Near Protocol (NEAR), the native token on the proof-of-stake (PoS)  blockchain, rose sharply in the past 12 hours after the platform’s decentralized exchange, Trisolaris, raised $4.5 million in its latest funding round.

NEAR surged as much as 13% to $17.86, and was trading close to a record high of $20.2. The token also jumped 27% in the past week, as increased interest in Ethereum’s (ETH) switch to a PoS model spilled over into other projects. Top altcoins Cardano (ADA) and Solana (SOL) have also benefited greatly from this trend.

The Near Protocol is a community-built blockchain that has been described as a more efficient version of ETH, with faster transaction speeds and better operability with other networks. The project was also recently selected by Orange DAO as its preferred layer-1 blockchain, which will see NEAR invest $15 million into Orange.

Trisolaris sees VC interest

Trisolaris, which is the largest decentralized exchange on the Near protocol, said it raised $4.5 million in a funding round led by Electric Capital, with participation from Jump Crypto, Dragonfly Capital, Leminscap and Ethereal Ventures.

The exchange said it will apply the new capital towards increasing total liquidity on the platform, as well as hiring more people and establishing cross-chain swaps with NEAR.

The news benefits NEAR, given that the token is used widely in depositing on Trisolaris. Wrapped Near (WNEAR), which is an encrypted, tradeable form of the token used to trade on Trisolaris, appeared to be performing slightly better than NEAR following the news.

Trisolaris currently has $239.8 million in total value locked. The exchange intends to expand liquidity to above $500 million.

NEAR trades around record highs

NEAR had hit its last all-time high shortly after raising $150 million in a funding round led by Three-Arrows Capital, with participation from several major crypto funds including Dragonfly, a16z and Alameda.

The token has greatly benefited from increasing interest in its main competitor, ETH, and is currently just a few dollars short of a record high hit in January. Improving sentiment in the crypto market has also attracted vast amounts of capital into altcoins, with recent gains in NEAR likely reflecting as much.

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