Clover Finance Raises $3M From Polychain, Others to Bridge Ethereum and Polkadot

Polkadot parachain Clover Finance has closed a $3 million seed round for building a bridge between Ethereum and Polkadot, in addition to a planned future bridge with the Bitcoin blockchain.

The round was backed by Polychain, Hypersphere, Bithumb Global and Divergence Ventures, according to a blog post shared with CoinDesk. Clover isn’t alone; it joins Substrate-based project Snowfork and coding house ChainSafe in producing cross-chain bridges from Ethereum to Polkadot. 

“Clover aims to become the very first noncustodial bridge in the space,” Clover project lead Burak Keçeli said in a Telegram message to CoinDesk.

Clover’s tech backend is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), a necessary step for applications like decentralized finance (DeFi) apps to work on Clover. The startup has redesigned Clover’s payment scheme to increase ease of use for ordinary consumers as well. For example, Clover has a dynamic fee schedule that increases costs proportionally to use.

Plans for Bitcoin

The team’s work on a “two-way” peg to the Bitcoin network is still in its infancy. The proof-of-concept depends on the successful implementation of the Schnorr/Taproot and Tapscript bitcoin improvement proposals (BIPs). Those BIPs are currently being vetted by the wider Bitcoin community. 

The peg, in theory, would allow value to move between EVM-styled chains like Ethereum and Clover and the largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin.

Read more: Developers Eye Mid-September for Ethereum, Polkadot Bridge Proof-of-Concept

“We believe Clover’s timing for launch gives it a unique edge to leverage upcoming Bitcoin protocol upgrades to facilitate two-way pegs between Bitcoin and Ethereum,” Polychain general partner Tekin Salimi said in a Telegram message to CoinDesk. “One of the challenges prior Bitcoin-Ethereum bridge attempts faced was in Bitcoin’s limited scripting language. We think the Bitcoin/Ethereum bridge is the most interesting feature, as it’s unique to Clover.”

Update (Feb. 18, 19:00 UTC): Added information regarding ChainSafe’s Substrate/Ethereum bridge.