Mask Network acquires Mastodon server

Quick Take

  • Mask Network has acquired, the second-largest Mastodon server.
  • Mask aims to play a crucial role in driving the future growth of decentralized social media.

Mask Network, a privacy-focused tool that allows users to send encrypted messages and cryptocurrencies over the top of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, acquired, a server on the decentralized social media platform Mastodon.

Pawoo is Mastodon's second-largest server, with around 800,000 users, Mask Network said Wednesday while announcing the acquisition via its entity Social Coop Ltd. Pawoo has been operating since 2017 from Japan. As part of the deal, Mask will now take over its operation and maintenance.

Mask is not new to the Mastodon ecosystem. The network said it has been the maintainer of two of the most active servers — and — and helped build the Mastodon official iOS app with the Mastodon core team and New York-based design firm Lickability.

Mastodon was founded in 2016 and boasts around 2 million monthly active users. It recently caught the media attention as Twitter briefly suspended its account and banned promotion links to Mastodon servers. Twitter CEO Elon Musk reportedly said taking down accounts for posting links of rival Mastodon was “a mistake.”

Decentralized social network

Mask Network said the Pawoo acquisition marks another milestone towards building a decentralized social network. “We hope to play a crucial role in driving the future growth of Pawoo, of the decentralized social network, and of free, open internet,” it said.

Mask Network is backed by investors including Sino Global Capital, HashKey Capital and Balaji Srinivasan, having raised over $50 million in funding to date. In July, it launched a $42 million fund called Bonfire Union to invest in decentralized social networks, infrastructure and creative content. Mask Network is also part of the BlueSky ecosystem, according to its website. Bluesky is the decentralized social network initiative backed by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. 

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