Binance Labs and CoinFund have joined forces to lead a $10 million funding round for Neutron, a cross-chain smart contract platform that focuses on interchain security within the Cosmos ecosystem.

Binance Labs, the investment arm of prominent cryptocurrency exchange Binance, took the lead in this funding round, as announced in a blog post on Wednesday.

CoinFund, a cryptonative investment firm, co-led the funding alongside Binance Labs. The round also saw participation from other notable investors, including Delphi Ventures, LongHash, and Nomad.

The funds raised will be utilized to support the development and expansion of Neutron’s blockchain software and foster growth within its ecosystem, according to Binance’s announcement.

The objective is to create an environment that attracts a broader community of developers and projects, with the aim of fostering innovation, security, and user-friendliness in decentralized applications (DApps).

Binance’s Chief Business Officer, Yibo Ling, highlighted the innovative nature of Neutron’s engineering capabilities and tech stack, emphasizing their potential to serve as essential infrastructure for a wide range of developers on the Cosmos Hub.

Neutron, which was launched in May 2021, operates as a cross-chain smart contract platform leveraging the interchain security feature called Replicated Security (RS) within the Cosmos ecosystem. Through RS, consumer chains gain access to validators on the Cosmos Hub, the central and oldest chain within the Cosmos ecosystem, enabling them to run secure applications in a cost-effective manner.

It’s important to note that Neutron offers interoperability across the 51 blockchains within the Cosmos network. This means that developers can easily create and connect decentralized applications (dapps) across different chains, enhancing their flexibility and utility.

Avril Dutheil, a founding contributor of Neutron, highlighted the platform’s purpose in addressing three key challenges faced by smart contract developers in Cosmos: security, credible neutrality, and access to cross-chain infrastructure.

RS solves the first two challenges, while Neutron’s cross-chain infrastructure enables smart contracts to seamlessly realize cross-chain functions over the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol.

In parallel to these developments, the field of artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a popular buzzword this year, particularly with the successful launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

This has captured the attention of venture capital (VC) firms worldwide, leading to significant investments in AI startups to tap into this thriving market.

The first quarter of this year witnessed approximately $18 billion in funding raised by the AI industry, with some of the funding coming at the expense of crypto companies.

According to Evan Cheng, the founder of Mysten Labs, AI startups are now receiving a substantial portion of the venture capital money that was previously directed towards the crypto industry.

During an interview with Forkast News on Word on the Block, Cheng explained that while early-stage crypto companies can still secure funding, their valuations have been impacted by the recent crypto market downturn.