I write and eat too many potatoes, not necessarily in that order.
With a market cap of over $4.5 billion, open-source blockchain protocol Polkadot has attracted the attention of investors after taking it’s spot as one of the market leaders since its unveiling in May.
Conceived by Ethereum Co-Founder Gavin Wood and designed as part of a vision for a decentralised web, Polkadot turns many blockchains into a hive mind network, offering interoperability and cross-chain communication as just some of its many features.
But investors are not alone, and recent months have seen disruptive startups that are looking to shape the future of web 3.0 flock to become a part of the now thriving Polkadot ecosystem.
Amongst them are decentralised finance (DeFi) applications, decentralised exchanges and decentralised data networks, and below are some of the exciting projects to take advantage of a protocol that looks poised to become a top player within the blockchain space moving into 2021.
MANTRA DAO was the first DeFi project built on Parity Substrate for the Polkadot ecosystem, and plans to become a completely decentralised and community-governed ecosystem for web3.
Focused on staking, borrowing, lending, and governance, MANTRA DAO hands financial control back to the people and is powered by its native OM token, which gives those holding it the opportunity to participate in key decisions via the KARMA protocol.
“MANTRA DAO is a DAO structured to be governed completely by the OM token holders, whereby users can receive financial rewards through participation in our savings (i.e., staking) and lending products, as well as use the OM token to take part in governance and vote on changes within the ecosystem and platform.” - MANTRA DAO Council Member John Patrick Mullin
Raising $875,000 in a seed and private sale, Polkastarter is a DEX (decentralised exchange) based on Polkadot. The Polkerstarter platform is designed for cross-chain token pools and auctions, and represents a step in the right direction for DEXs.
With Polkastarter, startups can raise capital in an environment that is completely decentralised, permissionless and interoperable. Both startups and investors will be able to participate in a secure and compliant environment, utilising assets “that go way beyond the current ERC20 standard”.
“Polkastarter will address a multi-billion dollar industry that is currently experiencing growing pains like scalability issues and high fees. Using Polkadot, Polkastarter will provide greater flexibility for users and projects looking to experience a DEX that is truly interoperable.” - Polkastarter Co-Founder and CEO Daniel Stockhaus
Core functionalities of Polkastarter include cross-chain swaps, full KYC integration and permissionless listing.
Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract parachain on Polkadot planning to be at the forefront of a multi-chain future. With Moonbeam, developers and users can take advantage of user friendly features such as minimal configuration changes, compatibility with all commonly used Ethereum-based tools, and pre-built integrations.
Moonbeam is gaining attention in the Polkadot community after receiving a Web3 Foundation grant in August 2020 and recently announcing that their parent company, PureStake, closed a $1.4 million seed round for Moonbeam.
“From the start, we’ve been inspired by the idea of an open, interoperable blockchain ecosystem,” says Derek Yoo, CEO of PureStake. “The growth we’ve seen in our community and this investment are both expressions of support for the vision of a multi-chain future. We will be using these funds to expand the team and to help us deliver a strong Polkadot MainNet deployment next year.”
Kylin is a universal oracle protocol, and plans to become “the data infrastructure for the future DeFi and Web 3.0 powered by Polkadot”. The project looks to remove risk presented as a result of inaccurate data or price manipulations within the cryptocurrency markets.
Kylin feeds verified information from several decentralised sources to DeFi smart contracts in real-time but could also be of use outside the realms of DeFi; recent issues surrounding the US electoral system could have been addressed using Kylin’s decentralised infrastructure.
“Decentralized validation of local electoral results could provide a very powerful tool against some of the problems we are currently seeing.” Said Kylin CEO Dylan Dewdney in a recent statement. “providing accurate, validated (challengeable) information as a premium data feeder to consumers like news organizations, is incredibly valuable as a premium data feed in a data marketplace.”
With Kylin, DeFi smart contracts can make accurate decisions based on data received from external sources and other application scenarios are diverse, including decentralised casinos, cross-chain decentralised exchanges such as Polkastarter and crypto asset lending platforms such as MANTRA DAO.
As Polkadot’s compatibility with the Substrate development framework continues to receive attention from disruptive projects, the platform looks set to become a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.
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