MANTRA DAO Reality TV Series Follows DeFi Ecosystem’s HQ in Action

The decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem MANTRA DAO has begun releasing a weekly series of reality-TV-style episodes following the daily operations of their Hong Kong HQ. Three episodes have been produced and are available on MANTRA DAO’s A Week in the Life YouTube channel.

MANTRA DAO operates as a decentralized autonomous organization that offers financial services for a burgeoning crypto community. Set apart from the world of traditional finance and central banking, the organization participates in a larger movement to “go bankless” and pursue financial systems untethered from central authorities and intermediaries by utilizing distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) including blockchains such as Ethereum, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, HECO, and Solana. 

Technology Changing the Face of Financial Organizations

Blockchains allow for transactions to be made with the highest guarantee of security, immutability, and transparency. These are guarantees which the current internet cannot deliver. Additionally, these are guarantees that governments, central banks, and financial institutions have shown some measure of disregard for during and since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. 

By harnessing the power of blockchains and similar technologies, ecosystems like MANTRA DAO can offer financial services run entirely by code, avoiding a host of problems that arise when humans are running the show. These codes are known as smart contracts, and they help run the applications that make this new sector of finance, DeFi, possible. 

Through these smart contracts, MANTRA DAO’s users can borrow, lend, and yield more tokens from staking their crypto (akin to depositing money with a traditional bank, but at a much higher rate of return than can be offered by traditional finance today). All of these actions can be performed in a trustless and non-custodial financial environment where code is law, and investors are guaranteed an even playing field. 

As their website asserts, “MANTRA DAO gives financial control back to the people to store and grow wealth together,” and this ethos dictates the governance of the ecosystem as well. 

MANTRA DAO Empowering Its Users Worldwide

MANTRA DAO not only takes advantage of blockchain technology to help create a decentralized and fair financial ecosystem; they are helping redefine how organizations work from the bottom up. 

As a decentralized autonomous organization, the vertical corporate planogram of yesteryear has been flattened into a democratic system where users who participate in MANTRA DAO’s ecosystem are given equal control over the direction and future of the DAO.  

Proposals for organizational changes, as well as votes on these proposals, are dependent on users holding MANTRA DAO’s governance token, $OM, and users can be located anywhere in the world as they help decide MANTRA DAO’s future. 

Further Transparency Made Possible Through Reality TV

What exactly goes on within the offices of an organization sans corporate hierarchy, where big decisions are made by a worldwide community, and where financial services are run by code? 

The released episodes have been shot mostly inside the MANTRA DAO offices but include some snapshots of life in Hong Kong as Co-Founders John Patrick Mullin, Will Corkin, and Rodrigo Quan can be seen making calls, holding meetings, and enjoying some after-work nightlife after long days that keep them dealing with teams around the world and clients in the office until after dark. 

Each video is peppered with pop-ups that mix the informative, such as explaining basic DeFi terms that crop up in conversations, with the light-hearted: at one point poking fun at Mullin for having forgotten that a competing money market, AAVE, already exists on the Polygon network. 

Describing the reasons for producing a reality TV show set in the office of a DeFi DAO, Mullin explains in the first installment that:

“Our goal is to lift the veil a little bit. Show the good, the bad, the ugly, and not really pull any punches.”

Based on YouTube comments left by viewers from the MANTRA DAO community, this nod towards transparency has been well received.     

While some of the discussion can be overly technical for those unfamiliar with MANTRA DAO or DeFi (even clients need some finer points explained during meetings), anyone interested in entrepreneurship or how DAOs operate will find something to take away from each week condensed into half-hour episodes. 

More episodes are expected to be released each Monday evening (Asia hours), and, in the spirit of a DAO, community feedback will continue to shape the content of future releases. 

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How Solana, Fantom, and Polygon are Powering DeFi Growth

Decentralized finance began growing rapidly in the summer of 2020. Two years after the 2018 introduction of DEXs, or decentralized exchanges, made it possible for onchain token swaps, plethora of other decentralized applications, or dApps, and platforms began running on Ethereum. 

A healthy DeFi ecosystem reached a maturation point that began hoovering value last summer, and DeFi saw its total value locked, or TVL, explode. More dApps appeared on Ethereum and more users began using them for DeFi. Unfortunately, this congestion led to side-effects like insanely high gas fees for transactions, longer wait times for transaction confirmations, and many users seeing their transactions fail to complete when fees spiked.

