The travel and tourism industry is a major revenue driver for the global economy. In 2016, economists estimated that the travel and tourism industry contributed about $7.6 trillion to the global economy – thereby being responsible for as much as 10.6% of the world’s GDP. In fact, the travel and tourism industry is one of the biggest employers of labor in the global economic landscape as it boasts of providing one in every 10 jobs.
Millennials and Generation Z are major pillars upholding the thriving travel and tourism industry. Millennials are driving economic growth because they are the largest demography, they are tech savvy, upwardly mobile, and they have less inhibition towards spending. Statistics from the travel industry suggests that millennials spend an average of $4,500 within 35 travel days every year.
The travel industry fails to unlock optimal value from millennials
Despite the undeniable fact that millennials are a major consumer block in the travel industry, it is disheartening to observe that the industry is still stuck in an ancient era that millennials find stifling. To begin with, overbooking of flights and hotels could turn a trip into a nightmare even before it has had a chance to begin. Services such as Uber and AirBnB appeal to millennials because they are less stifling than hotels and taxis; yet, millennials are only trading one brand of inconvenience for another brand of inconvenience.
Secondly, travelers have to jump through many hoops to verify their identity and they are inadvertently forced to share their private data with many people along the value chain. Unfortunately, millennials have pseudo-living personas on multiple social platforms and it is often a drag verifying their identity through old systems when a simple look at their Facebook or Instagram handles would suffice.
Thirdly, there’s a depressing lack of reliable travel information to help travelers make informed travel decisions. The travel information available online is a jumbled up cacophony of hype, marketing pitch, incorrect, sentimental, and slightly objective stories from different sources. Hence, travelers often need to devote a great deal of time and energy to go through tons of information in search of reliable information.
Unfortunately, travel agents are not much help either because their knowledge is often limited to the tidbit of information that they can gather on the internet. In addition, travel agents tend to charge expensive fees for the information and they mark up the prices of consumables such as flight tickets and hotel reservations.
Cool Cousin is changing the narrative for the travel industry
Cool Cousin wants to help travelers (millennials and Gen Z especially) to bypass the information overload on the Internet in order to access unbiased travel information. Launched in 2016, as a VC-backed startup, Cool Cousin is getting popular acclaim, as a tool to revolutionize how people travel.
One of the smartest ways to create a memorable traveling experience is to plan your trip with the assistance of friends/family who are living at your destination. You can count on such people to give you factually reliable information on the accommodation options, the places to visit, the best times to travel, and on how to find the rare gems in the not so touristy places tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the cities.
Cool Cousin understands that not every traveler has the luxury of having a family member or friend that they can call in their destination cities. The firm, however, leverages blockchain technology to create a network of local guides called “Cousins” in different parts of the world. The Cool Cousin app, available on Android and iOS is now available in more than 65 cities with more than 1000 locals actively working as city guides.
Cool Cousin provides travelers with the next best thing to having a trusted local friend who knows your interest and can direct you to places that suit you. When you launch the Cool Cousin app, you sign in with one of your social media accounts such as Facebook or email. The app then asks for where you want to go. The app then pulls up info on your “Cousins” showing you their age, interests, and places they’ve been. You can connect with a “Cousin” whose interests seem to match your interests – you can ask for their map to favorite places or general travel idea that helps you to get the best out of your interests.
A Win-Win proposition backed by blockchain
Cool Cousin is also riding the cryptocurrency application of Blockchain technology to create the CUZ token. The CUZ token is an open source cryptographic token that will be used for the exchange of information on travel services and local information on the Cool Cousin platform. CUZ will serve as a tool to incentivize Cousins to provide unique content that fills an information gap for travelers.
The supply of the CUZ token is limited to 300,000,000 with the bulk of it being available in an ICO and only 10% going to the founding team. The instrumentality of a coin exchange also ensures that all members of the Cool Cousin community get to participate in keeping the platform alive sustainably without sacrificing the quality of content at the altar of growth and scale.
Stably USD Stablecoin Officially Launched On the XRP Ledger
Stably Corporation, a Seattle-based Web3 payment infrastructure and Stablecoin-as-a-Service provider, is proud to announce the official launch of Stably USD ($USDS) under the ticker $USD on the XRP Ledger (XRPL) a decentralized blockchain. Stably USD is a regulatory-compliant and USD-backed stablecoin that supports XRPL’s objective of providing a scalable and sustainable blockchain for tokenized assets and global payment/settlement. Stably USD is also XRPL’s first natively-issued US-based stablecoin and the first product released as part of an ongoing collaboration between both Stably and XRPL.
