Muneeb Ali – a doctor of computer science who graduated from Princeton – has raised a whopping $150 million to create a New York-based company he’s calling Trust Machines, which he’s establishing with fellow Princeton doctor JP Singh. The company seeks to unleash the “true potential of bitcoin” by creating decentralized finance applications, DAOs, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a growing marketplace for crypto investors and developers.
Ali Is Bringing Trust Machines to the Fray
All three of these items are set to be built atop something known as Block Stack, which is now simply known as Stacks. The network is a smart contract blockchain linked to BTC. Investors contributing to the $150 million figure include Union Square Ventures, Breyer Capital, Digital Currency Group, GoldenTree, and Hivemind among others.
In an interview, Jim Breyer – founder and CEO of Breyer Capital and an early investor in Facebook – said:
We believe that bitcoin can be more than a store of value. It can also be the settlement layer and platform for Web3. We’re excited to support Trust Machines and their mission to help bitcoin reach its potential.
Trust Machines is looking to convert bitcoin’s value and build an entire world of BTC-based applications. Ali explained in a statement:
Bitcoin as a programmable Layer 1 is so underappreciated.
With so much money in hand, Trust Machines is planning to hire core developers that can establish the products needed to bring bitcoin investors onboard. Their time, funds, and energy can help build the network even further and establish the growing space of decentralized finance, which runs predominantly through Ethereum. Ali would like to see this change and garner bitcoin a little more attention and respect in the world of defi.
Over the last four or five years, we’ve been building the infrastructure (Stacks) to make it possible to build those applications, and now that the infrastructure has matured, we’re building these applications.
Ali first became acquainted with the world’s number one digital currency by market cap in the year 2011 through one of his professors. He immediately became fascinated with the technology behind the currency and began to wonder what else it could be used for. From there, he founded a blockchain company in New York called Hiro designed to build developer tools for Stacks.
A History of Blockchain Companies
The firm wound up raising more than $75 million from the likes of Union Square Ventures, the Winklevoss Twins, Y Combinator, and Harvard Management Co. to name a few. Stacks turned one year old in January and has thus far deployed more than 2,500 individual smart contracts and more than 50,000 wallet downloads.
Hiro is no longer headed by Ali. Rather, the main duties of the company now lie with Alex Miller, currently the chief operating officer. Ali is remaining with Hiro as chairman of the board.
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