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Our Journey Toward a New Financial Paradigm — Persistence

Within the cryptosphere, DeFi is beginning to blossom. The amount of value locked in DeFi protocols has risen sharply to well over $20B, with the overall stablecoin market capitalization multiplying from $5B in February of 2020 to $32B currently. DeFi, however, will remain a drop in the ocean compared to traditional financial markets whilst it’s confined exclusively to the realm of crypto assets.

The collective market cap of the crypto industry is less than 0.01% of the traditional economy. For the blockchain and crypto industry to reach the multi-trillion dollar mark and truly thrive, we need to move beyond the ‘speculative’ phase into the ‘value creation phase’ by solving real-world problems via asset tokenization. Facilitating this shift is our mission.

The Persistence tech stack provides the infrastructure to effectively bridge the decentralized and traditional financial realms in a variety of areas, and we’re well on the way to helping to usher in the new financial paradigm.

We’ve come a long way but it hasn’t happened overnight; the initial idea behind Persistence dates back to 2018. Like every good idea, it took time to conceptualise and formulate our mission.

Read below for a full account of Persistence’s journey so far.

While the entire industry was going through the crypto winter of late 2018–2019, a group of innovators were calculating the endless possibilities that crypto will bring for the financial industry. This led to the birth of Persistence, a protocol powering new-age financial products for traditional financial players and crypto-native individuals alike.

Persistence’s CEO, Tushar Aggarwal, was an early member of the LuneX Ventures team (the first regulated crypto fund in Southeast Asia) and helped to grow the fund from the ground up, before pursuing his dream of transforming the global financial system with Persistence. Thus, he had a comprehensive understanding of the challenges with accessibility and liquidity for MSMEs.

Similarly, Persistence’s CTO, Deepanshu Tripathi, had developed products in the past which created bridges between different financial sectors and he recognised very well the necessary changes required in the traditional finance space.

The two Persistence co-founders began to build a strong team and work on bridging the gap between institutional and decentralised finance in early 2019.

Comdex

The team began with a focus on the commodity trading industry. The commodity trading industry is very archaic and exclusive, mainly due to the limited avenues to create auditability, ensure trust and provide liquidity. The team partnered with commodity trading entrepreneurs in Singapore who were working on creating a marketplace for commodity traders called Comdex. Allied with strong partners in the sector, the Persistence team started building a decentralised version of Comdex which later became the foundation for the Persistence SDK.

Comdex, an institutional-facing commodities trading and trade financing platform, is the flagship DApp in the Persistence ecosystem. Comdex has already handled over $41M in transaction volume — bringing more assets on chain than its (longer-established) competitors combined.

Strengthening the Indian Blockchain Movement

Tushar Aggarwal, CEO of Persistence, was confident that the Indian crypto ecosystem would grow significantly post-2018 and become a major hub of blockchain innovation. The thesis proved to be correct and today India is home to numerous leading projects, including Matic Network, WazirX, Persistence One, Instadapp, Devfolio, Nuo Network, CoinDCX, and Biconomy.

The decision to make India the base of our operations gave us the opportunity to tap into a pool of highly talented developers, play a role as a catalyst in growing the Indian crypto space and leverage the booming startup ecosystem.

Planting the Seeds of a Strong Persistence Ecosystem

Throughout 2019, the Persistence team kept on expanding on the technology, business and community fronts. We created PoCs on multiple Layer 1 chains (finally deciding to adopt Tendermint/Cosmos as our foundational backbone) and built a fully operational Comdex application. Even before Persistence entered the public light, Comdex had completed $10 million in trade volume on its platform using the Persistence SDK.

With a solid product and significant traction, Persistence onboarded some of the world’s top validators, including but not limited to Figment Network, Dokia Capital, Stakefish, and P2P Network.

Comdex received very positive feedback from the Cosmos Network core contributors and community members. To support the growth of the Cosmos ecosystem, Persistence introduced Cosmos Network to India through Cosmos India, a non-profit initiative. Cosmos India today is the largest local Cosmos community.

With increasing strength on different fronts, the team decided to take Persistence out of stealth mode and bring all the pieces of the puzzle together.

January 3rd of 2020 marked the official launch of Persistence. Upon the launch, the team aggressively expanded and became an advocate for the Indian crypto ecosystem globally.

Ecosystem and Collaborations

Persistence emerged as one of the most active contributors to the Cosmos ecosystem and developed a strong presence in the developer community through a series of meetups, hackathons and conferences. While the entire world came to halt due to the global pandemic, Persistence found ways to expedite its growth and development of our SDK.

The Persistence SDK development was completed in Q2 of 2020. Being completely remote due to the ongoing global pandemic, we took all our community initiatives virtual. Our efforts to constantly despite the pandemic drew attention from the community around the world.

Persistence forged a partnership with Terra, the leading payments protocol, in April 2020. The partnership focused on cross-regional expansion and Terra soon became one of the first investor in Persistence.

We participated in Game of Zones, the adversarial test of the IBC Module of Cosmos Hub, and won the Liveness reward. Persistence was among the top teams throughout the competition. We covered our journey through and through in Game of Zones in our blogs series.

