Injective Protocol is a decentralized layer-2 DEX that supports advanced trading features such as margin trading and derivatives. On November 30, 2020, Injective Protocol announced the launch of their public Solstice testnet.
In April 2021, Injective raised $10 million in new funding round with participation from billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Pantera Capital, BlockTower Capital, Hashed Ventures, CMS Holdings, and QCP Capital.
The Injective Chain is a decentralized sidechain relayer network that serves as a layer-2 derivatives platform, trade execution coordinator (TEC), and decentralized order book. The core consensus is Tendermint-based. The Injective Chain provides a two-way Ethereum peg-zone for Ether and ERC-20 tokens to be transferred to the Injective Chain as well as an EVM-compatible execution environment for DeFi applications.
The peg-zone is based on Peggy and the EVM execution is based on Ethermint. Injective's order book is a fully decentralized 0x-based order book enabling sidechain order relay with the on-chain settlement, a decentralized implementation of the traditionally centralized off-chain order relay used by nearly all central limit order book decentralized exchanges. Market creation is entirely open and permissionless. This enables anyone to create a market using only a price feed and deploy it to the larger Injective ecosystem. Given the unique layer-2 structure, Injective is able to avoid both network congestion and the associated high gas fees. This zero gas fee structure can enable anyone to trade freely without having to worry about high gas fees or network latencies.
Many DEXs are centralized in most aspects besides custody. A few components that make DEXs centralized are the restriction to access to certain user demographics, and the retention of proprietary control over exchange infrastructure. These components allow traders to be subject to the will of an omnipotent authority. Injective Protocol aims to resolve this fundamental problem.
The project was incubated by Binance Labs in 2018 and conducted an initial exchange offering on Binance as well in October 2020.
On November 30, 2020, Injective Protocol announced the successful public launch of the Solstice testnet. Solstice was launched with 9 initial perpetual markets with live price feeds stemming from various sources. The initial markets included the following: Injective, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin, Polkadot, Elrond, Chainlink, Uniswap, and Yearn Finance. The Solstice testnet was invite-only, meaning users can only gain access via a unique referral link. This provides users with opportunities to get early access to Solstice while also earning additional rewards before the start of the trading competition. Other projects that got listed on the Solstice testnet include Alpha Finance and Kava.io.
On December 4, 2020, the Injective team launched their first synthetic assets on its Solstice testnet. Users became able to trade gold perpetual markets with up to 20x leverage.
On December 8, 2020, the Injective team launched Solstice V2. The upgrade included the exchange's color palette revamp, change of fonts, home screen market details enhancement, and adding tooltips throughout the DEX which provide helpful explanations for new traders.
Solstice UI became fully responsive across all platforms. users became able to trade on Injective from any device, whether that is an iPhone, Android, a tablet, a laptop, or an external monitor.
Along with the Solstice V2 release, the Injective team also announced that Injective would list Keep3r Network and The Graph on the Solstice Testnet.
Solstice V2 public launch took place on December 21, 2020.
Yield Farming Derivative
On December 15, 2020, the Injective team launched the world's first yield farming derivative based on a specific yEarn Finance Vault. The particular derivative they have created will track the performance of $1,000 USDT on Yearn Finance's USDT3pool. This means that any trader can have access to the same yield as a farmer on the USDT3pool without deploying money or having to directly interface with the protocol itself.
Decentralized Stock Futures Trading
On December 24, 2020, Injective launched the world's first decentralized stock futures trading. This means that Injective users on the Solstice testnet would be able to securely access the $90 trillion stock market without any centralized control. Stock trading on Injective is made possible by partnerships with cross-chain data oracle, Band Protocol and Terra's synthetic DeFi (Decentralized Finance) platform, Mirror Protocol. The release will begin with the trading of Tesla, Airbnb, Google, and Amazon.
On December 29, 2020, the Injective team launched Solstice Pro, which brings unrivaled institutional-grade products to their Decentralized Exchange (DEX). Solstice Pro provides support for expiry futures, extensive trade history (ability to view trade history, position history, and deposit history), dedicated portfolio page (a custom tab where traders can see their activity across all markets on Injective including all token balances, deposits, withdrawals, open orders, open positions, and a complete trade history) and reduce only orders.
