Parachain Auction Winner Acala Commits $250M to Fuel aUSD stablecoin Adoption on Polkadot

Parachain auction winner Acala Network has launched a $250 million fund to fuel the adoption of Acala USD (aUSD) as the dominant stablecoin for the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystem respectively.


As unveiled by the blockchain protocol, the funding round came as a result of the collaboration between the top 9 known parachain protocols as well as prominent names in the digital currency ecosystem.

The $250 million commitment was pulled by notable investors in the crypto industry including Alameda Research, Arrington Capital, Digital Currency Group, IOSG, Jump Crypto, Kraken Ventures, and Pantera Capital, among others. The fund will be used in supporting protocols that are built on either Polkadot or Kusama, but which has the right use cases on how stablecoins and most importantly, the aUSD can be integrated across the board.

“Building the native, decentralized stablecoin of Polkadot and Kusama has been at the heart of Acala’s work for over three years,” said Acala co-founder Bette Chen. “It is fantastic to see this group of parachains and funds coming together to grow the cross-chain ecosystem with aUSD as a foundational building block.”

Acala Network, tasked with the creation of a native stablecoin for the Polkadot ecosystem, came off as the first protocol to win the Polkadot auction slot as announced back in November last year. The aUSD Ecosystem fund has a number of primary goals including to help “grow the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystem through increased cross-chain activity and growth of Polkadot’s native stablecoin, aUSD.”

Just as the name implies, the only listed qualifying projects include early-stage startups building on Polkadot and Kusama, but with a strong focus on driving the growth and utility of aUSD. Acala Network named Astar Network, Centrifuge, Efinity, HydraDX, Manta, Moonbeam, OriginTrail, Parallel, and Zeitgeist as the parachain protocols that supported the emergence of the ecosystem fund.

Beyond Acala which is streamlined to Polkadot, a number of venture capital firms have been floating funds to back innovative projects in the broader digital currency ecosystem, a trend that is likely to pick up massive momentum in the near future.

Image source: Blockchain.News


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Acala Is Now Live on Polkadot

Key Takeaways

  • Acala Network has launched on mainnet.
  • The launch takes place across several phases. Acala’s native token ACA is now transferable on the network with further updates to follow.
  • The token is currently trading at $2 per coin and at a market capitalization of around $133 million.

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Acala, the first project to win a Polkadot parachain slot auction, has launched its DeFi-focused network on mainnet.

Acala Launches on Polkadot

Acala Network has gone live on Polkadot.

The DeFi project announced that its ACA token had launched in a Tuesday tweet, while the team’s Chief Growth Officer Dan Reecer noted that the network was preparing to go live today. “Acala is building toward a HyFi vision, or Hybrid Finance, that is bridging the worlds of Web2 fintech and neobanks with DeFi to bring improved yield and financial outcomes to non-crypto users without them having to touch any complex crypto tech like MetaMask or private keys,” he wrote.

According to the project’s roadmap, the network’s full launch will be conducted in phases. The first one is allowing users to send and receive ACA and participate in on-chain governance. The network has reportedly launched with over $600 million in total value locked in Liquid Crowdloan DOT (LCDOT) tokens and over 200,000 token holders globally.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced today that it would list the token and open trading pairs against BTC, BUSD, and USDT as soon as they become transferable on mainnet.

Acala won the first Polkadot parachain auction in November with a community contribution of Polkadot’s DOT token worth over $1.27 billion. Parachains are individual, application-specific blockchains connected to Polkadot’s Relay Chain. Acala secured its place on the Relay Chain by narrowly outbidding Moonbeam for one of 100 available parachains in a candle auction.

The Acala Network markets itself as “an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform optimized for DeFi.” The network will offer a suite of financial products, including a native decentralized exchange, a trustless liquid staking derivative, a decentralized stablecoin, and an upgraded Ethereum Virtual Machine dubbed EVM+.

Acala will roll out these products in phases across a series of undisclosed dates. So far, Acala has only enabled ACA token transfers on the network. According to CoinGecko data, ACA is currently trading at around $2 per coin, putting the project’s market capitalization at around $133.3 million.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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Polkadot’s Parachain Auctions Filling up With Astar Network Winning Third Slot

In what is best described as a precedented move, the Astar Network has won the third parachain auction slot on the Polkadot Network. - 2021-12-03T115450.908.jpg

With the total number of positions filling up so fast, the capabilities of the Polkadot blockchain are now being stretched, just as it is designed to operate.

