Blockchain startup Chia Network, known for its green cryptocurrency Chia (XCH), which uses PoST (Proof-of-spacetime) model for mining has raised $61 USD million in its latest series D funding round from Andreesen Horowitz’s a16z and Richmond Global Ventures.
Chia Network is a programmable money platform created by BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen. It works on proofs of time and storage rather than bitcoin’s electricity-hungry proof-of-work model. Chia harnesses cheap and abundant unused storage space on hard drives to validate transactions on the blockchain.
Bram started working on Chia in 2017 with early bitcoin exchange Tradehill’s COO Ryan Singer. The duo had raised a small seed fund to kick off the project and build the team. In March 2018, Chia raised another $3.395 million round led by AngelList’s Naval Ravikant and joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, and a couple more. The money helped Bram and the team to build its first working Chia coin and blockchain-powered by proofs of space and time model.
The mainnet for mining Chia was launched on March 19, 2021, and within the last two months, the storage power that is mining on the network has surged to more than one exabytes, which equals to the storage volume of more than 1 million units of 1 TB hard drives.
There was also news that AWS had a campaign on its China version website promoting Chia mining on its cloud storage. However, it was removed later. Chinese media also reported a sudden spike in demand for storage drives and reports came out that some dealers and wholesalers appeared to have been hoarding hard drive stocks in order to flip on the prices.
There is an ongoing debate in the crypto industry about mining energy usage that was triggered by Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s decision to suspend bitcoin payments over its energy usage concerns. It has caused historical damage to the crypto market by causing a price crash and wiping off close to a trillion-dollar from the market. After Elon’s tweet on bitcoin payment suspension for Tesla, China government also started hunting down the crypto market by first imposing a ban on banks and businesses not to deal with the crypto market and second by closing mining shops.
However, the market after losing billions seems to be in a recovery phase. Some analysts also say that it was a needed correction after the 2021 price boom. Short holders panic sold and whales accumulated more crypto in this dip leading to a more stable bullish movement for the future.
Bram wants to put the new fund for hiring and to become a payment method for financial services firms, the government, and other institutions. He also plans to take the company public soon.
“Our goal has always been to go public relatively quickly as that will significantly clarify our regulatory environment and allow customers to use the currency to hedge public market volatility, which is different from other coins”
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