Huobi Global looks to become key player in Polkadot ecosystem

Huobi and the Web3 Foundation are pouring resources into supporting projects on Polkadot

Two announcements from Huobi Global on Friday indicate that the cryptocurrency exchange is angling to become a key player in the growth of the Polkadot network. 

In a pair of blog posts, the Seychelles-based exchange announced a Polkadot Sponsorship program, as well as a $5 million Tether stablecoin fund from the Huobi Innovation Lab to support “developers, event organizers, content creators, and ambassadors” throughout the Polkadot ecosystem.

The Sponsorship program allows individuals to recommend Polkadot projects for listing in the “Polkadot ecological zone,” a special asset listing section of the Huobi exchange. Sponsors are also reportedly granted an invite to Huobi’s annual conference, as well as to other offline events.

Sponsors are required to have significant vested interest in the success of Polkadot in order to apply. Minimum requirements include 300,000 DOT tokens (over $1.5 million), of which half must be locked with Huobi as asset certificates.

Huobi’s investments follow a pair of similar announcements from Polkadot on Thursday. The network launched a decentralized finance-focused alliance whose founding members include oracle provider Chainlink and layer-two network Plasm.

Additionally, the Web3 Foundation announced the launch of the “Thousand Validators Programme,” which will provide education, support, and funding aimed at increasing the number of network validators for the platform.

The infrastructure and ecological investments come after Polkadot creator Gavin Wood argued on Thursday that Polkadot and Ethereum can co-exist. In comments made at the Polkadot Decoded summit, the programmer, who also co-founded Ethereum, dismissed the idea that there is only enough room for one layer-1 protocol.

“If Ethereum ends up being a chain that is sort of bridgeable […] I think that there’s a very good chance that Polkadot and Ethereum will happily coexist,” said Wood.

However, layer-1 platforms looking to sap developers and projects from Ethereum might be making some false assumptions about network effects.

In comments today on Twitter Larry Sukernik, the head of investments at Grayscale parent company Digital Currency Group, cautioned platforms like Polkadot not to take developer migration for granted:

According to Coingecko, Polkadot’s DOT token currently sits at a $4.7 billion marketcap, compared to a $67 billion figure for Ethereum. 

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