XION, a blockchain from ‘BurntBanksy,’ announces $25 million in Series A funding

Apr 1, 2024 10:43 pm | News

XION, a blockchain built for consumer-focused developers closed a $25 million Series A funding round earlier this month, with investment from Multicoin, Animoca and Arrington Capital, among others.  

XION is built by Burnt, a self-described Web3 foundry that offers a smart contract development toolchain. It is the first platform enabling developers to “build, launch, and scale consumer-ready Web3 products from the ground up,” the company said in a statement.

“Burnt started as a decentralized marketplace on Solana and XION came to the picture where the value capture funnel for the marketplace was terrible, and onboarding new users was hard,” its founder, the pseudonymous “BurntBanksy,” told Fortune. “Like one of those solve-for-yourselves kind of things, we built XION to effectively allow products that we wanted to build, to be able to target mainstream users.”

XION’s approach has been to rethink the traditional experience of wallets, gas fees and denominations, instead opting for multiple abstractions at the protocol level to enable familiar user experiences, the company said.

Burnt made headlines in 2021 when it burnt an original Banksy painting worth $95,000 at the time, and broadcast this live via the X account of its founder. A publicity stunt to some, to Burnt, the act was part of the process of turning a physical artwork into a non-fungible token.

The NFT commemorating the Banksy burning has since been sold for $400,000 to an unidentified wallet-holder named “Galaxy,” BurntBanksy said.

BurntBanksy returned this month to introduce XION, this time creating the illusion of setting himself on fire to burn away the negative lessons witnessed by the ecosystem over the past two years, the company said in a statement. 

“I’m kind of obsessed with the myth of Prometheus,” he said. Greek god Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to humanity in the form of technology, knowledge, and ultimately, civilization. XION wants to proverbially “ignite the way forward” with Web3, he said.

While users may not find civilization on XION, they will able to access any of the applications built on it directly from their phone, thus eradicating the need for private key management. In other words, users will be able to sign on to applications with recognizable methods from Web2, like email addresses or facial recognition.

While XION will also have a native token, it’s the first blockchain to integrate stablecoin USDC as its primary currency for transactions, with the aim of providing consumers with predictable pricing within the ecosystem. 

“I think a big part of the friction, whether it’s actual knowledge or technical friction, is people needing to learn what a Solana is, or an Ethereum is,” BurntBanksy said. “But people understand dollars and they don’t want the thing they’re buying to be worth 220 times more next week,” he said.

The Web3 industry still faces adoption challenges, the company says, such as complex onboarding, technical jargon and transaction friction, which keeps new users away. XION wants to enable developers to build “engaging consumer applications that are uniquely enabled by blockchain capabilities,” it said in a statement. 

The company launched a test-run, which resulted in 100,000 users in 24-hours. In total, it saw over 150 projects launched and more than 12 million transactions.  

“A lot of the projects that I’m seeing early on, coming out of our hackathon and coming through our original ecosystem, happened to be either music or gaming focus, but mostly under the umbrella of consumer applications,” he said.

The new capital will allow XION to accelerate the development of the ecosystem, the company said.

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