BOLT Labs raises $1.5 million in seed round; plans to launch private payment channel

BOLT Labs has raised $1.5 million in funding, the company announced in a press release. The seed round was led by Dekrypt Capital, and other investors included the Zcash Foundation, Ripple’s Xpring, Lemniscap, Vy Capital, Access Ventures, Kilowatt Capital, and Branson Bollinger.

The company will use the investment to develop a “fast, private, and secure cryptocurrency payment channel network.” The proposed network will be scalable and will integrate with any both other scaling solutions, such as Lightning Network, and cryptocurrency networks. However, Zcash network will be the first to reap the benefits.

The technology behind BOLT is explained in a 2016 paper published by Matthew Green and Ian Miers, founding members of the Electric Coin Company. Titled “Bolt: Anonymous Payment Channels for Decentralized Currencies,” the paper introduces a private second-layer solution inspired by the Lightning Network. BOLT is designed in a way that prevents parties from linking transactions crossing through the same payment channels to the person(s) making those transactions. This design added to the zero-knowledge technology backing Zcash helps provide an end-to-end privacy-enabled scaling solution.

“Payment speed is a fantastic innovation for cryptocurrency, but the next step is speed plus strong privacy by default,” said BOLT Labs CEO Dr. J. Ayo Akinyele. “We are honored to have a great group of investors supporting us and guiding BOLT from the research phase and into a product that will be used by many millions of cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the years to come.”

The network should launch in the first quarter of 2020 on Zcash, with other crypto network integrations to follow.