Cumberland Labs unveils SaaS API for public blockchains and DeFi protocols

Cumberland Labs unveils SaaS API for public blockchains and DeFi protocols

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Cumberland Labs, the incubator arm of Chicago-based crypto trading company Cumberland, has launched the beta version of a new API tool that could simplify the difficult task of connecting to blockchain and decentralized finance protocols.

Cumberland Labs told Cointelegraph that Cumberland, the trading unit of DRW Holdings LCC, used to invest a lot of time connecting different protocols manually, one at a time.

Unable to find a tool to simplify these tasks, the firm eventually created its own API service, expand.network, using its own developers and engineers from its incubator arm. The tool has been in testing since November and is available to the public in beta.

An API stands for application programming interface and is used when one type of programming needs to communicate with another.

Screenshot of the interface of expand.network’s beta version. Source: expand.network

“We explored DeFi trading and sought a tool similar to the ccxt library used for centralized exchanges, which could connect to any DeFi protocol or blockchain. To our surprise, no such tool existed,” said Tama Churchouse, Chief Operating Officer at Cumberland Labs, to Cointelegraph.

The newly released solution seeks to provide both read and write connectivity to major public blockchains and DeFi protocols, helping developers interact across multiple protocol APIs and software development kits (SDKs).

The Web3 startup seeks to solve an age-old crypto problem: cross-chain communication inefficiencies. However, it is far from solving the same problems as cross-chain solutions. According to CEO Demetrios Skalkotos, while both “may appear similar on the surface”, they serve different purposes.

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Related: Connecting to DeFi: How Multi-Chain Token Systems Can Improve Liquidity

“Cross-chain solutions primarily facilitate the transfer of messages and tokens between different chains. In contrast, expand.network provides connectivity to chains and protocols, offering a more comprehensive and versatile solution for navigating the DeFi landscape,” he explained.

The low-code tool will support Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible chains, including Ethereum, BNB Smart Chain, Avalanche, Polygon, Cronos, Arbitrum, and Optimism, as well as non-EVM-compatible chains such as Solana, Tron, Near, and Algorand. Upcoming support will be available for Aptos, Sui, Lido, LayerZero and StarkNet.

The platform was conceived and built by Cumberland Labs, which provided funding, resources and consulting. If market conditions permit, the start-up may apply for funding later this year.

“When it comes to seeking funding, our strategy is to target crypto seed and Series A technology infrastructure investors, as well as potential strategic investors,” noted Skalkotos.

As the crypto space evolves, more capital is pouring into developer-oriented and interoperability solutions. In April, developer LayerZero Labs raised $120 million to expand its reach into the Asia-Pacific region. It had previously raised $135 million by March 2022.

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