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Portal raises $34M in seed round for Bitcoin atomic swaps

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Financial technology firm Portal has secured $34 million in seed funding to offer atomic swaps technology for Bitcoin. Investors backing the initiative include Coinbase Ventures, Arrington Capital, OKX Ventures and Gate.io.

According to an announcement on Jan. 30, Portal is building a solution to allow peer-to-peer swaps of Bitcoin (BTC) across a range of blockchains, eliminating the need for bridges or wrappers by using its swapping layer.

Atomic swaps enable the exchange of one cryptocurrency for another without the need for a trusted third party, such as a centralized crypto exchange. It’s called “atomic” because it ensures that the trade is either completed fully, with both parties receiving the respective assets, or not executed at all.

“From the very early days of Mt. Gox to FTX, centralized exchanges have been a persistent source of risk to user funds. Now, the risk remains, but it has taken a new form in bridges and other custodial cross-chain solutions,” said Portal co-founder and CEO Chandra Duggirala.

Related: What is an atomic swap, and how does it work?

Portal’s latest funding follows an $8.5 million angel round closed in September 2021. The new capital will be used to develop the company’s two flagship products: a decentralized exchange and a noncustodial crypto wallet. Other companies offering similar solutions through atomic swaps include Komodo Wallet — formerly AtomicDEX — and Liquality.

Additionally, the fintech’s roadmap includes an artificial intelligence-powered co-pilot for investment strategies and an application programming interface or API integration tool for wallets and decentralized applications.

Bitcoin-linked solutions are anticipated to grow in demand over the coming months, boosted by recent developments that include the introduction of the Ordinals protocol and the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the United States.

“Portal is carving a unique niche in the evolving Bitcoin landscape, crafting an innovative cross-chain private DEX protocol that masterfully addresses the complexities and risks of both centralized and decentralized exchanges,” said Dora Yue, founder of OKX Ventures.

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