April 16, 2024

The first Bitcoin zero-knowledge rollup Citrea has generated $2.7 million in its recent seed round. According to its announcement, Galaxy led the funding round, with other prominent companies as participants.

Citrea revealed it would use zero-knowledge cryptography to enhance Bitcoin’s budding on other applications. Its activities will cover the decentralized finance (DeFi) space and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Citrea Takes ZK-rollups to Bitcoin Blockchain

Citrea announced the $2.7 million seed funding in a recent blog post. The move is part of its plans to launch the ZK rollups to the Bitcoin market and the broader DeFi space.

In its statement, the firm noted:

Citrea is the first rollup that enhances the capabilities of Bitcoin blockspace with zero-knowledge technology, making it possible to build everything on Bitcoin.

Earlier this month, Chainway Labs, the blockchain firm behind Citrea, disclosed the launch of the first ZK-rollup for Bitcoin. Also, on Wednesday, it noted that the funds would aid the project launch in the market. Notably, zero-knowledge rollup is a technology focused on scaling the Ethereum blockchain.

However, the new development is taking it to Bitcoin. Citrea ended the funding round in 2023, with Galaxy Ventures, the venture arm of Galaxy Digital, as the lead. Other participants were Delphi Ventures, Eric Wall (co-founder of Taproot Wizards), Igor Barinov (founder of Blockscout), and more.

In its statement, Citrea promised to address specific notable issues related to the Bitcoin Network. These include the network’s challenges in processing more transactions. Also, the ZK rollup indicated its support for “diverse applications without changing its consensus rules.”

Citrea plans to leverage Bitcoin’s position as a digital currency and a base layer. Further, such a move will enhance security and speed in completing transactions. The concept of ZK-rollups is majorly associated with Ethereum via layer-2 blockchains like Polygon and zkSync.

Generally, ZK-rollups aim to offer efficiency and low costs by bundling transactions on layer-2 platforms. Also, they secure transactions through a cryptographic protocol known as ZK-proofs. These prove that the transactions occurred at the base blockchain without disclosing their details.

Debates On The Usage Of Bitcoin Blockchain

Over the years, Bitcoin developers have debated the usage of the blockchain while asserting its supremacy. With a focus on keeping the network simple, they limit core protocol upgrades to prevent excess complications on the chain.

Also, they feared the network could deviate from peer-to-peer transactions that formed its core usage, as noted in Bitcoin’s white paper. However, new projects such as Ordinals and BitVM changed the trend for Bitcoin core usage.

These projects facilitate the operations of layer-2 platforms on the Bitcoin blockchain, enabling programmable smart contracts and NFTs.

Citrea is coming to Bitcoin to enable the network to accommodate DeFi applications and NFTs. Also, it would activate handling other use cases previously compatible only on smart contract-based networks like Ethereum.

Notably, Chainway assured the security of Citrea and full potential via zero-knowledge proofs.

The firm stated:

Every transaction occurring on Citrea is fully secured by zero-knowledge proofs and optimistically verified on Bitcoin.


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