Protocol Village: Binance Invests in Modular Rollup Network Initia

The latest in blockchain tech upgrades, funding announcements and deals. For the week of Oct. 9-16, with live updates throughout.

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Oct. 13: Binance Labs, the venture capital and incubation arm of the crypto exchange Binance, has invested in Initia, a "network designed for highly interwoven modular rollups," according to a blog post: "Initia is a layer 1 on Cosmos with application-specific L2s (Layer 2) using optimistic rollups. Through Initia's architecture, encompassing the L1, L2 and communication layers, developers can easily launch application-specific blockchains as Initia L2s without needing to know complex chain-level infrastructure or run validator sets."

Protocol Village is a regular feature of The Protocol, our weekly newsletter exploring the tech behind crypto, one block at a time. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every Wednesday. Project teams can submit updates here. For previous versions of Protocol Village, please go here.

Account Labs Raises $7.7M for Google-Enabled Wallet: Decrypt

Oct. 15: According to Decrypt: Singapore-based wallet provider Account Labs today announced a $7.7 million funding round led by investors including Amber Group, MixMarvel DAO Ventures, and Qiming Ventures.

Perpetual Trading Protocol GMX Bags Biggest Chunk of $40M Arbitrum Grant

Oct. 13: Several projects built on the Arbitrum blockchain have bagged a cumulative stash of $40 million in ARB tokens as part of a short-term incentives program (STIP) round that ended late Thursday. Perpetual trading protocol GMX bagged the most rewards at 12 million ARB, worth just over $10 million, followed by Gains Network at 7 million ARB. Ether staking powerhouse Lido Finance was among the surprise duds, failing to win approval amid concerns that it could control a third of all staked ether tokens. $ARB

Diving Board (on Space and Time) Launches in Alpha

Oct. 13: Diving Board, a DeFi options trading platform, has launched in alpha, “aiming to unlock DeFi's full potential through cross-chain liquidity aggregation and advanced machine-learning insights,” according to a message from the team. “This user-friendly platform aggregates liquidity from various chains, including both centralized and decentralized exchanges, catering to significant traders to optimize pricing and minimize slippage. Operating on Space and Time's verifiable compute layer, Diving Board ensures accurate and tamper-proof data, marking a significant advancement in the DeFi landscape.”

Blockstream Opens 'Greenlight' Lightning Service

Oct. 12: Blockstream will open its eagerly-awaited "Lightning-as-a-Service" solution, Greenlight, to the public at BTC Amsterdam on Thursday, in a move set to transform the way developers integrate fast, low-cost bitcoin payments into their software via the Lightning Network, according to the team. First previewed in 2021, the public rollout of Greenlight marks a significant step towards enhancing bitcoin payment accessibility, showcasing Blockstream's commitment to fostering a more efficient digital payment ecosystem built on Bitcoin.

Worldcoin Enables Permissionless Integration

Oct. 12: Worldcoin contributors "recently updated the project's state bridges to use a new architecture that saves gas and enables anyone to easily create a bridge for any Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible chain," according to a blog post. "With the revised architecture, teams can now develop and operate their own state bridge permissionlessly to integrate World ID with their preferred blockchain and application. This enhancement has the potential to unlock new applications for a sybil-resistant, proof-of-personhood primitive." $WLD

Schematic showing how Worldcoin's state bridge works. (Worldcoin)
Schematic showing how Worldcoin's state bridge works. (Worldcoin)

DigiShares Token Studio Now on Fantom

Oct. 12: The team behind Fantom, a smart-contracts blockchain, sent the following message: “The DigiShares Token Studio, which provides a process to tokenize real-world assets in a legally compliant manner, has become available on the Fantom blockchain. This process establishes a legally binding link between the token, the legal entity, and the underlying asset. DigiShares tokenization platform has achieved full compatibility with the Fantom network, including all aspects of token operations from minting and trading, to managing tokenized share cap tables and facilitating dividend payments. This collaboration will leverage the tokenization capabilities of DigiShares and the robust infrastructure of Fantom.” $FTM

Alchemy Releases Account Abstraction Toolkit

Oct. 12: Alchemy, the web3 infrastructure platform, announced a “new Account Abstraction toolkit for web3 developers,” according to the team. “The Account Kit will provide familiar UX features including sign-up with an email, social login or a seed phrase for native web3 users. Account Abstraction began to take off in Q3 with more than 730,000 ERC-4337 smart accounts being deployed on Ethereum, Arbitrum, Optimism, Base and Polygon. Account Kit has integrations with the most popular wallet signers, including, web3auth, Turnkey, Privy, Lit Protocol, Fireblocks, Portal, Dynamic and Capsule.”

