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China’s Nervos Network has launched a $5 million fund to support projects building decentralized exchanges, lending platforms, and other DeFi protocols.

According to a Feb. 10 announcement from Nervos, the fund will be used to provide cash grants and direct support to fintech and blockchain entrepreneurs.

In particular, Nervos is looking to back Defi teams building trustless decentralized exchanges, synthetic asset solutions, identity protocols, lending solutions, prioritizing projects striving for interoperability across multiple blockchain networks.

Grant applicants building on the Nervous blockchain will also be eligible to receive hands on support from Nervos’ core developer team.

Nervos is a Chinese-based open-source public blockchain that enables layer-two scaling solutions and is aiming to build an “universal, Internet-like public network.”

Nervos described the fund as a response to “backlash and controversy” regarding the centralized finance sector. In recent weeks, a retail-driven short-squeeze targeting the stock of struggling game retailer GameStop saw Robinhood and other mainstream trading platforms suspend trade in the shares.

Kevin Wang, co-founder of Nervos, said:

“People are becoming increasingly interested in blockchain and crypto because of the barriers in traditional finance, but users need to be able to easily transact on the blockchain for the space to grow and scale.”

Nervos also emphasized the “antiquated” systems underpinning legacy trading systems, such as centralized governance and inefficient settlement processes.

Nervos launched it’s CKB blockchain in 2019 with a focus on scalability. The project sought to target DeFi and asset tokenization from inception, and launched its CKB foundation to support developers working to improve the security, decentralization, and speed of the DeFi ecosystem.

Last year saw Nervos emphasize interoperability, launching a bridge between Ethereum and the CKB network in December, and a “universal passport” allowing developers to program for multiple blockchain through a single interface in the same month.

Nervos was also among the initial cohort of permissionless blockchains to integrate with China’s Blockchain Service Network last year.

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