Web3 Foundation Funds Technical Bridge Connecting Polkadot to Bitcoin


The Web3 Foundation, the non-profit entity behind Polkadot, has financed a new bridge to link the multi-blockchain network to bitcoin.

The effort will see London-based developer house Interlay receive funding from Web3 to build a “BTC-Parachain” to bring bitcoin-backed assets onto Polkadot. Using its proprietary XCLAIM framework, the parachain would be an “open and trustless system that leverages a dynamic set of collateralized intermediaries,” the company said in a medium post Thursday.

Launched in 2016 by ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, Polkadot is a network for connecting and launching blockchain applications using parachains to link to different networks.

Once completed, users will be able to use the parachain to mint PolkaBTC on a 1:1 ratio with deposited bitcoin and will be redeemable for the original bitcoin at any time. “XCLAIM is on average 95% faster and 65% cheaper than using HTLC atomic swaps with Bitcoin,” Interlay said.

Fully interoperable across the Polkadot ecosystem, the parachain also stores DOT collateral that can be allocated to the user, with a premium, should there be a failure with the redemption process.

A regulated entity in Switzerland, the Web3 Foundation has been issuing grants, anywhere between $3,000 and $100,000, to projects looking to build on the Polkadot platform since the start of 2019. Web3 has so far financed more than 60 teams in five separate funding waves, according to its GitHub page.

Other projects supported by Web3 include a Metamask plugin, an interoperability bridge with EOS and a parachain linking Polkadot to the prospective Libra ecosystem.

Last October, Web3 created a new Polkadot ecosystem fund together with Polychain Capital. Although the foundation would not specify exactly how much had been set aside for the new fund, a spokesperson at the time said it was “in the millions.”

Its unclear how much funding Interlay recieved from Web3. The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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