which allows doctors and clinics to pay for sponsored posts with tokens, has been available since September.
The crypto boom, price inflation, and volume made us (and most of the crypto projects out there) believe that crypto adoption is truly underway.
Unfortunately, as it turns out, an interest group is actually manipulating crypto prices, and 95% of Bitcoin volume is fake, as reported by Bitwise.
If we look at much better-funded projects within crypto, we see
- almost 0 usage (eg. Beetoken),
- or a complete shutdown after a year of fundraising (eg. TrustedHealth and Acorn Collective, which raised $15m last June).
If we zoom even further out, things don’t get better. For example, Ethereum couldn’t reach higher adoption with its recent hard fork, because they couldn’t add new users to fuel any growth.
Until crypto is accepted by a wide range of merchants, payment locations and other places (And reports like Coindesk’s article on Twitch removing its crypto integration indicates the opposite), and until using it is as “easy as pie” with parents and grandparents initiating crypto transactions in a snap, we’re not close to mainstream adoption.
The sad state of crypto is that we are experiencing the longest bear market in the history of cryptocurrency (450 days so far, compared to the second longest bear market in 2014/2015 which lasted 420 days). As you know, the market is still about 80% down from its all-time high. ICOs are at an all-time low as well — about 98% of tokens are worth less than their initial price during the token sale.
In spite of all the headwind and the current crypto winter, Etheal is growing by 60%. While this is a lot, we had envisioned much faster growth for the project.
- we firmly believe in our mission of bringing transparency to healthcare,
- we invested in our mission long before the crypto craze,
- we are much further down the road than an idea or MVP,
- we are growing,
- we have truly awesome supporters, advisors, and community members,
- we have limited resources,
… we have counseled with our advisors, and following their wisdom, the next logical step is to seek out traditional equity investment to bring our project to the next level.
We understand that our community and, in general, supporters of other utility token projects want to see quick success stories and exact timelines. At this stage, however, we, unfortunately, cannot honestly provide these, considering most of the unknown variable lie outside of our control.
We want our project to succeed, and we see that the healthcare market is ripe for change. We want to be part of the changing healthcare landscape, but it may happen slower than anticipated. So we’ve trained our focus on attaining the next step ahead of us.
After several rounds of consultation with the IDEX team, it turned out, that they cannot solve the issue in their system affecting the new HEAL token holders.
In respect of the community vote, we have successfully solved the IDEX issue without forking the token contract. All IDEX token holders can access their HEAL tokens now.
Since we got several complaints from people not seeing our messages, and we have to deal with loads of spam, we are consolidating our communication channels. From now on these will be Etheal’s official announcement channels:
- Telegram Announcements Channel
- Medium.com blog (this one, that you read now)