Endaoment.Org Now Allows Donors to Send in Cash and Stocks

Oct. 12: Endaoment.Org has launched “Endaoment for Everyone” to eliminate the requirement for users to donate assets with a crypto wallet, according to a message from the team: “Donors can now send in various asset types like cash, stocks, and more using their Google, Facebook, or Discord accounts. By expanding accessibility for donors, users can achieve increased donation traceability and security thanks to the activity recording perks of on-chain. All user actions are documented on the Base network, an immutable blockchain powered by Ethereum, demonstrating how the Web3 industry can usher in new standards of transparency for philanthropic giving.” $ETH $COIN

Mars brings credit accounts to Cosmos with v2 launch

Oct. 12: Mars, a credit protocol in the Cosmos ecosystem, released a major upgrade on Osmosis, according to a message from the team. "The protocol's v2 introduces `Rover credit accounts' to the Cosmos. Much like Binance subaccounts, credit accounts act as transferrable NFT containers where users can deposit assets, and use them as collateral for borrowing, spot or margin trading, leveraged yield farming and hedging – all with a single liquidation point." $ATOM

AdInMo Lets Game Players Earn Rewards in BTC Via ZBD

Oct. 12: From ZBD team: "AdInMo pioneers Rewarded InGamePlay Ads with fintech partner ZBD. The partnership means players can be rewarded for viewing immersive display and video ads in-game. It opens up an exciting new monetization world of benefits for both players and developers of mobile games and raises the bar with its immersive in-game ad formats and rewarded adtech solution. Developers and publishers can share in-game ad revenue generated with their players in the form of small amounts of real bitcoin powered by ZBD’s Bitcoin Lightning technology." $BTC

THNDR Announces 'Clinch' API for Wagering Using Lightning

Oct 12: THNDR, a bitcoin-focused gaming platform, announced its newest product, Clinch, “an API enabling instantaneous, borderless, peer-to-peer wagering using the Bitcoin Lightning Network,” according to a message from CEO Desiree Dickerson. “Targeting the $95B online gambling market, the Clinch API allows partners, such as online casinos, sports books, and competitive gaming platforms, to integrate global, high-frequency wagering without the restrictions, high fees, and slow processing of traditional gaming providers. Clinch is poised to shake up the industry by eliminating the need for centralized entities to control user funds. Clinch is now in open beta and available to test at”

JPMorgan, Barclays, BlackRock Settle Collateral On-Chain

Oct. 11: JPMorgan has carried out its first live blockchain-based collateral settlement transaction involving BlackRock and Barclays, the U.S. banking giant said on Wednesday. JPMorgan’s Ethereum-based Onyx blockchain and the bank’s Tokenized Collateral Network (TCN) was used by BlackRock to tokenize shares in one of its money market funds. The tokens were then transferred to Barclays for collateral in an OTC (over-the-counter) derivatives trade.

Spark Protocol Expands Beyond Ethereum to Gnosis

Oct. 10: Spark Protocol, DAI-centric DeFi lending platform in MakerDAO ecosystem, announced its "deployment on Gnosis Chain, a decentralized Ethereum Virtual Machine sidechain with over 150,000 validators," according to the team. "The deployment on Gnosis Chain marks Spark Protocol’s expansion beyond the Ethereum ecosystem, as part of a broader multi-chain strategy proposed in June 2023. The Spark deployment will allow Gnosis users to natively mint DAI on Gnosis Chain, while also benefiting from lower gas fees than Ethereum Mainnet and the security of a large and diverse validator set." $MKR $ETH $GNO

Immutable Joins Amazon Web Services' ISV Accelerate Program

Oct. 10: Immutable, an operator of blockchain networks for Web3 gaming, announced it will work with Amazon Web Services on “infrastructure and go-to-market initiatives designed to accelerate the on-boarding of game studios to Web3 and drive ownership of in-game items,” according to a press release. “Immutable has joined AWS’s ISV Accelerate Program, a co-sell program for organizations that provide software solutions that run on or integrate with AWS…. Web3 gaming projects building on Immutable can also enroll in AWS Activate, a program that provides startups with AWS credits, technical support, training, resources, and more. Participants can receive up to $100,000 in AWS credits.”