Stably USD is a multichain, US Dollar-backed stablecoin created by Stably in partnership with a US-regulated and SEC-qualified custodian. Every Stably USD token is fully collateralized 1-to-1 with USD held in bank deposits managed by the custodian for the benefit of token holders. Stably USD is always redeemable for $1 US Dollar per token (minus fees) through Stably’s custodian partner. Stably also partners with a leading US-based stablecoin auditor to provide monthly public attestations for Stably USD’s fiat collateral reserve, ensuring that every token in circulation is fully backed 1-to-1 with US Dollar.
Since the initial launch of their stablecoin on Ethereum in 2018, Stably has been setting new standards for transparency and interoperability in the stablecoin industry. Users from 200+ countries/regions worldwide can now mint/redeem Stably USD easily through a variety of traditional payment methods such as Fedwire, SWIFT, ACH, and credit/debit cards through Stably Ramp, a fiat-to-stablecoin gateway with low fees and access to emerging blockchains.
“XRPL’s global growth potential due to their cutting-edge products and technology is what had initially caught our interest. However, it became increasingly clear just how complementary a partnership between us both would be. Their strong institutional relationships and low transaction fees suit Stably’s stablecoin and fiat gateway infrastructure perfectly, enabling a wide range of use cases such as simplified payments and remittances. And this is only the start, as we expect stablecoin demand to continue growing immensely,” said Kory Hoang, CEO and Co-Founder of Stably.
In addition to XRPL, Stably USD is also natively issued on 11+ other blockchains under the ticker $USDS, including Ethereum as well as emerging chains like Harmony, Stellar, VeChain, and Tezos, with many more coming soon. As a result, Stably USD can effectively serve as a multichain US Dollar “bridge,” enabling Web3 users to easily and securely transfer liquidity from various networks to/from XRPL.
The initial launch of XRPL Stably USD empowers individual users to mint/redeem tokens via Stably’s website or through the Stably Ramp application embedded within Xumm wallet, the largest non-custodial wallet application on XRPL. Institutional users will also be able to create a Stably Prime account in order to mint/redeem XRPL Stably USD or swap it for other digital assets, including USDC, USDT, BTC, ETH, and more.
Stably is a Web3 payment infrastructure provider and FinCEN-registered MSB from Seattle. The company specializes in providing fiat gateways, multi-chain stablecoins, and cross-chain bridged tokens to users of Web3 applications. Stably’s mission is to power this decade’s next billion Web3 users with regulatory-compliant payment infrastructure across both developed and emerging blockchain ecosystems. Visit stably.io to learn more.
About XRP Ledger
The XRP Ledger (XRPL) is an open source, public and decentralized Layer 1 blockchain led by a global developer community. It is fast, energy-efficient, and reliable. For more than ten years, it has been the blockchain best suited to enable settlement and liquidity of tokenized assets at scale. With ease of development, low transaction costs, and a knowledgeable community, it provides developers with a strong open-source foundation for executing on the most demanding projects – without impacting the XRPL’s lean and efficient feature set. XRPL enables a wide variety of services and use cases including payments, decentralized finance, and tokenization. Learn more at XRPL.org.
CLARINS INTRODUCES T.R.U.S.T., A PLATFORM USING BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY TO PROVIDE TRANSPARENCY ON INGREDIENT TRACEABILITY AND PRODUCT MANUFACTURING
Following its ethical and sustainable commitments, Clarins takes one step further in consumer transparency by launching T.R.U.S.T., a one of-a-kind platform base on blockchain technology to share full traceability of the ingredients that go into product formulas as well as the manufacturing process. Starting today with the latest product batch numbers, anyone has access to:
- All steps in the product manufacturing process – including quality and safety controls, where and the product has been formulated and packed.
- Exhaustive information regarding plant-based ingredients – including geographical origin, harvesting method and Clarins sourcing certifications.
- Behind the Clarins expertise – via visuals and testimonies from our factory, laboratories, and overall facilities in Pontoise (France).
To make T.R.U.S.T. possible, Clarins uses the blockchain technology to ensure safety and transparency of the process. The blockchain technology is used to store and transmit information in the safest way possible as it does not have a centralized control system. It forms a database that records secured exchanges between different users (suppliers, producers) and once a piece of information is entered in the system, the blockchain technology certifies their authenticity, without allowing anything to be modified.
Clarins T.R.U.S.T. is an ongoing initiative and while not all products and ingredients are available yet, the list is growing every day for total transparency. 30 products and 40 plant extracts can now be found, and there will be close to 100 by the end of 2023.
