MIT Professor’s Blockchain Protocol Nets $62 Million in New Funding

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MIT Professor's Blockchain Protocol Nets $62 Million in New Funding

Algorand, the blockchain protocol founded by MIT professor and Turing Award winner Silvio Micali, has raised $62 million in new funding.

The investment comes from a “broad global investment group representing the venture capital, cryptocurrency and financial services communities,” according to a press release published Wednesday.

The company told CoinDesk in an email that, with the new capital, it’s now planning to further expand its engineering team as it moves towards the protocol’s launch.

The new funding comes months after Algorand secured $4 million in a seed founding round from Pillar and Union Square Ventures.

The firm said at the time that it was planning to increase its development team for a planned roll-out later in 2018. A test network for the Algorand protocol was launched in July, and the first open-source code was released on Github in October, according to previous statements.

Micali, an MIT professor with expertise in cryptography, first revealed his proof-of-stake design for the Algorand protocol in 2017.

By providing no incentives in the protocol– as opposite to major blockchain networks like bitcoin and ethereum which generate block rewards for miners – Micali said the goal of Algorand is to achieve both scalability and security, so that the protocol can be reliably used by large enterprises.

Also as part of funding round announcement, the company said it has hired two former senior executives from technology firms to lead the company’s operations.

Steve Kokinos, former co-founder of a Boston-based cloud service firm Fuze, has become the company’s CEO, while W. Sean Ford, a former CMO of software provider LogMeIn, comes on board as Algorand’s chief operating officer.

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