The race to build a social media platform on the blockchain


It’s easy to be skeptical of the big social media giants. They typically sell user data to advertisers and have been mired in controversy for their approach to content moderation. Web3 proponents think they can build a new system altogether that sidesteps the concentrated power of platforms — a decentralized social media (DeSo) ecosystem where users ideally have more ownership over the content they create.

DSCVR, a blockchain-based social network built on Dfinity’s Internet Computer protocol, has entered the race to build a scalable DeSo platform with $9 million in seed funding led by Polychain Capital. Other participants in the round include Upfront Ventures, Tomahawk VC, Fyrfly Venture Partners, Shima Capital and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI), according to the company.

It’s a competitive space with plenty of startups and large companies racing to build a network that provides utility for its users. Earlier this month, ex-Coinbase employee Dan Romero secured $30 million led by a16z to develop Farcaster, a DeSo protocol that allows users to move their social identity across different apps. TechCrunch covered another seed-stage startup, Primitives, that raised a $4 million round in May for its own Solana-based DeSo network. Big tech is in the game, too — Twitter funds an offshoot of its service called BlueSky, an open-source DeSo project founded in 2019 that hasn’t gone live but is experimenting publicly with its development process.

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