Union Labs, the team creating a hyper-efficient, zero-knowledge interoperability layer, has successfully raised $4 million in seed funding to build the first fully trustless bridge that connects appchains, layer 1, and layer 2 networks. Capital secured is also earmarked for the expansion of Union’s seasoned team, comprised of leaders from Composable Finance; Consensys; Tokensoft; and Polygon; in anticipation of its upcoming mainnet launch. Other notable investors in the round include Lightshift and Chorus One.
Karel Kubat, Founder of Union Labs, commented: “This support signifies trust in Union and the team, while also showing strong support from the industry for projects focussed on sovereignty and decentralization: the keys to an equitable digital economy. The most prominent hacks are bridge hacks, yet bridges remain critical infrastructure for almost all projects, showing the need for better, more resilient products. It is our responsibility to innovate new ways to protect these assets and further the adoption of ZK technologies to realize a secure and interoperable, cross-chain future.”
With over $1.6 billion stolen in bridge hacks in 2022, the need for a razor-sharp bridging stack to secure the Web3 space is critical in future-proofing the industry. Developed to be the first fully trustless and censorship-resistant powerhouse enabling horizontal scalability, Union’s infrastructure layer addresses the growing need for efficient and secure data transfer and interaction between various blockchains. Its unique consensus engine allows the transfer of any asset natively to any chain and prioritizes efficiency, security, scalability, and interoperability, without relying on third parties, oracles, multi-signatures, or MPC (Multi-Party Computation). Unlike other contemporary bridging solutions, Union does not grant relayers a special authority. This way, private keys are not a target for hackers, as they cannot take control of the protocol. Instead, messages are verified using zero-knowledge proofs.
David Feiock, Founder at Galileo, commented: “Secure, reliable, cost-efficient communication between networks and dApps, facilitated by ZK infrastructure, ultimately means more use cases and more users. The advent of Union represents a watershed moment for the entire crypto industry: trust-minimized interoperability between Ethereum and IBC-connected blockchains. As a core contributor to the multichain movement, Union will unlock new, unforeseen opportunities for all Web3 users.”
Union’s ZK bridge architecture includes two key components that allow the project to enable IBC on Ethereum; CometBLS, the consensus mechanism, and Galois, the prover. CometBLS, developed by Union Labs, is an augmentation of Tendermint—a core contributor to the Cosmos network—that reduces both state growth and light client verification costs. It will replace current systems which are unequipped to adequately scale with the required amount of validators in space-restricted chains such as Ethereum. CometBLS focuses on consensus verification, emphasizing fast execution, low operational costs, and decentralized infrastructure.
Dan Elitzer, Co-Founder at Nascent, concluded: “During a period where many projects are making small iterations on existing protocols, Union Labs is building genuinely new infrastructure that enables improvements to UX and security that will be necessary for the next phase of crypto adoption.”
This investment will also support Union’s commitment to providing a user-friendly experience through its high-level API, ensuring developers from various ecosystems can easily integrate and utilize its technology. Collectively, these objectives serve as a solid springboard in helping Union Labs achieve its ultimate mission: trustless financial infrastructure.
To learn more about Union Labs, visit union.build.
About Union Labs:
Union is the interoperability layer built for the next century. Union’s trustless bridge uses zero-knowledge proofs to connect any appchains, L1s, and L2s without depending on trusted third parties, oracles, multi-signatures, or MPC. Union is building ZK solutions that remedy the cost and security issues plaguing the industry to unlock a horizontally-scaled future, where thousands of chains can permissionlessly connect, communicate, and prosper.