The program brings four cohorts from around the world to New York City each year, each consisting of about 8-12 teams, or about 30-50 founders, to focus on building a Bitcoin-centric Lightning Network. will beWhen Taro Wolf CEO Kelly Brewster told TechCrunch:
The Lightning Network is a Layer 2 payment system built on Bitcoin that aims to enable faster payment transactions. Apart from this, Taro is a protocol. launch In April of this year, we will issue digital assets on the Bitcoin blockchain, allowing instant transfer to the Lightning Network in low-fee transactions.
“Both of these are generic enough to be used in a very wide range of applications, such as we’re saying we’re starting an HTTP-focused accelerator,” said Brewster. “It’s a specific technology, but the business use cases can be very wide-ranging. may become.”
Accelerator teams range from small startup teams to early stage companies. Brewster said they would individually receive his $250,000 investment, with one cohort winner receiving an additional $500,000, making him $750,000 in total.
Topics Brewster is interested in include micropayments and chips via Lightning and Taro.
NYDIG, a subsidiary of Stone Ridge, also supports the accelerator, with mentorship and investment from Bitcoin-focused venture capital firms and operating companies. Brewster said the names of the companies providing the outside capital will not be made public. However, he added that all investors and mentors are already working on Bitcoin and Lightning. “It ranges from specialist VCs focused on Lightning Up to publicly traded fintechs and banks.”
Prior to this role, Brewster was Chief Marketing Officer at NYDIG, where he worked for Stone Ridge for approximately six years. Prior to that, Brewster spent nearly a decade at Goldman Sachs in “various positions.” “Over the past six years, I have had the opportunity to help launch many businesses and have been fascinated by the process of turning ideas into reality.”
The Lightning Network is a Layer 2 payment protocol built on top of Bitcoin that aims to bring instant payments and scalability to the blockchain at low cost. It allows users to quickly send and receive bitcoins by creating transactions from the main blockchain network or as Coinbase. Said, “Like HOV lanes on highways”
“At Stone Ridge, we’ve been watching Lightning for quite some time,” says Brewster. “The network has reached critical mass in the last 12 months. We now have enough capacity to do real-world things on the network fairly reliably.”
In the past, this network was implemented by Twitter, allowing users to send and receive Bitcoin “tips” via the Lightning Network-focused payment app Strike. It has also been implemented in Chivo, a wallet created by the government of El Salvador, allowing citizens to complete cross-border transactions.
“The growth of Lightning over the past year has been phenomenal,” said Brewster. “In some ways it’s a great time to take a step back and see where the signal and noise are. Some of the clearest signals are coming from Lightning. Growth and network his capacity is eyeing There is something to watch out for.”
The news comes at an interesting time for NYDIG, which recently laid off about 33% of its staff, according to The Wall Street Journal. report last week. December 2021, NYDIG Raises $1 billionsaid it valued the company at more than $7 billion.
Brewster declined to comment on the layoffs, but said, “Wolf’s launch should be a clear signal of Stone Ridge’s long-term belief and investment in Bitcoin. Clearly, it’s time to invest for the years ahead.”
There are many crypto accelerator programs budding throughout the ecosystem.Some range from layer 2 blockchain-specific accelerators Polygon’s For general web3 focused programs like Alliance DAOSome companies provide capital like Wolf plans, others invite investors to demo days in the hope that they will invest in startup projects.
“Companies built in times like these will really take hold as they capture and accelerate these long-term trends,” Brewster said. “So rather than trying to do something ourselves at Stone Ridge, we think it’s the perfect time to build this. We want to help and empower hundreds of other founders. thinking about.”