Protocol Village: Samson Mow’s AQUA Launches Bitcoin Wallet for Latin American Users, Maxis


Jan. 7: AQUA by JAN3, a Bitcoin and stablecoin wallet headed by former Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer Samson Mow, launched on Jan. 3, according to a press release. Designed for users in Latin
America, AQUA claims features that “can also attract die-hard Bitcoin Maximalists, offering them a powerful interface to layer-2 technologies like Lightning and Liquid. By utilizing submarine swaps, AQUA can completely bypass high fee-rate environments, seamlessly moving between Lightning and Liquid. AQUA gives Bitcoiners the ability to batch their Bitcoin transactions in Layer 2 and then swap to mainchain Bitcoin when fees are low.”

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Parallel Claims to be First Arbitrum Orbit L2 Live on Mainnet

Jan. 7: Parallel Network has officially launched on mainnet and is open to developers, according to the team, claiming to be the first layer-2 network on Arbitrum Orbit to go live. “It is also the first non-custodial omni-chain margin protocol, which allows liquidity to be pooled across multiple chains and makes it immediately available on the Parallel Network.”

John Lilic Joins Telos Foundation as Executive Director

Jan. 5: Telos Foundation, which supports the delegated proof-of-stake (DPOS) layer-1 blockchain Telos, named former Consensys and Polygon contributor John Lilic as executive director. According to the team: “Lilic will spearhead Telos’s evolution into a layer-0 network underpinned by ZK technology aimed at attracting developers and users worldwide. Lilic was an early volunteer at the Bitcoin Center NYC in 2014, before joining Consensys in 2015 and Polygon as a key advisor in 2020. Lilic is also a Top 50 Web3 Angel Investor. Lilic will donate the headline sponsorship for ETHCC 2024 to Telos, plus an additional sponsorship at ETH Belgrade 2024. Lilic will also work to establish an external advisory board made up of world class talent in 2024.”

Bracket, DeFi Structured Products Platform, Raises $2M from Binance Labs, NGC

Jan. 5: Bracket Labs, a provider of leveraged structured products for non-custodial DeFi users, raised $2 million in a pre-seed round led by Binance Labs and NGC Ventures for their “Passage” volatility trading product on the BracketX platform, according to the team: “Passage, built on Arbitrum, simplifies on-chain long and short volatility trading with a user-friendly experience, offering features like 200% leverage, a limit order book and a liquidity-improving vault. Bracket Labs plans to enhance Passage by introducing liquid-staked tokens and deploying on BNB Chain in 2024.”

KuCoin Invests in Solana-Based Mixed-Reality Project DeMR

Jan. 4: KuCoin Labs, the investment and incubation program of Seychelles-based crypto exchange KuCoin, has made a strategic investment in DeMR, a “decentralized mixed reality (MR)” infrastructure network (MR-DePIN) built on the Solana blockchain, according to a press release. The project solves key problems associated with creating 3D maps, according to a whitepaper, by employing “a decentralized network and automated AI map reconstruction pipeline, which can collect and reconstruct global full-scene 3D high-definition map data at lower cost with higher efficiency, and provide open spatial interaction services for massive MR applications. The ownership and revenue of the data are shared by global contributors, and the revenue will be continuously obtained in subsequent applications according to the evaluation of contribution volume.”

EOS-Focused VC Invests in EZSwap for Gaming and ‘Smart Inscriptions’

Jan. 4: EOS Network Ventures (ENV) “just invested $500K in EZ Swap, a multi-chain NFT DEX protocol and inscription marketplace, during its successful second fundraising round in December 2023, totaling $1 million,” according to the team. “Led by ENV with support from major investors like IOBC Capital and Momentum Capital, this investment is set to significantly boost EZ Swap’s gaming asset and smart inscription protocol landscape.” ENV is a venture capital fund set up to make strategic equity and token-based investments into Web3 startups deploying on the EOS Network. According to the EOS Network Foundation, the EOS Network is a “third-generation blockchain platform powered by the EOS VM, a low-latency, highly performant and extensible WebAssembly engine for deterministic execution of near feeless transactions.” (EOS)

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