US fintech Portal raises $8.5 million to bring Bitcoin-based DeFi to the masses
US fintech Portal, a self-hosted Layer 2 wallet and true cross-chain DEX on Bitcoin that makes atomic swaps between Bitcoin and other digital assets fast, secure, and private, has closed an $8.5 million funding round to build a self-sovereign and uncensorable DeFi on Bitcoin.
The funding round saw participation from Coinbase Ventures, ArringtonXRP Capital, OKEx, Republic.co, Shima Ventures, LD Capital, Monday Capital, GenBlock, Taureon, Autonomy Capital, Krypital, B21 Capital as well as the senior executives and founders of Ethereum, DFINITY, MobileCoin, Tether (USDT), Galaxy Digital, Bitcoin.com, Republic, Centre.io, Polymath, Æternity, Hedera Hashgraph, Blockstream, Reef Finance, GlobeDX, FIO, Portion, and 4K.
Portal offers the speed and liquidity of centralized platforms with the trust minimization guarantees of Bitcoin. From spot markets to options, p2p lending and borrowing, all using on-chain, peer to peer contracts and without third party custody or control, Portal unlocks Bitcoin’s potential to actually decentralize finance.
At the core of Portal is its Layer 2 and Layer 3 technology, called Fabric, which is an open-source toolbox for deploying censorship-resistant layers on top of the Bitcoin base layer. Fabric enables the completely private, off-chain execution of “smart contracts” for asset issuance, P2P swaps, staking, liquidity, derivatives, and more.
Portal CEO Eric Martindale said, “By bringing a fast, peer-to-peer, Layer 2 exchange — with the speed of centralized exchanges but with privacy — Portal is delivering on the promise of self-sovereignty for everyone. The current centralized exchanges, false “decentralized” DEXs, custodially wrapped tokens, and censorable ecosystems all threaten Bitcoin’s promise of self-sovereignty. Fabric technology enables Layer 3 privacy on cross-chain transactions and eliminates the need for centralized custodians.”
On why they chose to build on Bitcoin, Martindale commented, “We believe Bitcoin provides the much needed financial infrastructure that the free, uncensorable internet-of-the-future will be built on, and although we are starting with a P2P exchange, our mission is to be The Platform for decentralized, peer-to-peer human interactions… be it communications, financial transactions, or social media.”
The platform uses Bitcoin’s “hash time-locked contracts” to ensure that users retain full control over the funds offered up in trade, preventing counterparty risk and loss of funds. It incentivizes anonymous, self-interested third parties to intermediate transactions between mutually untrusting peers while guaranteeing security.