Taiko raises $37 million to advance web3 development for a censorship-resistant internet.

In the dynamic domain of cryptocurrency, a visionary group of pioneers recognizes the transformative potential of blockchain technology to decentralize various facets of human life, aiming for a broader societal benefit. Daniel Wang, the founder of Taiko, stands out in this group with his company’s commitment to crafting web3 infrastructure that champions a censorship-resistant internet.

Wang’s journey into decentralization began with an ambition to revolutionize social media through blockchain. At an Ethereum developer conference last November, he shared his vision for a future where blockchain’s inherent features, such as distributed data storage and community-driven content moderation, empower users to freely express themselves online without the fear of censorship. “I hope the next generation can grow up being free and able to say anything on the internet,” Wang stated, underscoring the importance of freedom of expression for societal progress.

His initial plan was to develop a decentralized app (dApp) on Ethereum, a leading blockchain platform co-founded by Vitalik Buterin, known for its smart contracts that automate the execution of agreements. However, Wang soon recognized the challenges posed by Ethereum’s scalability and the centralization tendencies of its “Layer 2” solutions. Despite these solutions, such as “rollups,” aiming to enhance transaction capacity by processing them on secondary chains, Wang observed a compromise on decentralization, a core principle of web3 ethos.

Driven by the realization of these limitations, Wang founded Taiko in March 2022, dedicating the company to the development of truly decentralized social platforms. Over the past two years, Taiko has capitalized on the growing interest in rollups within the web3 space, successfully raising US$37 million through three funding rounds. The latest Series A funding round, amounting to US$15 million, attracted investments from notable entities like Lightspeed Faction, Hashed, and Generative Ventures, propelling Taiko to unicorn status.

Taiko’s mission extends beyond funding successes. With a recent announcement of US$30 million in developer grants and the launch of its latest testnet attracting significant participation, the company is steadfast in its goal to facilitate a decentralized, user-owned social network. Wang draws parallels between Taiko and Ethereum’s decentralized ethos, aspiring for Taiko to serve as a public good in the digital realm.

Despite the enthusiasm, Wang is mindful of the challenges ahead, particularly in ensuring content quality and safety on decentralized networks. He proposes the concept of a “relayer” to mediate content according to each network’s unique standards while also highlighting the importance of token incentives to encourage quality content creation in a landscape where traditional ownership structures do not apply.

As Taiko navigates the complexities of web3 development, Wang remains optimistic about the future of decentralized social platforms, believing that the journey towards crypto’s mass adoption is paved with incremental technological advancements.

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