China Merchants Bank launches $50 million fund focused on DeFi and NFTs

  • China Merchants Bank's wholly-owned subsidiary CMB International has launched a joint investment fund with Nervos.
  • The multi-million-dollar fund will focus on investing in early to growth-stage startups building DeFi and blockchain-related products.
  • Selected startups will gain access to a suite of tools from the Nervos ecosystem. 

CMB International, a subsidiary of China Merchants Bank, has launched a fund focused on decentralized finance protocols and non-fungible token (NFT) platforms.

China to fuel the next DeFi and NFT boom

The Hong Kong-based firm has recently announced that it has jointly launched a $50 million blockchain fund with the Chinese public blockchain ecosystem, Nervos Foundation.

The new fund named InNervation will invest in early and growth-stage startups that create consumer-facing products based on blockchain technology, including decentralized applications (Dapps), DeFi protocols, blockchain platforms and NFT marketplaces.

Raised in US dollars, the fund will target either building on the Nervos blockchain or have plans to integrate Nervos into their products. Startups will receive initial investments between $200,000 to $2 million from the fund for support. 

According to the official report, CMBI has been exploring the use of Dapps since 2019. The fund aims to expand the Nervos ecosystem through upcoming investments. Citing the growth in the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the joint investment vehicle seeks to support developers and entrepreneurs to build innovative solutions that would appeal to the mainstream market.

Kevin Wang, the co-founder of Nervos, said:

Our team has been working diligently to ensure developers and teams have access to a variety of tools so they can create, customize, and connect their dApps, protocols, and more across multiple chains. With CMBI's support, InNervation will be the catalyst for a new phase of development not just on Nervos but in the greater blockchain and crypto ecosystem.

Startups selected by the fund would have access to Nervos’ suite of Layer 2 tools available for use, including a decentralized exchange. An Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible layer and a cross-chain bridge to extend support for Bitcoin, Tron, EOS and Polkadot are expected to be rolled out later this year.

Despite government restrictions on trading and token sales in China, startups in the country played a crucial role in the DeFi boom that started last summer. Many Chinese crypto wallets simplify and optimize processes for users to participate in DeFi projects, given that many people find it challenging to use these applications due to their complex technical nature. 

While DeFi had its moment last year, the industry continues to grow as 2021 is gearing up to be yet another record-breaking year in the space. 

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