The $100 million accelerator fund was launched in September to jumpstart developer efforts on DeFi projects and contribute towards building a new decentralized financial ecosystem.
“We launched the $100 million accelerator fund to further support the development of high-quality DeFi projects that contribute to building the industry’s infrastructure and technologies to better unlock DeFi’s potential,” explained Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao in a statement.
The six blockchain projects—AnySwap, Arkane Network, BakerySwap, Bitquery, PancakeSwap, and Proxima—run on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), the exchange’s own blockchain network that features low network fees and three-second block times.
The projects were selected based on strict selection criteria, such as team, product, vision, and contribution to the blockchain ecosystem, said Binance. It added that a total of over 180 projects—all building on the BSC—had applied for grants under the accelerator fund.
The six funded projects range from automated market makers and data platforms to gaming solution providers. Of those, PancakeSwap holds over $218 million on its smart contracts and is the biggest liquidity provider on the BSC.
From relative obscurity in 2019, DeFi has grown to a multibillion crypto industry on the back of high-interest yield offerings and the introduction of non-custodial lending and trading. But while an estimated 96% of all DeFi transactions occur on Ethereum, the network has faced criticism in recent times for its inability to scale and the exorbitantly high fees during times of network demand.
While Binance's offering is more scalable, to achieve this it has many centralized features. This is why the exchange has coined the term centralized-decentralized finance, or CeDeFi—arguably an oxymoron.
Firms like Binance are now trying to change that with their own blockchain offerings. And they are not afraid to spend big money to achieve that goal.