In February 2021, the Injective team introduced Equinox Staking, which serves as the final phase of the testnet. Equinox Staking enabled users to gain early access to Injective's staking features while also allowing them to earn rewards for helping to test the capabilities of the protocol itself.
Equinox Staking allowed both validators and delegators to stake on Injective as the team prepares to launch their mainnet in Q2 2021. Validators served an integral role in this process by helping to run nodes globally for Injective. Since Injective is based on Tendermint Proof-of-stake (PoS), the algorithm used a pseudo-random election process to select a node to be the validator of the next block, based on a combination of factors that could include the number of tokens staked with a certain validator. Upon the launch of the Injective mainnet, anyone would be able to become a validator as Injective will be run by the community. Anyone can act as a delegator on Injective without needing to set up complex hardware or to set up any node. The Injective delegation process allows users to delegate their stake to a validator that helps run the day-to-day functionalities of Injective. A minimum of 5 INJ will be required in order to delegate on Injective.
Equinox genesis validators included Chorus, Certus One, InfStones, Just Mining, Helios Staking, UBIK Capital, Audit.One, Hashquark, Forbole, Cosmostation, B-Harvest, StakeWith.Us, and Citadel.One.
The public release of Equinox Staking was announced on March 29, 2021.
In January 2021, the Injective team announced the launch of Injective Learn, a brand new blockchain education platform that publishes in-depth tutorials for all experience levels. The aim of the platform is to provide a comprehensive educational platform that equips learners to partake in everything that Injective has to offer.
Injective Protocol is comprised of five principal components: Injective Chain, Injective Exchange Client, Injective API Provider, Injective EVM RPC provider, and Injective Bridge Contracts on Ethereum.
Layer-2 EVM Execution Environment
The Injective Chain supports generalized smart contract execution through a modular implementation of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) on top of the Cosmos-SDK, based on Ethermint. By implementing the EVM on top of Tendermint, users enjoy a scalable and interoperable implementation of Ethereum built on proof-of-stake with 1-block finality.
Developers can work with an identical experience for creating DApps on the Injective EVM, with additional benefits including native support for transaction fee delegation and an increased contract bytecode size limit of 100KB.
The following contracts are deployed on the Injective EVM:
Injective DEX Contracts
The Injective DEX Protocol is a decentralized exchange protocol supporting peer-to-peer spot and derivatives trading. The DEX protocol is implemented through smart contracts written in Solidity, and is deployed on the Injective Layer-2 EVM execution environment. The 0x V3 Exchange Protocol is used for spot markets and the bespoke Injective Derivatives Protocol is used for derivatives markets.
Injective Derivatives Contracts
The Injective Derivatives Protocol enables traders to create, enter into, and execute decentralized perpetual swap contracts and CFDs on any arbitrary market.
0x V3 Exchange Contracts
Injective leverages the 0x V3 Exchange Contracts for peer-to-peer spot exchange.
Injective Coordinator Contract
The Injective Coordinator Contract follows the 0x Coordinator specification for both spot 0x transactions. The principal purpose of the coordinator is to serve as a liquidity solution enabling more competitive pricing by preventing front-running and allowing for much lower latency trading. However, unlike traditional implementations which only require one signature from a centralized coordinator, Injective's decentralized coordinator enforces transactions to have a minimum threshold of coordinator signatures in order for a transaction to be approved. These required signatures are provided through the application logic built into the consensus of the Injective Chain. Each coordinator is bonded through INJ stake and can be slashed for improperly approving transactions.
The Injective Staking Contract maintains a compressed representation of the Injective Chain's validators set and is used to govern the Injective Derivatives Protocol and to process cross-chain ERC-20 token deposits and withdrawals.
Injective EVM Bridge Contracts
The Injective Bridge Contracts encompass a suite of smart contracts managing the two-way peg between Ethereum and the Injective Chain.
Injective's Decentralized Orderbook is a fully decentralized 0x-based order book enabling sidechain order relay with the on-chain settlement, a decentralized implementation of the traditionally centralized off-chain order relay used by nearly all central limit order book decentralized exchanges.
Nodes of the Injective Chain host a decentralized, censorship-resistant order book which stores and relays orders for both spot and derivatives trading.
