Building Acala — January 2021 Recap

Acala on Polkadot’s parachain testnet Rococo, three new team members, Acala Dollar integration with Injective, Acala at Binance Blockchain Week, and preparing for ETHDenver.

Well, 2021 has wasted no time continuing the drama of late. Elon Musk is supporting Bitcoin (and shilling Doge), Ray Dalio wrote a piece on Bitcoin and digital assets, and Mark Cuban wrote a long blog discussing DeFi, crypto, and NFTs. Oh and a subreddit community has created a short squeeze among some of the top hedge funds in the United States. Where will this lead? Only time will tell, but it’s surely a positive indicator of a world moving toward decentralized technologies and democratized financial systems.

After a brief holiday around the new year, we’ve spent January working on several initiatives: Acala has launched a parachain on Polkadot’s testnet Rococo, we’ve significantly grown our community across Acala and Karura, three new people have joined the Acala team, the Acala Dollar is being integrated with Injective, Bette spoke at Binance Blockchain Week, and we are preparing for our time with developers at ETHDenver.

If you’re new to Acala, welcome! Acala is the decentralized financial hub of Polkadot that provides financial applications and stable assets to DeFi users.

Acala on Polkadot’s Parachain Testnet, Rococo

Acala Mandala PC2 (Acala’s parachain candidate) was the first parachain connected to Rococo, Polkadot’s parachain testnet. You can check all the connected parachains here.

Anyone can check out Acala Mandala PC2 here.

We are currently doing internal testing with the parachain and will open it up to public to use and test in the very near future so people can try cross-chain interactions themselves.

Karura Parachain Auction Details

17,797 people have signed up for the Karura Parachain Auction Waitlist! If you haven’t signed up yet, you can still sign up now. The waitlist allows you to be eligible for referral bonuses (5% for you and 5% for your friend), as well as allows you to stay informed about all the next steps in the process.

Ruitao, Bette, and Dan gave a presentation this month on the Karura Parachain Auction process. You can watch their presentation here:

New Team Members

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Robin Whitney has joined as Community & Growth Manager: As an advocate for decentralized technologies and open finance, Robin has worked in Growth and Community for projects within DeFi ecosystems on Ethereum and EOS, including: MyEtherWallet, Provable Things, p.Network, and Eidoo. She’s developed audience acquisition and retention strategies for Fender Music, American Public Media, FiveThirtyEight and the Electronic Frontier Foundation — with whom she has led workshops on responsible data, Creative Commons, and Net Neutrality. Robin is based in Los Angeles, USA. (LinkedIn)

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Brett Kolodny has joined as Software Engineer at Acala: Brett joins us as a graduate of the Substrate Runtime Developer Academy hosted by Acala, Industry Connect, and Parity Technologies. Brett was a top performer during the Polkadot Hello World hackathon, and recently competed in the Encode hackathon working on a parachain built with Substrate. Brett is a recent Computer Science graduate of the University of Buffalo and is based in NY, USA. (LinkedIn)

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Dan Reecer has joined as VP of Growth: Dan joins us from Web3 Foundation’s Community & Growth team where he worked on marketing, hackathons, and community growth for the launches of Polkadot and Kusama. Prior to his work at Web3 Foundation, Dan worked in the layer-one interoperability space at Wanchain where he led marketing. Before moving to crypto full time, Dan spent four years at Eli Lilly & Company working on brand marketing teams for pharmaceutical products in Alzheimer’s, cancer, and immunology. Dan is based between Austin, TX, USA and São Paulo, Brazil. (LinkedIn)

Acala Dollar Integration Coming to Injective Protocol

Acala and Injective are working together to integrate the Acala Dollar (aUSD) into Injective’s derivative trading ecosystem. The integration of aUSD will provide a stable asset that can be used to collateralize Polkadot-based derivative products on Injective. This also expands opportunities for us to create new derivative products alongside Injective, further increasing the use cases for aUSD. More here:

Medium: Acala’s aUSD Stablecoin to be Integrated on Injective’s Polkadot-based Derivative Products

Bette Chen at Binance Blockchain Week

Acala Co-Founder and COO, Bette Chen, was recently on a panel during Binance Blockchain Week discussing Acala, DeFi, and her thoughts on the future of the industry. Watch the recording here :

Acala’s ETHDenver Bounties

Acala is a supporter of this year’s ETHDenver, one of the leading Ethereum developer conferences in the world. Acala will have a digital booth inside the crypto castle and will be hosting two bounties for hackers. Watch for our announcement tomorrow (Feb 3rd) for details on the bounties. Also, if you’re a developer, be sure to register for Acala Co-Founder and CTO, Bryan Chen’s, Crowdcast helping developers get started on Acala’s bounties and learn about the Acala EVM.

Save your spot here — Hackers who join the Crowdcast and submit a bounty will receive a tshirt and hoodie from the Acala team.

Dates to Watch for

  • February 3rd, 2021: ETHDenver Acala webinar #1 on Crowdcast
  • February 5th, 2021: ETHDenver starts
  • February 6th, 2021: ETHDenver Acala webinar #2
  • February 12th, 2021: ETHDenver ends and judging completes
  • February 13th, 2021: Acala announces ETHDenver hackathon winners
  • Soon: Karura Parachain Auction (learn more)
  • Soon+: Acala Parachain Auction

We hope you have a great February, 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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