The latest developments in blockchain technology upgrades, funding announcements, and deals include the following highlights:
- AQUA Launches Bitcoin and Stablecoin Wallet for Latin America: AQUA, a Bitcoin and stablecoin wallet led by former Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer Samson Mow, officially launched on January 3. Tailored for users in Latin America, AQUA boasts features that appeal to die-hard Bitcoin Maximalists. It provides a robust interface for layer-2 technologies like Lightning and Liquid, utilizing submarine swaps to navigate high fee-rate environments seamlessly. This enables Bitcoiners to batch transactions in Layer 2 and swap to mainchain Bitcoin when fees are low.
- Parallel Network Claims First Arbitrum Orbit L2 Live on Mainnet: Parallel Network has officially launched on the mainnet, positioning itself as the first layer-2 network on Arbitrum Orbit to go live. As the inaugural non-custodial omni-chain margin protocol, Parallel Network allows liquidity pooling across multiple chains, making it immediately accessible within the network.
- John Lilic Joins Telos Foundation as Executive Director: Telos Foundation, supporting the delegated proof-of-stake (DPOS) layer-1 blockchain Telos, announced the appointment of former Consensys and Polygon contributor John Lilic as Executive Director. Lilic will lead Telos’s transition into a layer-0 network underpinned by ZK technology, targeting developers and users worldwide. Lilic’s extensive background includes early involvement with the Bitcoin Center NYC, joining Consensys in 2015, and advising Polygon in 2020.
- Bracket Raises $2M for DeFi Structured Products Platform: Bracket Labs, a provider of leveraged structured products for non-custodial DeFi users, raised $2 million in a pre-seed round led by Binance Labs and NGC Ventures. Their product, “Passage,” built on Arbitrum, simplifies on-chain long and short volatility trading with features like 200% leverage, a limit order book, and a liquidity-improving vault. Bracket Labs plans to enhance Passage by introducing liquid-staked tokens and deploying on BNB Chain in 2024.
- KuCoin Invests in Solana-Based Mixed-Reality Project DeMR: KuCoin Labs, the investment and incubation program of crypto exchange KuCoin, strategically invested in DeMR, a decentralized mixed reality (MR) infrastructure network (MR-DePIN) on the Solana blockchain. DeMR addresses challenges in creating 3D maps by employing a decentralized network and automated AI map reconstruction pipeline. This allows the collection and reconstruction of global 3D high-definition map data at a lower cost with higher efficiency.
- EOS Network Ventures Invests $500K in EZSwap: EOS Network Ventures (ENV) invested $500K in EZ Swap, a multi-chain NFT DEX protocol and inscription marketplace, during its successful second fundraising round in December 2023, totaling $1 million. Led by ENV with support from major investors like IOBC Capital and Momentum Capital, this investment aims to boost EZ Swap’s gaming asset and smart inscription protocol landscape. ENV focuses on making strategic equity and token-based investments in Web3 startups deploying on the EOS Network, described as a third-generation blockchain platform powered by the EOS VM.