Riding on the prior successes of Acala and the Moonbeam networks, Astar Network raised a total of 10,333,552 DOT coins worth approximately $372.9 million to secure the third slot from more than 27,000 contributions. Astar Network will now be joining the limited number of protocols that would be launching with the parachain network later this December. 

Astar Network is formerly known as Plasm Network, and it represents a unique technological offshoot built on the Polkadot network. It is essentially a Substrate Runtime Module Library that allows developers to add Plasma functions to their Substrate chain. By adding an Astar (previously Plasm) Substrate Runtime Module Library, developers can get scalable blockchains within a few minutes. The tailored capabilities of these blockchains now reside with the respective developers to fathom.

Astar Network saw a massive backing in its bid toward the Polkadot auction. While the protocol and the work it is fronting is being acknowledged by Venture Capital firms and angel investors like Binance Labs, PAKA Ventures, and OKEx amongst others, Digital Finance Group allocated 300,000 DOT tokens worth approximately $12.8 million tokens to support the auction bid of the Astar Network back in November. 

Just like other previous winners, Astar Network will be rewarding its backers with its native tokens as the participant’s DOT tokens get locked for the duration in which the auction slot will be opened. There are bound to be two more contenders to make up the predefined 5 slots for the parachains. While the competitions continue to hit up, Clover Finance and Parallel Finance are still amongst the favorites to win the next slots, if the tides do not change in the coming days.

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Acala Wins First Parachain Auction Slot on Polkadot

Riding on the strength of over 81,000 community members, Acala Network, an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform optimized for Decentralized Finance (DeFi) won the first parachain auction on the Polkadot network. - 2021-11-19T134600.394.jpg

The historic milestone comes after investors committed more than 32 million DOT tokens worth more than $1.28 billion. The DOT was donated as loans to the Acala Network and is billed to be repaid by the platform with extra incentives in the form of the protocol’s native token, ACA.

The Polkadot Network is an inter-chain decentralized and smart chain protocol that fuels the movement of assets between its parachains. The network’s council floated the first parachain for auction and is billed to see five different protocols becoming the first set of platforms to be launched on December 17.

With Acala’s win, four more projects are now in the bid to secure a similar spot in the coming days.

“With over 32M DOT contributed by over 81,000 community members, Acala has won the first parachain auction on @Polkadot! Thank you to everyone who took part in this historic event,” the protocol said in a tweet. “It’s a testament to the strength of @Polkadot that so many talented teams are in the running to be among the first five projects to launch on Dec 17. In this respect, we’re all winners. We’re looking forward to kicking off the multi-chain future with you!”

The second parachain auction is ongoing with Moonbeam, an Ethereum (ETH) compatible smart contract platform designed for building interoperable applications on track to win the second spot. While the protocol is still under development with its main net billed to launch before the end of the year. 

Thus far, Moonbeam has garnered a total of 34.2 DOT worth $1.36 billion, advancing its position alongside other protocols including Clover Finance, and Manta Network amongst others. The surging demand for the DOT token is projected to boost the price of the coin in the coming weeks.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Current Mobile Banking App Joins the DeFi Train Via Polkadot’s Acala Network

Current has announced plans to integrate decentralized finance (DeFi) features into its mobile banking app, starting with Polkadot’s Acala Network. Current’s deal with Acala will make it possible for the team to build hybrid finance (HyFi) ecosystem enabling consumers to enjoy the benefits of both traditional and decentralized financial applications, according to a press release on May 18, 2021.

Current Brings DeFi to Centralized Finance 

In a bid to bridge the gap between the traditional finance world and decentralized finance (DeFi), Current, an American financial technology firm with nearly three million customers, has inked a partnership deal with Acala, an all-in-one DeFi hub powered by Polkadot (DOT), the 8th-largest blockchain project in the world.

As stated in a press release, the first of its kind partnership aims to develop what the team calls hybrid finance (HyFi), a combination of both traditional and decentralized financial applications to offer consumers a whole new world of opportunities.

Established in October 2019, Acala is a DeFi project in the Polkadot ecosystem that claims to be focused on making it easier for users to trade, issue self-serviced loans, provide liquidity, access staking services, and earn high annual percentage yields (APY) on their cryptoassets.

