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Chainlink BUILD Projects Explore The Future Of DeFi At The University Of Westminster

The first London Chainlink community meetup of 2024 took place this month at the University of Westminster, where students and alumni from multiple universities including the London School of Economics, Imperial College London, and UCL gathered with lecturers, teaching assistants, and working professionals from traditional finance and various blockchain ecosystems to hear from Chainlink BUILD projects leveraging Chainlink’s industry-leading oracle infrastructure to innovate throughout decentralized finance (DeFi).

A panel discussion called “BUILDing the Next Generation of DeFi,” led by long-standing Chainlink community advocate and DeFi professional, Toby Hill, featured Fyde Treasury co-founder and Head of Investment Strategy, Bo Zhang; ​QuantAMM co-founder and CEO, Matthew Willetts; Golteum co-founder, Max Anderson; and Folks Finance co-founder and CEO, ​Benedetto Biondi.

The BUILD initiative fosters the growth of promising early-stage and established projects in Chainlink’s ecosystem by providing enhanced access to essential Chainlink services and technical support from Chainlink Labs. Panelists explained how their projects are integrating critical Chainlink infrastructure and discussed hot topics from solving the MEV problem to the intersection of blockchain and AI.

Hill, who has organized several previous Chainlink community events at the University of Westminster and London Business School, told Chainlink Today the BUILD meetup attracted a “rich and widespread” demographic.

“I personally spoke to university students – Westminster or otherwise – as well as bankers from the city and curious investors who were keen to learn more about the technological solutions Chainlink had to offer,” he said.

Panelists representing Chainlink BUILD projects discuss the future of DeFi at the University of Westminster. (Tatiana Polivoda)

“I was amazed to see how many people were gathered in the audience,” Biondi told Chainlink Today. “It was a very vibrant crowd with different backgrounds. Many questions were asked by the public after the speech and the audience was quite interactive. The networking and engagement at the end were also great.”

Folks Finance joined BUILD in September and integrated Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) to support cross-chain Hub & Spoke lending that allows users to deposit collateral on one chain and borrow assets on another.

“By joining BUILD, we’ve received extensive support from the Chainlink team in multiple ways – from technical support for the implementation, to marketing support and VCs/partners introductions,” said Biondi. 

The Chainlink Network has delivered over 11.5 billion data points and enabled more than $9.7 trillion in transaction value onchain. As the industry-leading decentralized computing platform, Chainlink plays a fundamental role in powering highly secure and performant decentralized protocols, applications, and exchanges that expand DeFi’s utility and global user base.

Biondi said some of the most valuable discussion points from the BUILD panel examined how Chainlink services such as CCIP and Proof of Reserve (PoR) “help shape a better, more reliable future for DeFi.”

Anderson agreed. “The most important topic to me, of course, is Chainlink’s Proof of Reserve, which pertains mostly to what we do at Golteum,” he told Chainlink Today. 

Golteum joined BUILD to help scale and secure its platform for bringing precious metals onchain. “Joining the BUILD program has enabled Golteum to grow our network and have more resources at hand to work with,” Anderson said. “It also allows us to future-proof our platform with early access to Chainlink’s new features.”

Fyde Treasury joined BUILD to help boost the adoption of crypto treasury management infrastructure.

“We at Fyde rely on several of Chainlink’s products for protocol operations, and when the opportunity arose to partner more closely with Chainlink, the answer was a no brainer,” Zhang told Chainlink Today. “Being part of the BUILD program has been great, not only from a protocol operations side, but also from a client acquisition perspective.” 

He described the unique energy Chainlink meetups are known for.

“The audience members here felt collegial. They were excited to be there. The moderator and event organizers were awesome and the questions from the audience were also quite on point, highlighting a deeper knowledge amongst them.”

Although many at the Westminster event were already passionate about Chainlink, Hill emphasized how welcoming Chainlink meetups are to newcomers. “For anyone who is new and looking to widen their breadth of knowledge in DeFi, Chainlink events are a great place to start,” he said.

Panelists agreed that everyone in attendance gained meaningful insight.

“It was a stimulating experience and an excellent platform for knowledge sharing, networking, and collaboration within our community,” Anderson said. “I had a great deal to learn from the valuable interactions and discussions. It’s always a great feeling to gather with other people who share a common interest in blockchains and the systems built around them.”

Zhang highlighted how uniquely supportive Chainlink meetups are. “You can definitely feel the community presence, and it’s a great way to meet new people – especially if you’re new to the crypto space and struggling to figure out a good place to start,” he said. 

As Biondi explained, Chainlink’s time-tested oracle infrastructure is the glue that binds Chainlink enthusiasts together. 

“Chainlink is one of the few projects that has continued to grow over time, as has its community,” he said. “Building purely useful tech makes the Chainlink community very strong, and they advocate the Chainlink mission everywhere they go.”

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