Trade Execution Coordinator
The Injective Trade Execution Coordinator (TEC) is a decentralized coordinator implementation based on the 0x Coordinator specification. The Injective TEC safeguards trades from front-running using Verifiable Delay Functions and enable lower-latency trading through soft-cancellations.
Injective Exchange Client
Injective provides a powerful, full-fledged decentralized exchange open-source front-end implementation allowing users to easily participate in our decentralized exchange protocol in a fully permissionless manner.
The Injective Client is a comprehensive yet friendly graphical user interface catered towards the general public as well as more advanced users. Relayers can host the client on a server to allow users to interact with the protocol. Individuals can also run the client from there locally to directly interact with the protocol. The exchange client interface will also be deployed on IPFS.
Injective API Provider
Injective’s model rewards relayers in the Injective network for providing liquidity. By doing so, exchange providers are incentivized to better serve users, competing amongst each other to provide a better user experience, therefore broadening access to decentralized finance.
Injective API nodes have two purposes:
Providing transaction relay services: Users can directly interact with the Injective Chain by broadcasting a compatible Tendermint transaction encoding a compatible message type, but doing so would be inconvenient for most users. To this end, API nodes provide users a simple HTTP, gRPC, and WebSocket API to interact with the protocol. The API nodes then formulate the appropriate transactions and relay them to the Injective Chain.
Serving as a data layer for the protocol: Injective provides a data and analytics API which is out-of-the-box compatible with Injective's frontend interface. The Injective API supports the Injective Derivatives and Spot Exchange APIs for the Injective Client, the 0x Standard Coordinator API, the Injective Derivatives Protocol Graph Node GraphQL API, and other API services required by the Injective Exchange Client.
Nodes also provide the full Ethereum JSON-RPC API which connects to the Injective EVM.
Users can transfer ERC-20 tokens from Ethereum through the bi-directional Injective Token Bridge, which serves as a two-way Ethereum peg-zone for ERC-20 tokens to be transferred to the Injective Chain EVM. The peg-zone is based on Peggy and is secured by the proof-of-stake security of the Injective Chain. ERC-20 tokens can be transferred to and from Ethereum to the Injective Chain through the Injective Bridge. The process to do so is inspired by the standard flow as defined by Peggy.
The Injective Protocol token governs the exchange. Injective inflates the supply of INJ to incentivize nodes to stake INJ and participate in the Injective network. The target INJ inflation will tentatively be 7% at genesis and decrease over time to 2%. Over time, the total supply of INJ may be lower than the initial supply due to Injective’s deflationary mechanism.
Injective has a market cap of $16,101,174 USD, and a circulating supply of 14,170,790 INJ.
Uniswap listed the INJ token on October 20, 2020. The following day, Binance also listed the token. Gate.io listed the Injective Protocol token on November 30, 2020.
Injective holds voting rights for changes and updates to the platform.
The first step to the Interject Chain core governance is to submit a proposal submission, a proposal that is submitted to the blockchain with a deposit. When the deposit reaches a certain value the proposal is confirmed and open for people to vote. If the proposal involves a software upgrade, validators will need to signal they are ready to switch to the new upgrade, then once more than 75% of validators have signaled they are ready to switch, their software will automatically flip to the new version. Without community governance, the protocol will become stagnant or centralized, therefore it is predominant to the continuation of the project.
Instead of using stablecoins for margin and collateral backing like most common DEXs, the INJ token is used as an alternative for the Injective derivatives market.
Injective Protocol has taken a different approach with the use case of their tokens, having INJ locked up in derivatives contracts to ensure margin is met, in addition to being used for collateral backing or insurance pool staking, where stakers earn interest on their locked tokens.
Exchange Fee Value Accrual
This element of the protocol helps to stabilize and maintain a steady price appreciation of the INJ token. The exchange fee value accrual burns any excess tokens that have been accrued after the relayers have been paid.
Burning excess fee tokens reduces the amount of circulating supply of INJ, thus increasing demand.
Injective Protocol uses a variety of ways to incentivize people to stake their INJ coins through staking rewards, collateral backing, or governance rights. Staking INJ tokens not only increases the strength and security of the network but reduces the circulating supply.
The INJ token incentives users to contribute to the Injective Protocol, with liquidity mining incentives, and new features for the specific market maker and relayer incentives. For market makers, users can receive a net positive fee rebate with periodic distributions based on snapshots of their trading activity, to incentivize liquidity.
