Lines, a new crypto messaging platform, has raised $4 million in a seed round led by former Twitter VP Elad Gil, according to its co-founder Sahil Handa.
“There is a rapidly increasing number of people using crypto pseudonyms to purchase digital currency, swap NFTs, vote on proposals, and manage treasuries,” Handa, who is also Lines CEO, said today in an email. “The problem is that whenever someone tries to communicate with another person in this network, there is no way of knowing whether or not they are talking to the right person.”
This is one reason millions of dollars are lost to hacks and scams, he said, because among other problems, web3 native identity has no verifiable communications platform.
Handa said he and Lines two other co-founders, all of whom studied philosophy at Harvard, are working to solve the problem by “building an app that lets you send messages from wallet to wallet and join group chats based on the tokens you own.”
Lead investor Gil said that one of the “more interesting parts of crypto right now” is the “intersection of social messaging and web3,” according to a recent TechCrunch report. Today’s messaging tools may not be adequate, so there are opportunities to get it right, he added.
Other round participants included Hash3, Scalar Capital, Volt Capital, Caffeinated Capital, Ethereal Ventures, Mischief, Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan and Gokul Rajaram.
“As a user navigates different DAO apps and NFT platforms,” Handa said, “their Lines inbox will follow them around in the browser, enabling them to start conversations with users who hold the same tokens as them or who are members of the same communities.”
He added: “Crucially, your Lines identity can remain verifiable, pseudonymous, and secure: you control exactly what parts of your identity you share, but you can always easily prove that you hold the currency or token you say you do.”
Still, Lines may be in competition with other web3 messaging apps, as Gil told TechCrunch that he was aware of “various teams working on identity, social layers, and communication on top of web3.”
The company follows a number of other firms trying to create web3 social media offerings. Last week, Merkle Manufactory announced that it has raised $30 million to develop a social networking protocol called Farcaster. Lens Protocol was also launched with the aim of creating a basis for fair, transparent and composable social applications.
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