Decentralized Social Network Farcaster Raises $150M; Vitalik Buterin Calls for ‘ZK Likes’

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Table of Contents


  • Farcaster raised $150 million in a funding round led by Paradigm, raising its valuation to $1 billion.
  • The platform has seen considerable growth since last October, with over 350,000 paid sign-ups and a 50x increase in network activity.
  • Vitalik Buterin suggests implement zero-knowledge (ZK) likes and Farcaster to improve privacy and combat preference falsification.

Farcaster, a decentralized social media platform, has raised $150 million in a funding round led by Paradigm. This injection of capital has skyrocketed the startup’s valuation to $1 billion and will be used to expand its network based on the Ethereum blockchain and the Optimism layer 2 ecosystem. Investors who participated included a16z, Variant, Haun, USV, and Standard Crypto.

Farcaster is experiencing accelerated growth since went “unpermitted” last October, which has resulted in more than 350,000 paid signups and a 50x increase in network activity. The founder of the platform, Dan Romero, announced that the funds obtained will allow the project to sustain its development for several years, while continuing to expand its user base and add new tools for developers.

For the remainder of 2024, Farcaster will focus on hiring high-level engineers, increase the number of active users and add developer primitives to their protocols, such as channels and direct messaging. Furthermore, the platform has incorporated support for layer 1 blockchain Arbitrum, adding to the already supported Solana and Ethereum. The platform seeks to offer users greater control over their data and allow developers to add mini-applications called “frames.”

In parallel, Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, has shown his support for the implementation of zero-knowledge (ZK) likes in Farcaster. Basically make the “likes” private. Haofei, an engineer at X, explained that the public likes incentivize incorrect behavior due to fear of retaliation or the need to protect public image.

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Farcaster May Create a New Privacy Paradigm

ZK technology is a technique that allows you to prove that a statement is true without revealing confidential information. In this particular case, it would allow users to demonstrate that they have “liked” a publication without revealing their identity. Buterin raises the idea of ​​Farcaster adopting this technology to combat preference falsification, a phenomenon in which users hide their true preferences due to social pressure or fear. This proposal would aim to protect user privacy, resist censorship and promote autonomy.

However, the community has had mixed reactions to the announcement to make likes private. Some users suggested that this measure should also be applied to followers, while others expressed their disagreement.

On the other hand, Buterin has proposed solutions to mitigate the miner extracted value (MEV) problem, including MEV minimization quarantine techniques, the use of inclusion lists, and reducing the requirements to run a node. They seek to reduce network congestion, reduce merchants’ sliding needs and lower gas rates.


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