DeFi comes to Cardano (ADA) as EMURGO announces ‘Astarter’

EMURGO, the official commercial arm of the Cardano blockchain protocol, formally announced today Astarter — a joint venture with China-based technology firm BlockChain4A — to facilitate collaboration between the two companies to build decentralized financial (DeFi) services infrastructure on Cardano.

The joint venture combines EMURGO’s technical expertise and deep understanding of Cardano as one of its founding entities coupled with Blockchain4A’s experiences in developing DeFi technical infrastructure.

Cardano’s Alonzo hard fork successfully integrated smart contract functionality to Cardano’s blockchain which now provides developers with the ability to start deploying a variety of decentralized applications (dApps) including DeFi, NFTs, and more for Cardano ADA users.

Astarter will start the development of an initial decentralized exchange offering (IDO) launchpad to be released by the end of the year, along with a decentralized exchange (DEX) on Cardano to follow. 

DeFi on Cardano

Upon completion, Astarter will also plan to integrate lending & borrowing (decentralized money market) features on Cardano. These services aim to bring more utility to Cardano ADA users and open up financial services to a greater number of people in underserved regions.

“DeFi has been gaining traction very rapidly over the past year as it can provide more accessible financial services to many people that have been underserved by the current financial system. A wider range of services promotes financial inclusion and social cohesion, especially in areas lacking in traditional financial services,” noted EMURGO CEO Ken Kodama in a statement.

He added, “Decentralized finance has appealed to the crypto community through its improved transparency, security, and credibility of processing financial transactions. The value of crypto assets under management in DeFi apps has risen sharply.”

According to a joint report by the World Economic Forum and the Wharton Blockchain and Digital Asset Project, the value of digital assets locked in DeFi smart contracts grew from $670 million to $13 billion and associated user wallets increased from 100,000 to 1.2 million from 2019 to 2020, signaling a large wave of user interest. 

The report also states that “DeFi represents a distinct and potentially significant development, both within the landscape of blockchain and of financial services more generally.” Currently, there is approximately $150 billion USD total locked value (TVL) in DeFi applications…and Cardano is coming for a piece of that pie.

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