Cryptocurrency investments are now at a stage where they are attracting a lot of venture capital, akin to startup networks. There has been a wave of funding for cryptocurrency projects all over the world, whether they be related to crypto trading exchanges, blockchain networks or any other applications of the technology, and this is backed by a desire to see more research and more funding go into the crypto space so that some of the problems with the technology can be overcome, making it an even more relevant and attractive prospect for the future. One such deal was recently concluded, with TON Labs, the development arm behind the Free TON blockchain, raising $6 million in its latest investment round.
The venture capital firm Runa Capital led this funding round, with the money going towards building a new product environment for the Free TON blockchain. This network is described by the company as being the fastest decentralized protocol in the world due to its unique dynamic sharding protocols. According to Dmitry Chikhachev, a partner at Runa Capital, TON Labs is the only blockchain company to have received direct funding from his firm, which shows the confidence that they have in the potential of this blockchain network.
This is excellent news for the crypto and blockchain development sectors, with more blockchain projects likely to get funding in the next few months as well. The development and advance of blockchain is crucial to the progress of cryptocurrencies, and arguably even more important than cryptocurrencies themselves, given the varied range of applications that blockchain networks have. We have already seen this in the wider world, where blockchain is being implemented across a range of sectors, from shipping to gaming, to improve operations, logistics and consumer experiences. One of the best examples of this is in the online gambling and casino sector, where there are many online casinos which offer players the option of placing bets through cryptocurrencies. The blockchain based casino Winz is one of the best in this regard, and one of many online casinos where players now have this option, showing how crypto and blockchain are changing the way a sector operates, since this has led to a huge increase in popularity for these sites over the last few months.
Blockchain-based startups are therefore definitely in the limelight at the moment, and TON Labs is one of those, given the success and potential of the FreeTON blockchain network. In addition to Runa Capital, other investors include RTP Global, which is an investor in early-stage technology companies. TON Labs has the potential to take blockchain from the niche space it occupies today into the mainstream framework where it can complement existing IT landscapes. Free TON achieved mainnet status in December 2020 when it achieved decentralization by a sufficient amount to qualify, which is having more than 400 validators and autonomous decentralized organizations on it. It has been interesting to chart the growth of this platform, which was started in May 2020 as an infrastructure solutions provider for the Telegram Open Network. It emerged as an independent project following an injunction on the Telegram team by a New York federal court. Free TON also merged with the Dune network in February 2021, which will help the network support wider adoption of blockchain technology and decentralized governance. This merger will be finalized later in the year.
This shows how the Free TON blockchain has already come a long way from its beginnings, and having not even completed a year of existence, the project already has a substantial funding round to help developers move forward in its development journey, and allow the network to become as large and useful as possible.