For the other side of the network, nodes and validators can act as relayers. Relayers are incentivized to originate orders into the shared order book. Nodes that first discover a make order will receive a calculated ratio of the exchange fee as a reward.
The Injective Protocol founders are Eric Chen (CEO) and Albert Cho (CTO).
The team consists of Max Kupriianov as Principal Engineer, Mark Markus as Core Engineer, Bojan Angjelkoski as Core Engineer, Alex Athanasopulos as Core Engineer, Xinran Xu as BD, and Boris Shevchenko as Technical Product Manager .
Binance Smart Chain
In December 2020, the Injective team announced their partnership with Binance Smart Chain (BSC) to further accelerate derivatives adoption on the BSC ecosystem. Binance's primary asset, Binance Coin also became available on Injective’s Solstice V2 Testnet. Alongside Binance, the Injective team said they plan to launch new derivative products on BSC. Initially, they plan to build a bridge to BSC that would enable cross-chain trading to be much more seamless on Injective. In this case, users will be able to transfer tokens between the Injective Chain and BSC.
In December 2020, the Injective team partnered with Polygon (Matic Network) to expand layer-2 derivatives trading globally. Injective plans to list Matic assets on Injective in order to further expand the derivatives markets available on Injective Decentralized Exchange (DEX). This will allow Matic traders to have a new avenue via which they can interact with Matic tokens. The most important point of integration will include leveraging the layer-2 bridge Matic has on Ethereum. This means assets built on top of Matic can be ported over to Injective given their fully EVM-compatible infrastructure. This will also enable the Injective team to explore new derivative products that utilize assets built on top of Matic.
In January 2021, the Injective team announced a strategic partnership with Fantom to accelerate synthetic asset adoption. The main goal of this partnership is to integrate the Fantom Ethereum bridge in order to bring Fantom-based assets, such as synthetics, to Injective Decentralized Exchange (DEX). The full EVM compatibility of the Injective Chain can enable integration with Fantom’s ETH bridge moving forward. This allows Injective to introduce Fantom-based synthetic assets and DeFi (Decentralized Finance) applications to Injective users.
In January 2021, the Injective team partnered with PlasmaPay to enable new fiat on-ramps for INJ. The partnership will focus on adding the INJ token to the PlasmaPay platform while also enabling easy access to Injective’s derivatives exchange through the PlasmaPay dashboard.
In January 2021, the Injective team partnered with AllianceBlock to launch decentralized oil and gas futures. Injective will enable AllianceBlock in generating new derivative products that currently do not exist in the ecosystem. This includes the potential creation of new crypto indices that can aid crypto investors in attaining exposure to new asset forms as a whole. This also helps AllianceBlock to source additional liquidity since they can now be traded on Injective’s pioneering fully decentralized derivatives exchange. Moving forward, Injective will also look to leverage AllianceBlock’s innovative impermanent loss hedging product to expand their derivatives trading ecosystem.
In January 2021, the Injective team partnered with Acala in order to bring its novel multi-collateral stablecoin (Acala Dollar) to Injective's Polkadot-based derivative products. This also expands opportunities for Injective to create new derivative products alongside Acala, further increasing the use cases for aUSD.
In January 2021, the Injective team partnered with UniLend to unlock new yield farming opportunities for users who became able to utilize Injective's derivative products on the UniLend ecosystem for borrowing and lending. In addition, INJ was added to the UniLend platform.
In February 2021, Injective partnered with Conflux to expand their cross-chain derivatives trading universe. This collaboration was primarily focused on bridging over assets deployed on Conflux onto the Injective exchange in order to aid in the creation and trading of new derivative products.
In February 2021, the Injective team partnered with Ocean Protocol to create innovative data derivative products. As a part of the collaboration, users of Injective became able to trade data assets with leverage. In addition, users gained the ability to create entirely new derivative markets which utilize these data tokens. The integration of the price feeds from Ocean was made possible by Balancer which is built on top of Ethereum. Given Injective Chain's EVM-compatible execution environment for DeFi (Decentralized Finance) applications, Injective would be able to acquire dynamic pricing data in order to create both perpetual and expiry futures contracts.