In short, Ethereum became expensive and difficult to use. The exponential rise in value of ETH in anticipation of Ethereum 2.0, the long-awaited scaling solution, did not help this matter. With over $50 billion of TVL now, DeFi has reached a point where 15 transactions a second are simply not enough. Markets refuse to pause and wait for the ETH2 upgrade. A lot of DeFi’s overflow has ended up on chains like Solana, Fantom, and Polygon (formerly Matic).

Solana Sees Innovative Projects Powered by Scale and Speed

Solana is a blockchain that went live in March 2020, and it has shown a lot of promise for future DeFi growth. The network runs on proof of history instead of proof of work, which means it’s environmentally friendly as well as much more scalable than a system that depends on miners. 

Solana has provided a fast and cost-effective space where developers have built a healthy ecosystem of new products. By allowing developers to explore more possibilities without paying exorbitant gas fees for transactions, some of these applications are starting to show developments that were once thought to be pipe dreams due to the nature of DeFi and dApps.   

DEXs are at the heart of DeFi, but they lack a lot of tools that CEXs, or centralized exchanges, can offer. In the past, the hurdles to providing more complex features in a decentralized space revolved around having to execute many transactions at a high cost in order to develop, test, and run an idea, so very few projects began toying around with ways to make DEXs more trader-friendly.

One project on Solana that has tackled this issue is This robust orderbook DEX will allow users to set entry points, stop losses, and exits for profit as well as track performance, just like a CEX and much unlike every other DEX out there. These are all features that the DeFi community have sought after for a long time, and promises more in store for users as their IDO for $CCAI will launch on MANTRA DAO’s Zendit launchpad platform in early June.  

Fantom Quickly Becoming a New Home for DeFi 

Fantom is another blockchain working on a consensus model other than proof of work, called proof of stake, and the low transaction fees and high speeds means that the network has attracted a lot of new users since its debut. 

Fantom reported that they are seeing a 70% increase in new users month over month, and a lot of money in DeFi is trending toward this network. Over 2,200 smart contracts have been deployed on Fantom, and dApp developers used to building on Ethereum can find most of the same tools available on this chain as well.   

In April, Fantom acquired $15M in funding, which is a great sign for the future of the blockchain. Looking towards the future, more and more use cases for blockchains are being thought up every day, and Fantom might be one home for a plethora of services relying on decentralized ledger technology. 

Fantom has attracted more use cases than DeFi already. It’s reported that the government of Tajikistan has adopted Fantom’s technology to power their e-government’s infrastructure.   

Polygon Is the Cheapest Way to Ethereum

Polygon is an Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution that allows a lot of what happens in DeFi to occur off of Ethereum’s main network. Polygon also works on proof of stake, which Ethereum is working towards, but users can benefit from low transaction fees and fast speeds by moving to Polygon while Ethereum updates.

Polygon essentially bundles transactions on its own network and then records that data on Ethereum’s network. This is a great solution for Ethereum diehards who want to stick with their chain of choice. 

Some big names in DeFi dApps have already moved over a lot of liquidity onto Polygon. Aave, Curve, and now 1inch have all moved onto Polygon and attracted billions in TVL over a short period of time. 

It will be interesting to see how the future of DeFi on Polygon plays out when Ethereum 2.0 is finally released, and many wonder how much of DeFi will stay on a layer 2 solution if the layer 1 becomes affordable again.

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Gather Network Liberates Content for an Ad-Free Future

The world has a voracious appetite for content. The internet helps feed this appetite with new content that is created by the minute. It’s a simple dynamic, but it’s one that has been muddled for decades by advertising, paywalls, and even breaches of privacy. Content creators seek ways to profit from their service, like Facebook, or simply pay their electric bills, like Wikipedia, but no customer likes running into popups, and companies hate seeing their bounce rates jump through the roof when users run into a paywall.

Gather Network introduces an interesting use case for blockchain technology that could revolutionize the way people access content online, benefiting everyone involved. By marrying the needs of blockchain technology and the recent rise of the sharing economy, a new paradigm for content delivery and consumption is set to sail some smooth seas.

Through Gather, users provide a small amount of computing power while accessing ad-free content, blockchains get the computing power they need to keep running, and content providers get paid without harassing their user base. Everyone wins. 

