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Quick take:

  • The fundraising was done using a simple agreement for future equity with token warrants.
  • The company also announced its partnership with FHE research company ZAMA, whose CEO Rand Hindi also joined as an advisor.
  • The platform uses fully homomorphic encryption to keep on-chain data confidential and auditable.

Inco has announced a $4.5 million funding round led by 1kx Ventures. The fundraising also attracted participation from Circle Ventures, Robot Ventures, Alliance DAO, Portal Ventures, Fenbushi Capital, Symbolic Capital, Big Brain Holdings, P2 Ventures, Matter Labs, Daedalus, and GSR Markets LTD.

Inco is a confidentiality-focused modular, interoperable layer-1 blockchain that leverages fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) and the security features of the Ethereum network to keep on-chain data confidential and auditable.

According to founder Remi Gai Inco is also launching its first testnet, Gentry, while its second testnet, Paillier, is scheduled to release between the second and third quarters of 2024, ahead of the mainnet launch in Q4.

Gai believes that although zero-knowledge proof-based rollups and trusted execution environments provide certain privacy features, they are limited, The Block reported.

Commenting on his company’s leading role in the seed round, Wei Dai, research partner at 1kx said in a statement: “Smart contracts have been limited by their lack of access to programmable confidentiality. This changes with the latest innovations in threshold FHE and blockchain that Inco is bringing to market.”

Inco also announced a strategic partnership with FHE research company ZAMA, with its CEO Rand Hindi joining the board as an advisor to Inco. He joins other notable Web3 industry leaders including Polygon Labs’ Sandeep Nailwal and Anand Iyer, a venture capitalist who is managing general partner at Canonical Crypto and venture partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Inco is  built using Cosmos SDK but has implemented dual staking with ETH and INCO “to benefit from Ethereum’s larger economic security and stability to secure our network.”

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