2018 has been an incredible year for Zulu Republic — our first year in the public eye and an exceptionally productive one, despite the extended bear market conditions. In less than a year, we’ve grown from an obscure brand with no launched products and no community into a robust ecosystem of three brands and over 140,000 users.
Spring: Ambitious Beginnings
Zulu Republic started out as a bold idea. What would it look like if the true promise of the cryptocurrency revolution — individual financial sovereignty, decentralized/trustless/borderless collaboration, financial inclusion, censorship resistance — could actually be realized in a way that was user-friendly, designed for global adoption across both the developed and developing worlds? What if we could create a virtual place that united people, no matter where they live in the physical world, under these principles and make it easier than ever for people to send, receive, and manage their money on their own terms? To truly thrive.
Step by step, we’ve moved and are continuing to move towards realizing this vision.
After months of operating in dark mode, we officially announced the project in March, and welcomed Litevault, one of the Litecoin community’s most popular wallets, under the Zulu Republic umbrella in April.
Summer: The First Products
An important step in the direction of our vision came in July, when we officially released the Zulu Wallet beta with support for ETH, essentially the prototype and backbone of what will eventually grow into Zulu Pay, a comprehensive financial hub for the Zulu Republic ecosystem.
In August we launched our educational content series, Zulu Interviews, which features in-depth interviews with some of the leading minds in cryptocurrency, decentralized technology, and privacy, including cryptocurrency pioneer Nick Szabo and ProtonMail founder Andy Yen, with many more to come.
August also saw another important launch — a brand new product and the third brand under the Zulu Republic umbrella: Lite.IM. This marked a pivotal step towards cryptocurrency adoption: giving people the ability to manage their cryptocurrency via the social media and messaging apps they already use, starting with Telegram and support for LTC.
Fall: ZTX Launch and Expansion
Perhaps our proudest moment of the year came in September, when we launched our very own cryptocurrency: ZTX. Designed as the fuel that will eventually power Zulu Pay and the entire Zulu Republic ecosystem, ZTX was launched, not with an ICO, but with an airdrop that saw 10,000 people claim 500 free ZTX in just over 1 short week.
We were also proud in September to sponsor and present at the first-ever Litecoin Summit in San Francisco, where we announced Lite.IM’s support for SMS text messages in the United States and Canada. Expanding Lite.IM’s cryptocurrency management features to SMS was an important first step to bringing cryptocurrency access to the billions of people who still don’t have dependable access to the internet.
We also launched our official Telegram group in September, which has since grown into a vibrant community of Zulu Republic and ZTX supporters.
Another two crucial milestones came in October, when ZTX launched on its first-ever exchange (Cryptopia) and Lite.IM expanded to Facebook Messenger, opening up easy, secure cryptocurrency access to Facebook’s 2+ billion monthly active users.
In November we were also pleased to spread the word about this momentous achievement at the Crypto Valley Summit in Zug, Switzerland.
Winter: ZTX Expansion and Lite.IM Improvements
ZTX got a huge bump in December, when we added support for it to Lite.IM and it landed on the portfolio tracking platform Delta Direct as well as its first-ever decentralized exchange (TokenJar). What an achievement to have our very own cryptocurrency on SMS, Telegram, and Messenger, only a few short months after Facebook had completely banned all cryptocurrency activity.
But of course we didn’t stop there. We also added support for ETH and the world’s favorite cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, to Lite.IM, bringing the total number of supported cryptocurrencies to 4, and added support for Spanish and Vietnamese languages (with more to follow), paving the way to making it a truly global platform.
The Road Ahead
While 2018 has been an extraordinary year for us, we’re really just getting started. 2019 will truly be the year of adoption, with tons of exciting changes, updates, and features in store for the Zulu Republic ecosystem that will make using cryptocurrency easier and easier for even the least tech-savvy users.
While we’ve accomplished so much in such a short period of time (especially for such a small team), the best is yet to come. Stay tuned, as some of our biggest milestones are planned for Q1 of 2019.
To try out Lite.IM, our full-featured BTC, LTC, ETH, and ZTX wallet for social media and messaging apps, just send any message on the platform of your choice: Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or SMS (US/CAN only: 760–548–3460).