The Cardano ($ADA) network has recently seen the launch of a new decentralized lending protocol for the unbanked called Meld.  Over the last three days, after the protocol launched, users staked 100 million MELD tokens on it to earn interest while insuring its activities.

According to an announcement Meld made on Twitter, the milestone was made shortly after the decentralized finance protocol was launched. The staked tokens are now locked for a specific period. The locked tokens allow users to take out fiat currency loans collateralized with crypto.

According to VentureBeat, Meld raised funds through an initial stake pool offering (ISPO) to allow people to use cryptocurrency as collateral for fiat currency loans. Meld raised $45 million through its ISPO and a private token sale.

Speaking to the news outlet Ken Olling, CEO of Meld, claimed that the protocol already has about 40,000 MELD token holders. Olling started Meld in late 2020, and the company launched its ISPO in July of last year, completing the process in December.

Cardano users staked more than 620 million ADA during the ISPO, allowing MELD to raise $10 million. An additional $35 million were raised through the private token sale. The ISPO saw users stake ADA in exchange for yield in MELD tokens, while Meld receive funds from the staking pools’ rewards. MELD is used for governance of the Meld protocol.

The company has, along with Polygon, partnered with African mobile provider Tingo. The partnership has seen Meld’s application come preloaded on Tingo mobile devices, making it easier for it to reach new users. Aside from cryptocurrency-backed and fiat currency loans, Meld also allows users to create “Melded assets,” which are tokenized versions of other assets on the Cardano blockchain.

As CryptoGlobe reported, Cardano developer Input Output has proposed increasing the network’s block size by 11% from 72 KB to 80 KB after network load surged above 90% with the launch of popular DeFi platform SundaeSwap. Cardano’s network load peaked above 90% after SundawSwap’s launch while the total value locked on it jumped over 9,000%.

More users have been moving to the network, as CryptoCompare’s latest Asset report has shown that in December the number of addresses holding Cardano grew to a new all-time high of 4 million. Large holders have notably more than doubled their holdings after ADA’s price dropped amid a wider crypto market sell-off this year.

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