Pontem to Use Polkadot to Connect Diem and DeFi

Pontem advances plans to be Diem's Polkadot-based testnet through a new partnership with node infrastructure provider PinkNode.

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Key Takeaways

  • Pontem partners with Polkadot node provider to finalize experimental test network for Facebook's Diem blockchain.
  • The partnership with PinkNode means the Pontem team can deploy nodes on Kusama, Polkadot's canary network.
  • Pontem aims to help Diem introduce new features by testing them in the Polkadot ecosystem.

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Pontem, an experimental network for Facebook’s Diem project, has teamed up with Polkadot-based node infrastructure provider PinkNode.

Behind Pontem’s New Deal

Pontem has partnered with PinkNode, an infrastructure-as-a-service provider on Polkadot.

The partnership will let Pontem deploy an experimental test network for Facebook’s Diem blockchain, formerly known as Libra.

Diem is an ambitious blockchain project from Big Tech mainstay Facebook but is not open to public participants due to its permissioned nature. As a result, developers and entrepreneurs working on Diem may find it difficult to build open source solutions that can compete to the level of innovation with public blockchains such as Ethereum or Polkadot. 

This is where Pontem comes in. Founded in 2020, Pontem uses Substrate, Polkadot’s software development kit, to build a blockchain with a codebase almost identical to Diem’s.

The project aims to help Diem onboarding new features and solutions by first testing them in the Polkadot ecosystem. To this end, the project recently raised $4.5 million from several venture funds including Mechanism Capital, Kenetic Capital, and Animoca Brands. 

The PinkNode deal will allow Pontem to deploy nodes and other API endpoints on Kusama, Polkadot’s canary network, to finalize its network.  

Due to deploying the nodes and API endpoints, Pontem will help developers interested in Diem test new features in the Polkadot ecosystem before directly submitting them to Diem. This will also enable new projects on Diem to test their product-market fit on Polkadot. 

Boris Povod, the founder of Pontem, said of the partnership:

“With Pinknode acting as our primary infrastructure provider, their reliable and secure API endpoints will be a key building block to completing our joint goal of improving Polkadot’s current infrastructure, while also allowing us to work towards our goal of becoming the experimentation network for Diem. We look forward to what this partnership will bring.”

Through Polkadot’s interoperable network, Pontem also plans to build a bridge that connects the Diem blockchain with Ethereum, the network that underpins the burgeoning decentralized finance space and contains more than $55 billion in total value locked.

According to Pontem, connecting the two networks will expose Facebook’s 2.7 billion users to DeFi. Slated for launch in 2021, Diem will issue fiat-backed stablecoins that can be integrated with Facebook’s banking and e-commerce services, a strategic move that faced a lot of resistance from regulators.  

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