An Internet of Annoyances and Intrusions

It’s getting easier to drive to the library and check out a cookbook than it is to find a good recipe online these days. On just one recipe site, you may have to click through popups, watch a video, and then scroll around the multiple advertisements that clutter the page just looking for how much oil you should put in the pan. User experience has declined tremendously via intrusive and annoying modes of revenue creation, and it’s estimated that people are so jaded by this assault on UX that they leave most websites within 15 seconds

Beyond matters of ease and the annoyance, privacy has cropped up as a big issue with content sites gathering and selling users’ information as a revenue stream. Richard Serra’s assertion “You are the product” has morphed from describing television advertising into a feedback loop of personal data that is harvested, sold, and regurgitated in advertising content. Most of the world was unaware of this process until the Cambridge Analytica hack revealed just how much information was being bought and sold. 

How Gather Can Solve These Problems 

Content providers are struggling to find revenue streams that reward their efforts, and users are cursing their screens. At the same time, blockchains are in need of mining power to keep their systems fully operational, secure, and quick. Gather has found a sweet spot where these needs can be multilaterally resolved, and promises to deliver a better future for users, creators, and blockchain technology through a symbiotic approach to generating revenue. 

If all you’re doing right now is reading this article, your computer is probably letting most of its computing power go to waste. Imagine how many people in the world have the most up to date technology under their keyboards, but they only use their computer for web browsing or accessing content. Now, imagine harnessing the unused power in your computer as a way to get rid of advertising when you use the internet. Imagine no more paywalls, no more popups, and the end of your data being continuously mined by sites that track your life. Gather makes it possible for users to access free content and for free content to be freely delivered without making people into the product being sold. 

Looking Forward to a Content-Rich, Ad-Free Future

Instead of checking a box to allow a website to track your data, you can check a box to allow a blockchain to use your extra processing power, and then you can finally read a newspaper or watch a video again without subscribing for a year or sitting through advertisements for dishwashing soap. Instead of being the person who runs these kinds of advertising schemes in order to prop up your newspaper or streaming channel, you can operate on revenue generated from happy customers who want more of your content. 

The internet has delivered massive amounts of accessible content, but much like Rousseau’s maxim that men are born free yet everywhere live in chains, this “free content” has come at a high cost. Users who opt into using Gather-powered websites will see positive changes in their online interactions, and websites will see positive returns as users enjoy accessing their content free of advertising and paywalls. 

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ArGo’s Decentralized Hosting Is Pivotal to Web3

ArGo is part of the core Web3 infrastructure that is transforming the internet. An ecosystem of developers is building a more secure, reliable, and censorship-resistant version of the web. It mirrors the decentralized ethos in which the internet was first created. To fully appreciate the impact that ArGo and Web3 is going to have, we must first consider the shortcomings of today’s centralized internet. 

The Web Is Becoming Increasingly Centralized

The internet is an example of a decentralized entity. Who owns it? Nobody. It relies on providers and users across the world following the same protocol so they can communicate and share bits of information. The web is a beautiful invention. 

However, the internet has increasingly become reliant on a few centralized companies to support its critical infrastructure, including web hosting, cloud computing, DNS servers, search engines, and email clients. Consider Google, which has a large market share in every single one of those categories. That means that more and more of the internet is sitting on servers controlled by Google and its contemporaries. 

This centralized architecture brings formidable risks to the internet. If their servers get hacked, we lose our data. If they decide to monetize our personal information, we lose our privacy. If they decide to censor or prioritize content, we may not even know it happened. 

As a report from MIT’s Center for Civic Media concluded:

“The platforms that host our networked public sphere and inform us about the world are unelected, unaccountable, and often impossible to audit or oversee.”

Re-Decentralizing the Internet With Web3

Can we counteract the threats of centralized internet? Absolutely. Decentralizing the web through a peer-to-peer model would counteract big tech’s control over the internet, giving the power of the internet back to the people. 

Decentralization is a bottom-up method of running a network that spreads authority across many participants. Those participants are responsible for managing and contributing to the network. 

Moreover, decentralized networks better serve open-source projects, allowing any developer to build upon existing apps. That produces innovation and grows the network faster. The movement towards a decentralized internet is known as Web3.

Web3 is being developed right now and is making the internet more transparent, secure, and reliable than ever. Currently, this trend is moving parts of the web to a decentralized infrastructure, and over time, the entire internet will follow. 

One of the core pieces of Web3 infrastructure is decentralized web hosting. Instead of a monolithic centralized server farm storing your website data, it would be stored by multiple servers using a peer-to-peer distribution model. 

Today, businesses and individuals alike are experimenting with decentralized hosting. Already they’re seeing the benefits of reduced server crashes, hacks, and downtime. 

One of the projects at the core of this movement is ArGo. It’s a git-based web hosting platform that helps users build modernized websites on the Arweave permaweb. It lets users quickly deploy their site and scale seamlessly on a secure network with 100% uptime. 