Welcoming our Strategic Advisors

In May 2020, we added more functionalities to Comdex which further made it more advantageous for the traders, and Comdex thus saw a surge in adoption. By Q2 of 2020, Comdex had executed $30 million in trade volume.

In the same quarter, we also onboarded Jason Choi, Head of Research at Spartan Capital, and Sandeep Nailwal, Co-founder and COO of Matic Network, as Strategic Advisors.

The addition of industry pioneers as advisors sent a strong statement about the commitment and capabilities of the team.

Establishing AUDIT.one

To build a strong network and help the Persistence ecosystem validators better understand our project and our vision, we wanted to understand their challenges and pain points. Hence, in Q2 2020, we established AUDIT.one as one of the validators for the Persistence ecosystem. As we grew Persistence, we identified some key areas where AUIDT.one could not only help Persistence’s chain but also the broader PoS network ecosystem.

Gaining Traction

By the end of Q2 2020, Persistence had reached more than 50,000 enthusiasts and developers through our 20+ community initiatives. Cosmos India, led by Persistence, gained a huge amount of appreciation throughout the Cosmos ecosystem and we saw participation from the leading Cosmos developers in our activities.

In Q3 of 2020 we open-sourced our SDK, supporting the spirit of decentralisation and collective growth. We also launched our website and whitepaper. We received an overwhelming response to our vision of using real-world assets as collateral for borrowing stablecoins; it was a first-of-its-kind implementation to have a real-world use case for crypto.

To spread awareness about our mission and technology we hosted multiple AMAs. The Persistence community began to grow exponentially as the Persistence brand established itself globally.

Team Growth and Project Awareness

Especially considering the small size of our team, Persistence was able to deliver incredible results. However, we understood that we needed to expand in order to make the kind of impact on the financial sector we envisioned. Hence, in Q3 of 2020 we aggressively hired new talent and the team grew from a dozen members to 20, all with backgrounds from leading institutions.

In Q3 2020, we began growing awareness of Persistence in strategic markets such as China and also onboarded Jeffery Hu, R&D Director of IRIS Network, as a Strategy Advisor to assist us in accomplishing our regional growth goals.

Owing to the valuable contributions of Persistence to the PoS ecosystem, multiple crypto influencers and community news aggregator platforms listed Persistence as one of the most anticipated PoS projects.

Interchain Foundation Grant

Persistence was awarded a grant by the Interchain Foundation (ICF) to develop Interchain Standards for NFTs and Metadata in August of 2020.

Since then we’ve been spearheading the initiative alongside ixo, attracting the support of many other innovators who have since joined the InterNFT Working Group.

The Working Group believes in a future with many blockchains interoperating with one another, that includes NFTs moving from one chain to another. By building common standards together we are making this a reality sooner.

Hosting HackAtom India in Partnership with Cosmos

In September Cosmos Network, the leading interoperability protocol, partnered with Persistence to launch HackAtom India.

HackAtom is an annual flagship event in the Cosmos Ecosystem that encourages developers and builders of blockchain technology to innovate. For the latest local edition, Cosmos identified India as the most strategic region and we joined forces with Cosmos to grow the Indian blockchain ecosystem via HackAtom India.

Almost 1,200 talented devs from across India joined forces to kick-start the Indian Cosmos ecosystem whilst competing for $10,000 in prizes. The hackers built DeFi projects, interoperable applications, and developer tools using Cosmos’ technology stack and modules. The talent on display was incredible!

Persistence and Cosmos Network held four workshops with over 200 participants! We received 24 Project Submissions and 2 Community Bounty Submissions. From those, the winners were:

🏆 The Gaia Award
Moornet Interoperability: Enabling secure exchange of assets and data between ecosystems

🏆 The Cosmonaut Award
Dharani: Decentralized real estate marketplace

🏆 Community Award
Interstellar: Dynamic Instagram filter for Cosmos

Fundraising Rounds

In Q3 we held our private funding rounds, raising $3.7M amid overwhelming investor support. It was an honor to see our mission to bridge traditional finance and DeFi via NFTs resonate with so many heavyweight industry players.

We have attracted the support of a plethora of industry VC heavyweights including Arrington XRP Capital, LuneX Ventures (crypto arm of Golden Gate Ventures), IOSG Ventures, Spark Digital Capital, Woodstock Fund, Incrypt (crypto arm of First Principles VC), Genesis Block HK, Moonrock Capital, NGC Ventures, AU21 Capital and Amplifi Capital, alongside many strategic investors.

“A core goal of Arrington XRP Capital is to assist blockchain innovators to create value in the real-world. The merging of blockchain and fintech is beginning to usher in a new era of open finance which is poised to transform global finance mechanisms. Persistence is shaping up to be a major building block in this financial revolution and we’re proud to be supporting their journey.”

- Michael Arrington — Founder of Arrington XRP Capital, TechCrunch and Crunchbase

Growth of AUDIT.one

Our AUDIT.one validator arm has continued to strengthen and become more integral to the global blockchain ecosystem. This has not gone unnoticed by major PoS players.

