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After a rocky token listing, Manta Network is back in business

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For zero-knowledge proof-powered layer-2 blockchain Manta Network, its billion-dollar token listing earlier this month did not proceed as expected. 

To begin, the blockchain was hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack where 135 million remote procedure call (RPC) requests temporarily paralyzed the network for a few hours on Jan. 18.

Shortly thereafter, the transfer of 2 million MANTA tokens to the personal wallet of one of its Korean business development representatives also drew investor speculation, to which Manta later clarified that it was merely a first investment support for its decentralized finance (DeFi) project LayerBank.

Since then, the network has largely returned to normal and is currently at a fully diluted market cap of $3.1 billion. In an interview with Cointelegraph on Jan. 25, Kenny Li, co-founder Boston-based p0x labs, the creator of Manta Network, said that the protocol’s profit margins have improved drastically through its layer-2 technology.

“Over the past 30 days, we’ve been able to save the users approximately 1 million,” said Li. “Moving forward, we’re kind of trying to find a balance between the actual volume of transactions versus the amount of actual revenue.”

As the network expands, Li says that p0x labs will be allocating ecosystem grants to projects with strong historical performance, such as Zero Lend, which has surpassed a total value locked (TVL) of $19 million shortly after launch. “We’re definitely looking for projects that have essentially proven themselves in this space already,” said the co-founder.

For this year’s budget and roadmap, Li plans to focus on business development in Korea, where Ethereum Virtual Machine money market LayerBank and lending protocol Shoebill, both part of the Manta ecosystem, have surpassed $350 million in TVL. “I think we want to build more local bases in general. And so we’re going to use a lot of ecosystem funds to kind of catalyze that growth,” Li stated.

Despite growth, the project also had to turn away legacy goals, such as its original idea of exploring the privacy aspect of zero-knowledge technology. “There’s not enough regulatory clarity around it [in the U.S.],” Li explained. “The balance between the clarity as well as the technological feasibility in terms of actually creating a user experience that is very scalable, is simply not there.”

In the meantime, the network has focused on zero-knowledge enabled decentralized applications, including a fully on-chain poker and mintage of decentralized identities. Manta Network currently has a combined total value locked of $1.5 billion across minted and bridged assets.

On July 19, 2023, p0x labs raised $25 million in its Series A at a valuation of $500 million, led by Polychain Capital and Qiming Venture Partners.

Related: Manta Network experiences DDoS attack amid exchange listing