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Lens Protocol raises $15m to foster decentralized social networking

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Aave’s Lens Protocol, aspiring to decentralize the social media landscape, has successfully secured $15 million in funding to bolster its mission of democratizing internet usage and offering users greater control over their data.

Lens Protocol, a web3 platform developed by the technology firm Aave, has secured $15 million in funding. The web3 platform aims to establish a decentralized social networking ecosystem, harnessing web3 technologies to create a more democratic, fair, and equitable internet landscape.

Aave’s CEO, Stani Kulechov, explains that the goal of Lens Protocol is to counter the dominance of conglomerates like Meta, ensuring the control of internet infrastructure and social media networks doesn’t remain with a few large entities. The mission of Lens Protocol is to empower individual users to control their data and its dissemination.

Investments and Development Plans

The latest funding round will be instrumental in extending the protocol’s ecosystem and supporting its continuous development. IDEO CoLab Ventures led the round, with participation from venture capital firms General Catalyst, Variant, Blockchain Capital, and DAOs like Flamingo DAO, DAOJones, and Punk DAO. Angel investors included notable figures such as Uniswap CEO Hayden Adams and Polygon Co-founder Sandeep Nailwal.

Since its beta launch in May 2022, Lens Protocol has been focusing on building a “neutral and flexible” platform. This adaptability enables developers to create various use cases ranging from gaming to social media, with several desktop and mobile applications currently in the pipeline.

Long-Term Vision and contribution to the ecosystem

Kulechov envisions a future where applications resembling traditional social media coexist and share monetization derived from different use cases and features. This aim aligns with creating an environment where every participant contributes, fostering open discussions on how Lens Protocol will evolve in the future.

A feature of Lens Protocol is its potential to serve as a common network across social media platforms. According to Kulechov, the platform’s users would only need to create their profiles once. If all social media platforms shared this common network, the process of establishing online presences would become much more straightforward.

What differentiates Lens Protocol from other decentralized platforms is its nature as a web3 protocol. It operates similarly to internet protocols like HTTPs and IP, providing a system that developers can build upon. Unlike mere networks, Lens serves as an underlying structure supporting various applications and services.

The surge in decentralized social media platforms has seen Lens Protocol emerge as a prominent player, given its blockchain-based infrastructure and emphasis on ownership. However, it remains to be seen whether Lens Protocol or similar ventures can achieve widespread adoption and open up web3 to a more diverse, less crypto-focused audience.

Aave has also proposed the launch of a stablecoin named GHO on the Ethereum blockchain. Stablecoins offer stability in the volatile crypto market, and GHO could enhance the value proposition of Lens Protocol by providing a stable medium of exchange within the platform.

This move expands Aave’s ecosystem, showing its commitment to a more inclusive, decentralized internet and the broad adoption of web3 technologies. As Aave continues to innovate, it aims not only to transform social networking through Lens Protocol but also to assert its presence in the stablecoin market.

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