Xcelerator July 2021 Updates: Astar/Plasm and Acala Become Parachains, NBA team partners with StormX

The Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator team is incredibly excited to share this month’s news from our teams and ecosystem! The Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator is a blockchain-focused startup accelerator at UC Berkeley, run by Blockchain at Berkeley, Berkeley Engineering (Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology), and the Haas School of Business.

Note: Xcelerator companies will be labeled with their batch number, Sp 21, Sp 20, Fa 19, or Sp 19. You can find a list of our portfolio here.

Berkeley Ecosystem Updates

We are thrilled to announce the launch of FiatLux DAO, a collective of @UCBerkeley alum focused on funding scientific and technological innovation in a novel, crypto-native way.

Xcelerator Company Updates

StormX partners with NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers

Stormx will be the Portland team’s first International Rights Partner that is meant to “engage fans around the globe.” Stormx will have the rights to conduct team-identified marketing and other forms of activities internationally. The Stormx logo will be featured on the team’s uniform as well, the announcement explains. Chris McGowan, the president and CEO of the Portland Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter, said he looks forward to seeing the team sport “such a groundbreaking, revolutionary company on the front of our jerseys.”


WasmEdge granted as a CNCF Sandbox Project

ParaState’s (Sp 21) backend infra WasmEdge has been granted as a CNCF Sandbox project. It’s the first only WASM runtime infra project not only in the blockchain sector, but also in the whole WebAssembly runtime infra sector. Twitter

Bit.Country Raised Seed Round $4-Million backed by influencers and Collator Node Program Reached TOP 1

Bit.country’s (Sp 21) first round was led by four top web3 and metaverse pioneers along with another 56 metaverse-future believers around the world.

testnet Collator Node attracted more than 500 node operators. And currently ranked as №1 among the projects.


Supra-Oracles Sets up Switzerland Foundation

June has been an extraordinary month for us here at Supra-Oracles. Our foundation (CHE.383.364.961) has been finalized thanks to our legal counsel, MME in Switzerland. This month, we also are continuing the trend of approved grants and have just finalized with some major L1 ecosystems (and more coming). Supra’s current focus is on development, and in the mean time we are tapping the community for insights. The Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator is an amazing community. We can all help each other tremendously, and Supra is thrilled to be a part of this journey with you all.

P.S. Please support us in clicking the link below and answering a short and simple survey on the landscape of DeFi. We will share the results with everyone afterwards.


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Astar/Plasm Network Launches its Sister Network, Shiden, Raises $10M for PLO, Launches Builder’s Program, and Rebrands to Astar Network

The initial focus of Astar/Plasm (Sp 20) was to implement Layer 2 technology in Polkadot, but their vision has expanded. Layer 2 is now just one element in our innovative development pipeline. Currently, the Astar/Plasm platform is a dApp hub that supports Ethereum Virtual Machine, WebAssembly, and layer2 solutions.

The investment round was led by venture capital firm Fenbushi Capital, with participation from Hypersphere Ventures, Gumi Cryptos, IOSG Ventures, TRG Capital, AU21 Capital and others. Nobuyuki Idei, former CEO and chairman of Sony, also participated as an angel investor. The capital is being deployed for the Kusama and Polkadot Parachain Lease Offering (PLO).

The main objective of the Shiden Network Builders Program is to help further the growth, development, and adoption of the Shiden Network by supporting teams that are building on Shiden. The program is lead by Stake Technologies with guidance from Parity Technologies under the Builders for Builders initiative.

Finally, Shiden Network, the sister network of Astar/Plasm Network has become a parahchain!


Acala Launches its Sister Network, Karura

Acala (Sp 20) has reached an exciting new milestone by launching its sister network Karura, the all-in-one DeFi hub of Kusama. The achievement was no small feat, as Kusama requires competing teams to bid KSM in a parachain slot auction to secure their connection to its relay chain. With over 500,000 KSM contributed by the community — over $100 million USD in total value locked — Karura has won the first-ever parachain slot auction on Kusama and has launched its scalable, EVM-compatible network optimized for DeFi.