In October we were thrilled to announce that Tendermint decided to delegate 595,000 ATOMs to AUDIT.one, Persistence’s staking infrastructure arm! This was the largest number of tokens being delegated by Tendermint to their selected validators.

Tendermint’s decision making took into consideration, among other factors, each validator team’s contributions to the Cosmos ecosystem and the calibre of each team/project in question. It’s an honor to be identified by Tendermint as one of the premier contributors to the Cosmos network!

Due to our high security and reliability, AUDIT.one has also attracted the attention of the wider PoS ecosystem. We have recently established validator nodes on various networks including Matic Network, SKALE and Razor Network.

The Launch of StakeDrop

StakeDrop is a token distribution mechanism that allows token holders of some of the most prominent Proof-of-Stake (PoS) networks to get exposure to XPRT tokens (Persistence tokens).

The Persistence StakeDrop was meticulously designed in such a way that it benefits all parties involved. Supporters of PoS blockchains can receive XPRT tokens as rewards simply by staking on their favourite networks, and our partner networks benefit from higher network security due to higher staking ratios.

For Persistence, our StakeDrop essentially acts as a highly targeted method of ‘airdrop’, allowing us to distribute our tokens to the staking community whilst also facilitating distributed community governance, once the Persistence mainnet is live.

StakeDrop Success

Since our StakeDrop campaigns launched we’ve expanded the network to over 2,000 token holders of XPRT in just 2 months. We’re now more than a quarter of the way to reaching 10 figures in total assets staked by participants and beyond!

StakeDrop has acted as a catalyst for record staking numbers on Cosmos Network and has helped Kava to grow the strength of their staking ecosystem.

We have attracted the attention of the wider crypto space via StakeDrop, forging collaborations with various prominent industry players including Trust Wallet, Cosmostation, Citadel, and Staking Rewards, with the aim of further benefiting StakeDrop participants.

Representing Persistence at Global Events

We relish any opportunity to connect with the broader industry to share our insights into Persistence and to help to push the blockchain industry forward. Therefore, we’ve recently been attending a variety of global events, including HackAtom V and Interchain Conversations II.

Interviews and Coverage

In the past few months in particular, Persistence has continued to capture the attention of the blockchain community and prominent industry personalities. We have therefore seen increasing coverage of Persistence by leading industry personalities including Boxmining, CryptoLark and KryptoHenry, and we have been invited to share the word of Persistence and our mission via an array of interviews.

Exponential Community Growth

In the past year our community has surged from a handful of community members to over 30,000 supporters across various platforms. This exponential growth in awareness is continuing at a staggering rate. We’re honored that so many crypto enthusiasts want to be a part of our exciting journey. We can’t succeed without you!

We have also launched regional communities for various emerging global crypto hotspots including China, Vietnam and Thailand, and will continue to expand our presence around the globe.

Community Education

Amid increasing interest in Persistence from the wider community, we have recently launched a series of educational campaigns and initiatives with the aim of educating the community on the fundamental value propositions of Persistence and our progress as we march ahead on our journey. This includes our ‘Did You Know’ infographic series, our Pop Quiz initiative, sharing insightful video snippets from past interviews, and establishing our monthly community newsletter.

You can find our most recent newsletter here:

Closing Thoughts: Onward to the New Financial Paradigm

Our progress so far is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Persistence has in store. With our public sale and TGE around the corner and the innovation in the Persistence ecosystem heating up rapidly, 2021 is going to be a monumental year for Persistence!

Comdex will be going live on the Persistence mainnet later this year. We are also building a crypto native-facing application which will add more value to XPRT and the crypto industry as a whole, which we are very excited to reveal more about in the near future. This is only the surface of the innovation taking place within the Persistence ecosystem.

The Persistence SDK has been built in a modular way to support the trading and financing of assets covering the end-to-end trader journey, and it has not gone unnoticed by other financial innovators. There are already multiple third-party developer teams utilizing Persistence’s tech stack to build next-gen solutions for bringing a variety of real-world assets on chain.

“We’ve laid the technical groundwork for a new era of blockchain-powered real-world value creation and we have built a strong network of strategic partners. It’s time to push ahead full-force on our mission to bring institutions and real-world assets to DeFi to help the industry to reach its full potential.”

- Tushar Aggarwal, Co-Founder & CEO — Persistence

Thank you for pioneering new frontiers with us as we BUIDL Persistence. Together we’re working to reach new heights in blockchain interoperability, bridging TradFi with DeFi by creating interchain NFTs and more.

Strap yourselves in for a very exciting year ahead!

We are always on the lookout for connecting with individuals or organizations who wish to take advantage of the opportunities present in the blockchain space and want to learn more about Persistence. If you wish to get in touch, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Follow our social outlets to stay up-to-date with the latest developments.

Twitter | Linkedin | Telegram | hello@persistence.one

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Persistence is a Tendermint/Cosmos-based Layer-1 network powering an ecosystem of DeFi products aimed at making liquid staked assets the default assets of the the PoS economy.

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Liquid Staking Hub for PoS Assets

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