Pantera Leads $4M Seed Round for Streamlined Cross-Chain Bridge

Pantera Leads $4M Seed Round for Streamlined Cross-Chain Bridge
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Pantera Leads $4M Seed Round for Streamlined Cross-Chain Bridge

The bedrock of multi-chain crypto is the cross-chain bridge, which allows users to swap tokens from one blockchain to another, and another project is emerging to see if it can improve the experience of crossing the chasm.

Swim Protocol, a Solana-based protocol aiming to build the cross-chain bridge of the future, announced Wednesday that it raised $4 million in a seed round led by Pantera Capital. Founded by alums of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, Swim proposes a streamlined system for moving stable coins across chains, using liquidity pools and automated market makers (AMMs) to make cross-chain swaps quicker and more convenient for end-users.

Swim’s technology is built atop Wormhole, the bridge that suffered a $320 milloin exploit in early February.

In addition to decreasing the number of steps required to send assets through Wormhole, Swim’s main improvement to the everyday bridge user experience will be enabling native-to-native swaps.

How it works

As with other bridges, when you send an asset like USDC from Ethereum to Solana via Wormhole, the USDC that you receive in Solana is not actually USDC, but a kind of “wrapped”” USDC. Wormhole wrapped USDC should trade on Solana around the value of regular USDC, but wrapped tokens have less liquidity than the real thing, and you’ll need to use a separate service like Saber to unwrap your assets in order to take advantage of most DeFi apps and protocols.

Swim’s AMM-based mechanics will eliminate the unwrapping step. Swim is also adding the ability for users to more easily monitor swaps between chains, theoretically making it easier for users to troubleshoot transfers that get stuck on their way between chains (something that happens more often than one might hope).

The Swim team cites security as a core focus. Wormhole suffered from a record-shattering exploit in February, resulting in the theft of $326 million worth of user funds. While the funds were ultimately reimbursed by Jump Capital (who’ve also invested in Swim Protocol), the incident highlighted the need for reliable cross-chain infrastructure and the challenges that come with building bridging solutions like Swim.

Swim Protocol launches Wednesday with support for stable coin bridging on Solana, BNB Chain and Ethereum. In the future, they plan to expand to other chains supported by Wormhole, starting with Avalanche, Polygon, Terra and Fantom

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