Blog

2021 Year In Review

It's been quite a year in the blockchain sphere. It's also been quite a year for Equilibrium and I thought I'd recap everything that has happened in the company with a "Year In Review" post.

I think it's important to do these kinds of recaps, because the kind of work we do - mainly protocol design and development - easily goes unnoticed.

It's also nice to take a moment to just appreciate how much we've grown in the past year and of course look forward to some of the things happening in 2022. Let's get started.

Projects

We built so many cool (and useful) things in 2021. Here's a few worth noting in no particular order.

  1. Zcash - We built a testing suite called Ziggurat for the Zcash network for the Zcash Foundation. In the process we exposed a whole list of bugs and other issues, which were then fixed and the Zcash network is now stronger for it. You can read more here.

  2. Starknet - We started building a Starknet full-node called Pathfinder in Rust for Starkware, the first limited implementation of which is scheduled to be complete by the end of January 2022. We are incredibly excited to be helping one of the most ambitious scaling projects in the business get to market. Scalability is coming to Ethereum! Check out the github repo here.

  3. Forte - We helped get the Forte platform all the way to production release. This has been years in the making and we've been so excited to see so many big name brands get involved to bring programmable assets into their games. Read more here.

  4. Aleo - We helped get SnarkOS and SnarkVM all the way to Testnet 2 by refining the underlying Rust code to be more reliable and performant. Next up, mainnet in 2022. Private applications are almost here! Check out the repo here.

  5. Flow - We built an NFT wallet and the associated APIs, which are already being used by many. We also implemented USDC on Flow for Circle, which included designing the first on-chain multi-signature wallet implementation for the ecosystem. All of the public work can be found in the Flow Hydraulics repo here.

  6. Ethereum - We have been integrating a Rust implementation of the EVM called Rethnet for Nomic Labs and funded by the Ethereum Foundation with the intent of making testing more performant in development environments like Hardhat. Read more here

  7. Vanilla - We helped design, develop and launch a decentralised asset manager called Vanilla. The community is now nearing a v2 release which uses a prediction market like mechanism to aggregate the investments of the best investors into a portfolio of assets in a Balancer managed pool. Very soon, anyone will be able to become an LP and have their assets managed by the best. Join the discord community here.

Growth

We've also grown a lot, both in people and revenues. What's most important, we haven’t grown at all costs. We've been slow to hire even when there's been pressure to do so and we've kept our standards high both in terms of expertise and culture fit. The result is an unbelievably warm group of people from all around the world who also happen to be some of the best engineers, economists and operators in the business. Of course I'm incredibly biased here, but you can come see for yourself - we are hiring for a number of roles.

Team size 2021: 34 (+79%)
Revenue 2021: ~5.5M€ (+104%)
EQ Babies Born 2021: 👶 👶

Funding Round

We also raised the first ever round of financing for Equilibrium from our clients and partners who have helped us get this far. Prior to this Equilibrium had been wholly owned by the founders and employees, but it felt right to share the upside with the many organisations and people that had helped us on our journey.

In the end we raised 1.5M€ from Forte Labs, Dapper Labs, Wintermute Trading, Stani Kulechov (AAVE), David Hawig (Web3 Foundation), Hart Lambur (UMA). We are so humbled to have everyone on board.

Retreat 2021

We also organised the first proper Equilibrium Retreat during a period when the COVID situation relaxed a little. Everyone didn't make it, but some of the team managed to travel to Malaga for a few days of brainstorming, presentations and sailing. For many this was the first time they met in person, but definitely won’t be the last.

We couldn't be more excited for the year ahead. Starknet, Aleo, Vanilla v2 and so many other important projects are launching as we continue to build out the digital infrastructure for a global society.

Onwards.

About the author

Teemu Päivinen is the Founder and CEO of Equilibrium.