ArGo has already raised $1.3 million from respected VCs and angel investors at a valuation of $12.5 million. Currently, ArGo is integrating with Polygon to bring its smart contract applications to Layer 2 solutions. 

Moreover, ArGo has already onboarded over 300 users and is rapidly expanding the ecosystem of dApps and defi developers involved with the project. 

We can see the incredible value of the ArGo app in its ability to protect against a single point of failure. A single point of failure can disrupt an entire company, such as when a website or payment network crashes. The beauty of decentralized networks is they remove this vulnerability. When a node goes offline, its workload is automatically passed to other nodes in the network, meaning that websites and applications remain up and running 100% of the time. 

Centralized servers create a single point of failure which, for example, leaves websites susceptible to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS attacks are a common weapon for cybercriminals who want to shut down websites. 

Centralized systems make it easy for hackers to use DDoS attacks, as they can simply gather sufficient firepower and direct it to the single point of failure: the hosting server. The target has to rapidly increase their hosting capability, which in the best case is extremely costly, and in the worst case takes them offline for extended periods. 

ArGo’s decentralized hosting network can easily defend against DDoS attacks, as the thousands of nodes of a decentralized hosting network offer attackers no single target to hit. 

While this is just one of many benefits of decentralized hosting, it shows the power of decentralized technology and illustrates the future of the internet powered by ArGo and Web3.

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Radix’s Long Awaited Olympia Betanet Is Coming This Week

Radix, self-described as “the first decentralized layer 1 protocol specifically built to serve defi,” will be rolling out its Betanet on April 28, the final stress test before introducing the Olympia Mainnet. 

Founded by Dan Hughes, Radix is not strictly a blockchain, but a network of shards that allow for parallel processing which boosts the capacity of defi blockchains. Radix’s protocol separates itself from other shard protocols with its Cerberus Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus design which deploys multiple pre-sharding groups, allowing communication between shards, creating composability.

Using the native Radix token, XRD, users may choose high performing validator nodes to stake to for rewards, which secures the network stability. As dApps increase and transactions compound, Radix’s unparalleled linear scalability may be essential for blockchains to fulfill transactions and queries with minimal gas and time slippage. 

Olympia Betanet Draws Near

The Olympia Betanet will start on April 28 2021, functioning as the last stress test of the protocol within the Radix community before the first live version of the Radix public network. The Betanet will deliver a desktop wallet, validator nodes, full nodes and an explorer website. 

The validator community proposal program already selected their team of node operators based on their past node running experience and likelihood of becoming a node validator in the Mainnet. There will be a low consensus level in the Betanet, with no shards. These operators will run their nodes with users who are testing their XRD tokens. 

Users are encouraged to download and try the Radix desktop wallet which will be available for Mac OS, Windows and Linux. Olympia Betanet will provide a faucet where users can collect free XRD tokens and stake/unstake with different validators to test the rewards.

Olympia Mainnet Is Just the Start

This will be the first public Mainnet Radix product, but the first release of the Olympia Mainnet will use an unsharded form of the Cerberus consensus algorithm which will be conducted by a set of special validator nodes with a fixed validator set of 100 nodes. 

The validator nodes will contribute to DPoS to guarantee network security and the community of token holders will delegate to stake their eXRD tokens to nodes in the validator set and ensure they are functioning correctly. Those who choose to stake to validator nodes will receive a portion of newly created tokens called “network emission” for creating a barrier against a sybil attack. 

The full nodes will be utilized by those who want their own trusted nodes as an endpoint for transactions and queries. These full nodes will likely be used by an exchange that wishes to service its own requests and queries. Radix will run full nodes to service its native token transfer requests and queries, as well as supporting the Explorer Website and the Desktop Wallet.

A Precursor to Mainnet

If anyone has a node and wishes to become a validator, they can register with the network then open it for users to stake tokens to. The top 100 staked nodes will become the validator set and participate in epochs in which the validators will participate in a consensus to determine how much delegated stake was distributed among them. Any user can choose which node to stake their eXRD tokens, gaining rewards by choosing nodes that are functioning correctly through

These rewards will be calculated closer to the Radix Mainnet launch in June. These rewards will be called network emission since your staking is essentially the network’s barrier against a sybil attack. The launch of Radix’s Olympia Betanet brings the project a step closer to ushering in a new era for defi, complete with near-instantaneous transactions and high throughput.

