Marlin Protocol has raised $3 million from Binance Labs, NGC, Electric Capital, Arrington XRP, and other investors.
The Bangalore- and San Francisco-based startup works to boost network speeds in various blockchains. Throughput constraints are considered a significant hindrance to mainstream blockchain adoption.
Marlin Protocol seeks to improve speeds across several chains by leveraging what CEO Siddhartha Dutta refers to as a “bandwidth-sharing marketplace.”
Per Dutta, notable enhancements to bandwidth on a blockchain can be done by adding a subset of network actors known as “relayers.”
“Marlin is a leader in a new class of infrastructure startups in crypto that are blockchain-agnostic and will dramatically increase network performance,” Arrington XRP Capital partner Michael Arrington stated. “We are happy to support them.”
According to Dutta, some blockchains, like Algorand, already employ relayers, but the number and comparative cost to attack them are low.
“The number of relayers in Algorand is in single digits,” Dutta noted. “If anyone is able to bribe just those single-digit relayers, you have brought down the network because they’re the ones responsible for all this communication. Now, if every blockchain tries to do this, every blockchain introduces these single points of failure.”
Therefore, Marlin Protocol is looking to bring a vast network of relayers capable of securing virtually any blockchain. That would come about alongside more common node activities like mining and staking.
“Most of the ethereum miners, bitcoin miners or even those professional staking companies, they already have good bandwidth connections,” Dutta stated. “All those nodes would be interested in merging mining along with Marlin so that they can also get paid for that bandwidth their spending anyways.”
Marlin has collaborated with several projects to administer its services on private test networks. Partners include Holochain, Matic, WandX, Blockcloud, and Murmur.
Within two to three months, however, Dutta plans the release of a public Marlin testnet. He also detailed a targeted mainnet launch for sometime next year.
“Supercharging network performance solves a major problem across proof-of-work and proof-of-stake blockchains today,” Electric Capital Managing Partner Curtis Spencer stated. “And their long-term vision around privacy-preserving packet delivery and decentralization is particularly exciting to us.”
“The project itself is about high-performance networking infrastructure for the decentralized ecosystem. … The faster [nodes] can communicate, the faster you can get things done,” Dutta elaborated.