A Long Time Coming

So far, the Acala project has secured three Web3 Foundation grants and it’s also backed by some notable firms in the blockchain industry, including Pantera Capital, Polychain Capital, and Hypersphere, amongst others.

Commenting on the Current-Acala alliance, Bette Chen, Co-Founder of Acala, expressed excitement over the partnership, adding that the “groundbreaking innovation” will offer Current’s customers “cutting-edge financial solutions.”

Notably, Trevor Marshall, Chief Technology Officer at Current, has hinted that the firm has been making active plans to break into the DeFi space over the past six years and its breakthrough with Acala will usher in DeFi tools into the Current app before the end of 2021.

“We created Current because we could see how money was being re-networked through new technologies. Our initiative with Acala allows us to flex this muscle we have been building for the past six years. In some ways, this partnership is really just the beginning of the actual rollout we’ve been developing this whole time,” declared Marshall.

The Polkadot ecosystem has been growing steadily despite the fact that the project is yet to roll out its much-talked-about parachains.

At press time, the price of Polkadtot’s native crypto, DOT is exchanging hands for $37.49, with a market cap of $35.20 billion, as seen on CoinMarketCap.

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Banking App Current Taps Acala for “HyFi” on Polkadot

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Current joins forces with one of Polkadot’s key parachains. 

Current Integrates DeFi Hub 

Current, a U.S. banking app with over three million users, is partnering with DeFi network Acala.

The fintech company plans to integrate the Polkadot parachain to create what it’s calling “HyFi,” meaning hybrid finance technology. Current operates a centralized service that aims to help its customers bank smarter, while Acala is part of Polkadot’s fledgling DeFi ecosystem. 

Current is planning on running its own infrastructure and will join the active validator set on Polkadot. The integration is built into Current’s own banking platform, which was built to make parts of the traditional finance system more accessible. 

Trevor Marshall, Current Chief Technology Officer, said of the integration: 

“We created Current because we could see how money was being re-networked through new technologies. Our initiative with Acala allows us to flex this muscle we have been developing for the past six years.”

Acala allows users to access apps for trading, lending and borrowing, liquidity provision, staking, and other activities associated with the decentralized finance space. It’s completely open and permissionless and offers a blockchain secured by Polkadot, one of the leading networks of a new iteration of the Internet known as Web3. 

Bette Chen, a co-founder at Acala, added that the partnership would lead to further innovation in the future. She said: 

“Current is leading the way at the intersection of modern banking and decentralized finance. The integration between Acala and Current is a groundbreaking innovation, and we are excited to bring cutting-edge financial solutions to Current’s members. This is only the tip of the iceberg of the products we can build to blend traditional fintech and crypto-native products.”

Polkadot has enjoyed significant growth this year as the crypto space starts to attract more interest. It has a market cap of roughly $38.9 billion today, with DOT trading at $39.27. 

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Raise a PINT to Polkadot’s new index token: Six top projects sign up

The source code for the upcoming Polkadot Index Network Token, or PINT, has been made public, with half a dozen projects putting their hand up to be included in the index.

The project has outlined a four-phase roadmap that it expects to culminate in mainnet launch within three months.

According to an April 14 announcement, six of Polkadot’s leading projects have already given “soft commitments” for inclusion in the index, including Acala Network, Equilibrium, HydraDX, Litentry, Moonbeam, and Plasm.

The PINT token seeks to offer investors balanced exposure to the emerging Polkadot ecosystem, hedging the volatility of individual projects against the broader performance of the sector. PINT will be available for trade on decentralized exchanges in future, and can be directly minted using DOT.

PINT’s developers are hoping to see the index adopted as a “treasury reserve asset” across the Polkadot ecosystem, offering an alternative to exclusively holding native tokens as treasury reserve without the complexities associated with active treasury management.

A council will be tasked with governing the token’s index, and a ‘Constituent Committee’ formed with representatives from each project included in the index. The six index hopefuls have committed to joining it.

The PINT Council will govern all aspects of the index and oversee a native treasury that is partially financed by collecting fees from staked assets contained within the index. However the Constituent Committee will have veto powers on the Council’s decisions.

The index is a collaborative effort between staking service provider, Stateless Money, and blockchain development team ChainSafe. Stateless Money will coordinate the project, while ChainSafe will serve as its primary development partner. Cross-chain DeFi DAO, StakerDAO, also voted in favor of PINT’s creation using treasury funds, and will receive a share of the fees generated by the index.