XYO, ZK-Powered Location Protocol, Expands to Optimism

Oct. 10: XYO Network, which aims to create a decentralized system of location oracles using zero-knowledge proofs, has launched on Optimism. “The bridge between XYO and Optimism offers a unique opportunity for those seeking liquidity for their crypto assets. Importantly, this leap forward also provides a glimpse into the potential for blockchain technology to transform industries that rely on the quality data provided by XYO,” according to a message from the team.

ZorroSign Integrates With Provenance Blockchain

Oct. 10: ZorroSign, a specialist in data security solutions built on blockchain, said it has expanded to Provenance Blockchain. "This advanced integration allows ZorroSign users to store digital document information—including signers, signatures and transaction metadata—on the Provenance Blockchain and verify the immutability of that data on the blockchain via digital certificates with audit trails," according to a message from the team.

Vechain Awards $46K in Hackathon at Harvard

Oct. 10: Vechain, a layer-1 enterprise-grade blockchain based in the country of San Marino, said it awarded $46,000 in price money at a 36-hour sustainability-themed hackathon at Harvard University. Winners included Movelo, FiTag and PropelPixel. Details below:

Vechain hackathon winners

Web3 Foundation Allocates $41M for Polkadot Development Fund

Oct. 10: The Web3 Foundation, the organization that supports the Polkadot Network and its DOT Token, announced on X Tuesday that it's launching a development fund for projects looking to build on Polkadot. The foundation said it’s allocating 20 million CHF ($22 million) and 5 million DOT ($19 million) from the Polkadot Treasury to the endeavor. The funding "will augment the community-governed funding mechanism from the Polkadot Treasury to help projects that will have a meaningful impact on the future of Polkadot,” the foundation said on X. $DOT - Sam Reynolds

Neutral Raises $3.2M for Regulated Carbon-Credit Exchange

Oct. 10: Neutral, which aims to build a regulated exchange for tokenized environmental assets including carbon and renewable-energy credits, has raised a $3.2 million in a financing round led by North Island Ventures with contributions from Redalpine, DCG, Cerulean Ventures, Factor Capital, Very Early Ventures and Rarestone, according to a message from co-founder and CEO Farouq Ghandour. “As we see ever-increasing interest from businesses and sovereign entities to invest in sustainability, we need the right infrastructure to price and trade this new generation of assets,” said Farouq Ghandour, Neutral CEO.

Quant Unveils 'Overledger Authorise'

Oct. 10: Quant, a London-based provider of what's described as central-bank-grade key management, has unveiled Overledger Authorise, which aims to integrate digital asset and blockchain keys with existing security systems, "ensuring top-level security and compliance," according to a message from the team. "By simplifying key management and transaction signing, Authorise makes blockchain adoption safer and more efficient for financial institutions. It’s already been put to the test in Project Rosalind, a collaboration with the Bank of England."

CreatorDAO Launches Bootcamp 'Launchpad'

Oct. 10: CreatorDAO, a decentralized community for investing in creators through capital, technology and operational support, is launching a free online bootcamp called Launchpad “to help budding creators turn their passions into profitable long-form YouTube channels,” according to a press release. “Founded by entrepreneur and Liquid 2 Ventures partner Michael Ma, CreatorDAO launched last year with a $20 million seed funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Initialized Capital. Other investors include Y-Combinator President and CEO Garry Tan, Alchemy CEO Nikil Viswanathan, electronic DJ and production duo The Chainsmokers, media personality Paris Hilton, singer Liam Payne, and musician and entrepreneur Michael Ezinger,” according to the press release.

VitaDAO Kickstarts Matrix Biosciences

Oct. 9: VitaDAO, a decentralized science (DeSci) DAO, has kickstarted its first biotech company, Matrix Biosciences, in collaboration with Vera Gorbunova of the University of Rochester’s Aging Research Center, according to the team. With an initial $300,000, they'll explore hyaluronic acid-based compounds, aiming to pioneer in cancer and aging treatments, utilizing insights from cancer-resistant naked mole rats. There is an anticipation of "further funding through IP-NFT fractionalization funding in early 2024," according to the release.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


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Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.

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