2021 Year In Review

2021 Year In Review


January 31, 2021

To everybody that has joined the Kadena community this year we want to give a hearty thanks for going on this journey with us! With that in mind, here are the highlights of a truly incredible year for Kadena as we made huge progress defining and executing on our vision. We couldn’t have done it without the help of our tremendous community and ecosystem of partners, builders, and ambassadors!

Marmalade and NFT Standards

In early 2021, we announced a new standard for NFT ledgers, poly-fungible-v1, bringing the unique features of Pact, Kadena’s smart contract language, to ledger-based ERC standards like ERC-721 and ERC-1155:

  • Support for multi-sig ownership: just like cryptocoins, NFTs benefit from safer ownership which can only happen with effortless single-, multi-sig and autonomous ownership offered natively by Pact.
  • Cross-chain transfers, which like KDA and other tokens make moving assets from chain to chain bug-free and safe, and open the door to moving assets to layer-2 and other platforms without any extra code.
  • Safe, on-behalf-of transfers. Ethereum dapp users are accustomed to unsafe practices where exchanges and apps require users to sign “blank checks” to trade on their behalf. Kadena dapps leverage Pact capabilities to safely and easily authorize on-behalf-of transfers that can’t escape the scope of the intended transaction, eliminating bugs and powering advanced use-cases.

This led to the launch of colorblock, a community-driven NFT marketplace launched in June. Meanwhile, a project launched by Kadena advisor and guru Stuart Haber sought to bring a new kind of NFT to market that needed advanced sale capabilities that simply couldn’t be handled with simple ledger-based standards. This kicked off a new stage of innovation determined to overcome the limitations surrounding NFT sales on leading platforms regarding royalties and other sale controls.

The result was Marmalade, Kadena’s new offering to power the next generation of NFTs in crypto and the metaverse, with incredible game-changing features:

  • Standards-mediated sales. It’s well-known that Ethereum-based royalty standards are unenforceable outside the particular exchange a creator chooses to mint on. With Marmalade, the entire listing process is captured under the new poly-fungible-v2 standard, so that features like royalty payments and other cash-flow arrangements cannot be subverted by a faulty exchange or by sellers doing back-door deals.
  • With Marmalade NFTs can be transacted in any cryptocurrency, not just KDA, in stark contrast with leading NFT markets that only transact in a single currency.
  • Marmalade offers a“pluggable” marketplace logic standard, so that creators can control every aspect of how their creations are sold and resold. With Marmalade, creators don’t just mint NFTs, they “mint marketplaces” where entire communities can come together around innovative ideas and techniques for ownership and exchange of NFTs!

Marmalade launched in Testnet in Q4 with full launch coming in Q1 2022!

Defi Infrastructure and Kaddex

As the only scalable Proof-of-Work layer 1 blockchain, Kadena came into 2021 with a vision of DeFi that would bring modern financial techniques for best execution to DeFi. So many of the problems afflicting DeFi today — MEV and impermanent loss, huge exploits in the millions, and crippling gas fees — are solved by the unique offerings of DeFi on Kadena:

  • Pact, the safest smart contract language bar none in crypto. http://savedby.kadena.network launched in the summer to show how many millions of dollars of value would have been prevented by built-in safety features in Pact, with the savings in the $100s of millions!
  • Gas stations and scalability. Scalability means that dapps on Kadena can always scale to meet demand and keep gas prices low. Gas stations take gas out of the user equation altogether, allowing dapps to subsidize user gas, making for painless onboarding. No longer will DeFi only be for whales where normal users’ profit gets soaked up by rising gas costs!
  • The right solutions for MEV and IL. Some of the most vexing problems in DeFi come from the negative pressure of gas prices. MEV — “miner-extracted value” where front-running transactions execute before honest transactions to drain user value — exploits the fact that DEX traders “must trade” as otherwise the crippling gas fees go to waste. A scalable system like Kadena allows more orders that are smaller and less “gameable” but would cost way too much gas on Ethereum, Polygon, BSC or Avalanche. Similarly IL (“impermanent loss”) can be addressed with automatic rebalancing regimes, but only when this kind of logic can be made safely and efficiently — which only Pact can do.

With these ideas in mind, we launched Kadenaswap with a successful beta and bounty program, Bountyswap, that paid out 40,000 KDA in bounties, eliminating bugs from what would become the foundation of Kadena’s architecture for DeFi: “decentralized infrastructure”. With this, dapps don’t have to copy-paste entire applications from scratch and can innovate on features, instead of replicating the same basic infrastructure over and over as seen on EVM blockchains.

