crypto startups

Binance Venture Arm Grants First Fellowship Round To 3 Blockchain Open Source Projects

Binance Labs, the venture arm of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has granted US$15,000 to each of its first three open source Fellowship projects: Ironbelly, HOPR, and Kitsune Wallet. The three projects will join the Binance Labs Fellowship program, an initiative launched in March to support talented developers and researchers in creating free and open source blockchain software, Binance Labs said on Friday.

Ironbelly is an open source, free to use mobile wallet for the Grin/Mimblewimble blockchain. Its goal is to provide an easy and simple way to hold and transfer Grins between people. Ironbelly is currently in beta testing for iOS. Only the testnet is enabled and mainnet is set to be launched soon.

HOPR, by Validity Labs, is a decentralized and privacy-centric point-to-point messaging protocol that incentivizes users to participate in the network. It provides privacy by relaying messages via several relay nodes to the recipient. Relay nodes are getting paid via payment channels for their services.

Kitsune Wallet, formerly known as the Universally Upgradable Identity Proxy, was initiated during the ETHParis 2019 hackathon in March 2019. Kitsune Wallet is a smart contract based account that holds crypto assets in a single contract (address) while being able to change appearance depending on a user’s needs. This change of appearance includes modifying the security logic of one’s account, adding interfaces such as ERC1271 but also taking the appearance of common multisigs such as UniversalLogin’s ERC1077.

By joining the program, the three startups will gain access to Binance’s network of founders, researchers, portfolio companies and developers for mentorship and advice. They will also receive a monthly stipend, and support and guidance on defining a roadmap and fostering a community of users and contributors.

“We have seen firsthand how innovation depends on an engaged community of developers and entrepreneurs who imagine ideas and create new projects to bring products to market,” said Flora Sun, director at Binance Labs.

“The more talent an industry attracts to the space, the higher chance that it will be successful and Binance Labs hopes to further enable the overwhelming talent and builders of our industry. Thus, our part is to support early-stage projects that are helping to create the building blocks and infrastructure for larger utility and enabling growth in the blockchain market.”

Binance, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange startups, has launched several initiatives in recent months to support promising blockchain projects and startups. Besides the Binance Labs Fellowship program, Binance Labs also organizes the Incubation Program, a ten-week on-site program designed to provide guidance and mentorship to top blockchain developers around the world, and makes strategic direct investments into young startups. Its portfolio includes the likes of Terra, Koi Trading and Capitalise.

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