Iron Fish, a decentralized blockchain network that aims to create a cryptocurrency as private as cash, has raised $27.7 million in a Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) ahead of the network’s Dec. 1 testnet launch.
“While a number of Web 3 teams are now building developer-oriented privacy tools for blockchains, there’s also a need for mainstream privacy solutions that are accessible for everyday users,” wrote a16z general partner Ali Yahya, deal analyst Elena Burger and crypto partner Guy Wuollet in a blog post. ”That’s why we’re thrilled to invest in Iron Fish, a decentralized blockchain network using zero-knowledge proofs to create a user-friendly, private cryptocurrency.”
Other investors in the round included Sequoia, Electric Capital, MetaStable, Arrington XRP, Terra co-founder Do Kwon, Thesis CEO Matt Luongo and Anchorage co-founder Nathan McCauley.
San Francisco-based Iron Fish launched its first testnet in April and says it has since attracted nearly 2,000 self-identified miners to its community. A testnet is an alternative blockchain used for experimentation and testing, while a mainnet is used for real transactions.
The company is now launching an incentivized testnet that will reward member participation with leadership points that will lead to future mainnet Iron Fish coins.
“Iron Fish is working toward becoming a universal privacy layer for all chains, unlocking a critical need that has previously been missing in the Web 3 ecosystem,” wrote a16z in its blog post.
Iron Fish was founded in 2018 by Elena Nadolinski, a former software engineer at Microsoft and Airbnb.