Celer Network is open for business

The Singapore-based blockchain startup today announced the public launch of its alpha mainnet, Cygnus. And the self-professed “most advanced layer-2 scaling platform” in the business is already talking a big game.

The company claims its network is about to open up blockchain scaling solutions to an “entirely new dimension,” promising “real-time and zero-fee interaction, instant micro payments and low-latency interoperability for dapps” on its mainnet, according to a statement. In other words, Celer aims to provide a platform for blockchain-based apps that are as fast and easy to use as any on your iPhone right now.

And like many other young upstarts in cryptoland looking to breakthrough to mainstream consumers, Celer has zeroed in on what it believes is the path of least resistance toward broader crypto adoption: blockchain gaming.


“Celer is not focusing only on the blockchain community,” Celer CEO Mo Dong said in an interview with Decrypt. “The way [we] look at the gaming industry is that we want to make a solid value proposal for both gamers and developers that was not available or not even possible without Celer's layer-2 blockchain technology,” he said.

Celer, which just four months ago raised $4 million in startup capital in an IEO on Binance Launchpad, specializes in building off-chain solutions for payments, smart contracts, and scalable “gateways” to the decentralized web. Two weeks ago, the company announced a partnership with crypto payments provider Wyre that will soon enable its users to purchase crypto directly within the company’s CelerX mobile app—a game changer that will allow Celer users to “immediately use purchased ERC-20 tokens to play fun games and send payments,” Dong said at the time.

And while Celer’s CEO acknowledges that the gaming industry is as “cutthroat” as it gets in terms of user acquisition, Dong believes gaming is “low-hanging fruit for blockchain” relative to other markets. 

The goal, he said, is to demonstrate the benefits of blockchain technology to both gamers and developers—a new way for builders to monetize their games, as well as a way for players to earn in-game rewards with real-world value in the form of cryptocurrency. And to do it while keeping the underlying tech invisible to consumers.


For builders, Dong said Celer provides a software development kit that enables game developers with no previous experience in blockchain to integrate their games with CelerX in under five minutes. 

Specifically, Dong’s company is targeting HTML5-based games, optimizing them to run on mobile, as well as eSport games with real stakes on the line. “Celer brings instant, global, secure and fair eSport games that players can compete with real money and developers can monetize their games with a much, much bigger audience,” he said.

“I think it is extremely important for the larger crypto community to prove that there is a viable business model that brings new value that was not available before in traditional closed financial system. That's our target.”

And already the company has made some noteworthy progress. Before launching its mainnet, Dong said Celer established more than 23,000 users from 89 countries across two versions of its testnet. Last week, Celer launched its first “private test” on its mainnet, said Dong, with real ETH, DAI, and its native CELR token flowing on the network for the first time.

“In the first 24 hours, 1961 new users onboarded our private test, $2,900 USD was won in the games and [approximately] 15,000 eSport games were played,” Dong said. “We expect a bigger organic user growth for the mainnet and will push to not only crypto-native users but also everyday users alike.”

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Celer is based in San Francisco. We regret the error.

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.