By simply entering a product batch code on Clarins T.R.U.S.T. platform, anyone can have access to the manufacturing process and discover the origins of its plant ingredients: https://traceability.trust.clarins.com/en_US
Founded in a professional Parisian beauty institute by Jacques Courtin-Clarins in 1954, Clarins has become the #1 prestige skincare brand in Europe. More than 65 years later, the brand remains family-owned and is distributed in more than 140 countries—offering skincare innovations for face and body, men’s and makeup. With unique expertise in Phyto-chemistry, Clarins Laboratories are considered pioneers in the fields of plant science and technology. The brand values are rooted in an ongoing dialogue with women, an abiding respect for nature and people, and commitments to sustainable sourcing, including Le Domaine Clarins—our organic farm and open-air laboratory in the French Alps. Clarins is accelerating its sustainable actions to become a Certified B Corporation by 2023. Currently carbon neutral the company will further reduce its carbon footprint by 30% and become 100% plastic neutral using 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. Partners include: Pur Projet – over 618,000 trees planted to date, Plastic Odyssey – a three-year expedition across three continents, 30 stopovers to fight against plastic pollution, and FEED — over 38 million school meals provided to children in need by the end of 2022.
Global Cryptocurrency C2X Transfers to XPLA, Official White Paper for XPLA Also Released
XPLA, a blockchain mainnet built by Com2uS Group and other partners, is a universal gaming and entertainment hub for all media content, and has announced the transfer of the C2X token to its mainnet. XPLA coins will be available for trade at both cryptocurrency trading platforms FTX and Gate.io from Oct. 21. Trade through Huobi Global is expected to be made available next month. XPLA, which features Web3 philosophy, is moving forward as a major mainnet which will encompass future digital content, globally. Additionally, XPLA has officially released its whitepaper.
C2X listed on FTX and Gate.io will transfer to XPLA on Oct. 21. FTX is the world’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange based on CoinMarketCap, a price-tracking website for crypto assets. Gate.io is one of the world’s top ten digital currency trading platforms. As XPLA acts as a NativeCoin for trade, all C2X coins are migrated to XPLA through global top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges.
XPLA will also open up its website to help holders’ C2X migration to XPLA on Oct. 21. Holders can easily complete migration by accessing the website, connecting their C2X station wallets, and transferring their C2X tokens to XPLA VAULT, an exclusive wallet for XPLA. XPLA ecosystem is expected to be expanded as XPLA distribution and trade has been activated.
XPLA aims to be a major mainnet globally together with global partners, encompassing future digital contents as well as platforms with Web3 games, metaverse, and NFT marketplace at its core. In addition, XPLA will further enhance its scalability by providing various services to users of other blockchain mainnets including Ethereum through Wormhole, a cross-chain bridge between blockchain mainnets.”
With Com2uS Holdings and Com2uS participating as core partners and validators, synergy from various partners such as Animoca Brands, YGG (Yield Guild Games), Hashed, Ozys, Delight, and Xterio has been added to ensure stability, scalability, and content competitiveness. XPLA is expected to serve as a bridge during a paradigm shift to Web3, facilitating Web2 services to make their way into the world of Web3 easier.
The XPLA whitepaper has also recently been released which outlines the structure and operation of principle of a mainnet, token economy system and its roadmap. The purpose is to build trust by disclosing issuance quantity and usage of XPLA and how it employs a distributed network voting system for content creators and users. XPLA serves as a bridge to facilitate the Web3 paradigm shift.
For more information, please visit: www.xpla.io.
XPLA is the next generation of Web3 mainnet, developed with gamers at the core of its design. Based on the idea of “Explore and Play,” XPLA is the newest innovation in the Web3 gaming space, using Cosmos SDK for optimization and featuring development support from Delight and ZenaAD. This new infrastructure serves as the bridge between Web2 and Web3 services, and will feature games, art, music and Dapps based on community-driven feedback from users. XPLA places heavy emphasis on User Experience and accessibility to craft the standard in game centric Web3 services, opening up limitless possibilities for blockchain gaming.
BLiNQ Networks is set to power XNET’s decentralized network to bridge connectivity gaps and drive crypto rewards
XNET, a new Decentralized Wireless (DeWi) provider and operator and BLiNQ Networks, a pioneer manufacturer of CBRS-ready and multiband wireless broadband solutions, have partnered to bring true mobile wireless connectivity to customers and businesses using blockchain technology and the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS).
