Decentralized derivatives platform SynFutures raises $14 million in Series A

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After raising $1.4 million earlier this year, the decentralized derivatives exchange SynFutures has netted an additional $14 million in a Series A round led by Polychain Capital.

Other participants in the round include Framework, Pantera Capital, Bybit, Wintermute, CMS, Kronos and IOSG Ventures. 

SynFutures' platform allows users to add trading pairs of any assets with any maturity date, as well as list their own futures contracts. It's currently onboarding users in closed alpha but plans to open up its platform next month with a mainnet launch. Part of the fresh funding will be used as the initial liquidity pool, with the rest dedicated to hiring and development costs.

SynFutures declined to share any valuation tied to the rounds.

The firm said in a statement that it was inspired to launch a derivatives-specific decentralized finance (DeFi) platform in the wake of the success of other DeFi venues this year like Uniswap. Decentralized exchange volume first saw an uptick last summer before leveling off. It's now seeing a slower upward trend.

At the time of its seed round, SynFutures said it planned to partner with Bitmain and Huobi to support hashrate derivatives, which allow traders to speculate on the bitcoin network's mining difficulty. While Bitmain remains a partner, regulatory headwinds surrounding Huobi leave the exchange's ability to participate unclear, according to SynFutures.

CEO Rachel Lin, who founded SynFutures after her time as head of DeFi and lending at Matrixport, said she's built a team with a variety of expertise, from those with doctorates in cryptography to talented engineers who hail from centralized and decentralized projects.

In the case of combatting flash loan attacks, Lin said the platform has introduced specific oracles to fight radical price movements that usually occur in these types of attacks. 

"Because we have the expertise in finance and blockchain, we'd love to bring lots of risk management methods, the best practices from traditional finance and CeFi to the DeFi space to prevent those, say flash loan attacks, and some of the other attacks in recent years that have been happening," she said.

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