AVA Labs Will Splash Millions to ‘Brain Merge’ DeFi and Traditional Finance

Now that its public testnet is live, Emin Gun Sirer’s AVA Labs wants to invest heavily in building a DeFi space more in its own image.

Speaking on Google Hangouts, AVA Labs COO Kevin Sekniqi told CoinDesk the company was focusing its energies on a new grants program, made available through its new venture arm, AVA X, that will provide financing of up to $250,000 to selected projects building with its technology.

AVA has earmarked a “pretty substantial” amount of cash for projects and initiatives that build-out the ecosystem, Sekniqi said. Half of AVA Labs’ allocation of mainnet tokens – with a value “in the many millions of dollars” – would also be available to selected projects as grants, he added.

The AVA platform is a highly scalable protocol with a claimed thousands of transactions per second throughput – designed to be the basis for a new type of financial infrastructure.

Founded by Cornell professor Emin Gun Sirer, who has previously worked on a scaling solution for bitcoin, AVA had been in private testnet for over a year. It originally had been slated for launch as early as December but this was pushed back until April. The project is now aiming for a full launch sometime in July, according to its roadmap.

Since the public testnet launch earlier this month, Sekniqi said the team had been in dialogue with at least five projects interested in applying for grants.

See also: Multi-Chain DeFi Protocol Raises $750K in Token Sale With Framework Ventures

This sudden ramp-up in grants comes as AVA solidifies in the approach to launch. It’s even started to proselytize, offering its own vision of what the nascent decentralized finance (DeFi) space should start to look like going forward.

“There is nothing about [DeFi], to be totally honest with you, that is decentralized,” Sekniqi said, as evidenced by the reality of hacks like the attack on dForce at the weekend. DeFi, he added, is just as susceptible to fallible people and relationships built on trust as…

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