Blockchain network Cardano (ADA) says it’s preparing to launch its own decentralized finance (DeFi) platform after completing a crucial mainnet upgrade last week.
The recent rollout of ADA’s Alonzo hard fork brought smart contract functionality to the blockchain, giving Cardano developers their first crack at launching DeFi platforms, decentralized applications (DApps), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the network.
The altcoin’s commercial branch, EMURGO, is partnering with Shenzhen-based tech firm Blockchain 4A to create a new venture called Astarter, which seeks to improve the lives of the financially underprivileged.
Chief executive officer of EMURGO Ken Kodama says,
“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.
Astarter is a step towards leveraging Cardano’s research-driven blockchain as a platform to build important decentralized financial infrastructure that can be used by anyone.”
Asarter plans to release its initial decentralized exchange offering (IDO) by the end of the year, followed by the integration of decentralized borrowing and lending.
Cardano is currently trading at $2.39 at time of writing, a decrease of 13% from its seven-day high of $2.76, according to CoinGecko.