OKEx and MXC are pouring $40 million into strategic investment funds to bootstrap development on the Solana network.

Per an announcement shared with CoinDesk, the Solana Foundation, a governing body for the solana proof-of-stake protocol and coin (SOL), is partnering with the southeast Asian exchanges to fund developers and projects building on the platform.

“The [decentralized finance] ecosystem on Solana is strong and growing rapidly. Our focus is to offer the best possible experience to users, teams building on Solana and partners in the ecosystem. The Solana Foundation will continue to support innovative new approaches to DeFi around the world,” Solana Foundation President Anatoly Yakovenko told CoinDesk.

OKEx will make its investment through its newly founded Block Dream Fund, while MXC is making its investment straight up. The exchanges will receive equity in the form of tokens for their investments. Developers or teams who would like to apply for funding can do so here.

“MXC’s investments within the Solana Ecosystem will focus on expanding [non-fungible token] support and product-centered projects building on Solana. Our fund looks for projects developing technology-focused solutions in DeFi and other emerging fields,”  Katherine Deng, the vice president of MXC, told CoinDesk.

Solana: Another 'Ethereum-killer' contender?

One of the top dogs in a pack of Ethereum competitors that have cropped up in the past few years, Solana’s proof-of-stake platform uses validators to process transactions. Founded by a team of ex-Intel, Dropbox and Qualcomm engineers, the blockchain is pitched as a faster, cheaper alternative to Ethereum.

Solana is young but growing, with one of its new-gen DeFi projects, Oxygen, receiving $40 million in funding from the likes of Alameda, Multicoin and Genesis Capital. The network hosts a “decentralized exchange” run by FTX, houses its own novel DeFi projects and has even attracted the interest of the companies behind stablecoins USDC and USDT.

The network is one of many so-called “ETH killers,” as their fan bases like to call them, which offer smart-contract applications for similar DeFi use cases. Anticipating Ethereum’s own migration to proof-of-stake, these rivals almost always use some PoS design, which uses validators in place of miners to process transactions.

OKEx Block Dream Fund founder Dora told CoinDesk that the fund will include $100 million in total. Some of this will go toward Solana, but other chunks of the funding will go toward other public blockchain projects, layer 2 technology and other DeFi building blocks like derivatives markets and oracles.

“Our mission is to explore the best blockchain projects around the world and promote sustainable development across the entire industry,” Dora told CoinDesk. “Additionally, we will help our invested projects to establish valuable connections with trading platforms. We are also here to assist projects with business development and ecosystem building, as well as increasing market recognition and popularity.”

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