ConsenSys Labs, an Ethereum incubator owned by ConsenSys has led a $2.1 million seed investment into AZTEC, a London-based protocol developer, according to its press release sent to CoinJournal.
AZTEC is an Ethereum mainnet-hosted protocol that helps to facilitate private transactions on the public blockchain.
Founded by Dr. Zachary Williamson and Tom Pocock, AZTEC claims to execute contracts on the Ethereum blockchain while retaining bank-level privacy for its users. By doing this, AZTEC ensure that privacy in transactions is ensured, while also reducing the possibility or any counterparty risks.
Other investors who participated in the round included Entrepreneur First, Samos Investments, Jeffrey Tarrant (Mov37) and Charlie Songhurst.
Joe Lubin, co-developer of Ethereum and founder of ConsenSys, stated:
“ConsenSys is proud to support this breakthrough from AZTEC and CreditMint, bringing zk-SNARKs-based privacy, confidentiality, and scalability to a wide variety of asset transactions on public Ethereum.”
Going further to praise the Ethereum blockchain for its flexibility to accommodate a broad spectrum of digital assets, he added that “AZTEC takes this to the next level with an important new protocol that Ethereum developers can configure for a variety of use cases.”
For financial institutions, the ability to transact on the blockchain in a “private and frictionless manner” is too good an opportunity to pass by.
One of AZTEC’s first commercial user is CreditMint, a blockchain based platform for trading and settling debt instruments.
Based on the release, CreditMint is quite popular with banks and other asset managers who use the platform due to the absence of counterparty credit risk, privacy and faster settlement times. AZTEC’s protocol will also leverage the blockchain technology to support any financial transactions from ERC-20 tokens to traditional financial assets.
Tom Pocock, AZTEC Founder, in an interview with CoinJournal called the investment a “breakthrough.”
“This breakthrough zero knowledge technology represents the first general-purpose transaction to have been fully implemented and released on Ethereum’s public blockchain. It is not theoretical – it is running on mainnet today. This, at last, gives the capital markets access to Ethereum’s public blockchain, without giving up privacy. Strong consensus and strong privacy guarantees will no longer be mutually exclusive.”
Certain smart contacts that underpin AZTEC’s private transactions have now been released at AztecProtocol.com under a copyright. Going forward, these transactions would be released under a license of permission to develop AZTEC into an open-source, decentralized exchange platform.