- Sovereign Labs has announced a $7.4 million seed round led by Haun Ventures.
- The blockchain scaling startup is building an “open, interconnected rollup ecosystem” with SDK for secure interoperable ZK-rollups.
- The capital will be used to build the SDK and hire protocol engineers and researchers.
Sovereign Labs has announced a $7.4 million funding round led by Haun Ventures. The web3 startup is building an “open, interconnected rollup ecosystem” with a software development kit (SDK) that provides a framework for secure interoperable ZK-rollups.
ZK-rollups use zero-knowledge proofs to enable scalability on blockchain networks. A zero-knowledge proof is a blockchain system that does not require the disclosure of key information to execute a command.
Sovereign Labs was co-founded by Preston Evans and Cem Özer and is backed by some of the leading web3 venture firms including Haun Ventures, Plaintext Capital, Maven11, 1k(x), Robot Ventures and several angel investors.
Speaking to TechCrunch on Monday, Özer said: “Sovereign’s goal has always been to make scaling [blockchains] simple. 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.”
The co-founders think their solution would be ideal for different use cases, including projects implementing token staking, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and smart contracts, among others.
According to Evans, Sovereign Labs leveraging ZK-rollups makes it easier and faster to complete transactions, without jeopardising security.
Sovereign Labs SDK will enable Rust developers to use ZK technology regardless of their expertise in the area. The company plans to launch a version for C++ developers thereafter.
Sovereign Labs won’t be the first web3 company to leverage ZK-rollups to offer infinite scalability on the blockchain.
The Layer 2 Ethereum scaling protocol Polygon has already launched its own solution dubbed the Zero-Knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM), while the BNB Chain announced zkBNB in September last year.
Emphasizing the importance of ZK-rollup scaling solutions for blockchain applications, Özer said: “Without scaling, current blockchain systems today are unusable. 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.”
Unlike the likes of Polygon and BNB Chain, which focus on building Zk-rollups themselves, Sovereign Labs is creating an open ecosystem where any developer (initially on Rust, and later C++) will be able to develop highly scalable blockchain apps powered by ZK-rollups.
“Over time, SDK products will become accessible,” Özer said. “We expect an explosion of ZK-rollups and for most developers to leverage it.”
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