The Layer 1 blockchain Harmony unveiled a $300M ecosystem fund today to back startups working on applications and protocols.
There are many large blockchains now, but to a certain degree each one is a bit of a walled garden, Stephen Tse, Harmony’s founder told The Defiant, via a spokesperson. “Harmony was purpose-built so that developers who build on Harmony can easily bridge to other chains and thus fulfill the promise of seamless, affordable, and permissionless commerce and interoperability between chains,” Tse said.
The fund aims to take advantage of Harmony’s facility for reaching other chains.
$30M for Bounties
The budget for the fund is broken down in detail on the Harmony website, explaining how it plans to spend the funds. It aims to deploy $180M by the third quarter of 2022, with $300M going out over 4 years.
It has set aside $50M to help fund 100 DAOs, and earmarked $30M for 1,000 bounties to root out bugs and improve tooling. In addition, there’s $30M for 10 partnerships, which includes acquisitions and liquidity mining incentives, and $10M for 10 hackathons, and so on.
In other words, Harmony will use the funds on everything from making token investments in promising companies to funding grants that help the whole community. Harmony said it will reach 10,000 startups and 10 million users with these funds.
According to a spokesperson, everything should touch Harmony in some way, but that doesn’t mean the fund would not be used to back cross-chain projects, such as NFT compatible with multiple blockchains.
Harmony is a proof-of-stake blockchain that uses sharding in order to run super fast blocks with rapid finality. The blockchain went live in 2019, and it launched staking in 2020.
Some DeFi projects have been quietly expanding onto Harmony in recent months. SushiSwap opened up on Harmony in April. The semi-algorithmic stablecoin Frax moved some of its supply onto Harmony, primarily via a SushiSwap liquidity pool. Chainlink runs its price feeds on the Harmony testnet, a prelude to moving to mainnet, as the oracle prodiver did in August on Solana.
Harmony now has bridges running to several major blockchains such as Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Terra and Bitcoin. Entrepreneurs with applications already running on Ethereum should find it simple enough to deploy on Harmony, as it was built to run Ethereum’s Solidity programming language natively.
Harmony’s ONE token has a market capitalization of $1.6B as of Thursday morning New York time, according to CoinMarketCap, up from $35M at the year’s beginning. The team behind it raised $18M in a token pre-sale in 2019.
“We believe this is a special moment for builders to scale the impact of blockchain to billions of people,” Tse said in a press release.