Bison Trails to support Acala and Karura for DeFi in the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystem

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Bison Trails, a blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a-service company,  will be supporting Acala, the DeFi hub of Polkadot, as well as Karura, Acala’s sister protocol providing a DeFi network for the Kusama community. 

Acala and Karura aim to help expand decentralised financial services in the Polkadot ecosystem.   

Acala will come to market with its own built-in protocols, including a trustless liquid-staking derivatives protocol, a multi-collateralised stablecoin (aUSD) backed by cross-chain assets, and a decentralised automated market maker asset exchange. Acala is also Ethereum-compatible and allows gas fees to be paid in any token.

Bison Trails will launch support for Karura in July 2021, operating the boot nodes used to bootstrap the Karura network in its early launch stages. Acala support will be added in the coming months, once the protocol launches on mainnet after winning a parachain slot auction on Polkadot later in 2021.

Bison Trails will offer enterprise-grade collator infrastructure for Karura and Acala, helping secure the network in the early stages of its launch. As the network grows towards maturity, there will be opportunities for Acala ecosystem partners to run collator infrastructure on the Bison Trails platform. Collators pass Acala’s blocks to randomly selected subset of Polkadot’s relay chain validators, who then validate and finalise the blocks for inclusion in the shared state of Polkadot.

“Bison Trails has deep expertise in the Polkadot ecosystem and Substrate-based chains that make us uniquely positioned to support Karura and Acala,” says Joe Lallouz, CEO of Bison Trails. “These new networks represent an inflection point for the growing suite of DeFi applications and services on the Polkadot ecosystem. We are excited to work with Acala and Karura, supporting their security and growth in these early stages.”

Acala will be launching with 15-20 collators permissioned by the Acala Foundation. The advancement of both networks during their early stages will be overseen by the Acala Foundation. Down the line, Acala aims to transition from an authorised collator set to a public collator model, offering interested parties an opportunity to run Acala collators, stake ACA to secure them, attract community delegations, and earn ACA rewards.

Participating early in Acala as a collator operator helps make the network more robust and decentralised. It also helps establish credibility as a collator operator and trusted ecosystem partner, and paves the way for a successful transition from an authorised collator set to a public collator model. 

“This month, Karura’s global network of supporters contributed over 500,000 KSM tokens, equivalent to over USD100 million, in a crowdloan, representing community demand for interoperable, decentralised finance products,” says Ruitao So, Co-founder and CEO of Acala and Karura. “We are excited to work with Bison Trails to help grow Karura and Acala and enable us to bring an ever-growing suite of DeFi services to our community members. Working with Bison Trails to support the top parachain projects will enable network participants to bypass years of learning how to operate successfully within the Polkadot ecosystem.”