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Xverse, a Bitcoin wallet designed to work with projects native to the coin, announced on Thursday a seed funding round of $5 million led by Jump Crypto.
Other participants in the round included Franklin Templeton, the Bitcoin Frontier Fund, Old Fashion Research, and several strategic angel investors, Xverse told Decrypt in a written statement.
Xverse’s wallet, which is available as a Chrome browser extension and mobile app, is billed as a “Bitcoin wallet for Web3.”
It works with networks that push crypto’s largest coin beyond a pure focus on financial transactions like Ordinals, Lighting Network, and Stacks.
The company sees Bitcoin as a growing frontier for decentralized finance () and NFTs, which have become established staples of Ethereum over the past few years.
The funding will help Xverse pursue more advanced features in emerging areas, company founder and CEO Ken Liao told Decrypt.
“We want to power all kinds of web applications built on top of Bitcoin, whether that’s through Ordinals or Layer-2s like Stacks and Lightning,” he said. “If we see something that's promising and can bring a lot of utility, we are into supporting that as well.”
Ordinals, a protocol that allows for the creation of NFT-like assets on Bitcoin by attaching data to individual satoshi (equal to 1/1,000,000 of a whole Bitcoin), has been a boon to Xverse, Liao said. It gave the firm a shot in the arm and room to grow, he said.
The firm established itself as an early mover in the Ordinals space, rolling out support for inscriptions this past February—a month after Ordinals launched. As of late, Xverse has given users a way to store Ordinals-based assets on Ledger’s hardware wallet.
That includes the ability to store BRC-20 tokens, which take inspiration from ERC-20 tokens. The experimental class of coins has notched a market cap of close to $260 million since being introduced in March, according to CoinGecko.
Xverse is one of the most integrated Bitcoin wallets when it comes to Ordinals-related applications, Liao said, striking partnerships with the NFT marketplace Magic Eden and the exchange OKX as well.
While enthusiasm among venture capitalists for investing in crypto companies has waned over the past year, Liao said Ordinals piqued the interest of many.
“There wasn’t a lot of ways for people to make money with applications built on top of Bitcoin,” he said. “But now, with Ordinals, even though it's just the beginning, they can see that ‘hey, there's this demand.’”
Support for Ordinals came a year after the firm adapted to Stacks, a network built on top of Bitcoin that allows developers to deploy smart contracts on Bitcoin and has its own NFT ecosystem too.
Xverse started out as purely a Bitcoin wallet that didn’t support other networks, but its goal is to become the go-to wallet for any Bitcoin-related applications, Liao explained.
“We want to become the MetaMask of the Bitcoin ecosystem, but I think we can go even further beyond that,” Liao said. “Bitcoin is bigger than, and there's a lot of capital locked in Bitcoin that could be used in Web3 applications.”