Decentralised smart contract platform Chia Network — which was created by BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen — has closed a $61 million Series D funding round, Bloomberg reported on 24 May.
According to the publication, the Series D was led by venture capital (VC) giants Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Richmond Global Ventures, and also saw participation from Breyer Capital, Slow Ventures, True Ventures, and others. An unnamed source told Bloomberg that the company was valued at $500 million during the funding round, which is more than double its previous valuation.
The newly acquired funds will help Chia Network expand its team in addition to accelerating its ambition to become a trading and payment system used by governments, banks, and other institutions. The CFO of Chia, Gene Hoffman, told the publication that the firm could go public by the end of this year, either through a traditional initial public offering (IFO) or through a merger with the “right” special purpose acquisition company. He elaborated:
“Our goal has always been to go public relatively quickly as that will significantly clarify our regulatory environment and allow customers to use currency to hedge public market volatility, which is different from other coins.”
Founded in 2017 by the creator of BitTorrent Bram Cohen, the Chia Network is developing an “eco-friendly” blockchain and smart transactions platform, powered by its native Chia token (XCH). Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum — which use Proof-of-Work (PoW) to validate their transactions — Chia uses a unique consensus mechanism called “Proof of Space and Time”. This method allegedly offers far greater energy efficiency than PoW by utilising the computing power of validators’ hard drives.