Connext, a blockchain interoperability protocol that enables developers to build cross-chain applications, has unveiled a native token called NEXT as it plans to convert into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
Sharing the news exclusively with The Block on Wednesday, Connext said NEXT is a utility and governance token that will power the full decentralization of Connext, similar to tokens of other blockchain infrastructure projects like The Graph.
Connext provides infrastructure for blockchain interoperability. Its network's most basic use case is that of a crypto bridge — allowing activities on multiple blockchains. "You can, for example, borrow money on Ethereum and spend it on Polygon via the Connext network," Arjun Bhuptani, co-founder of Connext, told The Block.
Validators on the Connext network — known as "routers" — will be able to stake NEXT tokens to participate in the network and earn a proportional fee in return. NEXT will also be used to govern the ecosystem treasury of Connext through a DAO. Connext plans to launch the token in the next one to two months, according to Bhuptani.
The Connext network went live over a year ago and has processed around 700,000 transactions and about $1.4 billion in total volume so far, Bhuptani said.
Once NEXT is launched, Connext will also airdrop the tokens. "We expect to retroactively distribute tokens to users and routers of the network in an airdrop," said Bhuptani. "The snapshots for these have already been completed."
NEXT will have a total supply of 1 billion tokens. All the tokens have already been minted, but they are not yet publicly available or transferable.
For now, the only way to earn NEXT is through Connext's contributor program, which is being launched today.
"Our goal with the contributor program is to allow for a secondary mechanism for community members to earn tokens conditional upon a DAO vote when the token goes live," said Bhuptani.
More information about the token distribution and technical governance will be issued as Connext gets closer to the full launch of the token, Bhuptani explained.
Connext is backed by notable investors, including Coinbase Ventures and ConsenSys Mesh. The project has raised over $15 million in funding to date.
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