StarkWare, the developer behind Ethereum Layer 2, has extended the timeline for the initial release of its native StarkNet (STRK) tokens by more than five months.
As per data from Etherscan, the new release date is now April 15, 2024, a shift from the previously set date of November 29, 2023. In response to this delay, a spokesperson from StarkWare stated, “Our primary focus is on advancing the technology. We are adjusting the roadmap as necessary, which includes revising the lockup schedule.”
The exact number of tokens impacted by this postponement remains unclear. The total supply of STRK tokens stands at ten billion, and currently, STRK tokens are not tradable.
It’s worth noting that the tokens scheduled for the initial unlock are held by core contributors, early supporters of the StarkWare ecosystem, and StarkWare employees, rather than the general public, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation as reported by The Block.
Importantly, the delay in the first token unlocks does not necessarily imply that subsequent unlock schedules will also be postponed, as these events are not always interconnected, according to the source.
StarkNet’s native token
StarkWare deployed the STRK token on the Ethereum network in November 2022 after announcing its intention to introduce its own token in July 2022. At that time, the project outlined a four-year lockup period for STRK tokens allocated to shareholders, employees, and independent software developers. The gradual release of these tokens was set to commence after one year, which translates to November 2023.
In November of the previous year, the Starknet Foundation was also established, with 50.1% of the total STRK token supply allocated to realize StarkNet’s decentralization vision. The STRK token serves various purposes within the StarkNet network, including covering transaction fees, participating in governance, and facilitating staking.
StarkWare attained a valuation of $8 billion in May 2022 following a successful Series D funding round, where it raised $100 million. The round was co-led by Greenoaks Capital and Coatue. The project, founded in 2017, offers two key products: StarkEx, a tailored Ethereum scaling engine with permissioned access, and StarkNet, a permissionless decentralized ZK-rollup platform that supports the independent deployment of smart contracts. The primary aim of Ethereum scaling networks like StarkWare is to enhance the network’s transaction throughput while reducing gas fees. Several notable crypto projects, including Sorare and Immutable, have adopted StarkWare’s technology.
Additionally, StarkWare counted Three Arrows Capital (3AC) as an investor. 3AC, once a prominent crypto hedge fund and now insolvent, participated in StarkWare’s fundraising rounds, including the $75 million Series B and the $50 million Series C rounds. In light of 3AC’s bankruptcy, its liquidator, Teneo, assumed control of 3AC’s StarkWare tokens in December, having acquired them under the original deal terms. The delay in unlocking STRK tokens could potentially impact Teneo’s asset recovery process.