XNET’s DeWi model is remarkably different from others in the space, bringing full-service carrier features like voice, SMS, e911 and data rather than focusing primarily on data connectivity. XNET will act as a neutral-host operator with notable roaming capability so that customers can connect or roam onto the XNET network with any CBRS compatible device. BLiNQ’s FW-300i and X-300i CBRS radio units are perfectly geared for leveraging decentralized wireless networks due to their ease of deployment, form factor, incredible network capacity and accessibility to both enterprise and consumer markets. The FW-300i can be mounted on very high buildings and towers to provide connectivity and add to a network in all urban, suburban and remote areas which is imperative in helping one of XNET’s core values of serving under-connected and underserved communities become reality.
“We are excited to be a part of this endeavor to leverage decentralized wireless networks, because we believe that the technology we have today should be serving all communities,” says Patrick Buthmann, VP of Sales and Business Development at BLiNQ Networks. “The growth of decentralized networks paves the way for the future of connectivity as it promises more affordable access for all. The crypto rewards are an added bonus, as a result of contributing to and owning a part of a network.”
XNET will provide a full-service voice and data network, enabling modern 4G and 5G wireless networks using CBRS and any other available radio spectrum. The decentralized networks are powered by a community of individuals and businesses who will own and operate XNET’s wireless network infrastructure in return for crypto rewards.
“The future is decentralized 5G, the future is connectivity for all — the future is XNET. We are proud to partner with BLiNQ to bring connectivity and a revenue-generating opportunity to individuals and small businesses — initially deploying in select markets across the US, and eventually everywhere.” says Tom Beirith, Co-Founder of XNET Inc.
Unlike traditional wireless networks that are dependent on wireless spectrum licenses and lots of expensive infrastructure like Radio Access Network (RAN) assets, XNET will not own any spectrum and only very little physical network infrastructure.
The recent rise of blockchain technology has enabled a new class of decentralized applications, including decentralized communications networks and Web3 concepts. Together, BLiNQ Networks and XNET will leverage decentralized networks in order to provide high levels of performance, ease of scalability, and robust security, while enabling the rise of the crypto economy that allows for new forms of incentives, value exchange, and social/technical organization.
ABOUT BLINQ NETWORKS
BLiNQ Networks is a pioneer manufacturer of CBRS-ready and multiband wireless broadband solutions, building the technology to provide essential internet connectivity all over the world. BLiNQ provides industry-leading price and performance in LTE and 5G-ready solutions, driven by a talented team based in Ontario, Canada. For more information visit blinqnetworks.com.
XNET is dedicated to providing wireless connectivity and economic opportunity to everyone through the world’s first blockchain-powered true mobile carrier.
CME Group and CF Benchmarks to Launch Three New Cryptocurrency Reference Rates and Real-Time Indices on October 31
CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, and CF Benchmarks, the leading provider of cryptocurrency benchmark indices, today announced plans to launch three new cryptocurrency reference rates and real-time indices, which will be calculated and published daily by CF Benchmarks, beginning October 31.
These reference rates and indices are not tradable futures products. They include the following:
- Avalanche (AVAX)
- Filecoin (FIL)
- Tezos (XTZ)
“Together with bitcoin, ether and other available cryptocurrencies, CME CF Reference Rates and Real-Time Indices will capture more than 92% of the investable cryptocurrency market capitalization,” said Giovanni Vicioso, CME Group Global Head of Cryptocurrency Products. “These new benchmarks are designed to allow traders, institutions and other users to access a much broader range of cryptocurrencies through a suite of products they are already familiar with, allowing them to confidently and more accurately manage cryptocurrency price risk, value portfolios or create structured products like ETFs.”
CME CF Reference Rates and Real-Time Indices are based on robust methodologies that have regular expert oversight and are designed to meet the growing need for transparent, regulated and round-the-clock pricing.
Several leading crypto exchanges and trading platforms will provide pricing data for these new benchmarks, starting initially with Bitstamp, Coinbase, Gemini, itBit, Kraken, and LMAX Digital. Each coin will trade on a minimum of two of these constituent exchanges.
“Investors are increasingly seeking exposure to a wider range of cryptocurrencies as they learn more about the potential of the digital asset class,” said Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmarks. “Regulated investment products, spearheaded by CME Group’s Crypto derivative suite, have helped open crypto to a much wider range of investors. Through its robust reference rates, CF Benchmarks is proud to be able to facilitate the creation of regulated financial products for this new asset class so investors can seek and manage exposure with confidence.”
“The introduction of new products at CME Group is both exciting and necessary, as investors demand a focused exchange where safety and risk are a primary priority,” said Bill Cannon, Head of Portfolio Management at Valkyrie Investments. “This expansion provides functional accessibility to a variety of new and unique financial products, bridging the ever-narrowing gap between traditional and decentralized financial markets. We find that these types of innovations, especially at the current point in the cycle, will help build a stronger foundation in digital assets and create new channels of growth considering the amount of investment currently entering the sector.”
