Polygon and Reddit co-founder launch $200 million Web3 initiative for social media

    18 Dec 2021

    Ethereum scaling project Polygon and Seven Seven Six, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s venture capital firm, have jointly launched a $200 million initiative to invest in Web3 social media and gaming projects.

    On Friday, Polygon and Alexis Ohanian’s VC firm, Seven Seven Six, announced a $200 million initiative backing projects operating at the intersection of social media and so-called Web 3.0. The initiative will focus on gaming applications and social media platforms built on Polygon’s infrastructure.

    The funding initiative is denominated in dollars and not in Polygon’s MATIC tokens, Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal told The Block. It will invest in startups building on Polygon’s technology and back their equity as well as token rounds, said Nailwal.

    Sandeep Nailwal described social media business models as having a “profound impact on our world,” especially in light of Web 3.0, which is a broad concept that refers to the next generation of the internet. Through Web 3.0, “Users create the value, control the network and reap the rewards,” he said.

    Polygon and Seven Seven Six look to “contribute to a fair internet where users control their data and privacy,” Nailwal added. Each party’s contribution isn’t known. Nailwal declined to comment on that detail.

    This initiative is Seven Seven Six’s second such initiative focused on Web3 social media projects. Last month, the firm launched a $100 million effort for projects building on Solana.

    Web 3.0, or Web3, refers to a potential new internet iteration that runs on public blockchains, the record-keeping technology best known for facilitating cryptocurrency transactions. The appeal of Web3 is that it is decentralized, so that instead of users accessing the internet through services mediated by the likes of Google, Apple, or Facebook, it’s the individuals themselves who own and control pieces of the internet. In addition, Web3 does not require “permission,” meaning that central authorities don’t dictate who uses what services, nor is there a need for “trust,” referring to the idea that an intermediary does not need to facilitate virtual transactions between two or more parties. Finally, web3 theoretically protects user privacy better as well because it’s these authorities and intermediaries that are doing most of the data collection.

    Currently, a number of large companies and venture capital firms are already investing huge sums in building Web3; however, it’s hard to imagine that their involvement wouldn’t amount to some centralized power.

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