bookmark_border1inch Network increases liquidity sources by expanding to Polygon

Polygon, formerly known as Matic, offers 1inch Network more capabilities, including higher throughput and access to large liquidity pools.

1inch Network, a leading decentralized exchange aggregator, has officially expanded to Polygon — a move that opens up additional liquidity sources on Curve, SushiSwap, QuickSwap, Aave V2 and Cometh.

1inch announced Thursday that the exchange liquidity pools will be added immediately, with more protocols to be gradually phased in over time. Polygon was described by 1inch as a “vital” infrastructure protocol for ensuring efficient Ethereum scaling as the developer network transitions to proof-of-stake, or PoS.

Sergej Kunz, co-founder of 1inch Network, said user requests for Polygon swapping were “massive” after 1inch integrated Binance Smart Chain:

“After the 1inch Network has expanded to Binance Smart Chain, there was a massive request from the community to make Polygon also available for swapping via 1inch. Currently, the 1inch Aggregation Protocol is already deployed on Polygon, while the 1inch Liquidity Protocol and the 1inch Governance Protocol are expected to expand over to Polygon in the upcoming few weeks.”

In terms of market capitalization, Polygon is the 28th largest cryptocurrency protocol with a total network value of $6.9 billion, according to CoinGecko.

Kunz has credited Binance Smart Chain integration with the successful expansion of his protocol. 1inch users are now able to easily switch between Binance Smart Chain and Ethereum in search for higher speed and lower transaction fees.

1inch has quickly emerged as a leading decentralized exchange aggregator, having only recently integrated with Mdex. The launch of 1inch Wallet earlier this month has further solidified its position as a leading entry point to DeFi.

bookmark_borderInvestment bank Cowen set to offer institutional-grade crypto custody

The 103-year-old bank wants to hold crypto for asset managers and hedge funds as Wall Street begins offering cryptocurrency products to institutional clients.

Cowen Inc., an independent American investment bank established over a century ago, is set to become the latest mainstream financial services company to enter the crypto custody business.

According to Bloomberg, Cowen has inked a partnership with Standard Custody and Trust Company. The collaboration will also include a $25 million investment in Standard’s parent company, PolySign Inc., which has Ripple chief technology officer David Schwartz on its board of directors.

According to Cowen, there is a growing demand for crypto exposure among institutional investors, with CEO Jeffrey Solomon stating: “We’re going to be able to help a lot of our institutional clients get over the hump and start trading digital assets in the not-too-distant future.”

Custody remains a major roadblock for institutional entry into the crypto scene, as hedge funds and asset managers are required by law to have client’s assets held by recognized custodial services. Commenting on the issue, Solomon elaborated:

“If you’re an institutional investor with a fiduciary requirement, the bar is extremely high for you to put investments in any asset that does not have a clear chain of custody that you can access at a moment’s notice. Even if you had a view on the asset class, if you can’t demonstrate custody then you can’t trade it.”

In recent times, some U.S. banks have begun to wade into the crypto custody scene. Back in 2019, Fidelity — which manages $4.9 trillion in assets — debuted its cryptocurrency custody product, and as previously reported by Cointelegraph, it has even expanded its coverage to Asia.

Cowen’s $25 million investment is part of a $53 million funding round for PolySign as it moves toward creating products that enable greater institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies. PolySign’s Standard Custody subsidiary also recently secured approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services to operate as a limited-purpose trust company.

bookmark_borderCentral Bank of Bahrain and JPMorgan to work on digital currency settlement pilot

The Central Bank of Bahrain expects that its digital currency collaboration with JPMorgan and Bank ABC could extend to a CBDC.

The government of Bahrain, the third-richest Arab country, is working with American investment bank JPMorgan Chase on a digital currency settlement pilot.

The Central Bank of Bahrain officially announced Tuesday that the bank is now collaborating with JPMorgan and the Arab Banking Corporation BSC, or Bank ABC, in a pilot scheme to introduce an instant cross-border payment solution based on digital currency technology.

Aiming to cut settlement processing time, the new digital currency pilot will involve transferring funds from and to Bahrain in U.S. dollars for payments from buyers and suppliers. The central bank emphasized that it could move forward with the project to extend the collaboration to a central bank digital currency.

“Through this pilot with JPMorgan and Bank ABC, we aspire to address the inefficiencies and pain-points which exist today in the traditional cross-border payments arena,” CBB Governor Rasheed Al-Maraj said.

Ali Moosa, JPMorgan’s vice chair of wholesale payments, noted that the new collaboration involves the company’s digital currency-focused division known as Onyx. Piloted in 2017, the product was originally referred to as Interbank Information Network and was rebranded as Liink in October 2020.