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Beyond Finance Introduces Decentralized Exchange for Synthetic Asset Trading

Beyond Finance is introducing a novel DEX that allows for the exchange of synthetic financial products. Previously, this was mainly available on centralized exchanges, but Beyond Finance is bringing these financial tools to the forefront of the decentralized finance economy. To realize this, Beyond Finance just closed its private round with a total of $7.5 million raised by some of the biggest names in the industry. Its sale was significantly oversubscribed and was filled by strategic investors who can substantially contribute to Beyond Finance’s roadmap.

Reinventing the DEX

Decentralized exchanges like Uniswap, PancakeSwap, and SushiSwap generate billions of dollars in daily trading value, showing the significant demand for their services, but these exchanges still come with many drawbacks that Beyond Finance plans on fixing.

Through synthetic financial products, users can gain exposure to the underlying asset’s price movement without having to physically own or store it, which usually comes with its own inherent risks. On top of this feature, Beyond Finance has highlighted five key operational elements to set itself apart from its competition: more user accessibility to a growing catalog of assets, better decentralized price tracking, lowering costs for trading and minting, strengthening exchange liquidity pools, improve the user application experience, and offer more comprehensive protection and security oversight.

The segmentation of current blockchain networks stifles broader interoperability, as many assets are unavailable to trade on some of the most popular decentralized exchanges. For example, any DEX built on top of Ethereum can only feature Ethereum-based assets, excluding many choices. By using synthetic assets, Beyond Finance can introduce many more options for trading and minting tokens, vastly expanding on the capabilities of the most widely used DEX iterations. To ensure that all the asset pricing is up-to-date and accurate, Beyond Finance tracks the real-time price of all platform assets using a decentralized oracle system.

Better Pricing Means Greater Profit

Two other primary problems that Beyond Finance solves are rising transaction fees and low liquidity. Anyone who uses the Ethereum network will have undoubtedly experienced the crippling transaction fees. During busy periods, Ethereum DEX transaction fees can regularly eclipse $100. Beyond Finance offers minimal transaction fees and also provides a transaction fee repayment mechanism using gamified functions, getting rid of this problem once and for all.

Through the introduction of the Beyond Treasury, meanwhile, Beyond will be able to offer greater liquidity to its users, reducing slippage and allowing for better market-rate transactions. This is made possible through a pool of tokens Beyond has dedicated to enhancing the platform’s tradability; since you can trade using synthetic tokens, Beyond can choose to allocate liquidity based on the popularity of trading pairs. 

The final two features Beyond introduces are a straightforward UX and its commitment to security. Many DEXs are too technical and complicated for novice traders, but Beyond makes decentralized trading easy for everyone. To ensure the functionality of the exchange, Beyond Finance is fully audited and tested to the highest level. This indicates the long-term outlook of the development team, who want to minimize the possibility of hacking or network manipulation. 

All-in-all, Beyond Finance has taken the bottlenecks incurred by DEXs and created its own version to mitigate them. With millions of dollars in successful backing and a team with over 25 years of combined financial experience, the launch of the Beyond Finance ecosystem is gearing up to be an exciting one. Keep an eye out for their upcoming IDO on DuckDAO and Paid Ignition (+ DAO Maker Pool) on April 12, 2021.

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Trilemma? Quadrilemma! Inside Radix’s Innovative Tech Stack

The original blockchain trilemma, a coin termed by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, hypothesized that architects are often forced to make a trade-off between the three characteristics of scalability, security, and decentralization. 

Historically, platforms would often focus on obtaining two of these aspects at the expense of the other. Scalability was perhaps the most obvious trade-off, ensuring greater security and decentralization and worrying about scalability later. Significant adoption growth in the crypto space meant scalability became a more pressing issue sooner than anticipated, with bottlenecks in throughput and high transaction fees hampering major blockchain utility.

There was never a law that all three trilemma characteristics could not be solved simultaneously, however, and project developers have taken different approaches to bring scalability to well-established security and decentralization models. While layer 2 technologies have been deployed with some success for certain blockchains, the most dominant proposed scaling solution to date is sharding. 

Proposals from projects like Polkadot, Cosmos, Algorand, and Ethereum 2.0 are all based on sharding solutions that deliver magnitudes of higher transaction throughput compared to earlier generations of networks while maintaining security and decentralization, seemingly solving the blockchain trilemma. 

But there’s a catch. While their approach may solve the trilemma, it presents a quadrilemma by breaking the characteristic of atomic composability. Unless solved, this destroys the use case for many of the latest generation of DeFi projects that rely on such vital simultaneous interoperability between applications to function. Now, there is a solution for this too, demonstrably proven by the relatively unknown project, Radix.

