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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Cybersecurity took center stage in 2018 and could present an exciting investment opportunity

Image: Cybersecurity, Pixabay.

Cybersecurity has always been a topic of importance for both enterprises and individuals. However, 2018 was riddled with events that highlighted just how crucial an issue it is, following privacy breaches such as the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal. With renewed interest in online safety and privacy, cybersecurity stocks are attracting increasing attention in the investment world.

2018 – the year of the hack

The attention to online privacy reached new heights in 2018, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which jeopardized the data of some 87 million Facebook users¹. The scandal put in question many of Facebook’s user privacy practices, resulting in Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress. A month later, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in the EU, applying new restrictions on any entity that collects personal data.

The dynamics of online security

One of the reasons cybersecurity is and will remain, a hot topic is the ever-changing nature of the online world. With so much sensitive information being stored in the cloud and on computer networks, the risks are ever growing and the need for effective cyberdefenses is ever present. From “simple” risks, such as phishing scams, to complex ransomware programs and crypto mining bots, each person and enterprise with an online presence is in danger of falling victim to a cyber attack.

The cybersecurity industry is huge, estimated at more than $150 billion in 2018, and projected to grow to $230 billion within 4 years². Both companies who specialize in cyber defense and the giants of the tech industry spend billions every year to beef up their defenses and protect their valuable intellectual property and their users’ personal information.

Investing in the cybersecurity industry

As mentioned before, there are two main types of companies that operate in the cybersecurity field. The first type is companies whose exclusive business is developing and implementing cybersecurity solutions, such as Check Point and Symantec. The second type is companies with larger tech or security operations, which also have a substantial presence in the cybersecurity space, such as tech giant IBM and defense and security powerhouse Lockheed Martin.

To offer its clients exposure to this growing industry, eToro has created the CyberSecurity CopyPortfolio. This professionally constructed portfolio will offer investors access to a thematic investment strategy focusing on cybersecurity companies. The portfolio includes companies working to protect commercial entities, private individuals, government and military institutions and more.

Add CyberSecurity to Watchlist


Yoni Assia, CEO of eToro and Elliot Gotkine have produced a webinar discussing the state of cybersecurity and explaining more about the copy portfolio offering. Sign up here to watch the webinar