A new blockchain project launched with an incredible $200 million raise.Among the backers are a who’s-who of venture capitalists (VC) in the blockchain space. Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Pantera Capital, Polychain Capital, Distributed Global, and even Coinbase poured money into this new project.
It’s called Decentralized Social. Or DeSo for short. And as the name implies, it’s a decentralized social media platform built on the blockchain. DeSo will have many of the same features as Facebook and Twitter. In fact, over one hundred applications have already been built for it. And the project is in the process of creating a foundation to fund additional app development. That will help expand the ecosystem even more. And here’s the key feature – DeSo is not owned by any corporation or government.
There’s no single entity that controls it. And that means DeSo is impervious to the types of censorship that we have seen on the big-tech platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others. Each of those platforms has recently banned speech that does not fit their own political narrative. This includes deleting content and banning users, and even censoring peer-reviewed scientific research.
We need something that will restore free speech, all the free exchange of ideas, and not filter information. DeSo may very well be the solution. DeSo was founded by Nader Al-Naji. Al-Naji is a former software engineer from Google who also anonymously founded the crypto-based social network BitClout under the pseudonym “Diamondhands.” BitClout will now live on the DeSo blockchain, and its native token CLOUT will move over to the DeSo blockchain as well. It will be renamed as the DESO token.
What makes Al-Naji so interesting is what he did before starting BitClout. In late 2017, Al-Naji was the founder of a stablecoin startup called Basis. Basis attempted to pioneer an algorithmic stablecoin. That’s a stablecoin whose supply – and thus its value – was governed by computer software.
This is very different from the stablecoins we know today like the U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC) and Tether (USDT). USDC and USDT are supposed to be backed one-to-one with U.S. dollars. They are asset-backed coins, which is why their value is stable. Of course, asset-backed stablecoins require dollars held in a centralized account somewhere.
That means they rely on a third party to maintain the assets and thus their value. Basis wanted to remove those third parties from the picture by eliminating the need for asset backing. The problem was the team couldn’t find a way to get the stablecoin approved within the current regulatory framework. That’s why the project shut down.
And when that happened, Al-Naji did something very unique. He returned all the money he had raised back to his investors. That very rarely happens. By doing this, Al-Naji engendered a lot of trust in the VC community. And that’s why DeSo was able to launch with such incredible VC backing.
So what we are witnessing here is the birth of what very well could be a legitimate competitor to Facebook and Twitter. DeSo has the right idea at the right time, and it has a trustworthy team driving its growth forward. That’s the recipe for success. And it shows us once more the incredible opportunity we have with blockchain technology. We’re going to develop not only new forms of social media, but a next-generation internet… And so much more.
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