Astar Network, a crypto bridge connecting layer-1 blockchains like Ethereum and Cosmos with the Polkadot ecosystem, today announced a partnership with blockchain development platform Alchemy.
The tie-up will let developers use Alchemy's so-called Supernode—a crypto API for Ethereum, Polygon, Arbitrum, and the recently added Solana, making it easier to create decentralized applications (dApps). As Alchemy Supernode allows nodes to load large amounts of information, it enables better data analytics and—consequently—better scaling of the networks.
Developers can also leverage features previously unavailable on Polkadot, the Astar team said in an announcement shared with Decrypt.
“Supporting the developer ecosystem is one of Astar’s core values and our collaboration with Alchemy will help bring even more incentives and innovation to the community,” Sota Watanabe founder and CEO of Astar Network said in a statement. “Our collaboration will provide the resources needed to grow the builder community in Web3 on Astar, Polkadot, and beyond.”
The Alchemy partnership will also incorporate “Build2Earn,” a newly-launched dApp staking initiative for Astar and its sister network called Shiden, which lets users nominate their tokens to dApps they want to support.
The Build2Earn model means that a portion of the rewards from every block is split between developers and stakers that throw their money behind a dApp, creating a strong incentive for developers who get paid for their work.
“The idea is about distributing basic income for developers based on their performance from the block rewards,” Astar's CMO Valeria Kholostenko told Decrypt. “It is one of the unique features that Astar offers. It is already available on mainnet and dApp developers in our ecosystem can earn tokens while making smart contracts.”
What is Astar Network?
Based in Japan and previously known as Plasm Network, Astar Network was launched in 2021 as a smart contract protocol compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and WebAssembly (WASM).
Now operating as a Polkadot parachain, Astar helps developers quickly migrate smart contracts and dApps from outside networks, allowing them to co-exist and communicate with each other.
Polkadot is designed to be a data-sharing network that can connect multiple blockchains and enable them to communicate with each other. Parachains are independent blockchains running atop Polkadot—interoperable both with the Polkadot Network itself and other parachains.
In January this year, Astar raised $22 million in a strategic round of financing backed by Polychain, Alameda Research, and Polkadot creator Dr. Gavin Wood, among others.
“Becoming a Polkadot parachain was a huge milestone for the team, but this is the first step,” the Astar team said at the time, adding that it plans to connect all major layer-1 chains by Q4 this year.
Currently, Astar’s DeFi ecosystem has slightly over $55 million in total value locked—a significant drop from the peak of $387 million seen in April not long before the devastating crypto crash in the following months that wiped hundreds of billions off the market.
Perhaps with the help of Alchemy and the incentives it provides, Astar can get back to its heyday sooner than later.