Firewall Raises $3.7M to Take Smart Contracts Mainstream with Programmable Finality

[PRESS RELEASE – San Francisco, USA / California, March 7th, 2024]

Firewall secures funding from North Island Ventures, Breyer Capital, and Hack VC to bulletproof smart contract networks.

Firewall, a blockchain infrastructure startup, announced its $3.7M pre-seed round, co-led by North Island Ventures, Breyer Capital, and Hack VC. Firewall transforms the usability of smart contract technology through an innovative finality consensus mechanism that eliminates smart contract exploits.

The founders of Firewall, previously the first and sixth employees at Staked—a staking company acquired by Kraken in a landmark crypto deal—have helped breathe life into the eras of proof-of-stake and decentralized finance over the last six years. In that time, the founders served institutional clients with infrastructure that handled billions of dollars, and now building on their experience, are addressing what most perceive as the final major hurdle to a full embrace of digital assets by the traditional financial system.

“Firewall is building the safety rails that enable the everyday person to use the next era of the Internet,” stated Devan Purhar, Co-Founder of Firewall. “Today, billions of dollars are stolen from users, through irreversible transactions that are classifiable as theft. There’s a parallel between the current state of crypto-networks and the early internet, with a similar lack of essential security infrastructure. Our focus is not on marginal improvements; rather, we bring a required paradigm shift in the usability of blockchains. We designed a solution from first principles, and created programmable finality. Fundamentally, we make exploits a concept of the past.”

Akin to a digital version of a traditional network’s firewall, Firewall’s technology introduces “programmable finality”. It extends rollups to use programmable transaction finalization rules, which act as automated checkpoints that block harmful transactions, inserted before later stages when the data is finalized by a DA layer such as EigenDA or Celestia. The founders envision Firewall as a part of every smart contract network, acting as an embedded security system that intelligently guards against threats.

“Firewall uses real-time algorithms to pre-filter exploits from being included in blocks,” shared Sam Mitchell, Firewall Co-Founder. “Then, by using programmable finality we automatically recover from any exploits that bypass the pre-filter checks. Detection at this stage can involve AI models or social consensus, which may take longer.” Mitchell emphasized that institutions, managing trillions in assets, are interested in the benefits of smart contracts but require a secure environment to deploy capital. “Creating comfort for institutional clients to use smart contracts will be the pivotal point for the widespread adoption of digital assets.”

Past the founders, the core team is credited with successfully pioneering AI use in crypto threat detection at OpenZeppelin and Forta, and is set to revolutionize the field with Firewall’s all-encompassing security approach. The startup’s initial focus is on the rollup ecosystem, and prides itself on alignment with building non-custodial and trustless solutions. The funding will help expand the team and create the community to “firewall the EVM”. Longer-term plans include developing coordination mechanisms to integrate the social layer directly into the Firewall.

Travis Scher, Managing Partner at North Island Ventures, said “We believe the primary impediment to crypto’s mainstream adoption is the current security paradigm, in which a single bug can lead to a total loss of user funds. Firewall’s solution can prevent such losses, and we are thrilled to support such an important company from the outset.”

The funding round was co-led by North Island Ventures, Breyer Capital, and Hack VC, with participation from Finality Capital, and angels including Tim Ogilvie of Staked, Kain Warwick and Jordan Momtazi of Synthetix, Nathan McCauley of Anchorage, and Yaoqi Jia of AltLayer.

“Firewall is making blockchains safer for users, developers, and institutions,” said Ted Breyer of Breyer Capital. “We see this catalyzing a new era of smart contract utility, and we’re delighted to support the team.”

With the growing global adoption of crypto and regulatory spotlight, catalyzed by the BTC ETF and anticipated ETH ETF, the time for crypto-networks to become bulletproof is now. Trillions of dollars remain on the sidelines, scared to use smart contracts. Firewall’s “programmable finality” which effectively neutralizes exploits, offers the security assurance needed to unlock these assets, paving the way for crypto to revolutionize the global financial system.

About Firewall

Firewall is dedicated to making smart contract technology safe to use in everyday life, by eliminating smart contract exploits. Their solution is akin to a robust network firewall, applied to the modular blockchain ecosystem.

Contact

Co-Founder
Devan Purhar
Firewall
devan@usefirewall.com

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