Sovereign Labs has raised $7.4 million in seed funding led by Haun Ventures, co-founders Preston Evans and Cem Özer instructed starcrypto.
The startup is constructing an “open, interconnected rollup ecosystem” with a software program growth equipment (SDK) to offer a framework for safe and interoperable zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups).
“Sovereign’s purpose has all the time been to make scaling [blockchains] easy,” Özer stated. “For individuals who have been on this area for four-plus years, it’s fairly clear that rollups and ZK-rollups are the best way to scale blockchains to the plenty.”
A rollup is a blockchain that will get safety from one other blockchain, so it’s a manner so as to add performance to an present chain with out sacrificing safety, Evans stated. Rollups can be utilized to assist totally different use instances like tokens, NFTs, sensible contracts and so forth — however they’re cheaper to function as a result of they outsource transactions.
The capital will likely be used to construct its SDK and rent protocol engineers and researchers with experience in blockchains and their frameworks, Özer stated. Its SDK desires to assist Rust (and ultimately C++) builders to make use of ZK expertise throughout any blockchain with out having to be specialists in cryptography, each the co-founders stated.
Some main ZK-rollup blockchains that exist at the moment embody Polygon, zkSync and StarkWare’s StarkNet platform, which all purpose to extend scalability and safety for builders off-chain by greater speeds and decrease charges earlier than combining and submitting them to Ethereum. Ethereum-focused ZK-rollup tasks like dYdX, Sorare and Immutable are additionally engaged on scaling the area and enhancing person experiences by different areas like decentralized exchanges, dApps and gaming.
“With out scaling, present blockchain programs at the moment are unusable,” Özer stated. “The second an utility reaches product-market match and there’s demand, the charges skyrocket and it turns into unusable […] purposes have to determine find out how to be scalable.”
Most ZK-rollup options are standalone merchandise constructed by and for the groups that work on them, Özer stated. Sovereign Labs “isn’t within the enterprise of constructing rollups ourselves,” however as an alternative desires to construct frameworks for others, he added. “We wish to give this expertise to everybody to allow them to leverage it simply and create [their own] ecosystems.”
The workforce will work on creating totally different monetization methods, however its SDK framework will likely be open supply, free and “all the time will likely be,” Evans famous.
Within the close to time period, the co-founders anticipate rollups to be extensively inaccessible till frameworks like its SDK are developed. “Over time, SDK merchandise will develop into accessible,” Özer stated. “We anticipate an explosion of ZK-rollups and for many builders to leverage it.”