Distributed ledger start-up catches eye of credit unions, closes $3 million seed round

Swirlds collecting accolades, improving platform
Written by John Fontana, Contributor

Swirlds, which develops a unique distributed ledger technology, announced a $3 million funding round on Thursday designed to jump start new development on its consensus platform.

A year ago, the company built a distributed session management application designed to help the identity industry over some major security hurdles. Now, the company's distributed consensus platform has caught the eye of the credit union industry, which is preparing to roll out something called CU Ledger, which runs on Swirlds technology and creates a platform that provides shared storage and consensus capabilities for app developers.

Today, Swirlds announced New Enterprise Associates (NEA) led the $3 million seed round.

Swirlds is one of a handful of companies in this space that made the short list of third-generation ledger technologies put together last month by Constellation Research analyst Steve Wilson. He says these newer technologies solve the limitations of the original blockchain. The common trait of these platforms, Wilson said, is they all help orchestrate agreement on some property of a complex set of transaction data. Wilson has dubbed them Synchronous Ledger Technologies (SLT). The list includes Swirlds, Evernym, Sovrin Foundation, R3, Enterprise Ethereum, Hyperledger, Wipro, IBM and Microsoft.

Mance Harmon, CEO and co-founder of Swirlds, said the platform's performance, at hundreds of thousands of transactions a second, is unmatched, and that Swirlds is the only "banking grade" consensus algorithm in the market. And he adds the Swirlds Hashgraph Distributed Consensus Platform is not susceptible to distributed denials of service attacks (DDoS) and is a major component of defining "banking grade."

Harmon credits the company's relationship with credit unions as proof that Swirlds's performance, algorithms, and defenses are creating converts within industries. Harmon will speak to these advances on Sept. 19th at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. Hashgraph by Swirlds also will be one technology used in the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon.

Co-founder Leemon Baird, who holds a Ph.D from Carnegie Mellon University and has a number of research interests including machine learning, artificial intelligence, cryptography, security, computer science theory, and programming languages, says Swirlds is about trust. . "It would be the trust layer of the Internet," he says. "The layer that creates trust where it did not exist before. We are generating trust."

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