San Francisco-based firm Paradigm has invested $60 million to support the development of Flashbots’ new Ethereum blockchain transaction packaging software version.
Notably, the series B funding round contrasts with the current trend among Silicon Valley venture capitalists.
Flashbots fosters transparency
Flashbots, a Cayman Islands-based software provider that bundles Ethereum blockchain transactions, secured funding via “decentralization beauty contest.” This involves selecting investors through reverse pitches.
The funding has led to a valuation of at least $1 billion, as confirmed by a Flashbots representative.
Since 88% of validators collaborate with entities like Flashbots to receive additional fees, this valuation is expected.
Flashbots specializes in developing software to address the issue of “maximal extractable value” (MEV), referring to the additional profit earned by blockchain operators beyond regular user fees.
Techniques like front-running transactions, where operators pay fees to prioritize their trades ahead of others, contribute to MEV.
The company’s latest technology, the single unifying auction for value expression (SUAVE), aims to reduce the risks associated with MEV by fostering transparency and decentralization in MEV-related opportunities.
Five days after announcing its successful acquisition of approximately $30.4 million in funding, the company has achieved unicorn valuation, as reported in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 21.
Quiet in the headlines
Flashbots has not been in the news for several months, with the most recent major headline being when the company faced public scrutiny in November.
Then, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) expanded its list of sanctioned addresses to encompass smart contracts for the first time, resulting in several repercussions for numerous Ethereum network users.
The implementation of the censorship strategy coincided with the market’s transition to complete block submission, leading to a clear separation between block builders and validators.
Validators lost the ability to individually add transactions to a block, signifying a notable change in the network’s functioning.
The latest funding round is intended to support the development of SUAVE; the upgrade focused on censorship resistance.
Given the previous controversy, critics will be keen to observe if this funding helps maintain transparency and efficiency within the crypto space.