The first dapp builders to leverage Kadenaswap were Kaddex, who led an initial token sale entirely on-chain in June 2021 raising over 3.3M KDA, representing over $45MM TVL. Kaddex “wraps” Kadenaswap infrastructure to provide incentives and features to combat IL and is launching in Q1 2022! They are launching a staking program for early investors and conducting a second public sale in partnership with Tokensoft.

Markets, Protocols and Interop

To bring more valuable protocols onto Kadena, Tokensoft partnered with Kadena in early 2021 to bring their Wrapped tokens onto the platform. In Q4 this resulted in the beta launch of kBTC, a 1–1 pegged Bitcoin token on Kadena, and wKDA, a wrapped KDA token on Ethereum. 2022 will dramatically expand their stable to bring more valuable protocols online.

2021 also saw the launch of Kadena’s bridge infrastructure in the form of the Kadena Chain Relay, which provides economic security to endorse off-chain transactions in order to integrate with other platforms like Ethereum, Terra and Cosmos. Supported by bonded KDA, the program launched in June 2021 and was instantly oversubscribed, and currently has 13MM KDA locked up, representing over $195MM TVL!

August saw the launch of the Chain Relay Testnet Tournament in which community testers competed to exercise the chain relay software, with total rewards of 15,000 KDA distributed. 2022 will see the launch of the Chain Relay in use to access protocols on Terra, Cosmos and Ethereum!

Wallets and Exchanges

2021 was a huge year for KDA as we launched on more wallets and exchanges than ever before! Kucoin listed KDA in May 2021, followed by TradeOgre, Crypto.com and most recently, Gate.io, bringing massive volume to KDA markets.

In October we released Chainweaver Web, which makes Kadena’s in-house wallet/IDE accessible to a larger audience. This lays the groundwork for integration with the Ledger hardware wallet which is scheduled for developer beta release in January 2022 and WalletConnect support shortly thereafter. Likewise, web-extensions Clover and xWallet by Kaddex were integrated with KDA and other Kadena fungible tokens.

Community and Ecosystem

Since the start of 2021, the community has been essential in promoting Kadena and the KDA token, as shown in the explosive growth in our social media channels. By leveraging the community through our Ambassador Program and Developer Grants Program, Kadena is able to empower the community to promote and improve the KDA ecosystem!

Since the launch of Kadena’s Ambassador Program in February 2021, we’ve received applicants from diverse backgrounds, from experienced developers to university students. Passionate individuals stood out from the community to help support Kadena by creating informative content, moderating our social media channels, and organizing community-led groups. As we enter 2022, we will see the Ambassador Program revamped to fit the needs of our growing ecosystem and community.

Along with our Ambassador Program, Kadena’s Developer Grants Program was central in kickstarting the community to build dApps, projects, and tooling to grow the Kadena ecosystem. As Kadena continues to grow well into 2022, we plan to migrate the Developer Grant Program to a DAO to empower community involvement with direction, funding and more!

With the help from the community, we’ve reached numerous social media milestones. On Twitter, Kadena’s follower count grew over 2000% in the year reaching over 134,000 followers by the end of 2021. On Telegram, Kadena gained over 16,000 members from ~2,500 members at the start of the year to over 19,000 members by the end of 2021. On Discord, Kadena boasts over 16,000 members at the end of 2021. 2022 will see Kadena utilize the explosive growth of our community and expand to other social media platforms such as Reddit, Youtube, and more!

Mining and Mainnet

Several new Kadena ASIC miners were introduced to the market in 2021 by independent manufacturers, resulting in a 44x growth in hash rate for the year. These devices have had a strong presence near the top of the list of most profitable miners for much of the year. This has led to rapid growth of the Kadena mining community. The following chart shows the dramatic increase in the number of unique mining accounts this year, as more and more people have joined in to help make the network increasingly more secure and decentralized.

The Kadena mining community has grown exponentially in 2021

Onward into 2022!

It’s been an incredible year that saw Kadena enter the Top 100, cementing our status as a truly unique offering in blockchain. Powered by the safest consensus protocol, Proof-of-Work, Kadena brings true scalability to crypto, while Pact makes it possible for builders to safely and rapidly develop new applications that drive adoption of blockchain as a whole and the future of digital value. Incredible things are coming in 2022 so come on board — it’s going to be a new adventure as Kadena reshapes the worlds of DeFi, NFT and Metaverse in 2022!