Institutional DeFi Push Continues as Ethereum Scaler Nahmii Launches Mainnet

The project’s $8 million funding round included Sam Cassatt’s Aligned Capital and Kavita Gupta’s Delta Fund.

Sep 28, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 28, 2021 at 1:46 p.m. UTC

Nahmii, a system designed to expand Ethereum with the needs of regulated institutions in mind, is launching its live version, or mainnet. The project is armed with $8 million in funding from the ConsenSys alums at DARMA Capital, Aligned Capital and Delta Fund.

Layer 2 networks that run on top of Ethereum make payments faster and cheaper but are nowhere near a level where traditional financial institutions can use them, according to Nahmii CEO Jacobo Toll-Messia.

“You need a product that is institution-ready, and that means not only TPS [transactions per second], but also instant finality, no latency, predictable fees,” said Toll-Messia in an interview.

Back in May, DARMA led a $3 million seed round in NiiFi, a decentralized exchange (DEX) being built on Nahmii, with institution-friendly features such as instant settlement finality and know-your-customer (KYC) capabilities.

DARMA Capital managing partner Andrew Keys says he looks at layer 2 systems through the purview of a fund registered with the Commodity Futures Trade Commission (CFTC). In Keys’ opinion, features like KYC’d decentralized finance (DeFi) and instant finality (where the transaction cannot be reversed or undone) will become “table stakes,” or necessary to operate, with the imminent arrival of regulation.

“The days of one going on Uniswap and trading $5 million of X for $5 million with Y I think will be over before the end of the year,” said Keys. “The Financial Stability Oversight Council – they’re bringing the hammer. [Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary] Gensler is not f***ing around, if you’ll pardon my French.”

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Ian Allison is a senior reporter at CoinDesk.