Cardano’s decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem may be showing glimmers of primordial life following the close of a $10 million raise for Ardana, a new protocol that aims to provide stablecoin minting and exchange services.
The round was led by Three Arrows Capital and Ascensive Assets, with participation from Morningstar Ventures and Mechanism Capital.
Ardana co-founder Ryan Matovu told CoinDesk in an interview that in many cases this will be the first Cardano-native project in which many of the participants have invested – perhaps a sign institutional investors are beginning to believe in the chain as the next emergent DeFi hub.
“Cardano is going to follow the path we’ve seen from chains other than Ethereum,” said Matovu. “Step by step other alternative chains pop up, and what we’ve seen is that a few teams build key protocols and then the ecosystem pops up around them.”
According to Matovu, Ardana is targeting a number of verticals that are popular on other chains.
“The simple comparison is that we’re building the MakerDAO and the Curve Finance of Cardano with foreign exchange on top,” he said.
Users will be able to deposit collateral to mint an asset-based stablecoin, dUSD, and the project will also be home to an automated market maker (AMM) for swapping between various stablecoins will low slippage.
Matovu noted that staked ADA to be an accepted form of collateral, which is currently a massive pool of unused liquidity – 52.2% of Cardano’s circulating supply is currently staked.
Foreign exchange is also on the roadmap because the vaults will be able to mint more than just a U.S. dollar stablecoin “in the near future,” and the exchange will offer swaps between the various currencies.
Per Matovu, the protocol is “90% of the way through development,” and targets a late-Q4 release for the stablecoin vaults and exchange.
The ARDANA token has already held a public sale and will be going live on centralized and decentralized exchanges “sometime in November,” Matovu added.