IOVLabs to Catalyze Its Bitcoin Sidechain Development With $2.5M Grant

Bitcoin sidechain developer IOVLabs is launching a strategic grant program and hackathon to enhance development on the network.

Robot in mechanical pieces rubble looking at Bitcoin coins inside blockchain.
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  • Bitcoin is becoming a DeFi hub thanks to the Rootstock sidechain.  
  • To maintain momentum and further catalyze development on the Rootstock sidechain, IOVLabs has launched a grant program and a hackathon.
  • The hackathon will help IOVlabs to find initial candidates for the grant program. 

Bitcoin is rapidly transforming into a thriving hub for DeFi as protocols enable smart contract capabilities on the network. This is decadent in the $3 million in fees collected through DeFi protocols on Bitcoin in 24 hours, showcasing the increasing activity on the network. 

A key driving force behind Bitcoin’s journey to becoming a DeFi Hub is IOVLabs’ Rootstock sidechain. With millions of dollars in Total Value Locked (TVL), Rootstock has emerged as a major player in Bitcoin’s DeFi ecosystem. 


Recognizing the importance of development and future-proofing the network, IOVLabs is launching a $2.5 million grant program to foster the creation of exciting solutions within the Rootstock ecosystem. 

IOVLabs Grant Program

On Wednesday, May 17, at the inaugural Bitcoin Builders Conferences in Miami,  IOVLabs revealed a $2.5 million strategic grants program and hackathon to catalyze development on its Bitcoin sidechain Rootstock. 

The initiatives are part of IOVLabs’ efforts to elevate Bitcoin from a store of value to a financial system. The company looks to invite developers from worldwide to introduce concepts aligning with the “Everyday DeFi theme.” 

This includes projects that introduce interoperability for different blockchains, add utility to users, unlock functionality for DeFi, or enhance the Rootstock infrastructure and tooling. 


In order to find candidates for the grant program, IOVLabs has partnered with HackerEarth to launch a Hackathon. Besides getting qualified for the grant, winners will also stand a chance to win over $25,000 in prizes. 

Rootstock is playing a major role in Bitcoin’s shift towards DeFi activity, and the hackathon could turn the network into a DeFi hub. The sidechain has nearly $400 million in Total Value Locked (TVL) across 60 projects. IOVLabs has shared that anyone can apply to the Hackathon, pitch their ideas, and further expand its ecosystem. 

Details of the Hackathon

IOVLabs’ Hackathon will run from May to July. The event will feature an ideation state, a development stage, and a final pitch to an experienced panel of judges from the Bitcoin and Rootstock community, including Rootstock Co-founders Sergio Lerner and Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar and Rootstock ecosystem leaders Soveryn and Tropykus. 

IOVLabs VP of Growth Pei Chen shared their thoughts on the grant program:

"IOVLabs' support of the strategic grants program demonstrates our strong commitment to provide the tools needed to build a truly decentralized financial system on Bitcoin. This is an opportunity for the next generation of developers to harness the Rootstock sidechain to extend the capabilities of Bitcoin and help create a freer and fairer financial system for all.” 

Chen adds that Rootstock is quickly becoming known as a home of DeFi on Bitcoin. They believe that now is the time to make it available to everyone. 

Developers will gain access to Rootstock’s extensive resources on the DevPortal and the ability to integrate RIF’s pre-built open-source protocols into their current and future projects. 

On the Flipside

  • Over 200,000 transactions still sit in limbo on Bitcoin’s mempool because of the recent network congestion issues. 
  • Speaking of smart contract popularity on Bitcoin, Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens currently represent 65% of all activity on the network. 

Why This Matters

IOVLabs’ Rootstock sidechain is generating a lot of DeFi activity on Bitcoin. The company’s initiatives could help Bitcoin by encouraging builders to introduce exciting protocols into the network using the smart contract capability of its Rootstock sidechain. 

Read how the new Taproot Upgrade fixes BRC-20 issues: 

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Axie Infinity released its game on the Apple App Store: 

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This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Insha Zia

Insha Zia is a senior journalist at DailyCoin covering crypto developments, especially in the Cardano ecosystem. With a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering, he delivers high-quality articles with his technical background and expertise in data analysis and programming languages, aiming to educate and inform readers accurately, transparently, and engagingly. Insha believes education can drive mass adoption of the crypto space, and he is committed to giving DailyCoin readers a better understanding of the technology.