The Cardano ecosystem has been making significant waves since the launch of smart contracts on the blockchain. With new functionality and demand already ramping up, the blockchain’s developers are now looking to expand into more novel spaces.
All Out for DeFi
Earlier this week, EMURGO – the commercial arm of the Cardano Foundation – announced a commitment of $100 million towards funding startups in the non-fungible token (NFT) and decentralized finance (DeFi) spaces. The company announced at the 2021 Cardano Summit, explaining that the funds will be allocated to help grow Cardano’s ecosystem and help it expand into these spaces.
Discussing the initiative, Ken Kodama – EMURGO’s founder and chief executive – explained that they are looking to support startups and growth-stage companies working on these projects in the Cardano ecosystem. The funds will also be directed towards Cardano-centric education programs to increase awareness of the blockchain and its initiatives.
Besides just talking, EMURGO is already making moves. Its African subsidiary – EMURGO Africa – plans to support at least 300 startups on the continent, offering seed funding and incubation for these companies. The entity will collaborate with Adanian Labs – a smart technology incubation engine – to expand the Cardno ecosystem in Africa.
At the same time, EMURGO Ventures will focus more on developed countries and facilitate the building of impactful solutions on the Cardano blockchain. The company’s objectives will focus primarily on DeFi, NFTs, and blockchain developer education.
Partnerships Rolling in For Cardano
The initiative is all part of Cardano’s growth strategy. The Cardano Foundation made waves following the successful Alonzo hard fork earlier this month, adding smart contract functionalities to make the blockchain more useful for building decentralized applications (dApps). Many believe that Cardano could pose serious competition to Ethereum, especially with its market position and backing from big players.
Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) – Cardano’s developer – has been putting its money where its mouth is as well. The developers recently announced a partnership with Chainlink – the leading blockchain oracle developer – to integrate the latter into its blockchain. Chainlink’s integration means that the Cardano blockchain will get high-quality, real-time off-chain data for developers looking to build on it.
The company has also partnered with DISH Network – a top wireless and cable service provider – to offer digital identity security services to DISH customers.
All of these initiatives appear to be yielding results. This week, Cardano’s payment gateway provider Coti confirmed that it would be the official user for Djed – a new DeFi-focused stablecoin for Cardano. Djed will be based on an algorithmic design and use smart contracts to keep its price stable and enable DeFi transactions.
The asset is primarily designed to enable fee payments on the Cardano network, thus allowing users to avoid the gas fees associated with Ethereum.
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