Fintech App Current Taps Coinbase’s Bison Trails to Support Polkadot DeFi Plans

Current is enlisting back-end support in its bid to combine DeFi services with the best of its traditional offerings.

Oct 21, 2021 at 9:25 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 22, 2021 at 12:47 a.m. UTC

Fintech company Current is one step closer to bringing decentralized finance (DeFi) features to its 3 million users.

The firm said Thursday it is working with Bison Trails, the blockchain infrastructure company acquired by Coinbase in January, to sync up with Polkadot parachain networks Karura and Acala. The fintech first announced its crypto plans in May.

Current says it’s looking to combine DeFi services with the best of its traditional offerings in a bid to meet the growing needs of crypto-curious retail investors. Along with travel app Maps.me toying with DeFi features on Solana, Current represents an emerging crop of aspiring fintech-DeFi mashups.

“We’ve flirted with bringing crypto back into our project for a while now, but there were always obstacles in the way,” Current Chief Technology Officer Trevor Marshall told CoinDesk in an interview. “When DeFi really took off in 2019 we were able to get over a lot of the technical hurdles.”

The company first attempted to offer DeFi services with Ripple and later Ethereum, dating as far back as 2015, though neither came to fruition due to technical limitations, Marshall said.

“The launch of our cluster on Karura is the first step in the evolution of what we’ve been building over the past six years at Current,” he added in a statement.

Said Acala co-founder Bette Chen:

“These two organizations [Current and Bison Trails] share our vision of a hybrid finance (HyFi) future, and we are excited to continue building products and networks that improve financial outcomes for the Current, Acala and Karura communities.”

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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.