Web3 Foundation Funds Technical Bridge Connecting Polkadot to Bitcoin

Web3 has awarded grants to more than 100 projects building on Polkadot.

AccessTimeIconMar 5, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:16 a.m. UTC
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The Web3 Foundation, the non-profit entity behind Polkadot, has financed a new bridge to link the multi-blockchain network to bitcoin (BTC).

London-based developer house Interlay will receive funding from Web3 to build a "BTC-Parachain" to bring bitcoin-backed assets onto Polkadot. Using its open-source XCLAIM framework, the parachain would be an "open and trustless system that leverages a dynamic set of collateralized intermediaries," the company said in a Medium post Thursday.

Launched in 2016 by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, Polkadot is a network for connecting and launching blockchain applications using parachains to link to different networks.

Once completed, users will be able to use the parachain to mint PolkaBTC on a 1:1 ratio with deposited bitcoin and will be redeemable for the original bitcoin at any time. "XCLAIM is on average 95 percent faster and 65% cheaper than using HTLC atomic swaps with Bitcoin," Interlay said.

Fully interoperable across the Polkadot ecosystem, the parachain also stores DOT collateral that can be allocated to the user, with a premium, should there be a failure with the redemption process.

A regulated entity in Switzerland, the Web3 Foundation has been issuing grants, anywhere between $3,000 and $100,000, to projects looking to build on the Polkadot platform since the start of 2019. Web3 has so far financed nearly 100 project in five separate funding waves, according to its GitHub page.

Other projects supported by Web3 include a Metamask plugin, an interoperability bridge with EOS and a parachain linking Polkadot to the prospective Libra ecosystem.

In October, Web3 created a Polkadot ecosystem fund together with Polychain Capital. Although the foundation would not specify exactly how much had been set aside for the new fund, a spokesperson at the time said it was "in the millions."

It's unclear how much funding Interlay received from Web3. A Web3 spokesperson said the company did not disclose grant amounts per team.

UPDATE (Mar. 5, 13:45 UTC): A previous version of this article said the Web3 Foundation had funded 60 teams. This has since been updated to reflect the fact teams can each be awarded several grants across different projects. Comment from a Web3 spokesperson has also been added.


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