Minds, Inc., a crypto social network, has raised US$6 million in a Series A investment from Medici Ventures, the wholly-owned blockchain subsidiary of Overstock.com. Overstock.com’s founder and CEO Patrick Byrne has joined Minds’ board of directors.
Founded in 2011, Minds is an open-source, community-owned social networking platform that rewards users for their activity online. The startup says its goal is to “help create a free and open Internet where privacy is ensured and people are fairly compensated for their efforts online with viral reach and revenue opportunity.”
Features include news feed, video, images, blogs, groups, search, encrypted messenger, cryptocurrency wallets, exclusive content paywalls, promoted posts, tipping, and a token reward system.
Minds recently launched its Minds token on the Ethereum Mainnet, a utility token that can be exchanged for premium features, advertising views on content, custom rewards from individual channels, and services on the Minds network, including Boost, Wire and Plus. The tokens can be used for instance to receive promoted views on a piece of content or to pay for exclusive content from another channel. Users are rewarded daily with crypto tokens for their contributions to the network.
Commenting on his company’s latest participation in Minds, Byrne said:
“There has been increasing excitement in recent years over the power of blockchain technology to liberate individuals and organizations. Minds’ work employing blockchain technology as a social media application is the next great innovation toward mainstream use of this world-changing technology.”
Medici Ventures was launched in 2014 to manage and oversee the firm’s investments in firms building solutions leveraging and servicing blockchain technologies. Medici Ventures’ portfolio includes the likes of Bitt, Ripio, Factom, IdentityMind, Symbiont, and Peernova, and its majority-owned fintech company, tZERO, executed the world’s first blockchain-based stock offering in December 2016.
Minds is part of the growing list of startups leveraging blockchain technology to provide decentralized, censorship-resistant social networking platforms that reward users for contributing.
These include Sapien, a platform built on Ethereum that describes itself as an alternative to social networks Facebook and Google, Steemit, a social network à la Reddit built on the Steem blockchain, Indorse, a LinkedIn-like decentralized platform based on the Ethereum blockchain, and Sola, a decentralized social networking app and platform.