Pontem Network, a decentralized application that seeks to connect Facebook’s Diem to public blockchains like Ethereum (ETH), has raised $4.5 million in seed investments, setting the stage for continued development of the ambitious digital currency project. 

The Pontem Network is described as a Polkadot Substrate-based chain, which means it can serve as a testnet for Facebook’s Diem blockchain. By utilizing a Polkadot parachain, Pontem can introduce developers to Diem’s potential, allowing them to validate their ideas before submitting to the Diem Association.

Pontem co-founder Stas Oskin said his platform’s vision is to “allow developers to build for Diem and at the same time enjoy the liquidity, data, and user base of Polkadot.”

Jehan Chu, co-founder and managing partner of Kinetic Capital, one of Pontem’s backers, said:

“Pontem is an audacious project in that it not only creates a testing ground for Diem, possibly the largest and most adopted blockchain project in the world, but also an active proving ground for new protocols and communities.”

Pontem also announced its intent to hire new talent to continue scaling the project. The company recently recruited Alejo Pinto, formerly of BlockFi, for the role of chief growth officer. He said: 

“Pontem’s vision of a decentralized framework for Facebook’s crypto project will ensure that the bureaucracy of a permissioned blockchain system doesn’t hinder innovation in our goal towards financial inclusion.” 

The Facebook-backed Diem Association is reportedly set to launch its stablecoin pilot later this year. As Cointelegraph previously reported, the pilot centers around a United States-backed stablecoin.

Diem is considered to be a scaled-back version of an original cryptocurrency project that was first introduced by Facebook in 2019. Diem rebranded from Libra in late 2020, denoting the project’s fresh start from its previous associations.