There’s still a lot of skepticism about blockchain. The technology still has hurdles to overcome in order to be truly useful in certain applications such as healthcare and the energy industry. But, as the MIT Technology Review reports, one recent blockchain startup, called Oasis Labs, is attracting a lot of attention and investment:
The cryptocurrency world is overflowing with big claims, but Song is a well-known computer science professor at UC Berkeley and a MacArthur fellow (as well as one of MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35 in 2009). And a number of big-name funders seem to think her company, Oasis Labs, is on to something. This week, the startup announced that it has raised $45 million in a private token presale to a group of high-profile cryptocurrency investors and Silicon Valley venture capitalists. It also became the first project to get backing from Andreessen Horowitz’s new $300 million crypto fund.
Song says Oasis Labs has developed new “privacy preserving” smart-contract technology that overcomes fundamental limitations of today’s most popular smart-contract platform, Ethereum. She and several colleagues described a major component of the system in a recently published research paper (PDF).
According to a July 9th, 2018 press release:
Oasis Labs today announced it has raised $45 million from a16zcrypto, Accel, Binance Labs, DCVC (Data Collective), Electric Capital, Foundation Capital, Gaorong, Metastable, Pantera, Polychain, and more. Founded by a team of academic and entrepreneurial leaders, Oasis Labs is designing a platform to overcome performance, security and privacy limitations that have hampered blockchain adoption to date. The company has garnered investment support from a wide spectrum of the blockchain ecosystem including venture capital, crypto funds and hardware manufacturers.
“Today’s internet is experiencing significant growing pains when it comes to providing effective security and privacy protections, which is only compounded by the rise of data-intensive services like AI,” said Jake Flomenberg, partner at Accel. “At the same time, however, the opportunity has never been greater to responsibly leverage data in the web’s next phase of products and innovation. Oasis Labs is forging a new path by giving people control over their data while delivering a high-performance blockchain platform that will reshape the future of the cloud.”
Given the problems that people like Adam Frisby have pointed out in trying to apply blockchain to virtual worlds, this is an interesting development in blockchain research. You can follow Oasis Labs via their website, or via Twitter, Reddit, Gitter, or Telegram.