Solving the Blockchain Quadrilemma

Existing sharding scalability platforms can deliver on all three characteristics of the original trilemma, though impacting the composability taken for granted in unsharded shared environments. Some solutions attempt to solve this by either grouping dApps that regularly interoperate into the same shard or; by using sequential rather than simultaneous cross-shard commits. Unfortunately, this ends up either leading to scalability issues again or creating more complex development environments that are prone to faults. It also fails decentralized finance platforms that rely on the cross-shard atomicity of simultaneous interoperability. 

Radix is the first layer 1 protocol specifically built to serve the booming decentralized finance industry. It obtains the characteristics of scalability, security, and decentralization, without breaking atomic composability by using a radically different approach to solving the blockchain quadrilemma.

How Does it Work?

Radix provides a frictionless alternative to competitors to meet the increased scope of DeFi applications over time with continued interoperability. The network comprises four pillars designed to bring DeFi adoption to the mainstream.

Cerberus: High-Speed Network Consensus

Radix uses a formally proven novel pre-sharded data structure and consensus mechanism called Cerberus, which removes the barriers between shards. Rather than split dApps between a static set of shards, Cerberus uses an unlimited set, with dApps represented dynamically across these shards, resulting in limitless parallelism. This means that no matter the demand load, more nodes can be incentivized to spread the load and increase throughput without creating bottlenecks.

Each shard, therefore, has the freedom and efficiency to run fast consensus independently, plus the flexibility for Cerberus to “braid” these consensus processes together temporarily when cross-shard transactions are required. This braided cross-shard consensus approach is just as atomic and secure as single-shard consensus, meaning that composability is just as free and frictionless as on a single blockchain, without the scalability limits. Competing chains simply haven’t achieved this yet, nor can the capability easily be added to existing networks.

Radix Engine: A Development Environment for Building DeFi Applications

Radix’s functional programming language, Scrypto, allows developers to build their own smart contracts. The Radix Engine then provides a development environment built specifically for DeFi applications using finite state machine “Components” rather than Ethereum-style Turing-complete smart contracts. Components can be designed and analyzed much more predictably. This makes them more safe, secure, powerful, cheaper, and faster than complex ones made in Solidity, for example, that lead to ambiguity and exploitable vulnerabilities such as The DAO hack, Parity wallet freeze, and a slew of recent vulnerabilities.

Radix can therefore help projects to deliver on the promise of decentralized finance, without concerns over hacks, exploits, and system failures that have previously hampered the space.

Component Catalog: dApp Library

The Component Catalog allows developers to select functionality from secure templates and plug them together easily, lowering the barrier to building secure dApps. Previous Components that are added to the Radix Catalog can therefore be combined to create additional Components, enabling a Lego-style building block system for the efficient deployment of DeFi applications.

Developer Royalties: Decentralized On-Ledger Incentive Program

Most protocols create finite developer funds as part of initial fundraising to bootstrap a network and get it up and running, though they often lack long-term incentives. Radix incorporates an on-ledger developer royalty system instead. Component developers who contribute to the Catalog can include a fee in transactions every time their Components are used, delivering recurring revenue incentives, and creating a decentralized marketplace for DeFi utility.

Building the Foundations for Disruptive Decentralized Finance

Radix’s four technology pillars provide a foundation for decentralized finance infrastructure, delivering the level of scalability, security, and decentralization required, without breaking the atomic composability – so vital for the latest DeFi use cases.

After seven years of development and following a successful $12.7 million token sale of eXRD, the initial Radix mainnet is scheduled for Q2. In the meantime, its Cassandra research network presents the first implementation of Radix functionality in a proof of concept that provably solves the blockchain quadrilemma today. 

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Why Institutional Savvy Players Are Entering Alien Worlds’ Gaming Metaverse

The blockchain space is ever-evolving, with increasing competition arriving to capitalize on this new, digital frontier. For enterprises who wanted to generate profits from the industry without directly holding cryptocurrencies, mining was traditionally a suitable option. Currently, mining is dominated by multi-billion dollar firms, with savvy investors now looking for new aspects of the market to invest in.

Recently, one of the most popular methods of exposure has been through the acquisition of NFTs, an aspect that popular blockchain-based game Alien Worlds is highly benefiting from. With traditional blockchain mining opportunities drying up, no longer offering the ability to grab a stronghold over the market, investors are now focusing on a ‘planetary takeover’ where they can significantly influence the space; Alien Worlds looks to be the space of the future.

