There are many blockchain platforms competing for investors’ and developers’ attention right now, from the big daddy of them all, Ethereum, to so-called “Ethereum Killers” like Solana, which we wrote about in May.
Often, these technologies are seen as so promising that investors are willing to fund not only the blockchains but an ecosystem of products and projects that are built on their blockchain networks. On Wednesday, for example, Phantom, a digital wallet that resides on the Solana blockchain network, announced $9 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz (which in June also splashed out a lot of money for Solana’s digital tokens).
Similarly, a syndicate of investors today is casting their votes for Terraform Labs, a three-year-old platform that originally set out to mint different so-called stablecoins for e-commerce that mimic the value of various fiat currencies and has since expanded its offerings.
There is so much more to be built off the platform, in fact, that backers including Pantera Capital and Arrington XRP have just committed to investing $150 million on products tied to the Terra ecosystem, commitments that will be deployed over several years, says the company, and commitments that, should they prove fruitful, will boost Terraform’s underlying growth in a kind of virtuous circle.
Why are they so excited about Terraform? The Singapore-based company has apparently been gaining ground fast with merchants in users in South Korea by shortening settlement time from days to seconds, often without e-commerce customers knowing that their online (and sometimes offline) transaction involved a blockchain.
It’s been doing so well, says investor Mike Arrington, that it launched an e-commerce wallet called Chai that’s grown popular in Asia. It also launched Mirror Protocol, which creates fungible assets, or “synthetics,” that track the price of real world assets. (Arrington XRP led Mirror’s first round.)
Indeed, the market cap of Terraform’s tokens — they’re called LUNA — has skyrocketed from $300 million in January to $2.6 billion as excited buyers snap them up.
Whether these backers are getting ahead of themselves is an open question, but the company’s equity investors — which also include Coinbase Ventures and Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital — are plainly betting there is more to come.
Back in January, when Galaxy co-led a $25 million round in Terraform, Novogratz talked with Bloomberg about the investment. Among other praise heaped on the company, he said that: “What’s great about Terra is they are one of the first sandbox experiments that’s getting outside the sandbox. We are always looking at those projects because they are the canaries in the coal mines of what else is going to happen.”