Amid the ongoing craze around decentralized finance, or DeFi, a blockchain startup in China is launching a global DeFi initiative.

Conflux Network, a permissionless blockchain startup, has launched a new DeFi-focused association focused on international cooperation of major industry players.

Called “Open DeFi,” the new alliance aims to connect Eastern and Western DeFi markets, uniting China-based blockchain leaders and global DeFi startups to streamline cross-border market growth, sustainability and innovation. 

According to a Sept. 3 announcement, the new alliance is supported by the Chinese government through the Shanghai Science and Technology Committee. Initiated by Conflux Network, Open DeFi comprises a number of industry players like major Chinese DeFi protocol dForce. Other participants include blockchain-focused venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, Blockpower Capital, Antelope Holdings, DeBank and MCDEX.

Alliance members are going to divide their efforts into three major vectors like risk management, new liquidity strategies, and incubation and innovation. 

Members in the risk management track aim to ensure smart contract and economic security for DeFi services, while institutional investors and crypto exchanges target new pooling and trading strategies to boost liquidity. The association also plans to collaborate on new DeFi offerings and tap new strategic partners as part of its incubation wing.

DeFi is often referred as the new ICO bubble as the industry sector mirrors the Initial Coin Offering-powered crypto boom in 2017. The DeFi industry has been rallying in 2020, surging from under $1 billion in January to as high as $9 billion in late August. The concept of DeFi combines the use of crypto-associated tools like digital assets, smart contracts and blockchain-based decentralized applications in financial services such as credit and lending.

DeFi has given rise to multiple associations and alliances in 2020. In March, the DeFi project Ren launched a consortium backed by veteran crypto investor Polychain Capital. In April 2020, TD Ameritrade and major DeFi firm Compound participated in the launch of the Chicago DeFi Alliance, which aims to provide support and guidance to DeFi firms. In mid-August, major global crypto exchange Huobi also launched a global DeFi alliance comprising members like MakerDAO, Compound, Nest and dYdX.