Ruby Protocol, a privacy-first layer-1 blockchain, has announced the close of its $7.3-million funding round. 

Investors included venture capital funds Digital Strategies, Digital Finance Group, Signum Capital, D1 Ventures, Global Coin Research, Ocean Protocol, DWeb3 Capital, Maverick Ventures and more. 

Angel investors included Ocean Protocol founder and board member Bruce Pon, TRG Capital research director and partner Yoon Kim and Rarestone Capital founder Charles Read. 

While the future of Web3 is centered on decentralization, users need ways to control, protect and own their data for several reasons. To help users control their on-chain information as Web3 evolves, Ruby has designed a layer-1 smart contract platform to help individuals own their private data and control how it’s used.

While other projects address privacy, Ruby takes a multipronged approach to this issue, with cryptography as the platform’s  foundation. The core cryptographic technology Ruby adopts is attribute-based functional encryption (FE), specifically designed to grant users a granular access control policy and choose what data is shared depending on the use case. In the future, decentralized application (DApp) users will have full ownership and control over their data in decentralized environments.

Founded by blockchain industry veterans Suhas Hegde and Beni Issembert in 2021, Ruby’s system architecture for on-chain transactions employs zero-knowledge proof micropayment schemes, making it possible to anonymize on-chain transactions. This supports multiple use cases in the Web3 space, including decentralized finance, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), social DApps and GameFi.

“As Web3 adoption grows, there’s a massive opportunity for users to not only gain more ownership of their data but to improve some of the current challenges we’re seeing,” said Hedge, co-founder of Ruby Labs. “Ruby will provide a gateway for people to experience the benefits of a decentralized ecosystem while also protecting themselves from many of the issues that arose from Web2. We collectively believe that this will be a fundamental piece of the puzzle as individuals and institutions alike embrace Web3.”

With its seed funding, Ruby will accelerate the core development of its privacy-focused layer-1 blockchain while expanding research into new DApps, use cases and team expansion in development and ecosystem growth. The project’s native utility token, RUBY, will be released in the latter half of 2022 and used for staking and deposits to run network nodes, protocol governance and the payment method for transactions on the network.

“Ownership and privacy is a central piece in the ongoing transition from Web2 to Web3, as users seek more ownership over their data. Through Ruby’s data ownership framework, we aim to give people granular access control over their data and the power to choose what they share with third parties,” said Tyler Gellatly, co-founder of Ruby. “With our novel FE cryptography, we’re excited to meet the privacy needs of users across transactions, smart contracts and the broader Web3 space in a single protocol.”

About Ruby

Ruby is a privacy-first layer-1 blockchain that utilizes FE cryptography, allowing users to adopt a modular approach to data privacy and ownership. Sensitive data can be encrypted on-chain and decrypted only by an approved private key holder.

Ruby’s FE substrate pallet will be the building block for privacy-first smart contract DApps building on the native Ruby chain while acting as a privacy layer for Web3 DApps in multiple ecosystems, beginning with Polkadot.