Smart contract infrastructure firm Axiom has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Paradigm and Standard Crypto, alongside Robot Ventures and Ethereal Ventures funds.
Axiom plans to use the capital to hire developers and accelerate the development of its first product, according to an announcement on Jan. 25. The startup proposes a new method of accessing authenticated data on-chain. Instead of relying on the traditional consensus mechanisms — where all nodes agree on a state of data — it uses zero-knowledge cryptography.
“On-chain applications have adapted to the exorbitant cost of data by removing features or carefully crafting contracts to optimize data usage,” noted Axiom. According to the protocol, developers are unable to leverage data at scale and are forced to architect smart contracts in a complex design as a result of this problem.
We are building infrastructure to give smart contract developers access to more data on-chain. pic.twitter.com/M8q61KMid3
— Axiom (@axiom_xyz) January 25, 2024
Zero-knowledge technology allows users to prove that a statement is true without disclosing any details. In other words, it enables a verification mechanism without revealing the data involved in the computation. By using ZK cryptography, Axiom claims to enable on-chain applications to handle more data at a lower cost.
The protocol launched its mainnet in 2023, allowing developers to access historical Ethereum data, perform off-chain computations, and send data with zero-knowledge proofs. “We believe the demand to store, access, and operate over authenticated data will only grow over time and that cryptography and blockchains are the correct tools to serve this demand,” reads Axiom’s statement.
ZK proofs are being increasingly applied across a variety of sectors such as banking, healthcare, energy, and voting systems. Several crypto firms are actively working on the technology for scaling and privacy purposes. Polygon, for instance, released in March 2023 its Polygon zkEVM for the Ethereum ecosystem, allowing off-chain batching of thousands of transactions, with a cryptographic proof containing minimal data.
Magazine: Beyond crypto — Zero-knowledge proofs show potential from voting to finance