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Citrea secures $2.7m seed investment to develop ZK-rollup for Bitcoin

citrea-secures-2-7m-seed-investment-to-develop-zk-rollup-for-bitcoin
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Citrea secures $2.7m seed investment to develop ZK-rollup for Bitcoin

Citrea, a project focused on integrating zero-knowledge rollups with Bitcoin, has raised $2.7 million in a seed round led by Galaxy Ventures, part of Galaxy Digital.

The investment marks a significant step towards enhancing Bitcoin’s capability to support a wider range of applications, notably in decentralized finance (defi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Chainway Labs, the blockchain infrastructure company behind Citrea, announced on Feb. 2 that the funds raised would be instrumental in bringing the project to market. Citrea is distinguished as the first rollup technology to expand Bitcoin blockspace using zero-knowledge technology, enabling a broader scope of developments directly on Bitcoin’s network.

The round, completed in 2023, saw participation from Delphi Ventures, Taproot Wizards co-founder Eric Wall, Blockscout founder Igor Barinov and others.

Bitcoin’s development community has traditionally prioritized maintaining the network’s simplicity, focusing on its primary function for peer-to-peer transactions. However, recent technological advancements, such as BitVM and Ordinals inscriptions, have begun to diversify the uses of Bitcoin’s blockchain, incorporating features like NFTs and programmable smart contracts previously exclusive to smart contract-enabled blockchains like Ethereum.

Citrea aims to leverage zero-knowledge cryptography to facilitate private, secure, and efficient data transfers. This technology, already pivotal in scaling efforts on Ethereum’s blockchain through rollups, bundles transactions on a secondary layer before settling them on the main chain. This process improves transaction speeds and reduces costs, making blockchain technology more accessible and practical for various applications.

The introduction of ZK-rollups to Bitcoin through Citrea represents a significant technological cross-pollination from Ethereum’s ecosystem, enabling developers to transfer applications between these major platforms. Citrea’s utilization of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) further simplifies this process, offering a bridge for developers familiar with Ethereum’s environment to explore Bitcoin’s expanding capabilities.

Zero-knowledge rollups are part of a broader trend towards enhancing blockchain efficiency and privacy. As Citrea develops, it aims to address Bitcoin’s transactional limitations and support a more diverse range of applications without altering the foundational consensus rules of the Bitcoin network.

The latest initiative reflects a growing recognition of Bitcoin’s potential not only as a digital currency but also as a foundational layer for secure and settled transactions across a variety of applications.