NEAR lending and stablecoin swap protocol Bastion has closed a $9 million Series A round led by Three Arrows Capital. Jane Street, FTX Ventures, and Jump Crypto also participated in the round.
Bastion’s founder, who goes by the pseudonym N^2, said the five-person team will use the funds to hire more developers and pay for marketing.
“We’re definitely going to be expanding more into the retail consumer side,” he told Decrypt. “And we can actually serve institutions as well, by creating these sort of insulated environments for them to lend and borrow cryptocurrencies.”
The team is also launching a governance token, BSTN, which it announced on its blog in March. Thirty percent of the tokens will go into liquidity mining and a treasury. Another 25% and 15% of the tokens will be issued to the Bastion team and its investors, respectively.
One of the main features N^2 thinks will attract users to Bastion’s lending and stablecoin swap protocol are its collateral tokens.
When users deposit funds in Bastion’s liquidity pool, the protocol mints collateral tokens. Those cTokens earn interest relative to the value of underlying assets, and they can later be used as collateral for loans.
“Users shouldn’t have to choose between yield from providing liquidity on a decentralized exchange and depositing in a lending protocol,” N^2 said in a statement. “Bastion allows you to stack both yields.”
Bastion has been growing fast after launching in February. As of Thursday morning, the protocol had deposits of NEAR tokens, Ethereum, USD Coin, Tether, and Bitcoin worth $622 million.
Bastion has the highest total value locked on Near’s Aurora chain, according to DeFi Llama, accounting for 47% of all the chain. N^2 said its stablecoin swap is uniquely positioned to benefit from the launch of a Near stablecoin, which he said he expects to launch “in a couple of days.”
The NEAR protocol itself has experienced a lot of growth in the last month, following a $350 million funding round led by Tiger Global. On Thursday morning, NEAR’s eponymous coin—used for staking and transaction fees—was the 17th-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap, while trading at $16.50.