“JPMorgan Onyx has been setup with the mandate to lead the buildout of next generation clearing and settlement infrastructures and we are delighted to partner with a leading central bank and regulator like the CBB to lead the buildout of a next generation payment and settlement infrastructure,” the executive noted.

JPMorgan has been aggressively promoting its blockchain technology expertise to collaborate with global jurisdictions on cross-border payments. In late April, JPMorgan partnered with Singapore’s largest bank, DBS, and state investment company Temasek to launch a new blockchain venture focused on global payments and interbank transactions. The bank previously provided its Liink technology to an Indian government-backed bank to reduce transaction costs and improve cross-border payments.

bookmark_borderAppSwarm’s DOGE division calls for a global dev teams to build off Dogecoin

AppSwarm’s newly launched Dogecoin division, DogeLabs, wants to become a global Dogecoin player by uniting worldwide DevOps teams.

A Dogecoin (DOGE)-focused division of publicly traded over-the-counter software firm AppSwarm is looking to bring together global development teams to build off of the Dogecoin blockchain.

DogeLabs — a newly launched division of AppSwarm’s blockchain research lab, TulsaLabs — announced Wednesday a new initiative calling on DevOps teams to unite their efforts in building a “sort of decentralized network” of DOGE developers across the globe.

“These teams would share ideas and provide support for Doge based applications for both commercial and possible larger enterprises within their local jurisdictions under the DogeLabs network,” DogeLabs said in the announcement.

DogeLabs founder and CEO Thomas Bustamante pointed out in DogeLabs’ official Telegram group that the new initiative would be the “quickest and cheapest way to rapidly expand DogeLabs as a global player in Dogecoin.” The Dogecoin lab will review potential partners over the coming weeks, Bustamante noted, adding that DevOps teams must meet certain criteria that would be posted shortly.

Currently operating in New York and Tulsa, DogeLabs is a blockchain research lab and startup accelerator focused on commercial applications around the Dogecoin protocol. The lab’s CEO is also the founder and CEO of AI Venturetech, an artificial intelligence startup that cooperates with AppSwarm on its blockchain research lab. The company apparently moved into blockchain development after its securities offering was rejected by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in 2020.

AppSwarm did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Dogecoin-related development appears to be promising, as DOGE has emerged as one of the fastest-growing digital currencies this year, posting gains of up to 13,500% year-to-date after surging from $0.005 to an all-time high of around $0.73. Amid the altcoin’s parabolic growth, Canadian company Geometric Energy Corporation announced plans to send a mission to the moon onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in a Dogecoin-based deal.

Launched back in 2013 by IBM software engineer Billy Markus and Adobe engineer Jackson Palmer, Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency based on the popular “Doge” meme featuring a Shiba Inu dog. Dogecoin’s protocol is based on Luckycoin (LKY), which itself is derived from the Litecoin (LTC) blockchain.

bookmark_borderPolkadot-centric derivatives exchange raises $6.4M in seed funding

DTrade is planning to build the first derivatives exchange on Polkadot following a highly successful private investment round.

A decentralized exchange by the name of dTrade is bringing derivatives trading to the Polkadot ecosystem after concluding a $6.4 million seed investment round, setting the stage for wider DeFi use cases on the developer network. 

The private investment round was led by some of the biggest names in the blockchain venture capital world, including Three Arrows Capital and DeFiance. Polychain Capital, ParaFi Capital, Huobi, Mechanism Capital, Bixin Ventures, IOSG Ventures, Hypersphere Ventures and Fenbushi Capital also participated.

Several companies have also stepped up to support liquidity on dTrade, including Alameda Research, CMS Holdings, MGNR, Kronos and WIntermute.

Alameda Research has invested heavily in Defi this year, allocating $20 million towards Reef Finance and $4 million towards Coin98 Finance.

As a decentralized exchange, dTrade allows for the trading of perpetual swaps and options with on-chain settlement. In theory, the platform can accommodate unlimited derivatives markets without custodial and counterparty risks. The trading platform is not available to U.S.-based traders.

“Derivatives are on track to become the largest market in decentralized finance, similar to how they are the largest asset class in traditional finance,” said Nikodem Grzesiak, co-founder of dTrade. “Derivatives are an exciting use case of blockchain. Entirely new perpetual swaps for blockchain-based assets within Polkadot’s multi-chain architecture can be added through a simple governance proposal.”

The popularity of crypto derivatives has exploded over the past year, as participants seek additional exposure to the rapidly growing market. CoinMarketCap’s 2020 annual report found that crypto derivatives accounted for 55% of the total cryptocurrency market last year.

Polkadot’s developer network has also grown rapidly, with 435 projects launching on the platform at the time of publication. 

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