Solana-based developer Coral has raised $20 million in a strategic funding round co-led by the venture capital arm of FTX and Jump Crypto. The capital will go toward building out the first flagship product, Backpack, a wallet for executable non-fungible tokens (xNFT).
NFTs are typically digital assets such as an image or song where an underlying smart contract proves the uniqueness of that asset. With xNFTs, the user owns the right to execute some type of tokenized computer code – essentially, the user owns the right to launch an application. The ability to launch multiple types of apps in one place could simplify onboarding, a common pain point in the crypto industry.
Read more: What Are NFTs and How Do They Work?
Explaining the purpose of xNFTs, Coral founder Armani Ferrante traces decentralized ownership from smart contracts to their resulting protocols and then up to the user interface (UI) layer such as applications and websites, which largely remain centralized. Backpack aims to decentralize the UI layer, starting with a wallet.
“We can move from smart contracts, go up the stack to the UI layer, where we can have decentralized ownership of code and provide all the developer tooling to make that happen,” Ferrante told CoinDesk in an interview, noting that the tooling includes smart contracts and the necessary app store. “Backpack serves as the native system, analogous to the iPhone, that allows people to use and interact with all of these applications in a native and secure way.”
Other participants in the round included Multicoin Capital, Anagram and K5 Global, among others.
Backpack will launch into private beta on Sept. 26. About 10 of the largest projects on Solana already have projects in development using Backpack’s xNFT technology, including NFT marketplace Magic Eden, cross-chain bridge Wormhole, decentralized finance protocol Solend and the developer framework Anchor, which Coral also created.
Jump Crypto’s participation comes about a month after the crypto trading firm and builder was tapped to revamp a part of Solana’s core infrastructure to improve reliability after a number of outages and slow throughput.
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