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MilkyWay by Celestia Secures $5 Million Funding to Propel Liquid Staking Innovation

Funding success and strategic partnerships

MilkyWay, the first liquid staking protocol for the Celestia blockchain, has successfully raised $5 million to enhance its offerings and gear up for an upcoming token launch.

Key takeaways:

  • MilkyWay raises $5 million in seed funding from major crypto investors including Binance Labs.
  • Plans to launch its MILK token and conduct a significant airdrop in the upcoming months.
  • Aiming to expand its technology into the Initia ecosystem with advanced features.

MilkyWay co-founder and CEO JayB Kim announced that the liquid staking protocol has closed a $5 million seed funding round led by Polychain Capital, with significant contributions from Binance Labs, Hack VC, Crypto.com Capital, and LongHash Ventures. This funding is aimed at bolstering MilkyWay's position as a leading liquid staking protocol within the modular blockchain ecosystem.

A representative from Binance Labs stated:

"Binance Labs believes in the potential of MilkyWay to lead the liquid staking space, particularly within modular ecosystems like Celestia," 

The funding was structured through a mix of a simple agreement for future equity (SAFE) and token warrants for co-lead investors, and a simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT) for other participants.

Technological innovations and market position

Launched last December, MilkyWay is distinguished from competitors like Stride by its simpler, on-chain architecture as a smart contract on Osmosis, compared to Stride’s operation of its own Layer 1 blockchain. 

Kim explained:

"Our architectural design reduces operational and technical overhead, making it significantly more efficient," 

Despite its newer entry into the market, MilkyWay has amassed a total value locked (TVL) of approximately $24 million, closely trailing Stride's TIA-specific TVL of $28 million, according to DeFiLlama. This is noteworthy considering Stride's broader token support and longer market presence.

Future plans and expansion

Looking ahead, MilkyWay is not only planning a token launch but also an ambitious airdrop titled "MassDrop," which will allocate at least 10% of the total MILK token supply to holders of mPoints, a rewards system currently in place.

Kim added:

"The MILK token is expected to launch by the end of Q2 or early Q3 this year," 

Furthermore, MilkyWay is set to extend its technological footprint to the Initia ecosystem, developing a full-featured Cosmos SDK blockchain with capabilities like optimistic rollup, aiming for extremely fast transaction speeds. 

Kim stated:

"We're targeting a testnet launch next month and the mainnet by the end of Q2," 

Currently, the MilkyWay team consists of about ten people, with plans to expand the workforce using the newly acquired funds.