Through its grants and investments, the Interchain Foundation (ICF) supports a constellation of blockchain-based applications and services that use the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol.
For example, in 2021, ICF participated in Celestia Labs’ seed funding round, receiving a cache of TIA tokens from the blockchain startup in return. Two and a half years later, TIA hit the open market on October 31, initially trading for a little over $2. Since then, Celestia’s native token has surged to $6.30, gaining over 7% in the last week alone.
For seed investors like ICF, the latest pump translates into serious profits from what was a relatively small investment.
In a recent comment on X, Sam Hart, who worked as a grants manager for ICF at the time, confirmed that the foundation contributed $100,000 to Celestia Labs’ $1.5M funding round.
Given that seed investors received 15.9% of the total TIA supply, it follows that ICF received 1.06% of all tokens.
Based on the token’s current price, TIA now has a fully diluted market capitalization of nearly $6.33B. In other words, the tokens ICF received from Celestia’s initial coin allocation are now worth around $70M.
Although ICF has traditionally focused much of its attention on Cosmos Hub, the foundation’s remit extends much further, and it has also supported a number of other chains built using Cosmos Software Development Kit (SDK), including Celestia, whose rising prominence within the ecosystem could divert attention away from other platforms.
At 10% of the total ATOM supply, ICF’s interest in Cosmos Hub is proportionally larger than its stake in Celestia.
Yet less than a month after the latter’s mainnet launch, TIA has already surpassed ATOM’s market cap, and momentum is on its side. If things keep going the way they have been, ICF’s responsibility for nurturing the entire Cosmos ecosystem without prejudice could see it channeling more resources toward the nascent Celestia network.
With Cosmos Hub facing an existential crisis as a divided community prepares for a looming hardfork, Celestia is a strong contender to become the new face of the Cosmos.
Thanks to its modular architecture and open-ended language support, the new platform also aligns with ICF’s commitment to enhance interoperability between the Interchain Network and other blockchain ecosystems. Alongside initiatives such as Datachain’s work on the IBC protocol’s Solidity implementation, Celestia could pave the way for greater Cosmos-Ethereum connectivity, for example.
For the foreseeable future, the Cosmos Hub will likely remain the Interchain Network’s economic center, but post-fork, its function as the locus of innovation is no longer guaranteed. With the support of ICF, developers continue to expand the universe of Inter-Blockchain Communication and advance the vision of a more connected Web3 landscape.