Portal secures $8.5 million in Coinbase-led funding round
Portal, which provides Bitcoin-based DeFi solutions, has just bagged $8.5 million in a seed and private funding round that was led by Coinbase Ventures.
The new capital injection was also bankrolled by a clutch of reputable crypto-centric investment funds including ArringtonXRP Capital, OKEx, Republic.co, Shima Ventures, LD Capital, Monday Capital, GenBlock, Taureon, Autonomy Capital, Krypital, B21 Capital as well as the senior executives and founders of Ethereum, DFINITY, MobileCoin, Tether (USDT), Galaxy Digital, Bitcoin.com, Republic, Centre.io, Polymath, Æternity, Hedera Hashgraph, Blockstream, Reef Finance, GlobeDX, FIO, Portion, and 4K.
Based on a technology stack called Fabric, Portal builds P2P, decentralized and censorship resistant applications as many layers on Bitcoin. In essence, the open-source toolbox extends Bitcoin’s functionality to the DeFi ecosystem, which has been dominated by Ethereum and emerging blockchain networks.
Portal plans to spend the funds for expanding its infrastructure, growing the headcount, and scaling its operations through increasing the platform capacity. The seed funds will be put toward the company’s next phase of growth which includes developing a layer 2 P2P network that provides fast, cross chain, non-custodial trading.
Commenting on the financing round, Portal CEO Eric Martindale said: “By bringing a fast, peer-to-peer, Layer 2 exchange — with the speed of centralized exchanges but with privacy — Portal is delivering on the promise of self-sovereignty for everyone. The current centralized exchanges, false “decentralized” DEXs, custodially wrapped tokens, and censorable ecosystems all threaten Bitcoin’s promise of self-sovereignty. Fabric technology enables Layer 3 privacy on cross-chain transactions and eliminates the need for centralized custodians.”
Portal says it aims to bring the decentralized finance apps to Bitcoin natively using many tools, including its own swaps protocol. It creates a layer on top of the original blockchain, in order to increase transaction speed while significantly reducing costs.
Portal contracts also incentivize liquidity and order book execution among exchange facilitators, who get proportional rewards for their contributions, using self-enforcing contracts.
Many of the investors who came in this round provide great breadth in terms of perspective, despite the recent price drops of major cryptocurrencies. It shows how more VC firms are jumping on the blockchain bandwagon as they increasingly consider it an investable technology.
Michael Arrington, founder of ArringtonXRP & TechCrunch, said, “Decentralized cross-chain bridging is one of the hardest problems in crypto right now, especially as multiple blockchains gain real traction. We’re excited to see Portal’s Bitcoin-native approach to multichain transfers go live and provide an alternative bridging mechanism to the growing number of active onchain users.”