Huobi Group is building a public blockchain specifically designed for use cases within decentralized finance (DeFi).

In a press release Tuesday, the blockchain services firm and cryptocurrency exchange operator, said the planned offering – for now dubbed Huobi Finance Chain – will allow financial institutions, businesses and exchanges to launch their own blockchains, tokenized assets and DeFi services.

Huobi said:

“Among other applications, the project will have the potential to host lending services, debit services, stablecoins, security token offerings (STOs) and other means of asset issuance, decentralized exchanges (DEXs), real-world payment services, and more.”

For the tech side of initiative, the firm is teaming up with blockchain network Nervos, which offers a base proof-of-work blockchain, over which sits a protocol layer aimed to support scaling and other solutions.

The joint project will be made open source, and will provide support for multiple assets, as well as smart contracts, allowing third-party developers to “build and deploy a wide range of DeFi services.” Also support will be multi- and side-chain architectures.

Kevin Wang, co-founder of Nervos, said:

“The recent wave of high-profile blockchain projects from traditional institutions such as Libra and JPM Coin is a sign of a bigger shift looming in the financial services industry. As more financial institutions and enterprises realize the potential of blockchain technology, we want to provide the secure and trust-driven infrastructure they’ll need to issue their own decentralized assets and deploy DeFi services in a compliant and “low risk” environment.”

“This project is an important undertaking for Nervos because of the sheer impact it will have. Not only will decentralized finance transform the way we bank and improve access for millions of the unbanked, but it will also accelerate blockchain adoption into the mainstream,” he added.

Aimed to be “regulator-friendly,” Huobi Finance Chain will also support decentralized identifier (DID) and offer identity protocols such as know-your-customer (KYC) verification to allow projects to comply with anti-money laundering rules. Huobi is further enabling regulators to contribute to the network as validators.

The open source code is expected to be made available in Q3 2019, followed by a testnet launch in Q1 2020 and a full mainnet launch in the second quarter.

Leon Li, CEO and founder of Huobi Group, said:

“The mission of Huobi Group is to make finance more efficient and make wealth accessible to all. This project is not only in line with Huobi’s overall strategy, but it also fulfills our core mission. From a strategic point of view, decentralized financial services are still in an early stage of development. The market demand is clear, however, and we believe this is a very definite business opportunity.

Although Huobi is currently a “leader” in the crypto industry,” the space is likely to undergo “far-reaching changes,” he said.

“Exploring public chain technologies and business models both keeps us innovative and serves as a strategic defence,” according to Li.

Edit: Added comment from Nervos

Leon Li image via CoinDesk archives

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