Investing in Mysten Labs

Arianna Simpson

Since the early years of the crypto movement, software engineers have been primarily focused on building and enhancing base-layer infrastructure that can support applications. This year we’ve seen an explosion of Layer 2 and Layer 3 services, marking an inflection point in web3 that’s shifting from the infrastructure phase to the application phase. That doesn’t mean web3 infrastructure has been “solved,” however ––far from it.

On Layer 1 blockchains, scaling transactions and speed to meet growing demand has been a consistent challenge. The rapid growth in applications, which is the hallmark of this industry’s success, will only exacerbate the need for dynamic and reliable infrastructure. In addition, programmability is one of the core benefits of blockchains, but smart contract languages may have unintended loopholes that hinder the interoperability and security of services and users’ assets such as NFTs. Fully unlocking the potential of web3 will require solving for scalability and programmability, which is why we’re excited to invest in Mysten Labs.

Mysten is building foundational infrastructure for web3 to tackle these challenges and accelerate development and adoption of decentralized services. There’s significant demand for more efficient and safe smart contract developer tooling, and Mysten has the technology and expertise to make major improvements across multiple chains.  Allowing developers to focus on perfecting their user experience, without tackling the complexities of lower-level blockchain integrations, is key to enticing more web2 talent to start building web3 applications.

It would be hard to dream up a more perfect team for this endeavour. The founding team has extensive experience in web3, programming languages, distributed systems, and cryptography. CEO Evan Cheng led Novi Research, Meta’s crypto R&D division, where he worked with Mysten’s other co-founders (Sam Blackshear, Adeniyi Abiodun, and George Danezis) to develop the Diem blockchain and Move programming language, as well as enable breakthroughs in blockchain scalability, usability, and security.  Their experience also spans industry-leading companies such as Apple, Microsoft, VMware, Oracle, J.P. Morgan; and crypto startups such as Chainspace, Vega, and Nym.

Mysten’s current projects are taking two forms: partnerships with existing networks that integrate Mysten technology, and open protocols based on Mysten-designed components. Narwhal, which targets scalability issues and can be integrated with any BFT consensus protocol, is being developed for deployment on Celo and Sommelier. They are also building a next-generation NFT platform with extremely high performance that enables a new class of programmable assets. It is designed to bring about true self-sovereignty and help people seamlessly move their assets across games and virtual worlds in the metaverse.

As with all technology stacks, each improvement at the infrastructure level of web3 can have outsized positive impacts for the applications and services built on top of it. We can’t wait to see the breadth and depth of innovation that Mysten’s infrastructure will enable.


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