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Sophon Raises $60 Million via Node Sale in the Booming DePIN Narrative

This fundraising method highlights the growing interest in Decentralized Private Infrastructure (DePIN) solutions within the blockchain industry.

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Sophon, an entertainment-focused blockchain ecosystem built on zkSync's "hyperchain" technology, has successfully concluded a node sale, raising $60 million, according to an announcement on Wednesday.

This comes on the back of a $10 million fundraise in March 2024, led by Paper Ventures and Maven 11, with additional investments from Spartan, SevenX, and OKX Ventures.

Spearheaded by Sebastien, formerly DeFi lead at zkSync, and renowned crypto trader Pentoshi, Sophon aims to revolutionize the entertainment industry. The platform, which is targeted to launch in the third quarter of 2024, leverages zkSync's innovative features, including native account abstraction, to enhance user experience and attract talent in the realms of artificial intelligence, gaming, and entertainment.

DePIN, short for Decentralized Private Infrastructure, represents a paradigm shift in data storage. It leverages blockchain technology to create secure and scalable infrastructure solutions, a stark contrast to the centralized, often limited control offered by traditional providers. As the demand for reliable and secure data storage surges, DePIN is attracting significant investment due to its inherent advantages like tamper-proof storage through blockchain and decentralized control mitigating censorship risks.

Node sale, not token offering

Sophon's node sale exemplifies a new fundraising trend within the blockchain space. The company offered 200,000 nodes, selling 121,000 for a total of $60 million in wrapped ether (wETH). This approach allows Sophon to secure capital while simultaneously distributing its network infrastructure. The public sale of nodes were with the lowest tier priced at 0.0813 wETH, becoming more expensive as more are sold.

Notably, Aethir's recent $100 million raise via a similar node sale underscores the growing popularity of this fundraising method.

While not all node buyers will directly participate in validation, they receive significant benefits through ERC-721 tokens. These tokens grant access to a portion of Sophon's token supply, with 20% distributed to node license holders over the initial 36 months post-launch.

Additionally, with Sophon's anticipated Q3 2024 launch as a Layer 2 validium rollup, holders can participate in network validation and earn a share of transaction fees, Sebastien explained in a tweet.