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Ethereum has recently launched Blast, a Layer 2 network featuring an EVM-compatible layer-2 optimistic rollup technology. The platform, currently in an invite-only phase, has drawn over $20 million in investments from ether and stablecoins, with a mainnet release scheduled for February 2024.
The project has generated significant interest in the cryptocurrency community for its potential to provide yields from Ethereum staking and real-world assets protocols. Investors can earn up to 4% yield on ETH and 5% on USDC, with substantial backing from Paradigm and Standard Crypto. Lido has already secured over $19 million in staked ether, offering a promising annual yield of up to 4%. Additionally, $150,000 in DAI stablecoins is prepared for deployment, and USDB, an auto-rebasing stablecoin linked to MakerDAO’s T-Bill protocol earnings, has been introduced.
Blast’s strategy includes rewarding users with Blast Points for referrals prior to the mainnet launch. These points will be redeemable starting in May after the network goes live. The announcement of the mainnet launch and the referral program led to a surge in BLUR’s market value to $0.35888 today.
Despite the initial success and investment interest, some industry experts have voiced concerns over Blast’s long-term viability. Critics like T3chman and Tytan have likened the structure of Blast to Ponzi schemes due to its reliance on rewards tokens post-launch. Adam Cochran of Cinneamhain Ventures pointed out a lack of clear exit strategy even though funds are being allocated into Lido and Maker protocols for yield accruals. Sisyphus noted limitations of the bridge due to multi-sig control without live L2 operations.
In spite of these criticisms, Roquerre of Blur fame has secured a substantial $40 million in funding aimed at fostering NFT-centric DApp growth on Blast. Standard Crypto VC acknowledged limitations related to Total Value Locked (TVL) but emphasized Blast’s potential revenue models such as yield percentages or gas fee reimbursements for generating DApps. This strategic expansion contributed to a 12% increase in BLUR’s market price.
The development of Blast is part of a broader trend within the crypto ecosystem towards Layer 2 solutions that aim to improve scalability and reduce costs while maintaining security. With its upcoming mainnet launch and the backing of significant investors, Blast is positioned as a noteworthy addition to the Ethereum network’s infrastructure.