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HomeBTCCitrea Secures $2.7M to Bring ZK-Rollups to Bitcoin, Expanding Its Ecosystem

Citrea Secures $2.7M to Bring ZK-Rollups to Bitcoin, Expanding Its Ecosystem

Citrea, an innovative project focused on integrating zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups) with Bitcoin, has successfully raised $2.7 million in a seed funding round. This round was led by Galaxy Ventures, the investment branch of Galaxy Digital, marking a significant milestone in the project’s development. The announcement was made in a blog post by Chainway Labs, the blockchain infrastructure company behind Citrea, on February 2.

The funding will be instrumental for Chainway Labs to bring Citrea to market, highlighting the project’s ambition to enhance Bitcoin’s blockspace with cutting-edge zero-knowledge technology. Citrea stands out as the first rollup solution to expand Bitcoin’s capabilities in this manner, paving the way for a wide range of applications directly on the Bitcoin network. The statement from the firm emphasizes Citrea’s role in leveraging Bitcoin not just as a digital currency but as a foundational layer for secure and efficient transaction settlement.

The seed round closed in 2023 and attracted a diverse group of participants, including Delphi Ventures, Taproot Wizards co-founder Eric Wall, and Blockscout founder Igor Barinov, among others. This diverse investor base underscores the broad interest and potential seen in Citrea’s approach to enhancing Bitcoin’s functionality.

ZK-rollups are a concept traditionally associated with Ethereum’s layer-2 solutions, like Polygon and zkSync, designed to bundle transactions efficiently and securely using ZK-proofs. This cryptographic method confirms the occurrence of transactions on the base blockchain without revealing their specific details, promising enhanced efficiency and lower costs.

Bitcoin’s existing layer-2 solutions, such as the Lightning Network, focus primarily on payment applications. However, Citrea, alongside other scaling initiatives like ZKSats and Rollux, aims to tackle Bitcoin’s transactional limitations more broadly. Citrea’s ZK-rollup solution is particularly significant because it offers a way to support various applications without altering Bitcoin’s consensus rules.

The Bitcoin developer community remains divided over the blockchain’s primary use case, with some advocating for its original design as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Nonetheless, recent developments like Ordinals and the BRC-20 standard have sparked debates by introducing NFT-like assets and speculative tokens to the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Citrea’s vision extends beyond these debates, aiming to establish Bitcoin as a foundational layer for a wide array of blockchain applications, including games, NFTs, and decentralized finance (DeFi), without compromising the network’s security or altering its consensus mechanisms. Furthermore, by basing its solution on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), Citrea opens up the Bitcoin platform to the vast community of EVM developers, fostering a more inclusive and expansive blockchain ecosystem.

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