ACINQ, a blockchain startup contributing to Bitcoin’s lightning network, on Wednesday announced the closing its Series A round after raising $8 million.
The round was led by Idinvest Partners and participated by Serena and Bpifrance, a state-owned investment bank in France. With this round, the startup has gathered a total of $10 million in investments.
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The announcement detailed that the fresh capital will be used on multiple fronts, including in the growth of the team of the blockchain startup, improving its Lightning protocol and expand its business as a major operator and liquidity provider.
Commenting on the investment, Nicolas Debock, managing director at Idinvest Partner, said: “Bitcoin is set to become the currency of the digital era, but its story is just beginning. Lightning will allow it to move to a new dimension and become universal. ACINQ’s team includes some of the best Lightning experts in the world. They have all the skills and knowledge needed to build this new payment infrastructure. We’re very happy to help support ACINQ’s growth.”
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The investment grabbed attention because of the backing received from a state-owned bank. Unlike other blockchain-startups, ACINQ’s products make transactions with Bitcoin efficient, which ultimately promotes the mainstream acceptance of crypto.
“Cryptocurrency’s potential is becoming more and more obvious. In this area where there is still much to explore and build, Bitcoin provides a platform for experimenting and implementing that is second to none,” Véronique Jacq, director of investments at Bifrance, said. “Lightning is its most promising scalability solution and we’re happy and proud to help and partner with ACINQ, a French company that is one of the world leaders of this new technology.”
ACINQ is extensively working on the Lightning network and is known for its Eclair Lightning network implementation and mobile wallet app. The company is also working on a business-focused API called Strike to accept lightning network payments.
“In a context of currency wars and negative interest rates, Bitcoin’s value proposition —a free, independent currency with an issuance policy set in its protocol— is impossible to ignore. All that it needs to achieve its goals is a sound, usable scalability solution,” Kamel Zeroual, a partner at Serena, added.