• UNLOX will initially comprise a BNPL solution, a digital asset wallet and commerce engine, and a collateralized art lending and fractionalization platform
  • SkyBridge and NAX bring institutional infrastructure and commercial volume, respectively, to new initiative while Algorand provides the layer-1 protocol support

A new partnership between SkyBridge Capital and NAX is set to offer decentralized applications and institutional investment opportunities as part of an initiative using layer-1 protocol Algorand

The alliance will start with a fund between SkyBridge, NAX, and Algorand and an initiative called UNLOX. The fund, to be capped at $250 million, will seek to provide institutions with access to unique decentralized finance opportunities.

With SkyBridge founder Anthony Scaramucci as its chairman, UNLOX will become a core infrastructure to launch large-scale decentralized finance (DeFi ventures), capital raising and a platform for institutions to securitize their assets on the blockchain.  

SkyBridge is a $7 billion alternative asset manager with more than $600 million in crypto assets. Meanwhile, NAX, based in California, creates new markets and ecosystems around corporate assets from seed to securitization.

“SkyBridge is choosing to partner with NAX because of the commercial infrastructure and volume that NAX brings to the initiative,” a SkyBridge spokesperson told Blockworks. “NAX functions as the catalyst that will enable UNLOX ventures to launch at scale by leveraging underutilized corporate assets from its market-leading industry partners.”

UNLOX will initially comprise a buy now pay later, or BNPL, solution, a digital asset wallet and commerce engine, and a collateralized art lending and fractionalization platform, the firms said in a release. NAX estimates that these will augment the user base of Algorand, which will be the protocol of UNLOX, with millions of new wallets by 2023.

Scaramucci called the protocol’s technology impressive in a statement and noted that his firm plans to bring Algorand to the forefront of regulated products, digital securities, currencies and payments.

A competitor of Ethereum and other growing layer-1 protocols such as Solana, Cardano and Avalanche, Algorand currently has more than 30,000 developers and about 800 organizations building on it. 

“Algorand is one of the only layer-1s that can meet global financial transaction requirements, with primitives built directly into the protocol,” the SkyBridge spokesperson said. “Its founder and team are the best in the world at what they do.”

Silvio Micali, Algorand’s founder, designed the protocol to be forkless with high transactions per second, fast finality and security, the representative noted. Its fees are fixed at 0.001 ALGO per transaction, meaning no gas is required like in Ethereum, the firm added, and Algorand is also carbon-negative and Sharia-compliant.

Algorand Virtual Machine was released in June in an effort to improve smart contract development and allow developers to create powerful digital apps while making blockchain application development more accessible.

NAX CEO Jeff Schumacher said in a statement that Algorand’s platform has “unlimited potential,” noting the arrival of AVM. 

“The platform will continue to deliver performance enhancements and interoperability for the growing list of organizations and governments that are leveraging Algorand as the infrastructure for new economic models,” an Algorand spokesperson told Blockworks.

Algorand’s market capitalization, which stands at about $11.8 billion, was the 15th largest among coins as of 2:30 p.m. eastern on Monday afternoon, according to CoinGecko. The price of its native token ALGO was up to $2.28 at that time, which was up 73% from seven days ago, the data shows.

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  • Ben Strack is a Denver-based reporter covering macro and crypto-native funds, financial advisors, structured products, and the integration of digital assets and decentralized finance (DeFi) into traditional finance. Prior to joining Blockworks, he covered the asset management industry for Fund Intelligence and was a reporter and editor for various local newspapers on Long Island. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism. Contact Ben via email at [email protected]