“DeFi to the masses project” Parallel Finance has handily won the fourth Polkadot crowdloan, raising 10.75 million DOT tokens (about US$300 million) from over 4,000 contributors.

Parallel was beaten by multichain dApp hub Astar for the third crowdloan last week but led the entire way this time ’round.

“The Parallel Finance team thanks the community members for showing trust, thereby helping us to become part of the Polkadot ecosystem by securing a parachain,” said Parallel Finance’s Stanford-based founder, Yubo Ruan.

“It’s been a huge milestone in a very short period of time. Since its inception in April 2021, Parallel Finance is gaining ground as the most trusted institutional-grade lending protocol for decentralized finance.”

Parallel will begin distributing token rewards in return for the nearly two-year crowdloan later this month, with eight other distributions taking place every 92 days.

Backed by the likes of Sequoia, Polychain, Alameda Research and Lightspeed Ventures Capital, Parallel Finance offers unique DeFi lending solutions such as interest rate swaps, leverage staking and auction lending.

Clover Finance, Efinity and Manta Network will be the contenders for the fifth auction spot. After that concludes next week, the auctions will pause for a week and then resume on December 23.

Visa says all

Payments giant Visa has released a 30-page paper on the global crypto phenomenon to mark the launch of its crypto-consulting service for financial institutions.

The briefing is based in part on an online survey of nearly 800 Australians, as well as 5,600 residents of seven other countries. It found that awareness of crypto among financial decision-makers in Australia was near-universal, at 93 per cent.

Of those Aussies who are “crypto-aware,” 21 per cent were active owners of cryptocurrency, meaning they’d used it at least once to send or receive money, buy goods or accept payments. Another nine per cent were deemed passive crypto owners.

Notably, one in three Aussie crypto owners said they’d be likely or very likely to switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto products in the next 12 months, and 82 per cent were also interested in buying crypto from their bank.

Visa said its Global Crypto Advisory service is aimed at financial institutions eager to attract or retain customers with a crypto offering, retailers looking to delve into NFTs, or even central banks exploring digital currencies.

“Over the past year, there has been a notable shift in mindset across the payments ecosystem, with businesses moving from a curiosity in crypto to actually building a strategy and product roadmap,” said Anthony Jones, Visa’s head of innovation and partnerships for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific.

“As consumer investment into this new asset class gains momentum and Australians start to evolve how they think about the future of money, every financial institution will require a strategy for crypto.”

“We are excited to help our clients and partners, globally and here in Australia, navigate this new era of money movement.”

Long seen by some in the crypto community as exactly the type of business they’d like to disrupt, Visa has been making big moves in the space, including buying a CryptoPunk.