Acala Ecosystem Update — September 2021
Acala Launches Liquid Staking for Polkadot & Kusama, Announces Partnerships with Blockdaemon and Chainlink, and Awards the First Acala Grant to Nuts Finance
September was another creative and productive month as Acala debuted KSM Liquid Staking on its sister network Karura, formed new partnerships with Blockdaemon and Chainlink, and awarded the first Acala Grant to Nuts Finance.
With Karura’s new liquidity mining program rewards in full swing, it’s no surprise that its TVL has grown to over $260 million USD, and since the Acala Crowdloan Waitlist is now open with over 136,000 signups, all eyes are on the upcoming event in which the community is invited to contribute DOT and receive ACA — their share of Acala.
Read on for our September report.
The Acala Crowdloan Waitlist is Open
In anticipation of the approaching Polkadot Parachain Auctions, Acala has opened its Crowdloan Waitlist, a way for the community to earn up to 10% bonus ACA in the Acala Crowdloan event.
The Acala Crowdloan empowers people around the world to help launch the network while earning ACA rewards, and by extension, a stake in Acala before launch. When the event begins, anyone can contribute by loaning DOT, and in return receive ACA (more details to be announced soon).
For a limited time, when you join the waitlist, you’ll become eligible for additional Crowdloan promotions while ensuring that you’re among the first to know about the event.
KSM Liquid Staking is Live
Acala has officially launched KSM Liquid Staking on Karura. As the first Liquid Staking product in the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems, KSM Liquid Staking (LKSM) represents a new class of financial products, adding additional utility to the KSM staking experience.
When KSM is staked on Karura, users receive LKSM, a liquid, yield-earning token that not only represents their staked KSM value, redeemable at any time, but also includes their ever-increasing staking rewards. Currently, anyone who stakes KSM for LKSM earns an indicative 16% APR in staking rewards while also enjoying the benefit of LKSM being an unlocked token that grants access to its underlying KSM liquidity for other uses such as: collateralizing LKSM for a kUSD stablecoin loan, trading within the LKSM/kUSD pair on Karura Swap, or for becoming a liquidity provider in the LKSM/KSM pool.
What’s more, LKSM offers low staking minimums (0.1 KSM), and no unbonding period for the underlying KSM, since users can unbond at any time for a small fee. Early unbonding allows users to instantly exit staking positions instead of waiting for the standard 7 days unbonding period, eliminating the opportunity cost of staked KSM and waiting time.
To get started with KSM staking on Karura, check out the Liquid Staking guide and watch the KSM Liquid Staking Launch party below.
Liquidity Mining Rewards Have Begun
To celebrate the launch of KSM Liquid Staking, Karura has kicked off its new liquidity mining program to reward the community. As of September 28th, anyone can earn from a total of 350,000 KAR in rewards when they stake KSM for LKSM, the yield-bearing liquid KSM staking derivative, and qualify for the following KAR reward pools:
KAR Reward Pool #1
To Qualify: Stake KSM for LKSM & earn by staking your newly minted LKSM
Rewards Period: 2 weeks
Rewards: 100,000 KAR
KAR Reward Pool #2
To Qualify: Stake KSM for LKSM, then provide liquidity for LKSM/KSM pair
Rewards Period: 4 months
Rewards: 250,000 KAR
Acala Announces Liquid Staking Validator Program
Acala is pleased to announce its partnership with Blockdaemon, a top-performing blockchain infrastructure provider, to support its newly-launched staking derivatives for Polkadot (DOT) and Kusama (KSM).
As the first partner in Acala’s Liquid Staking Validator Program, Blockdaemon has started running validators for the KSM Liquid Staking pool to provide multiple layers of risk mitigation while supporting the secure growth of Acala and Karura. Blockdaemon also provides the KSM Liquid Staking pool participants low commissions (2%) and a no-slash guarantee meaning users are insured if a node malfunction occurs.
Interested in helping validate on Polkadot and Kusama while serving the liquid staking pool participants of Acala and Karura? Apply for Acala’s Liquid Staking Validator Program here.
Acala Announce Integration with Chainlink
One of the most important pieces of infrastructure to the Acala DeFi parachain is oracles, as oracles provide key inputs like asset prices and market information needed to perform critical functions. It’s why Acala is actively integrating Chainlink Price Feeds to create a strong foundation for its DeFi ecosystem, giving developers access to the industry’s most time-tested decentralized oracle solutions right at launch.
Through Chainlink, developers will be able to tap into decentralized price oracles for a wide range of asset prices that are backed by high-quality data, low latency updates, and robust underlying infrastructure optimized for availability and tamper-resistance. Read more.
First Acala Grant Awarded to NUTS Finance
Tree from the NUTS Finance team has been accepted as the inaugural Acala Ecosystem Grant recipient. Tree is a synthetic asset protocol designed for optimizing liquidity fragmentation to increase asset usability in the Polkadot ecosystem.
Our team and the NUTS Finance team shared the same vision and approach to building a DeFi focused network, so we decided to start building together. After 3 quarters of collaborating and diving into Substrate, Tree has successfully deployed the Stable Asset system to Acala’s Mandala testnet. Furthermore, upon Acala’s launch on Polkadot, the Stable Swap module will be integrated to the Acala DEX to serve as an alternative exchange liquidity pool.
Learn more about Acala Grants’ mission, guidelines, committee, and application process.
Acala at Mainnet 2021
Throughout September, the team presented at various events, including Messari’s Mainnet 2021 in New York. During the conference, Acala’s VP of Growth, Dan Reecer was invited to discuss the future of DeFi on Polkadot and how innovations in crypto will soon reach the retail market.
Watch the videos below to learn more about what to expect from Acala and Polkadot in the upcoming year.
Until next time.
The Acala Team
Acala is an all-in-one decentralized finance network offering a blockchain platform secured by Polkadot, as well as a suite of cross-chain financial applications that let users trade, issue self-serviced loans, become liquidity providers, access staking derivatives, and earn high-interest APY on their digital assets. The network is scalable, Ethereum-compatible, and optimized for DeFi.
Acala was founded in Oct 2019, and today has received five Web3 Foundation grants, has backing from Coinbase Ventures, Pantera Capital, Polychain Capital, Hypersphere and other top firms, and has a distributed team in New Zealand, China, Europe, Brazil, and the United States.
Karura is the all-in-one DeFi hub of Kusama. Founded by the Acala Foundation, Karura is a scalable, EVM-compatible network optimized for DeFi. The platform offers a suite of financial applications including: a trustless staking derivative (liquid KSM), a multi-collateralized stablecoin backed by cross-chain assets (kUSD), and an AMM DEX — all with micro gas fees that can be paid in any token.