Financial Services Employees are Turning Into Gamers

In an online world with verifiably scarce assets, a majority of control over an asset would deem the owner responsible for the production rate of new assets stemming from their ownership. This is especially true in Alien Worlds, where individual planetary ownership dictates the staking production, NFTs, and usability of the digital land. We are seeing more savvy players coming into this realm, ranging from employees of New York-based hedge funds to employees of interdealer brokerage firms in Hong Kong, and the Alien Worlds team wanted to better understand why.

After conducting an in-depth analysis, the motivation of these participants is becoming more clear. Since they are no longer able to gain a significant stake in many mainstream blockchain mining networks, they are looking for new, high-potential platforms to achieve a controlling stake. Due to the dynamic nature of the Alien Worlds metaverse, they may be able to gain a controlling stake in an Alien Worlds planet and have the ability to dictate Trilium (TLM) flows and the future of the planet.

As the native currency of the Alien Worlds metaverse, control over TLM production through planetary acquisitions is becoming a viable way for financially astute players to exert control through investments. This may seem surprising at first, but with the rapid growth of NFTs and investors looking to capitalize on the latest trends before it’s too late, the concept of planetary takeover and domination makes a lot of financial sense.

One player, who preferred to remain anonymous, explained,

“I liked the idea of getting passive income from owning land and had seen how much the price of land had appreciated in other games, and loved the idea of being able to get in at the beginning. Also, just looking at the functionality that would be developed over the next few years I thought some of those would be interesting as a game and I wouldn’t feel like I’m just wasting money.”

This player in particular works as a software engineer at a large bank and started investing in blockchain in 2017. His activity in NFTs began after the lockdown started while working from home. Like with many newly found remote workers, the industry has provided an exciting learning curve to experience an emerging technology, mixed with gaming and passive income opportunities.

Why Alien Worlds?

Alien Worlds is a fully interactive gaming metaverse where rewards for game play and digital game cards are tokenized, giving gamers full control over in-game assets and how they are used. There is a robust internal economy in this universe, with Trilium acting as the means for storing, transferring, and earning in-game value.

In Alien Worlds, players can earn Trilium from mining and stake it to one or more planets, giving them voting rights for Planetary Council members, who then may determine the planet’s Trilium payouts, and future activities. Since TLM is mined through the game, it is quite a scarce asset, something that hedge funds and institutional investors have evidently begun to notice.

With all of Alien Worlds’ in-game opportunities, it has quickly risen to the top of the charts. Alien Worlds had a steady grasp as the most used blockchain game, but is now fighting for the number one spot as new games and increased competition enter the market. Still, Alien Worlds had more than 30,000 users playing its game during the last month, with just under 75 million transactions taking place over this time period.

Gamers now realize that something they previously viewed as a hobby is presently a way to earn value, spurring platform growth. This isn’t a small monetary sum either, with the top players in the ecosystem generating tens of thousands of dollars in income during the first two months. Established investors are taking notice, and they want in the game.

Dominating an industry sector is rare, but it is easier with large amounts of capital to allocate. People are starting to notice.The blockchain gaming and NFT ownership space is growing, and investors do not want to be left out of the potential gains. With the possibility of dictating Trilium outflows and NFT production, large investors are starting to get involved within the gaming metaverse.

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Forging Longer-lasting DeFi economies: Synthesized inflation with DAFI Protocol

Filled with ever-inflating token models, the DeFi space stands to greatly benefit from DAFI’s synthetics.

As the DeFi spaces matures, attention is pouring into exciting new protocols that promise to disrupt the traditional finance space. The complex mechanics behind many of the most popular DeFi protocols include incentive mechanisms that aim to invite long-term participation and the world of DeFi has become synonymous with the term “inflationary supply”.

But project teams are looking for sustainable ways to incentivize early adopters and participants and, whilst staking and rewards for liquidity providers seem like the go-to solution, the gradually increasing pressure on inflationary token models to produce rewards has all too many times resulted in tears. Relying on this type of model usually results in an excess supply and a devaluation of the token price; in particular when tokens are issued during project infancy or bearish phases, volatility alongside hyperinflation can impact overall growth significantly.

Synthesizing a better future for DeFi economies

So what is the alternative to unsustainable inflationary token models? With current incentive structures having a finite lifespan, DAFI Protocol proposes an entirely new way to promote sustainable growth within DeFi economies by means of their synthetic dToken. By introducing an intermediary, elastic unit into the mix, DAFI enables DeFi protocols to switch to a demand-pegged inflation model and make the issue of hyperinflation disappear.

