Kava is the native cryptocurrency of the Kava.io platform, a decentralized finance protocol allowing users to lend and borrow assets using multiple crypto assets as collateral.
As a blockchain-based platform, Kava.io doesn’t require intermediaries to complete this process. Instead, it opts for a cross-chain lending platform allowing users to borrow the USDX stablecoin against non-decentralized finance (DeFi) assets such as bitcoin (BTC) and xrp (XRP.) Additionally, users can deposit supported crypto assets and earn interest.
The KAVA token launched in October 2019 and noted a first price peak of $5.11 on Aug. 17, 2020. Its value dropped to $1.28 in early November 2020 until recording a new high of $7.25 on April 9, 2021. The subsequent KAVA price dip to $2.78 on May 24, 2021, culminated in an all-time high of $9.12 on Aug. 30, 2021. The KAVA price retraced to $4.63 on Sept. 22, 2021.
In terms of its total supply, KAVA has an unknown supply cap; 100 million tokens were issued during three private sales – 30.05%, 5.02% and 4.93%, respectively – and one public round – 6.52% – on Binance Launchpad. Its current issuance rate is unknown because KAVA block rewards are randomized based on how much KAVA is staked on the network. However, Kava Labs maintains a burn mechanism when a collateralized debt position (CDP) is closed. Any KAVA used in that process to pay for stability fees is burned (permanently removed from circulation.)
The Kava Labs shareholders control 25% of the total KAVA supply, with the remaining 28.48% residing in the Treasury.
How does Kava.io work?
Kava.io leverages the Tendermint-based Proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. The ability to tolerate machines failing in arbitrary ways, including becoming malicious, is known as Byzantine fault tolerance, which increases transaction validation speed by splitting them into two levels:
- Validators act as a small “validator committee” to give initial approval to the transaction.
- Guardians leverage thousands of nodes (tasked to verify each batch of network transactions) to validate transactions and add them to the blockchain.
Kava is built using the Cosmos SDK, a modular blockchain development framework. As Cosmos’ ecosystem provides the IBC protocol – Inter-Blockchain Communication – Kava can directly communicate with other Cosmos-based blockchains and ecosystems to achieve cross-chain functionality. For example, Kava.io will use IBC to make Chainlink’s decentralized data feeds accessible to the broader Cosmos ecosystem.
Kava.io uses smart contract technology and offers a native dapp for users to lend, borrow and swap their assets. The platform currently supports KAVA, HARD, USDC, SWAP, BNB, BTCB, BUSD and XRPB assets. Smart contracts are self-executing computer contracts deployed on the blockchain.
Key events and management
Kava Labs, the for-profit company behind Kava.io, was founded in June 2017 by Brian Henning Kerr and Scott Stuart. The company raised $1.2 million in seed funding on Feb. 28, 2019, followed by a venture round on July 29, 2019 – although no financials have been published. FrameWork Ventures purchased between 1% and 5% of all Kava tokens for $750,000 on April 21, 2020.
Kava Labs acquired Crank Studio, a creative service provider specialized in UI/UX, visual identity, motion, and graphic design, in March 2021 for an undisclosed amount.
Investors in Kava Labs include, but are not limited to, Yield Ventures, Hashkey, TRGC, UniValues Associates, Robot Ventures, Lemniscap, Hard Yaka, IOSG Ventures, Digital Asset Capital Management and 2020 Ventures.
The Kava network underwent a hard fork on April 8. 2021, to introduce various governance and parameter changes. Kava Labs introduced a solution to facilitate the onboarding of layer 2 crypto assets. The switch-api supports Bitcoin, the Lightning Network, Ethereum and XRP. Support for ERC-20 assets and other blockchain-based currencies is on the agenda.