Capital markets News

Brevan Howard, Jump Trading back Wormhole blockchain interoperability $225 million funding


Today the Wormhole Foundation announced it raised $225 million at a $2.5 billion valuation. Backers include Brevan Howard, Coinbase Ventures, Jump Trading and numerous others. Jump Crypto founded Wormhole for cross chain interoperability – it supports more than 30 public blockchains. Earlier this month Bloomberg reported that several senior Wormhole staff left Jump to run Wormhole independently. Now we know why.

To date, Wormhole has transferred more than $35 billion and two million cross-chain messages. The messaging platform uses a network of 19 validators as Guardians.

Typical of web3 structures, the foundation also announced the launch of Wormhole Labs as an independent technology company.

“Nearly three years ago, Wormhole was launched with the vision of a world resembling the one we see today. Where the relentless expansion of blockchains is not a niche transient trend but an enduring transformation. Where Fortune 100 companies onboard both public and private blockchains,” said Saeed Badreg, Co-founder and CEO of Wormhole Labs. “We reaffirmed our commitment to this vision by launching Wormhole Labs, dedicated to advancing the technology that makes efficient blockchain-to-blockchain communication possible.”

In February 2022 the Wormhole bridge was exploited to the tune of $320 million or 120,000 ETH. Jump Crypto stepped in and covered the losses. A year later, a UK court order identified the funds held in the Oasis app and demanded all means possible to be used to recover them. Oasis exploited a vulnerability in its own software to recover $140 million. The price of ETH was down by around 45% between the hack and the recovery, so it wasn’t a 100% recovery.

It’s unclear whether Jump has benefited to the tune of more than $2 billion given Wormhole’s latest valuation. It’s unclear because of the spinoff of the protocol to the Foundation.

On that point, currently there are a few things about Wormhole that are not web3 typical. Firstly, it doesn’t have a coin. Secondly, using Wormhole is currently free. But as the documentation states, “that isn’t always guaranteed to be the case.” Which begs the question: how are the Guardians incentivized?

Image Copyright: Wormhole