Building Acala — February 2021 Recap

February flew by bringing the Polkadot and Kusama communities one step closer to parachains. Though an exact date is unclear, we can confirm that Acala has been busy testing and refining the code on Polkadot’s parachain testnet while preparing for the fast-approaching Karura parachain auction events. Be sure to join the Karura Parachain Auction Waitlist for up-to-date information on the event and to reserve a 5% referral bonus for you and 5% for anyone in your network.

On the Acala side, we saw some significant technical progress with our first cross-chain token transfer completed with Plasm, as well as the launch of the Acala EVM.

Looking ahead, this week we’re excited to join the Polkadot Technical Working Group for DeFi Demo Day tomorrow (March 4th). Join Acala for quick introductions and demos from leading parachain and bridge teams, along with a panel moderated by Cami Russo of the Defiant. For even more DeFi, Acala will also be hosting a couple challenges in the upcoming Chainlink hackathon. Make sure to register by March 15th to hear from some of the top projects in crypto, compete for over 80k+ in prizes, and learn about the latest in decentralized oracle solutions. Join here:

The First Successful Cross-Chain Message Passing (XCMP) Transaction on Polkadot Testnet

Acala and Plasm, two teams planning to become Polkadot and Kusama parachains in the near future, have successfully connected through Polkadot’s parachain testnet and transferred Plasm’s token (PLM) cross-chain using XCMP (cross-chain message passing) functionality. Now that we have completed a cross-chain token transfer, we are one step closer to Kusama parachains starting to go live. Once the Kusama team announces the beginning of crowdloans, the Acala team’s Karura network (the DeFi hub of Kusama) will begin its process to host a KSM crowdsourcing event to bootstrap the network for the parachain slot auction. After the crowdsourcing event, Karura will participate in the parachain slot auction. Upon winning this auction, Karura will then launch its mainnet.

The First Successful Cross-Chain Messaging Passing (XCMP) Transaction on Polkadot Testnet
Plasm Network & Acala have completed the first XCMP transaction on Polkadot’s testnet Rococo

Acala Launches the ‘Acala EVM’ for DeFi on Polkadot | Ethereum Compatibility with Unlimited Substrate Functionality

Acala’s engineering team has custom-built and launched the Acala EVM! Just like Ethereum can do things Bitcoin will never be able to do, which subsequently inspired many new innovations, Substrate and Polkadot are categorically different from Ethereum in a way that will empower many new, chain-level innovations outside of the EVM sandbox. We are firm believers in the power of Substrate and built the Acala EVM to optimize for Substrate’s full potential and longevity, rather than simply redeploying Ethereum on Polkadot.

A couple game-changing features that this enables for DeFi users and developers are “ Bring Your Own Gas ,” allowing users to pay gas fees in virtually any token, and on-chain automatic scheduler , which enables use cases like subscriptions and recurring payments that are not possible with legacy blockchain platforms.

More detail and links here:

Acala Launches the ‘Acala EVM’ for DeFi on Polkadot | Ethereum Compatibility with Unlimited… The Acala EVM leverages the best of Ethereum while unlocking Substrate’s full potential with a composable…

Explainer: How the Parachain Auction process works

Acala VP of Growth, Dan Reecer, put together a twitter thread explaining how the parachain auction process works. This will apply to both the upcoming Karura and Acala parachain auctions.

Acala Ambassador Program onboarding has started!

The Acala Ambassador Program is live and kicking, as the first 15+ ambassadors have been onboarded from around the world. Ambassadors are working on the following working groups:

  • Translations and Localization
  • Content
  • Community Moderation
  • Events
  • Development & Tech

To join the Ambassador program and begin your onboarding, apply here .

Acala China Community

Kelly, Yuzhu, and the rest of our team in China has been working to grow the Acala and Karura brands and build the community’s presence on channels like WeChat. To begin preparing the Chinese community for the upcoming Karura parachain auction, the team will host a Karura-focused AMA this week and, in parallel, will create the first Karura WeChat group. We currently have over 17,000 people across Acala’s official accounts in China and 13 Acala WeChat groups that reach over 7,000 people.

New Team Members

Alex Nechaiev (LinkedIn) joins us as Technical Product Manager to work closely with our Engineering team. He has worked with blockchain tech since early 2017. Alex has a background as a developer and in project management, having Substrate as part of his portfolio. He is super passionate and has devoted his career to web 3.0 and Acala.

Upcoming Events

:woman_technologist::man_technologist:Try the Acala and Karura DeFi apps on testnet before we go live

You can try the DeFi apps coming to the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystem by going to our Getting Started guide for instructions on getting testnet tokens, then using them at Acala will provide DeFi to the Polkadot ecosystem, while Karura is serving the DeFi demand on the Kusama community.

“What will I be able to do on Karura?”

  1. Get Liquid KSM (LKSM) for your staked KSM. Your KSM continues to earn staking rewards, while you can use your LKSM in other yield-bearing uses such as liquidity providing.
  2. Make swaps on our AMM decentralized exchange
  3. Take out some kUSD stablecoins with your assets as collateral by initiating a collateralized debt position (CDP).
  4. Check out the apps for more…

We hope you have a great March, and see you on Discord!

About Acala

Acala is the decentralized financial hub and stablecoin of Polkadot that makes it fast and easy to use or build financial applications, improving trading efficiency and saving time. The platform offers a suite of financial primitives: a multi-collateralized stablecoin backed by cross-chain assets like Bitcoin, a trustless staking derivative, and a decentralized exchange to unleash liquidity and power financial innovations. Acala is the de facto open platform for finance applications to use smart contracts or built-in protocols with out-of-the-box cross-chain capabilities and robust security.

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