Bain Capital Crypto Leads $3.3M Round for Privacy-Focused Identity Protocol

Notebook Labs aims to accelerate DeFi adoption with its crypto identity protocol.

AccessTimeIconOct 27, 2022 at 3:19 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:00 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Notebook Labs, a startup that aims to verify the identities of crypto users without compromising privacy, has raised $3.3 million in a seed funding round led by Bain Capital Crypto. The funds will go toward building out the development team, scaling the technology infrastructure and funding security audits for the platform, co-founders Solal Afota and Nathaniel Masfen-Yan told CoinDesk in an interview.

Bain Capital, an investment firm with about $155 billion in assets, launched Bain Capital Crypto in March with $560 million in committed capital. Other investors in the Notebook Labs’ round included Y Combinator, Soma Capital, Abstract Ventures, Pioneer Fund and NFX, among others.

  • Bitcoin ETFs Are Still 'Wildly Successful': Kraken Head of Strategy
    11:52
    Bitcoin ETFs Are Still 'Wildly Successful': Kraken Head of Strategy
  • NEAR Launches Multichain Access
    15:12
    NEAR Launches Multichain Access
  • How NEAR Enables Multichain Access From One Account
    00:56
    How NEAR Enables Multichain Access From One Account
  • Three Crypto Predictions in 2024
    02:07
    Three Crypto Predictions in 2024
  • “Until now, blockchain users have been required to identify themselves with wallet addresses, which has not only compromised their privacy but has also subjected the blockchains themselves to Sybil attacks,” said Afota, referring to a type of cyberattack in which the hacker creates a number of fake accounts to gain increased access.

    “Notebook is paving the way towards mass adoption of DeFi by giving Web3 users the privacy and anonymity they deserve, while also enabling more secure logins that will make protocols safer,” he continued, referring to decentralized finance.

    Notebook Labs intends to offer a way for Web3 protocols to verify the identity of users without compromising anonymity through a technology called zero-knowledge (zk) proofs, which algorithmically show that a statement is true without sharing the details behind that example. For example, a protocol could require proof that users are U.S. citizens. Users would supply their license as proof, but the license wouldn't be linked to the user’s wallet.

    Trackable yet anonymous verified data can open up a variety of use cases in crypto, particularly within DeFi where the lack of traditional credit scores leads to over-collateralized loans.

    California-based Notebook Labs was founded earlier this year by Stanford undergraduates Afota, Masfen-Yan and Dhruv Mangtani after creating the project during the university’s largest hackathon.

    The version of Notebook Labs that’s currently live can be used to develop a Sybil-resistant protocol and run airdrops, said Masfen-Yan. The team will continue developing the full product suite over the coming months, including credit scoring and cross-chain capabilities, and should launch next year.

    Read more: What Is DeFi?

    Disclosure

    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Brandy Betz

    Brandy covered crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.


    Learn more about Consensus 2024, 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.