The year 2020 has been eventful for SORAMITSU. Several of the projects that we lead or cooperate on saw significant progress: Hyperledger Iroha, SORA, Polkaswap, Fearless Wallet, KAGOME, FUHON, and the National Bank of Cambodia's central bank digital currency, Bakong. We're thrilled to report that Bakong won a significant award, while the SORA token, XOR, proved the year's best-performing crypto asset. As the new year dawns, we'd like to give you an overview of these and our other 2020 achievements, as well as a preview of the things we look forward to in 2021.
SORAMITSU was founded to explore and realize the social potential of distributed ledger technology, so it's fitting that we start with the human factor.
In 2020, we on-boarded a new CFO and COO, new developers, and new operations staff and advisors, growing to a team of over 90 exceptional people worldwide.
It's our team that embodies our vision and drive, so we're particularly glad about this development.
We're excited to bring in even more new talent in 2021.
CEO and Co-Founder of SORAMITSU Makoto Takemiya presenting at the National Bank of Ukraine's workshop on CBDCs.
While building out our engineering team, we've focused on developing expertise in a number of blockchains, including Ethereum, Substrate, Filecoin, and the various Hyperledger contributions. Studying their use cases, strengths, and drawbacks allows us to continually contribute improvements to Hyperledger Iroha, our platform of choice.
Makoto Takemiya at the Singapore Fintech Festival on the panel for — "Can Digital Currencies Birth the Next Generation of World-Class Payment Systems?" with Stuart Levey, Chief Executive Officer Diem Association, Surojit Chatterjee, Chief Product Officer Coinbase, Jeremy Allaire, Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Circle, and Joshua Ashley Klayman, Global Tech Sector Co-Head Linklaters.
Hyperledger Iroha's security, scalability, and robust permissions all suit it to both enterprise systems and decentralized finance. This makes Iroha the ideal core technology for a number of SORAMITSU projects. In 2020, we released Hyperledger Iroha 1.2, which includes several new features and improvements. We also made significant progress toward Hyperledger Iroha 2.0, a game-changer that we plan to release this year.
Over the course of 2020, the number of countries actively investigating the potential of digital fiat money — central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) — nearly doubled. Alongside major players like the People's Bank of China and the Swedish Riksbank, one of the first central banks to take the CBDC concept seriously was the National Bank of Cambodia. Driven by a desire to improve financial inclusion, the NBC selected Hyperledger Iroha as the ideal platform on which to launch a nationwide digital payment infrastructure capable of processing wholesale and retail transactions using digital Cambodian riel (KHR) and the United States Dollar (USD). As a contributor to Hyperledger Iroha, SORAMITSU joined the NBC team in building this system. Soft-launched in 2019, as Project Bakong, the Cambodian CBDC makes instant and indelible digital payments available to anyone with a Cambodian phone number and an Android or iOS phone. Bakong swiftly built up a base of institutional users and end customers. In October 2020, the system was formally launched.
"We are honored to work in the development of Cambodia's financial infrastructure and it is a true pleasure to work with the central bank of Cambodia. They have a unique blend of creativity, intellect, and deep technical experience." —Makoto Takemiya, CEO and Co-Founder of SORAMITSU