Each of these new reference rates will provide the U.S. dollar price of each digital asset, published once-a-day at 4 p.m. London time, while each respective real-time index will be published once per second, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
For more information on these products, please visit www.cmegroup.com/cryptobenchmarks.
About CME Group
As the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, CME Group (www.cmegroup.com) enables clients to trade futures, options, cash and OTC markets, optimize portfolios, and analyze data – empowering market participants worldwide to efficiently manage risk and capture opportunities. CME Group exchanges offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural products and metals. The company offers futures and options on futures trading through the CME Globex® platform, fixed income trading via BrokerTec and foreign exchange trading on the EBS platform. In addition, it operates one of the world’s leading central counterparty clearing providers, CME Clearing.
CME Group, the Globe logo, CME, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Globex, and, E-mini are trademarks of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. CBOT and Chicago Board of Trade are trademarks of Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc. NYMEX, New York Mercantile Exchange and ClearPort are trademarks of New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. COMEX is a trademark of Commodity Exchange, Inc. BrokerTec and EBS are trademarks of BrokerTec Europe LTD and EBS Group LTD, respectively. Dow Jones, Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and S&P are service and/or trademarks of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC, Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and S&P/Dow Jones Indices LLC, as the case may be, and have been licensed for use by Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
About CF Benchmarks
CF Benchmarks is the leading provider of cryptocurrency benchmark indices, authorised and regulated by the UK FCA under the EU BMR. Composed of market data from six constituent exchanges, its benchmark indices are provided through public methodologies and transparent governance, for tracking, valuing and settling risk in cryptocurrency financial services and products. CF Benchmarks’ indices have been used to settle over $500bn of cryptocurrency derivative contracts listed for trading by CME Group and Kraken Futures.
ZenLedger Announces BitPay Partnership to Accept Cryptocurrency Payments
ZenLedger, the global leader in cryptocurrency tax software and blockchain analytics, today announced the company is accepting cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services using BitPay, the world’s largest provider of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payment services. The ability to accept cryptocurrency enables ZenLedger to offer end to end functionality for crypto traders globally. More consumers are turning to crypto with 56% reporting they want to purchase crypto, nearly half viewing crypto as an investment and more than 40% wanting to use it to make payments, according to the latest “Paying With Cryptocurrency” report from PYMNTS.
“As a brand designed to support traders and those on the cutting edge of Web3 Innovation, the decision to accept crypto payments using BitPay was easy,” said Pat Larsen, CEO and Co-Founder of ZenLedger. “Our ultimate goal is to always facilitate the crypto experience for our users in order to save time and money. That means everything from tracking their transactions, to offering them the chance to use those funds for our services. We believe in the long-term growth and innovation in the industry and so this is the next step in making things easier for our customers.”
By adding cryptocurrency to its payment options ZenLedger reduces transaction fees while increasing payment transparency and efficiency. BitPay pioneered blockchain payment processing to enable payments using cryptocurrencies including ApeCoin (APE), Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Shiba Inu (SHIB), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) XRP, 5 USD-pegged stablecoins (BUSD, DAI, GUSD, USDC, and USDP) and one Euro-backed stable coin (EUROC). BitPay’s business solutions eliminate transaction fraud, reduce the cost of payment processing, and enable borderless payments in cryptocurrency. With quick settlements in US Dollars, ZenLedger avoids any cryptocurrency price volatility or risk to the company.
“As the leading Crypto Tax Software, ZenLedger is filling a need for consumers who want to buy, invest and spend crypto alongside other investment vehicles and still keep track for accounting and tax purposes,” said Merrick Theobald, Vice President of Marketing at BitPay. “Our goal at BitPay is to make accepting crypto for ZenLedger a seamless process and to help promote crypto adoption as we believe crypto is the future of payments.”
ZenLedger is the leading cryptocurrency tax and accounting suite for investors and tax professionals. ZenLedger collects, analyzes, and accounts for your transaction information across thousands of exchanges, NFTs, DeFi, wallets, and tokens in one simple dashboard. The company leads the industry in number of blockchains and tokens supported while also offering fast, friendly customer service. Crypto investors can gain easy, valuable portfolio and cash management insights while also saving time and stress. ZenLedger supplies blockchain protocols, investment funds, corporations, and governments with the tools needed for taxation, accounting, investigation, and audits. ZenLedger’s investors include blockchain venture funds, crypto founders, and leading crypto & fintech venture capital firms including Parafi, Mark Cuban, AVAX Blizzard fund and ALGO Borderless Capital.