In addition to the Karura launch, the team has been hard at work growing the Acala ecosystem while establishing new collaborations — most notably a first-of-its-kind partnership with Current.com to deliver a hybrid finance (HyFi) integration to the banking platform’s three Million U.S. customers. The integration ushers in a new era for fintech, as companies can begin to leverage this combination of decentralized and traditional financial infrastructure.

Acala is an all-in-one decentralized finance network offering a blockchain platform secured by Polkadot, as well as a suite of cross-chain financial applications that let users trade, issue self-serviced loans, become liquidity providers, access trustless staking derivatives (liquid DOT — LDOT), and earn high-interest APY on their digital assets.


Automata launches mev.tax for DeFi users to check against sandwich attacks

Automata Network (Sp 21), a decentralized service protocol that provides a privacy middleware layer for dApps across blockchains including Ethereum and Polkadot, has launched a free public service, mev.tax. The site allows for DeFi users to check if they’ve fallen victim to sandwich attacks, a variant of Miner Extractable Value (MEV) where actors insert transactions before and after a user’s, making a profit at the expense of increasing the trade for the latter. Now, DeFi users can simply connect their crypto or wallet address to uncover this invisible tax. Twitter

Litentry working on a new Aggregated Identity Computation System initiative

This month Litentry (Sp 21) is working on a new Aggregated Identity Computation System initiative. The initiative defines three layers of the aggregated DID computation: source data layer, address analyzer layer, and the identity aggregation layer. Through indexing data across blockchains and obtaining data analysis results from disinterested third parties, Litentry as an aggregator will provide weighted identity computation results that give a comprehensive view of a user. Particularly, they’re working with SubstraTEE, a framework that provides trusted execution environment to Substrate-built blockchain, to ensure security and privacy in identity computation. Twitter

HydraDX and BlockScience partners with TokenEngineering Academy to form open science research group

We are excited to announce that HydraDX (Sp 21) partners with TE Academy and BlockScience to spin-off this new #OpenScience initiative for the ecosystem, and to expand the horizons of AMM design and models. Over a runtime of three months OMNIPool Simulations will gather DeFi researchers to work on challenges around Liquidity Subsystems, Generalized Dynamical Systems (GDS), Parameterization in cadCAD and AMM-based simulations. In a rigorous engineering process, this research group will explore and specify the process of using cadCAD in facilitating reliable and dynamic functions for the next generation of AMMs. The research group’s goal is to come up with insights, build simulation infrastructure, and validate design choices — accessible and re-usable for the entire DeFi ecosystem. To join please follow this link https://te.hydradx.io. Twitter

SubQuery releases the white-paper of the decentralized SubQuery Network

SubQuery (Sp 21) releases the details of its next big step toward true decentralization. The SubQuery Network aims to be a decentralized and tokenized network in order to ensure no single point of failure for SubQuery and to encourage as many participants in the process as possible. The SubQuery Network’s guiding principles are simplicity and flexibility, its trying to make it easy for participants to get involved in the network but also give developers control to adapt SubQuery to fit their needs for any Substrate based chain. Twitter

OPGames holds Forest Cuties tournament in partnership with Enclave Games

OPGames (Sp 20) unveiled its blockchain gaming platform through a competitive tournament of the game Forest Cuties, a fun yet challenging memory game developed by indie game development studio, Enclave Games. Top three scorers clinched 100 $NEAR in prizes as reward. This tournament marks a huge milestone for OPGames as it onboards more games into the platform. On top of tournaments with crypto as buy-in and payout, OPGames has also recently released its first-ever NFT collection through the NFT marketplace, Paras. Twitter

Job Opportunities from Portfolios and Ecosystem

Visit the Xcelerator Jobs Portal to apply to every portfolio company within 1 application!


Interested in how to best get from fiat to crypto? checkout this quick article by Kentaro Vadney, a fellow & media manager at the Xcelerator!

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Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator

Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator

A partnership between Berkeley Engineering’s RDI & SCET, Blockchain at Berkeley, and Berkeley Haas