bloXroute Raises $10 Million in Series B Round
bloXroute, a block propagation protocol, announced the closure of their Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) with Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures, and other venture partners for $10 million, on May 10, 2019. BloXroute is working on an active solution to solve the blockchain’s scalability bottleneck.
bloXroute Labs, founded by four developers including Cornell professor Emin Gün Sirer and Soumya Basu of the Falcon Network, raised $10 million from some of the largest venture capital firms in the space. Other venture partners include Flybridge Capital and Naval Ravikant’s MetaStable, the world’s first crypto fund.
bloXroute has been working with MetaStable and Naval Ravikant since their $1.6 million seed round and he serves as an advisor to the company. The developer team is filled with highly qualified and experienced network researchers and coders.
bloXroute establishes a Blockchain Distribution Network (BDN) that helps reduce transaction size by an estimated 1000 times and significantly increases throughput and block space. Several relay networks, such as Falcon, already exist but they rely on centralized servers; bloXroute establishes the relay in a decentralized manner.
Beta testing for bloXroute has begun on the BTC and BCH chains as of Q1 2019, while the full launch is expected by the end of Q2 2019, which is not too far away.
Scaling Under the Chain and Above the Chain
Unlike Lightning Network, bloXroute doesn’t run on top of the blockchain – it runs under the blockchain. This kind of layer zero protocol does not need an additional consensus mechanism like the hash lock and time lock contracts on Lightning; they adopt whatever form of consensus runs on the main chain and by virtue has no effect on the network or its security.
The adverse effects of larger blocks such as increased orphan blocks and higher storage requirements are eliminated through this relay mechanism.
While bloXroute has remained fairly neutral and supports implementation on Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, co-founder Emin Gün Sirer has caught flak from the Bitcoin community for criticizing Blockstream CEO, Adam Back, and for endorsing big blocks as a viable solution.
Some argue that a layer zero solution eliminates the need for layer two; others believe a blockchain ecosystem where both work in harmony can improve scaling.
As of now, Bitcoin, which chose to scale off chain, has its own layer two protocol in Lightning and Bitcoin Cash, which believes in scaling in the main chain, is more open to layer zero implementation like XThiner and bloXroute. There are merits to both ideas but there is no concrete evidence of which one will work better; so the argument of layer zero vs layer two is best left for the future.