Interlay Expanding: Bring Trustless InterBTC to All Blockchains, $3mm Seed Round Led by IOSG Ventures

LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / July 14, 2021 / Interlay, an interoperability start-up focusing on investing, earning and paying with BTC on any blockchain, today announced its seed capital raise of USD 3.04mm. The seed funding round was led by IOSG Ventures, and co-investors including, Launchub Ventures, CMS Holdings, KR1, Hypersphere, Zeeprime and angels ( CEO & ex-Bitmain leadership) as other major participants. This equity financing raise was to accelerate the company’s growth to other blockchains beyond Polkadot, to put the company on track of team expansion, and to meet strong demand on developing v2 of the bridge technology powering interBTC.

“We are extremely pleased to have the support of top investors from various ecosystems and geographic locations, who believe in our mission to bring Bitcoin to all major blockchains such as Polkadot, Ethereum and Cosmos,” said Alexei Zamyatin, Founder and CEO of Interlay. “Together, we will accelerate the development and adoption of interBTC, Interlay’s flagship product, and allow people to invest, earn and pay with BTC on any blockchain in a truly trustless and decentralized way.”

After a few years of academic research on Bitcoin interoperability, Alexei Zamyatin and Dominik Harz, the first two PhDs of Imperial College’s cryptocurrency lab and co-founders of Interlay, created XCLAIM, the first trustless protocol for cross-chain “wrapped” assets.

Development started on Polkadot – chosen as the most promising multi-chain project that envisioned a truly decentralized bridge to BTC. In 2020 Interlay built the interBTC (former PolkaBTC) parachain, supported by Web3 Foundation grants and in collaboration with Parity Technologies. interBTC solves challenges related to capital efficiency and decentralization, which other wrapped Bitcoin attempts had failed to crack:

  • Integration of staking derivatives for capital efficiency,
  • Trustless, multi-collateral stake delegation for more decentralization,
  • MakerDAO-style multi-collateral balancing for peg stability,
  • On-chain ECDSA key derivation for better Vault security‚Ķ

The result – interBTC is resilient against price fluctuations; vaults will be earning competitive APY, and anyone can become a Vault, anytime.

“Robust and decentralized infrastructure is a key enabler for a vibrant multi-chain ecosystem. We are very excited to be working with this outstanding team combining the scientific rigour and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Xinshu Dong, Partner of IOSG Ventures. “Connecting Polkadot and Bitcoin securely and efficiently is the first strategic move for Interlay, and we’re looking forward to a lot of solutions and applications that’d be unlocked by the potential of Interlay’s technology.”

Seed Round

After being revenue funded for 1.5 years and growing from 2 to 12 people, Interlay closed a USD 3.04mm equity seed funding round to accelerate growth and expansion to other blockchains beyond Polkadot. By 2022 Interlay plans to grow to 17 people.

Investors include:

Interchain Grant: To Cosmos and Beyond

In line with its expansion, Interlay received an Interchain Foundation grant to bring InterBTC to the Cosmos ecosystem.

As a first step, Interlay will deliver a technical feasibility report on the integration of interBTC with Cosmos’ IBC protocol, and provide a proof of concept implementation. In more detail: Interlay will use the ibc-rs module and the IBC substrate library to move interBTC from its Polkadot parachain to any blockchain supporting Cosmos’ IBC cross-chain interface.

interBTC: Expansion and Rebranding

interBTC is a 1:1 Bitcoin-backed asset that enables users to invest, earn and pay with BTC on any blockchain – the true DeFi way:

  • Radically open: anyone can help secure the system;
  • Secured by insurance: users can exit back to Bitcoin anytime they want, or they will be fully reimbursed.

interBTC is backed by top-tier research (XCLAIM protocol) and does not require trust in a 3rd party. BTC backing interBTC is kept locked by a decentralized network of collateralized Vaults, and any user can (i) mint interBTC by locking BTC and (ii) run their own Vault.

As a result, users must only trust that the involved blockchains (Bitcoin, Polkadot, Ethereum, etc.) are operating securely.

Connecting Polkadot and Bitcoin has strategic importance for the Polkadot ecosystem, yet it is only the first step for Interlay, as we are confident that ultimately Interlay will become a synonym for cross-chain communication.

AAbout Interlay

Interlay envision a future where blockchains seamlessly connect and interact. Where anyone on any blockchain can use any digital currency and earn on their assets, without restrictions. Our mission is to realize the free nature of BTC and decentralized finance. We work with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot and others. Our flagship product is InterBTC. Anyone on any blockchain can invest and earn. No centralized services. Radically open and secured by insurance. Founded by ex-Imperial College CS PhDs, our products are backed by top-tier scientific papers. We collaborate with leading research labs and tech companies around the world.

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