Haun Ventures leads Sovereign Labs’ $7.4M seed round to help scale blockchains

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Sovereign Labs has raised $7.4 million in seed funding led by Haun Ventures, co-founders Preston Evans and Cem Özer told TechCrunch.

The startup is constructing an “open, interconnected rollup ecosystem” with a software program improvement equipment (SDK) to provide a framework for secure and interoperable zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups).

“Sovereign’s goal has always been to make scaling [blockchains] simple,” Özer said. “For people who have been in this space for four-plus years, it’s pretty clear that rollups and ZK-rollups are the way to scale blockchains to the masses.”

A rollup is a blockchain that will get safety from one other blockchain, so it’s a way so as to add performance to an current chain with out sacrificing safety, Evans said. Rollups can be utilized to assist completely different use instances like tokens, NFTs, sensible contracts and so forth — however they’re cheaper to function as a result of they outsource transactions.

The capital might be used to build its SDK and rent protocol engineers and researchers with experience in blockchains and their frameworks, Özer said. Its SDK desires to assist Rust (and ultimately C++) builders to make use of ZK expertise throughout any blockchain with out having to be consultants in cryptography, each the co-founders said.

Some main ZK-rollup blockchains that exist immediately embody Polygon, zkSync and StarkWare’s StarkNet platform, which all aim to extend scalability and safety for builders off-chain by greater speeds and decrease charges before combining and submitting them to Ethereum. Ethereum-focused ZK-rollup initiatives like dYdX, Sorare and Immutable are also engaged on scaling the area and enhancing user experiences by different areas like decentralized exchanges, dApps and gaming.

“Without scaling, current blockchain systems today are unusable,” Özer said. “The moment an application reaches product-market fit and there’s demand, the fees skyrocket and it becomes unusable […] applications have to figure out how to be scalable.”

Most ZK-rollup options are standalone merchandise constructed by and for the groups that work on them, Özer said. Sovereign Labs “isn’t in the business of building rollups ourselves,” however as a substitute desires to build frameworks for others, he added. “We want to give this technology to everyone so they can leverage it easily and create [their own] ecosystems.”

The crew will work on creating completely different monetization methods, however its SDK framework might be open source, free and “always will be,” Evans noted.

In the close to term, the co-founders anticipate rollups to be extensively inaccessible till frameworks like its SDK are developed. “Over time, SDK products will become accessible,” Özer said. “We expect an explosion of ZK-rollups and for most developers to leverage it.”

Haun Ventures leads Sovereign Labs’ $7.4M seed spherical to assist scale blockchains by Jacquelyn Melinek initially revealed on TechCrunch