Coral, the developers of Anchor, the popular development framework for the Solana blockchain, announced a strategic funding round of $20 million co-led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto.
Other participants in the round include Multicoin Capital, Anagram, K5 Global, and other strategic investors, Coral said in an announcement shared with Decrypt.
Coral said it plans to use the funding to hire new talent with the aim of building a world-class team.
Today’s announcement also comes along with the launch company’s first flagship product called Backpack.
As explained by Coral, Backpack is an "interactive, first-of-its-kind wallet that delivers crypto-native experiences" through the so-called executable NFTs, otherwise dubbed xNFTs.
An xNFT is an executable code of a Web3 application that inherits the ownership qualities of an NFT. By using protocol-agnostic frameworks, xNFT will be creating decentralized apps (dApps) for the NFT ecosystem that can be used from a single interface.
Backpack serves as the operating system used for building xNFTs, essentially being a wallet that manages private keys and opens the gateways to different dApps.
The main idea is that Backpack users can access all of their assets and dApps from a single place, where xNFTs act as native applications—any user with an xNFT in their wallet can launch the application or experience within that xNFT.
“Like a wallet, Backpack manages your private keys and connects to apps. But unlike anything else, it’s asset and protocol agnostic. Everything in the wallet is an xNFT. This is a big deal,” Tristan Yver, co-founder of Coral, told Decrypt.
According to Yver, while most wallets only show your tokens, with some not even showing your precious JPEGs, Backpack “is a home for everything.”
“Backpack is an open, programmable system built for Web3. And like any other application operating system, it has a set of developer frameworks and APIs associated with it, allowing anyone to build their own xNFT apps for any protocol on any blockchain—without permission,” added Yver.
Backpack private beta launch
Coral is launching Backpack into private beta today, open-sourcing the project's code. According to the team, about a dozen of the largest Solana projects are already in active development to take advantage of Backpack’s new technology.
“We’re excited to launch a step-function improvement in the way users in the Solana ecosystem interact with protocols and smart contracts. xNFTs make the crypto experience smoother, require less steps, and give projects the power to create more customized experiences for their communities,” Armani Ferrante, founder of Coral, said in a statement, adding that the company’s goal is “to make Backpack the default portal to the Solana ecosystem.”
Coral made Backpack and its xNFT developer framework available to a select group of lighthouse projects and developers in June. Today, as Backpack is finally ready to launch, several xNFT projects are planning to launch on the private beta.
Some of those projects, according to Coral, include Magic Eden, Aurory, Mango Markets, DeGods, Cardinal, Wormhole, Squads, Solend, Degenerate Ape Academy, Squads, Wordcel, DefiLand, and Anchor.
Anchor is the most popular Solana development framework boasting about 11,500 engineers and almost 120,000 weekly NPM downloads.
In the decentralized finance (DeFi) space, it is used by some top projects by TVL, including Solend, Marinade Finance, Raydium, and Lido Finance, while Metaplex, the protocol behind Solana NFTs, and MagicEden, the largest NFT marketplace on Solana, are also using the Anchor framework.
Commenting on today’s news, Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana Labs, said that he’s “looking forward to Backpack bringing the application layer to the forefront,” as it will allow engineers to build Web3 native applications “that reduce the barrier to entry and the friction of discovery that we see in crypto's user experiences today."