Secret Network Raises $11.5M to Further Privacy and App Development
The position continues a string of ongoing interest in privacy-protecting tech.
Several large venture capital firms have acquired a stake in SCRT, the native token of Secret Network, a layer 1 blockchain featuring privacy-preserving smart contracts. The position, amounting to $11.5 million, was led by Arrington Capital and Blocktower Capital and included Spartan Group and Skynet Trading.
This purchase continues a string of ongoing interest in privacy-protecting tech at a time when other networks focused on everything from data to transactional privacy have drawn interest from funders.
According to the announcement, the acquired position will support the growth of applications on Secret Network, particularly in regards to the burgeoning decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystems.
“Secret is the first blockchain ecosystem to prioritize privacy. Financial privacy is critical to individual freedom, and Arrington Capital has long been committed to financial privacy and censorship resistance,” said Michael Arrington, founder of Arrington Capital, in a statement. “The rapid expansion of decentralized finance makes solutions like Secret Network a timely addition to the DeFi ecosystem.”
One such application is SecretSwap, the Secret Network’s answer for privacy on DeFi. SecretSwap is a front-running resistant and cross-chain automated market maker (AMM) with privacy protection.
According to the announcement, over $100 million in Ethereum assets are currently being used within the Secret DeFi ecosystem, and multiple bridges to additional ecosystems are in development. Daily gas use has grown nearly 3,000% since January, and the number of active Secret accounts (not including exchange addresses) has grown 500%.
"Of all the networks in all the world, we chose Secret because it was a yes-yes-yes brainer,” said Monty Munford, Chief Evangelist and core contributor to privacy DeFi company Sienna Network, which is building their platform on Secret Network. “They understand privacy and we understand DeFi. Match made in heaven.”
It will also support a more novel privacy endeavor currently in development: “Secret NFTs.”
Secret NFTs are non-fungible tokens that allow for private ownership as well as public and private metadata. Multiple Secret apps leveraging Secret NFTs are being developed for launch on the network in Q2 2021.
Tor Bair, the Secret Foundation’s executive director and chairman, said Secret NFTs are distinguished by two primary features. One is private ownership. NFTs are rare, so anyone can figure out who owns a certain NFT and then correlate addresses with individuals. Allowing for private ownership of NFTs ensures assets and transactions do not need to be exposed to everyone by default.
The second feature is private metadata.
“In addition to public metadata, Secret NFTs provide an optional private metadata field,” said Bair. “This enables you to do things like have game cards that have some public abilities, as well as special hidden abilities. Or an art NFT creator might choose to make a thumbnail or watermarked version of the image public so people have an idea of what they are buying, but the full resolution/non-watermarked version is private and must be purchased to view it.”
Finally, Secret Network will continue to dish out developer grants for applications developed on the network. The first Secret Network grant was awarded for the development of Secret NFTs. The second Secret Network grant was just announced for Fardels, a decentralized and private social media platform allowing creators to share items of small value.
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