Protocol Village: Fluence's 'Cloudless Platform' Goes Live as Alternative to AWS, Google Cloud

March 21 (PROTOCOL VILLAGE EXCLUSIVE): The team behind Fluence network, which describes itself as "a decentralized serverless platform and computing marketplace powered by blockchain economics," announced that the Fluence Cloudless Platform is now live, "offering a cloudless and decentralized alternative to enterprise cloud computing providers such as AWS and Google Cloud," according to the team: "The platform leverages a decentralized serverless compute network to provide a solution that is resilient and auditable while offering flexibility and cost-efficiency to providers and users."

Movement, for Move-Based Chains, to Collaborate With DeFi Platform Thala

March 21: Movement, a network of Move-based blockchains, announced that it's planning to expand the Move DeFi ecosystem through a collaboration with Thala, a leading Move DeFi platform, according to the team. "Movement will bring Thala's DeFi suite, including its DEX, stablecoin and launchpad, to the Ethereum ecosystem via M2. This will allow Thala to tap into the vast EVM user base and liquidity pool, while still leveraging the security and speed of the Move language.

Morph EVM Raises $19M in Seed Round Led by Dragonfly

March 21: Morph, a fully permissionless Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) layer 2 for value-driven dApps, announced the close of a $19 million seed round, led by DragonFly Capital with additional participation from Pantera Capital, Foresight Ventures, The Spartan Group, MEXC Ventures, Symbolic Capital, Public Works, MH Ventures, Everyrealm, with an additional $1MM raised in an angel round. According to the press release: "The innovative technology is built within three key pillars – decentralized sequencer, optimistic zkEVM integration and modular design."

Blockchain Project Elastos Announces 'BTC Oracle' for Bitcoin L2

March 21: Elastos, a blockchain project, announced BTC Oracle, "a radical new solution that will enable every EVM-compatible blockchain to be a Bitcoin L2, the most comprehensive solution for cross-chain operability involving Bitcoin and EVM blockchains yet." According to the team: "The BTC Oracle is part of Elastos’s BTC L2, 'BeL2,' the first BTC L2 to enable the direct development and management of Bitcoin-native smart contracts. Elastos’ BTC Oracle acts as a zero-knowledge proof data feed that provides real-time Bitcoin information to EVM smart contracts. A prototype is now available to illustrate how you can stake ELA in return for Bitcoin rewards."

Espresso Systems Raises $28M in Fresh Funds, Led By A16z Crypto

March 21: Espresso, a leading specialist in the emerging blockchain field of "shared sequencing," has raised $28 million in a series B round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz's a16z Crypto, according to a press release. The investment round closed in February, and the funding will be used to continue to build out Espresso’s products, invest in the broader rollup ecosystem, and hire additional people for Espresso.

Babylon, Nubit Collaborate on Bitcoin Data Availability

March 21: Babylon and Nubit announced a collaboration to integrate Babylon's Bitcoin staking and timestamping protocols, to enhance Nubit's Bitcoin-native data availability layer. According to the team: "Through this collaboration, Bitcoin L2s, DeFi, indexers and other systems that want to use Bitcoin for security and data availability will find a native and efficient solution. The partnership will leverage tech advancements to improve Bitcoin’s utility and accessibility, aiming to inherit Bitcoin’s complete censorship resistance and economic security to ensure a robust and resilient infrastructure for Bitcoin’s future growth." Nubit claims on its website to be the "first Bitcoin-native data availability layer."

Core Foundation Unveils Venture Network for DApp Development

March 21: Core Foundation has unveiled Core Venture Network (CVN), "comprising a community of 50 venture capitalists and other investors dedicated to offering resources, funding and strategic counsel for dApp development on Core Chain, the blockchain secured by Bitcoin and EVM-compatible (Ethereum Virtual Machine). Alongside its launch, the Core Venture Network announces $15M in regional ecosystem funds. Notable members of the Core Venture Network include Foresight Ventures, Marin Digital Ventures, Brinc VC, Mexc Ventures, CoinSwitch and others."

XPLA, Matter Labs Collaborate to Advance 'zkXPLA'

March 21: XPLA, a gaming-focused blockchain based on the Tendermint consensus engine, and Matter Labs, a software development, engineering, and cryptography company developing software for zkSync, announced a collaboration designed to advance the development and deployment of Web3 games through the newly created zkXPLA ecosystem. According to a press release: "The zkXPLA mainnet is designed to support Web3 games and projects expanding to the Ethereum ecosystem while offering interchain integration, as well as facilitating the onboarding of new gaming titles, entertainment experiences, as well as public projects with financial companies and government agencies. The hyperchain infrastructure on zkSync will further optimize the deployment of games by publishers and developers via zkXPLA and offer a seamless end-to-end gaming environment with enhanced security, transparency, and lower transaction fees.

Bitcoin Layer 2 'Mintlayer' Upgrades Staking Program

March 21: Bitcoin L2 Mintlayer is announcing an upgrade to its staking program UI to make it easier to use and more accessible, according to the team: "Its simplified staking program is integrated into a combination of its block explorer and Mojito wallet browser extension, which enables Mintlayer users to stake their ML tokens and earn rewards. Aside from being used to secure the Mintlayer network through staking, the ML token is used to pay transaction fees on the Bitcoin sidechain."

VeChain Announces 'Meatless' App for Sustainable Food Products as Hackathon Winner

March 21: VeChain announced the winners of its most recent hackathon hosted at the University of Cambridge in partnership with EasyA and with participation from BCG. According to the team: "The hackathon encouraged the development of the VeBetterDAO platform, a sustainable ecosystem designed to incentivize enterprise and individual positive impact and resulted in 50+ X-2-Earn projects. VeChain track winner: Meatless, an app that incentivizes buying sustainable food products BCG track winner: EcoNex, an app promoting eco-friendly travel Pitch-a-thon track winner: LogiQ, an app designed to streamline trucks freight-sharing."

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