Blockchain infrastructure company Puffer Finance raised $5.5 million in a seed funding round co-led by Lemniscap and the joint venture of Lightspeed and Faction. Other investors included Brevan Howard Digital, the digital asset arm of the global asset manager with $30 billion in assets under management.
The new capital will help accelerate the development of Puffer’s open-source Secure-Signer product and go toward the creation of a permissionless staking pool.
Puffer aims to address the challenges faced by solo validators in Etehreum’s proof-of-stake network. Secure-Signer is a remote signing tool that limits access to validator keys to mitigate the risks of being penalized, or slashed, as a result of software bugs or user error. The penalty can be a hefty hit for stakers that don’t have a large amount of ether (ETH). Puffer is also working on a protocol to lower the barriers of entry for at-home stakers as a viable alternative to centralized liquid staking providers.
The funding round also included Bankless Ventures, Animoca Ventures, DACM, LBK, SNZ and Canonical Crypto. Puffer previously received backing from The Ethereum Foundation through a $120,000 grant, and a $650,000 pre-seed round led by Jump Crypto.
“We hope the Puffer Protocol will create a pocket within the validator set where decentralization can thrive,” founders Amir Forouzani and Jason Vranek said in a statement. “By lowering barriers to entry, anyone can run a Puffer Node from their home to operate Web3 infrastructure and play a pivotal role in shaping a Web3 that is resilient and censorship-resistant.”
UPDATE (Aug. 8, 16: 24 UTC): Removed KuCoin Ventures from the list of investors.