DAFI enables decentralized economies to recreate inflation with no detrimental effects to their native token model. Once synthesized, the dToken pegged to their native token can be issued for staking, liquidity or participation rewards and as a fully adaptive unit, the dToken can be burned for DAFI tokens at the project’s behest.

Equilibrium in a nascent market

The opportunities to forge longer-lasting DeFi and blockchain ecosystems with the use of the DAFI protocol is exciting to say the least, during a stage when the battle is on for many projects to retain concentrated participation. With entirely unstable returns promised by day-old DeFi platforms the lifecycle of a project is often cut short by an imploding token model that cannot take the weight of constant inflation; by integrating DAFI protocol, projects can offer an evergreen incentive mechanism that benefits both early adopters and participants, as well as strengthening the overall stance of the project with added longevity.

“DAFI is designed to incentivize liquidity & users without unsustainable reward rates, through a demand-bonded curve, which all Blockchain’s, Tokens and DeFi platforms can adopt.” – DAFI CEO Zain Rana.

Partially inspired by Bitcoin’s gradual-deflationary economy, the Dafi Protocol is a welcomed contrast to the aforementioned rampant hyperinflationary economies. With “flavors” available to mint that canter to any blockchain or DeFi protocol’s specific tastes, DAFI enables projects in the cryptocurrency space to stop relying on shaky and short-lived inflationary incentive programmes, instead allowing them to create a synthetic to incentivize their community and economy more effectively.

With an MVP already live, the DAFI protocol looks set to ruffle feathers in the Defi and blockchain space in the best way possible; the project was added to the National Westminster bank’s incubation in 2020 in what can be considered as a great step forward for accelerating the adoption of DeFi and blockchain technology in the traditional finance sector. The DAFI public token sale is set for later in Q1.

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How FinNexus Is Incentivizing On-chain Options

The growth of defi has resulted in the industry becoming more financially complex, offering new, value-producing opportunities that were not previously available. Due to a restructuring of user incentives, we’ve seen a massive increase in usage amongst defi dApps such as decentralized exchanges, staking platforms, lending and borrowing platforms, risk management protocols, and interest-bearing savings accounts.

FinNexus employs these new incentivization structures made available by defi and applies them to options, allowing for enhanced usability, access, and value generation through these novel financial tools.

What Are Options?

Options are financial instruments that give traders additional possibilities to profit while incurring minimum risk. There are two types of options: the first being a put option, which provides the owner with the right to sell at a pre-specified price, although not requiring it. A call option is the second and is the opposite of a put, allowing the holder to buy an asset at a specific price, although they do not have to. 

When properly utilizing options, traders can hedge their investments while only paying a minimal amount – the premium – to an options writer. These factors make options one of the most popular forms of derivatives used in financial markets.

FinNexus Plans to Outpace the Legacy System

Through FinNexus, users can buy, sell, trade, and execute options on BTC, ETH, LINK, SNX, and MKR, with more cryptocurrency options planned for down the line. But how exactly could decentralized options platforms replace or disrupt their centralized counterparts? One of the main incentives is that users have access to options trading 24/7, in a borderless and permissionless way. They can also obtain higher yields, since there is no managing party to siphon off profits as is the case in the traditional financial system. Users may effectively protect and appreciate Crypto Wealth With Options in a decentralized manner.

Furthermore, unlike legacy options platforms, FinNexus offers a simplified and user-friendly UI, and has many more applications on top of the ability to interact with these financial products, including mining and staking opportunities, all gathered around a single network to make the interaction between applications as seamless as possible.

More Earning Options

With an options platform such as FinNexus, there are more ways to earn than merely through conducting options trades. The FinNexus suite of applications runs on the FNX cryptocurrency, a utility token that acts as the gasoline of the network, facilitating transactions. 

FinNexus used to have two liquidity pools on Ethereum where people could deposit their FNX and stablecoins to provide liquidity but has just released a first-of-its-kind pool with Frax, the popular algorithmic stablecoin, to allow yet more diversification.

These moves have proven fruitful for FinNexus, as total value locked (TVL) within the protocol has increased by twelve times at the end of January, surpassing $10 million in TVL.

This massive growth in a short period of time is a strong signal of what investors think of the platform’s prospects. As it provides additional value that is not realizable in the inherited options industry, FinNexus is becoming a legitimate alternative for users looking to extract more from their financial transactions. 

With a combination of high-return liquidity mining and an open and decentralized options market, the value proposition behind new-generation applications like FinNexus is evident.

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