In February 2021, Injective announced a technical partnership with Covalent, a unified API that seeks to bring full transparency and visibility to assets across all blockchain networks. By partnering with Covalent, Injective gained further access to real-time and granular blockchain data through the enterprise-grade Covalent API. Such data does not only provide valuable insight into the domain of DeFi (Decentralized Finance), but traders became able to export their trading data with full historical context which allows benchmarking of investor performance and record-keeping as evidence for tax purposes.
Huobi Eco Chain
In February 2021, Injective integrated with Huobi Eco Chain to accelerate cross-chain derivatives adoption. This collaboration enabled traders to seamlessly bridge over Heco assets onto Injective, enabling the creation of new derivative products. In addition, Injective became the first project to introduce decentralized derivatives trading to the Heco ecosystem.
In February 2021, Injective partnered with Marlin in order to enable unparalleled trading speeds on Injective derivatives DEX. This collaboration also allowed Injective to begin the integration process for Marlin's native POND token to be added to Injective. Users gained access to new derivative products that interact with the POND token as an underlying, thereby helping to increase the overall utility of POND itself.
In February 2021, Injective integrated with Avalanche to create a diverse array of interoperable derivative products. Injective integrated with the newly released Avalanche-Ethereum Bridge (AEB) to create a two-way transfer zone between the Injective Chain and Avalanche. With this integration, Injective launched derivatives that utilize the native Avalanche token (AVAX) as well as other native Avalanche assets. Injective will also explore the addition of entirely new derivative products, such as products related to Initial Litigation Offerings (ILOs).
In March 2021, Injective partnered with Parsiq to enable fully automated decentralized trading. Users can set custom rules such as executing a buy order when the underlying Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at a premium compared to the future. Users can also use a combination of tools to create truly unique solutions across different platforms. Injective also plans to create new derivatives using the native PARSIQ token for use in sophisticated structured products such as indices. They also plan to explore connecting a number of new off-chain apps and devices to allow the creation of more complicated IFTTT functions as well.
In March 2021, the Injective team launched an exclusive Injective Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) through the partnership with SuperFarm. Users will be able to farm Injective NFTs which will provide them with unique benefits such as increased odds of receiving surprised token drops when staking on Equinox. The team will also explore the creation and trading of NFTs on the Injective Chain which can allow for the creation of NFTs with unparalleled transaction times and zero gas fees given their unique layer-2 structure. Internally Injective has been carrying out major NFT collaborations such as the widely reported Banksy a burning which occurred earlier in March 2021.
In March 2021, Injective joined forces with Cartesi to enable mainstream developer adoption of the Injective Chain. Both companies will study together how to integrate Cartesi’s tools into the Injective ecosystem. The aim is to allow developers to utilize familiar programming tools from the world's leading OS, unlocking big smart contract capabilities offered by the highly interoperable and flexible Injective Chain. This can include new frontend interfaces as well as new trading mechanisms altogether, such as an Automated Market Maker.
In March 2021, Injective partnered with KardiaChain to expand their cross-chain trading universe. The main goal is to add KardiaChain into Injective, in order to provide more assets for the users to trade. This can include new derivative products that include the KardiaChain token. Moving forward, KardiaChain can utilize Injective's innovative layer-2 solution to meet high scalability demands within the DeFi (Decentralized Finance) ecosystem and enterprise solutions that require a scalable network. Some examples of these DApps can include KardiaChain's new mobile payment gateway in collaboration with Vietnam's largest telco that currently has millions of users.
In March 2021, Injective partnered with Kylin Network to integrate with the Polkadot data economy. Injective is also aiming to create a number of unique derivative products that can utilize the native Kylin token.
In March 2021, Injective partnered with Razor Network to further expand the oracle ecosystem. The partnership between Razor Network and Injective will enable the Injective DEX to access more assets in a secure and reliable manner given Razor’s innovative oracle solution. Furthermore, Injective also plans to create new derivative products using the native Razor token. The Injective community will now have access to new indices and sophisticated financial products that are exclusively available through Injective.
In April 2021, Injective partnered with EasyFi to introduce the first-ever decentralized synthetic stock future lending products. EasyFi will be adding new markets to their lending module with Injective’s tokenized derivatives acting as collateral markets. Users who hold these derivative tokens of stock futures can add liquidity to the supply side of EasyFi’s lending protocol and borrow assets on the borrow side.
