Anoma Network Raises $6.75M to Make Exchanging Crypto Assets Easy and Private
With funding from Polychain Capital, Electric Capital and Coinbase Ventures, the project looks to bring privacy to blockchain interoperability.
Anoma, a layer one blockchain in development, wants to help traders move assets across networks with privacy technology and without the need for a base currency.
Anoma closed its first private sale of $6.75 million earlier this year, the company told CoinDesk exclusively. The round, led by Polychain Capital, included prominent backers Electric Capital, Coinbase Ventures, FBG Capital, CMS Holdings, Lemniscap, Cygni Labs and Walden Bridge Capital. Investors bought tokens in the future network.
The project plans to launch a public testnet in June and looks to stand by not relying on synthetic assets that represent the underlying cryptocurrencies. As outlined in the Anoma white paper, there’s also no need for a layer two.
A bet on interoperability
The fundamental bet Anoma is making, according to Brink, is built around the idea that layer one chains are going to be interoperable with each other – specifically modern chains like Solana, Polkadot and Cosmos that rely on Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT).
Anoma will connect directly (point to point) to such networks via interoperability protocols such as IBC.
For example, the Anoma validator set has an account on Near and the Near validator set has an account on Anoma. When you move 100 DOT (Polkadot’s native token) from Near to Anoma, you move the DOT into the Anoma account on Near; as a result, the Anoma validator set credits you that 100 DOT on Anoma. Brink said you can now transfer and trade it freely on Anoma and later a different user can withdraw the 100 DOT (or a portion of it) back to Near.
Historically, such assets have been siloed on their hometurf, making it unwieldy for investors to quickly tap market opportunities.
When it comes to privacy, Anoma uses a “multi-denomination zero-knowledge transfer circuit,” which enables different types of assets to share one anonymity set. An anonymity set is the set of entities that may have the same attributes, meaning they’re indistinguishable from each other.
According to Brink, Anoma’s multi-asset shielded pool is a specific kind of zero-knowledge circuit that allows for private transfers of arbitrary assets. It provides a unified privacy set for all assets and as such an observer can't distinguish whether a transfer contained 1 BTC or 1 SOL.
A zero-knowledge circuit is a method by which one party (the prover) can prove to another party (the verifier) that they know a value X, without conveying any information apart from the fact that they know the value X.
Put simply, it’s a cryptographic technique that allows two parties on the internet to verify information with each other without sharing or exposing underlying data related to this information.
Zero-knowledge circuits are used by projects such as ZCash (for private transfers), Tornado Cash (for building a trustless mixer) and Starkware (for building a fast decentralized exchange).
Open sourcing the code bank and launching the public testnet will go a long way towards determining whether Anoma can deliver on its ambitions.
UPDATE (April 27, 14:20 UTC): The fundraising was a private token sale, not a seed round, as this piece initially reported.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.