The Defiant

Morpheus AI Launch Attracts $50M Within Hours

The decentralized AI network is developing open-source ‘Smart Agents’ that can interact with smart contracts on behalf of users.

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Morpheus AI Launch Attracts $50M Within Hours

Investors have plowed over $50M into the fair launch of Morpheus, a peer-to-peer network of what the project calls ‘Smart Agents’ – AIs that can interact with smart contracts on behalf of users.

Morpheus aims to make Web3 more accessible by providing a neutral ChatGPT-like chat interface, enabling users to easily buy or sell crypto, send stablecoins, access smart contracts, and use dapps and DeFi protocols.

To incentivize the network, Morpheus is launching its MOR token, which has a fixed supply of 42M. Users can deposit stETH to accrue MOR emissions. The project plans to use the yield generated from user deposits to fund a pool of protocol-owned liquidity.

Shapeshift founder Erik Voorhees, who is a contributor to the project, told The Defiant that while the Morpheus network is yet to go live, an early version of the node software is up and running.

“I’m just a humble community member. There is no corporation or foundation of any kind. No investors. No token sale. The project is entirely open-source and community-based,” Voorhees said.

Roughly nine hours after going live, nearly 22,000 stETH ($52M) has been deposited. Investors have the option of withdrawing their funds after seven days, with the MOR token expected to start trading after 90 days.

MOR Fair Launch
MOR Fair Launch

“We’re now at $60M, and we’re only 12 hours in. I’m blown away actually. I was predicting maybe $10-$15M on the first day,” said Voorhees.

The release of Morpheus comes at a time when there is a growing demand for open-source alternatives to existing popular large language models, which are controlled by tech giants like Microsoft and Google.

“If AI is not decentralized, quickly, it will be captured by a few entities and succumb to the sordid molestations of the politicians above them. This would likely lead to a dystopian, anti-human and anti-tech outcome,” Voorhees said. “We’re building open-source, permissionless AI for the sake of civilizational progress, and the only way to do this is with decentralized economic protocols.”

In its whitepaper, Morpheus presents itself as an accessible, standardized graphical interface with an API for developers, a cloud solution for software access, and a comprehensive system for managing user data and recovery.

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The project chose to deploy the MOR token on Arbitrum, the leading Ethereum Layer 2 network by total value locked (TVL).

“Arbitrum has 2-3x the user metrics of Polygon, though I think either would’ve been a fine choice,” Voorhees said, joking that “the AI network requires low-cost transactions, and we sure as hell weren’t gonna build it on Solana ;)”

UPDATED @ 2/8 10pm ET to add comments from Erik Voorhees

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