ZetaChain raises $27M in equity round to enable chain-agnostic interoperability

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Layer-1 network ZetaChain has secured $27 million to support its chain-agnostic platform, according to an announcement on Aug. 16. Participants in the round include Blockchain.com, Human Capital, VY Capital, Sky9 Capital, Jane Street Capital, VistaLabs, CMT Digital, Foundation Capital, Lingfeng Capital, GSR, Kudasai, Krust, and other investors.

The protocol created in 2021 is designed to provide standardized interoperability between networks, allowing non-smart contract chains to interact with the broader decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem. As a result, developers can implement smart contracts in networks not running the technology, such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin.

A smart contract is a digital contract stored on a blockchain that is automatically executed once predetermined conditions are met. In the crypto ecosystem, however, the ability for contracts to communicate between blockchains has been one of the Achilles heels. ZetaChain aims at solving this issue by allowing developers to build omnichain decentralized applications (DApps), in which all assets and data can be accessed from a single platform, regardless of the blockchain they were created or stored on and without bridging or wrapping tokens.

According to ZetaChain, it has seen more than 27,000 dApp contracts deployed on the platform from a diverse range of third-party applications, including cross-chain DeFI, nonfungible tokens, Web3 identity and gaming protocols. Over 13 million transactions have been performed on its testnet by over 1.7 million users, the protocol claims.

The platform has gathered some core contributors in the crypto space since its inception, including Ankur Nandwani (ex-Coinbase, Brave, and 0x), Panruo Wu (early contributor to THORchain), and Brandon Truong (ex-BuzzFeed, Udacity, and Yada). Several former employees of Cosmos, Ignite, Consensys, and other blockchain projects are also part of the core team.

“Our [Ethereum Virtual Machine] EVM-compatible cross-chain smart contracts alleviate these issues by allowing decentralized app developers to build services that are faster, more secure, and easy to use,” Nandwani noted in a statement.

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