Founded in 2011, BitPay is one of the oldest cryptocurrency companies. As a pioneer in blockchain payment processing, the company’s mission is to transform how businesses and people send, receive, and store money. Its business solutions eliminate fraud chargebacks, reduce the cost of payment processing, and enable borderless payments in cryptocurrency, among other services. BitPay offers consumers a complete digital asset management solution that includes the BitPay Wallet and BitPay Prepaid Card, enabling them to turn digital assets into dollars for spending at tens of thousands of businesses. The company has offices in North America, Europe, and South America and has raised more than $70 million in funding from leading investment firms including Founders Fund, Index Ventures, Virgin Group, and Aquiline Technology Growth. For more information visit bitpay.com.
Polygon Partners With Blockchain Founders Fund to Empower Web3 Entrepreneurs
Blockchain Founders Fund (BFF), a Singapore-based Venture Capital Fund that focuses on early-stage Web3 and blockchain startups globally, today announces that Polygon, an Ethereum scaling platform onboarding millions to Web3, has made a strategic investment into their Fund II to diversify the company’s holdings and advance the mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.
Blockchain Founders Fund boasts an impressive portfolio of over 100 companies in the Web3 space with an equally impressive track record of effectively scaling them to targeted audiences. These companies include blockchain-powered no-code gaming studios (GRID), social intelligence for cryptocurrencies (LunarCrush), and various other applications built on top of blockchain infrastructure.
The fund II, which focuses on promising Web3, and metaverse startups, launched in January after raising $75 million from a host of leading crypto investors. Included among participating investors were NEO Global Capital (NGC), Appworks, Sebastien Borget, COO of The Sandbox, and Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal.
This latest partnership marks another successful collaboration between BFF and Polygon. Previously, BFF has co-invested alongside Polygon in top blockchain companies such as Splinterlands and Altered State Machine to accelerate and empower decentralized applications. This collaboration will enable both companies to offer exceptional value propositions to web3 founders and entrepreneurs with high potential to disrupt industries.
Sandeep Nailwal, Co-Founder of Polygon said, “To bring the vision of Web3 to realization and help garner mainstream adoption, it’s vital that we support entrepreneurs in building innovative products and infrastructure. We look forward to working alongside Blockchain Founders Fund, who share our vision and believe in the transformative potential of Web3.”
Boasting just over 37,000 decentralized applications (dapps), Polygon is fast becoming the de facto platform for Web3. The network offers an array of blue-chip services ranging from decentralized finance (DeFi) dapps such as Aave, Curve, Balancer, and Uniswap, to the best gaming and metaverse platforms, including Decentraland, Somnium Space, and The Sandbox. Polygon also powers the mass market, helping major global brands, including Starbucks, Adobe, Clinique, and others, integrate Web3 functionality.
“The addition of one of the biggest crypto firms such as Polygon as a partner will expand our investment profile and ability to invest in a wider range of early-stage companies,” commented Aly Madhavji, Managing Partner of Blockchain Founders Fund. “Their expertise in the industry will greatly assist us in connecting with the best breed of high-potential companies that are building real solutions to real problems.”
Polygon is the leading blockchain development platform, offering scalable, affordable, secure and sustainable blockchains for Web3. Its growing suite of products offers developers easy access to major scaling solutions including L2 (ZK Rollups and Optimistic Rollups), sidechains, hybrid, stand-alone and enterprise chains, and data availability. Polygon’s scaling solutions have seen widespread adoption with 37,000+ decentralized applications hosted, 1.94B+ total transactions processed, 164M+ unique user addresses and $5B+ in assets secured. The network is home for some of the biggest Web3 projects such as Aave, Uniswap, OpenSea and well-known enterprises including Meta, Stripe and Adobe. Polygon is carbon neutral with the goal of leading the Web3 ecosystem in becoming carbon negative.
About Blockchain Founders Fund
Blockchain Founders Fund (BFF) is a Singapore based early-stage Venture Capital Fund which invests in top-tier Blockchain startups globally. Their industry leading go-to-market focused Venture Program aids seasoned and first-time entrepreneurs across key business functions to fast-track growth. BFF has scaled many of the leading Blockchain startups and is always looking to connect with exceptional founders across the Web3 and Blockchain ecosystems.
Wanchain Launches Cross-Chain USDT XFlows With Bridge Upgrade
Wanchain has announced its new ‘XFlows’ cross-chain bridge upgrade which will revolutionize trading of the world’s number one stablecoin, USDT, against many other widely used tokens. This new upgrade brings native-to-native USDT cross-chain transfers for Ethereum, BNB Chain, OKC, Polygon, Arbitrum, and more to be announced soon.
What are USDT XFlows?
