Canto Rallies After Variant Discloses Stake

Ethereum-compatible Layer 1 is the Fifth-Largest Blockchain on Cosmos

Investors have flocked to Canto, a nascent blockchain, this week after a prominent crypto venture fund disclosed it had taken a position in the project.

The CANTO token, trading at 11 cents Thursday morning, has rallied 58% since the news broke and more than tripled in value since Jan. 1, according to data from CoinGecko. 

CANTO Price

Variant, which raised $450M for its third fund in July 2022, did not disclose the size of its investment. Co-founder Spencer Noon did not immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.

Canto launched in August and is an Ethereum-compatible blockchain built on Cosmos, which bills itself as the ‘internet of blockchains’ connecting different blockchains into a meta-blockchain system. According to its website, it was built to “deliver on the promise of DeFi.”

Canto has surged to become the fifth largest Cosmos blockchain, with more than $100M in total value locked (TVL), according to Defi Llama. The number of people using Canto has more than doubled since December, according to Variant.

“Its initial innovations are primarily socioeconomic: mechanisms for funding public goods and developer activity on the network,” Variant wrote in a blog post announcing its investment.

No-Fee Model

Canto features a decentralized exchange, a lending market and a stablecoin featuring a “soft” dollar peg, called NOTE. According to Variant, each is designed to complement the others, and is free to use.

Canto was among several protocols highlighted in a 2023 “shopping list” promoted by crypto influencer Adam Cochran earlier this week.

“My hunch is we see these novel feeless implementations start to experiment on Canto in the coming months,” Cochran wrote, “and if they can start to capture some of that market, there is large growth potential ahead of them, in a way that supports accessible and affordable products.”