Blockstack, the Winklevoss twins-backed decentralized web development platform has set aside $1 million to support the creation of blockchain-based social network projects.
The company is aiming to support the endeavors of startups looking to leverage blockchain technology into affecting the decentralization of the social media paradigm. The chosen projects will be expected to design a useful social network that runs on a blockchain. Blockstack is also offering selected design teams an opportunity to present their work on upcoming Blockstack Summits.
The $1 Million Fund
The company will not set strict guidelines as to the exact architecture of the projects leaving developers with the freedom to determine what type of concepts to pursue. Blockstack, however, hopes that participating teams will prioritize DApps that focus on privacy and the preservation of digital rights. In a blog post on the Blockstart website announcing the move, the company said:
“Teams have the autonomy to build different features or target broad or narrow audiences. They could build online networks for activists in authoritarian countries or forums for people with a shared illness. Their apps could have completely new features or take interface cues from Facebook or Twitter. They’ll have to prove product-market fit and show an ability to reach mass adoption.”
Each participating developer or project team will be given a $100,000 grant to work on their project. There are a plethora of social networks that can be built, ranging from uncensored microblogs to journalistic platforms that enable the dissemination of free speech in hostile countries, etc. Project developers can also create social media platforms targeted at human rights issues for communities like immigrants and the LGBT movement.
Apart from the grant, teams can also monetize their networks by introducing reward systems. To do this, they take advantage of building on the Blockstack platform with all of its accompanying benefits including identity management and data storage infrastructure.
Blockstack: Pioneering the Decentralization of Social Media
The $1 million fund is in keeping with Blockstack’s mandate of decentralizing the way people connect and interact on the internet. Identity management and the need for users to be in control of their data has been a focal point of company’s philosophy. Blockstack, formerly known as OneName has been at the heart of this issue since it was established in 2013. With the recent Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company feels the time is right for its dream of a decentralized internet to come to fruition.
According to Ryan Shea, the co-founder of Blockstack, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology have the potential to disrupt the internet. In a recent interview, he said:
“The euphoria around cryptocurrencies will fuel the interest in decentralized applications,” Shea told Forbes. “And decentralized social networks will potentially be the largest category to benefit.”
The $1 million fund is part of the proceeds of the company’s ICO in November 2017 which had notable investors like the Winklevoss twins and Union Square Ventures. The ICO raised $50 million.