Squid, a cross-chain routing protocol powered by Axelar, has closed a $3.5 million seed round to build native-to-native cross-chain token swaps.
The protocol will allow developers on 25 chains to swap tokens across blockchains natively. Axelar, the blockchain messaging network, supported the raise as a “strategic investment.”
A Squid announcement said,
“There are so many ecosystems and chains out there waiting to be explored, but gaining access to them can feel impossible.
Obscure wrapped assets, confusing bridge UX and the need for extensive research – just to move tokens securely across chains…”
Swapping tokens across chains can be cumbersome, confusing, and expensive. Further, bridges are often weak points in terms of security, with numerous bridge hacks over the last few years. Tokens sent through a bridge are locked on the native chain and then wrapped as a token on the destination chain, such as wLUNA or pBTC. As a result, many investors opt to use centralized exchanges for moving tokens from one blockchain to another.
Squid will allow DEXs to add the native tokens of other chains to their offering. Outside of centralized exchanges, current options for cross-chain swaps are limited. THORChain is one of the main blockchains to offer cross-chain swaps through its RUNE token-paired liquidity pools. THORSwap is a DEX built on THORChain currently offering cross-chain swaps across 8 different networks. It has a TVL of over $132 million and processes a daily swap volume of around $20 million.
The Squid DEX will allow any user across 25 chains to swap native tokens with one click. Its developer tools are provided as an “API and SDK alongside an easily implementable and customizable widget.”
“Squid’s mainnet launch includes support for 25 chains, including interoperability between EVM chains and the Cosmos.”
Further, Squid leverages Axelar to allow NFTs to be purchased with assets from any blockchain and convert integrated wallets into “chain-agnostic” wallets. The ability to transact across 25 chains in any supported token looks to realize the ‘multi-chain future.’ Squid believes its protocol will “address cross-chain’s long-standing UX troubles” as the industry readies itself for onboarding of new users in future bull runs.
Travis Scher of Squid investor North Island Ventures said:
“We believe the future of crypto is multi-chain and cross-chain, and are extremely excited to back the great team at Squid, which is building critical infrastructure to bring this vision to fruition.”
Some of the major players in the crypto space have already announced they will be integrating Squid, including QuickSwap, Pangolin, Ledger, and BitKeep.
Squid went live on Ethereum, Moonbeam, Binance Chain, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Polygon, Fantom, Celo, Cosmos Hub, Crescent, Injective, Juno, Kujira, Osmosis, Secret Network, Terra-2, Agoric, AssetMantle, Axelar, Comdex, Evmos, Fetch, Ki, Regen, and Umee.
Sergey Gorbunov, the co-founder of Axelar, nodded to the collapse of FTX, Celsius et al stating:
“Failure of centralized trading platforms has highlighted the need for secure decentralized alternatives. Squid powers this future by enabling decentralized, secure, and simple to use cross-chain swaps… we’re excited to see them build on the Axelar Network.”