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Ethereum Layer 2 StarkWare delays first token unlocks to April 2024

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Ethereum Layer 2 developer StarkWare has delayed the first unlocks of its native StarkNet (STRK) token by over five months.

The new unlock date has been pushed to Apr. 15, 2024, from the previously scheduled date of Nov. 29, 2023, according to a transaction in one of the StarkWare token locking mechanism contracts carried out on Sunday, Etherscan shows.

Commenting on the delay, a StarkWare spokesperson told The Block: “We are focussing on building the technology. We are updating the roadmap as needed, and this includes an update to lockup.”

It is not immediately clear how many tokens have been affected by the delay. The total supply of STRK tokens is ten billion. STRK is currently not tradable.

The tokens in the first unlock belong to core contributors, early supporters of the StarkWare ecosystem and employees of StarkWare, and not to the general public, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told The Block.

The delay of the first unlocks doesn’t necessarily mean the next unlocks will also get delayed, as two token unlocks are not always tied, according to the source.

StarkNet token

Starkware deployed the STRK token on Ethereum in November 2022 after confirming in July 2022 that it would release its own token. At the time, the project said the STRK tokens allocated to shareholders, employees, and independent software developers are locked for four years, with a gradual release schedule starting after one year, meaning November 2023.

Last November, the Starknet Foundation also launched, with 50.1% of the total STRK token supply in order to fulfil the vision of StarkNet’s decentralization proposal. The STRK token will be used for paying transaction fees, governance, and staking on the StarkNet network.

StarkWare was valued at $8 billion in May 2022 after raising $100 million in Series D funding co-led by Greenoaks Capital and Coatue. The project was founded in 2017 and offers two key products: StarkEx and StarkNet. StarkEx is a permissioned tailor-made Ethereum scaling engine, while StarkNet is a permissionless decentralized ZK-rollup that supports independent deployment of smart contracts. The idea behind Ethereum scaling networks is to increase the number of transactions on the network and reduce gas fees. Several crypto projects use StarkWare’s technology, including Sorare and Immutable.

Three Arrows Capital (3AC), once one of the largest and best-known crypto hedge funds and now bankrupt, was also an investor in StarkWare. As part of the bankruptcy process, 3AC’s liquidator, Teneo, took control of 3AC’s Starkware tokens last December, with it purchasing the tokens on original deal terms. 3AC had invested in Starkware’s $75 million Series B round and the $50 million Series C round. The delay in the STRK unlock time could also affect Teneo’s asset recovery process.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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