USDT is minted natively on more than a dozen blockchains. Until now, the easiest way to move USDT between these chains has been to use centralized exchanges. Users can now use Wanchain’s industry-best cross-chain bridges to execute decentralized, non-custodial native-to-native USDT cross-chain transfers between Ethereum, BNB Chain, OKC, Polygon, and Arbitrum – colloquially referred to as XFlows. USDT XFlows are native-to-native USDT cross-chain transfers between blockchains where USDT is natively minted by Tether.
What Happens to Pre-Existing USDT Bridges?
Wanchain previously developed Direct Bridges, a method that uses a ‘lock-mint-burn-unlock’ method in which native tokens (like USDT) on the source chain would be locked before a mirrored copy, or wrapped token, is minted on the destination chain. To unlock the original token, the wrapped token is then subsequently burned.
Powered by Wanchain’s cross-chain bridges, XFlows offers a seamless experience that exists in concert with these pre-existing bridges. When bridging USDT to another network, users will automatically receive native USDT if native USDT exists on the destination chain. However, if USDT does not exist on the destination chain, users will receive wrapped USDT.
The Mechanics of XFlows
When bridging an asset that is minted natively on both the source and destination chains, a lock-mint-burn-unlock mechanism is not a viable option as users will undoubtedly want to receive the native asset, rather than a wrapped version.
With this new solution, when someone bridges their USDT from Ethereum to Polygon, their USDT is first added to a native liquidity pool on Ethereum before the same number of USDT is removed from the pool on Polygon.
Wanchain bridge nodes balance pools of native USDT on Ethereum, BSC, OKC, Polygon and Arbitrum to enable native USDT cross-chain transfers; all without sacrificing security and decentralization. USDT XFlows are executed using the same secure multi-party computation (sMPC) architecture that distinguishes Wanchain’s interoperability solutions.
Who Provides the USDT liquidity?
With these new native USDT cross-chain transfers, Wanchain is introducing a new method of liquidity provision that avoids the trappings of centralized liquidity and incentivized liquidity alternatives.
The USDT liquidity that powers Wanchain’s USDT XFlows is provided by users who bridge their USDT to another network using the lock-mint-burn-unlock mechanism. The USDT that is locked on a source chain, before wrapped USDT is minted on a destination chain, doubles as the liquidity powering native-to-native USDT cross-chain transfers.
The combination of the lock-mint-burn-unlock and liquidity pool methods is a major innovation in the field of cross-chain technology. The number of wrapped USDT in circulation is always equivalent to the total native USDT locked in liquidity pools across all chains.
As more wrapped USDT is minted, regardless of the network, more native USDT is added to the liquidity pools. These new USDT XFlows are both owned and powered by the users giving them more control over their money, and the network.
Current & Upcoming Bridges
USDT XFlows are currently supported by direct bridges connecting Arbitrum, BNB Chain, CLV P-Chain, Ethereum, Moonriver, OKC, Polygon, Wanchain, and XDC Network. In the future, Wachain’s USDT XFlows will support native USDT on Avalanche C-Chain and Tron. Additionally, Wanchain is working towards launching XFlows for the second biggest stable coin, USDC, which would give users coverage for almost all of the stablecoin market.
Bictory Finance launches web3 domains on Concordium to simplify transactions on the blockchain
Bictory Finance, a web3 software technology company, tackling safety & regulatory problems across chains in the DeFi & NFT space, has launched the Concordium Name Service (CNS), a wallet naming system that maps human-readable names to blockchain addresses for a more friendly on-chain experience.
The Concordium Name Service (CNS) enables users to mint blockchain domains to replace the lengthy string of alphanumeric characters, which serves as wallet addresses, with human-readable and memorizable names, like john.ccd. This allows to simplify transactions and dapp interactions by giving it human-friendly names.
CNS domains can also serve as a decentralized website domain name. The names on this service have the “.ccd” top-level domain derived from Concordium’s token ticker, and it supports single digit and character combinations, such as a.ccd or 0.ccd.
“The top level domain market (TLD), like .com and .io extensions, which are issued and controlled by a centralized authority is now being challenged by the open and free market of blockchain domains. For example, unlike TLD domains, a CNS user has full control over the domain, with all records live on the public ledger, and the ability to earn royalties from secondary sales,” says Joha Sulaymonov founder at Bictory.
Besides, the advanced CNS domains on Concordium enable a person’s unique ID to have an authentic, web3 identity, which could be the dominating factor when decentralized domains become widely adopted.
Registering a domain name on CNS attracts two fees; a yearly subscription fee and network fees. CNS domains start at $10 per year for a 6+ character domain. Domain names with fewer characters are priced higher in subscription fees, the priciest being a two characters domain which costs $150 per year. Single characters will be auctioned out. Mint one today at ccd.domains.
