Popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s investment arm announced on Friday, April 12th, that it had granted a group of three blockchain startups $45,000 in total. The startups are developing open source projects and have become the first members of the Binance Labs Fellowship ‘club’.
The three startups, each receiving $15,000 in BNB are Ironbelly, HOPR and Kitsune Wallet. Ironbelly is a mobile wallet that utilizes the Mimblewimble protocol on the Grin blockchain while HOPR is developing a privacy-preserving messaging protocol. The last project, Kitsune is developing an upgradable on-chain cryptocurrency wallet. The three projects have now joined the Binance Labs Fellowship as the first “fellows.”
Through Binance Labs, Binance hopes to identify, incubate, invest in, and empower blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, projects, and communities. The Fellowship program, in particular, will be focused on identifying open-source projects to fund them and help the teams behind these often obscure projects bring their ideas to the market.
“We have seen firsthand how innovation depends on an engaged community of developers and entrepreneurs who imagine ideas and create new projects to bring products to market,” said Flora Sun, Director at Binance Labs.
Binance hopes to attract more talent into the blockchain space and at the same time encourage sharing and collaboration through the open-source space.
“The more talent an industry attracts to the space, the higher chance that it will be successful and Binance Labs hopes to further enable the overwhelming talent and builders of our industry. Thus, our part is to support early-stage projects that are helping to create the building blocks and infrastructure for larger utility and enabling growth in the blockchain market,” Sun added.
To further help fund these projects through grants, the teams behind them are accepting matching grants over the next week before closing their funding drives.
Binance Labs also runs another program that helps identify and nurture nascent projects at their early stages. That is the Incubation program and in December, it announced that it will be hosting the next cohort groups in five cities across the globe including Berlin, Buenos Aires, Lagos, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The Argentine government, in particular, promised to match Binance Labs’ investments in any blockchain projects from the Buenos Aires cohort.