KuCoin Ventures, the venture arm of Seychelles-registered crypto exchange KuCoin, will provide grants to The Open Network (TON) blockchain platform, including an initial $20,000, to support the growth and expansion of the TON ecosystem.
According to a Dec. 1 statement, the funding will support TON ecosystem projects, including five payments or game finance (GameFi) platforms, research and development efforts, community-building, marketing activities and incubation initiatives, such as the TON Bootcamp.
Ian Wittkopp, accelerator head at TON Foundation, said the grants from KuCoin aid them in continuing to support real-world blockchain solutions in payments and gaming within its ecosystem. He said:
“Today’s partnership with KuCoin Ventures is an acceleration point in the momentum of mini-app development on the The Open Network… KuCoin Ventures’ efforts align with TON’s vision of a more accessible and decentralized digital future for everyone.”
Alicia Kao, managing director of KuCoin, attributed the move to the company’s belief in TON’s potential in the blockchain industry. She added:
“This strategic alliance aligns with our mission of promoting further development of the crypto and blockchain industry through tighter cooperation.”
“We believe this signifies a fresh synergy between exchanges and the blockchain landscape, and we aspire that this joint effort will serve as a motivating example, spurring further similar ventures,” she added.
A KuCoin spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the partnership is in its first phase. They said:
“This partnership is just the beginning. We plan to leverage this collaboration for deeper cooperation and communication… We are making all the necessary preparations for this… collaboration.”
Besides supporting the expansion of the TON ecosystem, KuCoin seeks to replicate its success with other blockchain collaborations “to facilitate the transition of cryptocurrency from a niche interest to mass adoption.”
Per its website, KuCoin Ventures has invested in the decentralized infrastructure POKT, nonfungible token (NFT) platform OVO and decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocol Sturdy, among others.
In March, KuCoin Ventures led a $10 million investment in stablecoin issuer and blockchain-based payment service provider CNHC. In a statement to Cointelegraph then, KuCoin chief investment officer and KuCoin Ventures lead Justin Chou said that the investment in CNHC is the first time the venture arm invested in a stablecoin-related project.
TON has also been busy recently in forging partnerships with other crypto players. On Oct. 4, the firm announced it raised an eight-figure investment from MEXC Ventures, a subsidiary of MEXC’s global cryptocurrency exchange MEXC, to support the growth of the platform.
The blockchain platform also welcomed Web3 investment firm Animoca Brands as its largest validator in November. Per the announcement, the Yat Sui-cofounded company plans to deliver blockchain-based games to Telegram.