Magpie secures $3M in funding to enable seamless cross-chain swaps
The team at Magpie Protocol is pleased to announce that its $3-million Seed round has been completed. With Jump’s assistance, Magpie Protocol is poised for success and is additionally supported by notable investors, such as Sandeep Nailwal, GSR Markets, ParaFi Capital, Republic Capital, Big Brain Holdings, Serafund, Faculty Group, MH Ventures, D1 Ventures, ArkStream, Apollo Capital and more.
After seeing what Magpie Protocol is developing and offering to the crypto space, Jump Crypto — which looks for projects full of passion for decentralized finance (DeFi), focused on innovation and is full of engineers, investors and traders consumed by building the future of DeFi — made the decision to cement itself as the lead investor in the project.
“As the crypto infrastructure landscape expands multichain, Magpie’s cross-chain liquidity aggregation protocol and array of other cross-chain microservices offer the much-needed abstraction layer and seamless execution for the end-user.” — Saurabh Sharma, head of investments at Jump Crypto
Next is GSR Markets, which partners with brave and brilliant entrepreneurs who are building the future of ﬁnance. GSR works with cryptocurrency projects at crucial points in their life cycle, providing robust liquidity that helps enable their technology. Together, we’re going to change the landscape of DeFi and the global economy. We’re very excited to be supported by them.
“We’re excited to be working with the Magpie Protocol team as they continue expanding decentralized liquidity provision to clients through bridgeless, cross-chain liquidity aggregation.” — GSR Markets
Republic Capital selects investments based on business fundamentals with a focus on unit economics, strategy and the opportunity to disrupt a market. Everyone believes in Magpie Protocol to be a part of this changing of the future of DeFi and the global market.
“We are thrilled to be early backers of Magpie and its team. Interoperability is a key component of the crypto ecosystem, and we believe Magpie’s solution is one of the most elegant and easiest to use in the space.” — Republic Capital
Magpie Protocol is a decentralized liquidity aggregation protocol for cross-chain swaps aiming to provide the best deal on any asset across top blockchains without the need to bridge assets independently. Instead, our novel architecture uses bridges primarily as a data transfer layer to communicate swap signals between chains. The result is an extremely fast and secure solution to cross-chain swaps.
Bridge security concerns are at the forefront of DeFi at this time, being a crucial component in promoting the trustless and inclusive foundations upon which DeFi is built. Most bridges are custodial, meaning users must entrust their tokens with the security of the bridge by locking assets in a smart contract. This centralization of bridged assets creates single points of failure, which can put multiple ecosystems in danger if they are exploited. A recent report by Chainalysis, a blockchain data platform, estimates a total of $2 billion in cryptocurrency has been stolen from cross-chain bridges in 2022 alone. This goes to prove that creating a secure cross-chain bridge solution is a must in DeFi.
Magpie is a project that was incubated by Saxon, which helps idea-stage crypto entrepreneurs to launch game-changing DeFi and infrastructure projects. They provide holistic support, spanning from product market ﬁt and business development to tokenomics and fundraising.
“It’s been a pleasure working with Ali and the wider Magpie team to bring this disruptive approach to cross-chain swaps to market. With the launch of a new generation of L1s just around the corner, the timing could hardly be better.” — Ultan Miller, Saxon managing partner
Magpie’s architecture uses bridges to communicate swap signals between chains, without the need to lock, burn or mint assets on or within a bridge. By combining an off-chain liquidity network and bridge liquidity with a proprietary liquidity aggregation protocol, Magpie is chain-agnostic, meaning it is compatible and able to initiate swaps for the desired token on any chain, without limiting factors as other aggregation protocols, and whether or not the chain is Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible or not. Not only does this result in near instant ﬁnality for users but it also enables Magpie to be fully noncustodial by keeping assets in control of the user rather than a third party or bridge, which greatly improves the security of users’ assets.
“I’d like to personally thank all of our investors and team members for your support in Magpie. We’re all incredibly proud of the work the team has done thus far, but it’s only the beginning. Now the work begins for the next round of funding as well as preparing to launch our private and public alpha testing events in the coming weeks. It has been an amazing journey so far, and we have a lot in store for us in the coming years.” — Ali Raheman, CEO and founder of Magpie Protocol
At the time of writing, Magpie Protocol is compatible with many established chains and DeFi protocols, including Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche and BNB Chain. Additionally, we have announced plans to expand to Fantom, Solana and other blockchains in the near future.
On the back of this successful raise, Magpie Protocol will continue expanding strategic relationships and partnerships once its private alpha testing has concluded.
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