Building Acala — Oct 2020 | Intro to Karura — Kusama’s DeFi hub, Parachain Lease Offering (PLO) & EVM Integration

It’s time for the October 2020 version of Building Acala , and if you’re new to Acala, welcome! Acala is the decentralized financial hub of Polkadot that makes it fast and easy to use or build financial applications, improving trading efficiency and saving valuable time.

Last month the team has been head-down building EVM integration, supporting teams deploying on Acala, and launching Karura — Kusama’s DeFi Hub through Parachain Lease Offering (PLO) & Paradrop.

Development Updates

  • Ethereum Compatibility and Smart Contracts : we have developed furthered EVM and Smart Contracts integration with Acala. The differentiator here is that contracts no longer live in a sandbox, but are able to compose with Acala’s DeFi primitives (stablecoin, DeX, staking derivatives, and others), tap into Acala’s user base, liquidity and cross-chain capabilities, and opens doors to a much larger market place in Polkadot’s parachain ecosystem. More details will be released soon.
  • Security Audit: we have completed 2/3 planned security audits including one from SRLabs, and an upcoming audit from Trail of Bits. More details on the finding will be released in the coming weeks.
  • NFT Support: Acala has built a generic NFT pallet (aka module) to support NFT innovations on Acala e.g. Rarible or other NFT providers can easily deploy smart contracts to leverage Acala’s DeFi building blocks. Kusama has adopted the same module to enable native NFT support on the Kusama Relay chain. Read more here.

Launch Updates

  • Acala will launch the Karura network on Kusama ( Medium ) — Karura is the sister network of Acala, and the DeFi hub for Kusama. The launch process on Kusama could be a month or so away, a good signal is when the parachain functionality is ready on the testnet Rococo.
  • Karura will host the first Parachain Lease Offering (PLO) and Paradrop ( Medium & Tweet ) — We adopted the term PLO to avoid confusion related to the traditional stock market term, ‘IPO’. Karura will use KSM support from the community to participate in the parachain auction. These KSM will then be locked on Kusama and be returned to participants at the end of the parachain slot lease. Karura will Paradrop its native token KAR to participants, as a means of token distribution to actual Kusama & Karura supporters.

Ecosystem Updates

  • Acala was selected for the DeFi Alliance to help bootstrap network liquidity for Polkadot’s DeFi Hub ( Medium ). Previous cohort hosts some of the top DeFi teams including 0x, dYdX, Kyber Network, IDEX, Opyn, Set Protocol, and Synthetix.
  • We welcome these collaborators to the Acala Ecosystem Program: Bifrost — a cross-chain staking liquidity protocol that will integrate Acala Dollar (aUSD) as base currency token; Interlay — trustless Bitcoin to Polkadot bridge that will have collateral use cases of PolkaBTC, aUSD and LDOT; Zenlink — a cross-chain DeX protocol that will collaborate and integrate with Acala.
  • Acala has helped launched Substrate/Polkadot Developer Academy ( Tweet & Website )— a 6-week course + hands-on project to prepare experienced devs for professional Substrate/Polkadot career or start-ups. The program is developed by dev training organization MVP Studio, launched with Parity and Polkadot, taught by Acala/Laminar co-founder Bryan Chen, and endorsed by Dr. Gavin Wood. Anyone who is serious about building in Polkadot/Kusama/Substrate space shall check this out and also this tweet.


  • At Sub0 — Substrate Developer Conference : Bryan Chen Co-Founder of Acala and Dan Forbes Dev Advocate at Parity showcased building a custom blockchain in under an hour. Watch the replay here.
  • Polkadot’ Hello World! Gitcoin Challenge is happening, check out the Acala Challenge here
  • Bette Chen, Co-Founder of Acala was on Outlier Venture’s Founders of Web3 Podcast — Creating the DeFi Substrate for Polkadot . Watch replay here.
  • Ruitao Su, Co-Founder of Acala was on the Crypto Tonight ‘Yes, Polkadot!’ panel alongside with Fabian Gompf from parity, Jack Platts from Hypersphere, Shiliang Tang from Ledger Prime. Watch replay here.
  • Acala is partaking in the 2020 Shanghai Blockchain Week as Hackathon sponsor and guest speaker. Register here.
  • Ruitao Su will speak at Polkadot Decoded — the Polkadot Community Conference on Dec 3rd , alongside with Dr Gavin Wood, Jutta Steiner, Camila Russo, Laura Shin + more TBA. Register here

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About Acala

Acala is the decentralized financial hub of Polkadot that makes it fast and easy to use or build financial applications, improving trading efficiency and saving valuable 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, security and financial optimizations.