Big Data Protocol
In April 2021, Injective partnered with Big Data Protocol (BDP) to create and launch structured data token products. Injective and BDP users can soon create and trade data derivatives based on the BDP Data Market. Injective users will be able to trade data tokens (based on bALPHA and BDP Data Market data tokens) with leverage. In addition, users will have the ability to create entirely new derivative markets that utilize these data tokens. The partnership between BDP and Injective also strengthens the Injective oracle ecosystem which is comprised of leading products such as Chainlink, Band Protocol, and DIA.
In April 2021, Injective partnered with Persistence to launch liquid staked assets (facilitated by Persistence's pStake application) as a derivative product on Injective. This will enable stakers to unlock the ability to trade their staked assets on Injective's high-performance layer-2 exchange. Therefore, Persistence token holders (and holders of other tokens supported by Persistence’s pStake application) will be able to freely trade their staked assets for the first time.
In April 2021, Injective partnered with Litentry to unlock optimized on-chain data. The process will entail aggregating decentralized identity (DID) data sets across multiple networks. As part of this collaboration, Litentry will integrate identity data in Injective Protocol to its identity aggregation protocol. The identity data can be used to feed the credit computation model in an effort to provide a more accurate representation of user data. Injective also plans to launch new derivative products that are able to leverage the Litentry token. In addition, new derivative products can be utilized that focus on identity-related assets within the crypto sector.
In April 2021, Injective partnered with Band Protocol to operate validator nodes on one another’s networks. Moving forward, this dual validator arrangement will serve to align and strengthen long-term goals for both parties. The Band Protocol team has already set up a node for Injective and has begun to participate in Equinox Staking. Together with Band Protocol, Terra, and Mirror Protocol, Injective launched the world's first decentralized stock futures trading.
In April 2021, Injective partnered with Harmony to integrate specifically with Harmonys' Horizon bridge, which serves as a bridge between Harmony and Ethereum. Since Injective is already integrated with the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) network, the team can also utilize Harmony's BSC bridge in order to port over assets to be traded on our derivatives exchange. Looking ahead, these forms of interoperability can allow our users to trade a number of new derivative products that utilize Harmony-based assets.
In April 2021, Injective partnered with API3. Adding API3 to the Injective Data Alliance will help to further expand the possibilities on Injective's decentralized derivatives exchange. With API3's dAPIs and Airnode-enabled APIs, Injective users will attain access to APIs and data feeds that enable a wide range of prediction markets, more complex derivatives, and creative financial experiments.
In April 2021, Injective partnered with Klaytn to bring decentralized trading to millions of users within the Klaytn ecosystem. By integrating Injective’s decentralized derivatives protocol, Klaytn users will be able to access a diverse array of new financial markets. In addition, users on Injective will be able to create new markets using assets built on the Klaytn blockchain.
In April 2021, Injective partnered with UMA to launch innovative synthetic products. By integrating with Injective’s decentralized derivatives exchange, synthetic assets on UMA can be made available to our users moving forward. Notable synthetics that both teams plan to introduce include uGas, a solution for hedging against Ethereum gas fees. In addition, Injective plans to integrate an ETH/BTC index which would provide an avenue for traders to attain a token that tracks the ETH/BTC price ratio. A second key point of the collaboration with UMA will focus on integration with UMA’s Optimistic Oracle which is custom-built to support synthetic asset collateralization.
Injective Protocol raised a total of $2.6M in funding over 1 round on Jul 29, 2020. Pantera Capital was the lead investor. Other Injective Protocol investors include Binance, Hashed, StartX, CMS Funding, Krypital Group, Bitscale, AU21 Capital, Bitlink Capital, Innovating Capital, QCP Sotera, The Cabin Capital, K42, and Axia8 Ventures.
In April 2021, Injective raised $10 million in a new funding round. Several investors, including billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Pantera Capital, BlockTower Capital, Hashed Ventures, CMS Holdings, and QCP Capital, participated in the round. "This was a private placement token sale," Mirza Uddin of Injective Protocol told The Block. "We sold tokens with a lockup period at a $1 billion+ valuation." The lockup period is one year, said Uddin.
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