IOHK Launches $250K ‘Project Catalyst’ Fund; First DeFi Platform on Cardano Blockchain


  • IOHK launches Project Catalyst fund to promote development on Cardano blockchain.
  • DeFi lending market, Liqwid, is lined to become the first project to receive funding.
  • More projects will be revealed soon.

The stage is set for the integration of decentralized finance (DeFi) projects on the Cardano blockchain. In a tweet, “megathread,” on December 7, the IOHK development team announced the launch of Project Catalyst, a community-led funding system aiming to promote the development of innovative solutions on Cardano.

IOHK has named the decentralized finance (DeFi) lending app, Liqwid as its first selection to benefit from Project Catalyst's initial funding round of $250,000 in ADA tokens. The new initiative is an experiment from the Cardano developers to build a unique community-driven fund that intends to promote “research, social experiments, and community consent” in developing decentralized governance systems on Cardano.

The statement further explains that “only the best projects will receive funding,” given the community offers feedback to polish up the ideas and then vote on it.

Liqwid became the first of the ideas to be shared by IOHK on Dec 8. The DeFi project is an open-source non-custodial liquidity protocol that allows users to earn interest on deposits or borrow assets on Cardano. The project is fighting against several other ideas for the $250,000 grant funding available – with the community having the last say.

Other projects include MaybeWorkshop, an open-source project-based learning platform; Cardano Aura Podcast; Lovelace Academy; and Afrofin Lab. The full list can be found here.

Cardano aims to compete with Ethereum (ETH) in providing developers a faster and cheaper platform to build DeFi products and a better user experience. To this effect, “millions worth of ADA tokens” will be released in successive rounds to fund the best community-selected projects on Project Catalyst. The Twitter statement further read,

“Throughout 2021, further rounds will unlock $millions-worth of #ADA to fund development – from content to community resources, DApps to DeFi. Cardano development will accelerate, powered by a creative, empowered & well-funded community.”

In September, IOHK stated they expect Project Catalyst to spend up to $70 million worth of ADA every year to promote research and development on the blockchain. Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano, praised Project Catalyst and its potential to increase independence. He stated at the time,

“The fund, combined with its democratic voting system, means that every ADA holder can be a part of making key decisions for the future of the ecosystem.”.

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