Andrew Thurman was a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

Two layer 1 smart contract platforms have joined forces in what’s being described as a “strategic partnership.”

On Tuesday morning, Ardana, a stablecoin and lending hub on the Cardano blockchain platform, announced an agreement with Near protocol, a layer 1 Ethereum alternative. Ardana received a grant from Near to build a crosschain bridge between Cardano and Near, per a press release provided to CoinDesk.

“Near’s vision always envisioned a multi-chain world, whereby each blockchain could seamlessly talk and exchange data between one another,” said Near Foundation CEO Erik Trautman in the release.

As multiple Ethereum alternatives gain steam, crosschain bridges are becoming an increasingly important infrastructure tool enabling cryptocurrency traders and yield farmers to pursue opportunities across the growing decentralized finance (DeFi) landscape.

Bridges are even emerging as an investable standalone vertical, with a funding round in October for Symbiosis and another in September for LayerZero.

The new bridge is also notable for connecting two blockchains poised to make a run at the total value locked (TVL) leaderboard. TVL is the amount of money invested in a DeFi product.

In October, Near announced an $800 million grants program – among the largest of the mammoth incentive programs layer 1s have been offering up in a bid to attract developers. Earlier in the month, Aurora – a platform enabling the Ethereum Virtual Machine smart contract execution environment on the Near blockchain – raised $12 million.

Likewise, in the latter half of the year Cardano finally released smart contract functionality after years of anticipation, and Three Arrows Capital recently led a funding round for Ardana.

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Andrew Thurman was a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Andrew Thurman was a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.