In brief

  • Aave has launched Lens Protocol, an NFT-based decentralized social media protocol that runs on Polygon.
  • Lens Protocol can power an array of potential social media apps and services.

Popular DeFi lending protocol Aave is going a very different route for its latest Web3 project, today announcing the public launch of Lens Protocol, a decentralized social graph that uses NFT assets to power social media platforms.

While Lens Protocol appears designed to challenge centralized social media platforms like Twitter, it takes a very different approach. Essentially, it lets users own their content by storing it as NFTs—unique blockchain-based tokens—within a crypto wallet. The protocol can be tapped by any number of apps or services, so anyone can build on it.

Lens Protocol is built on Polygon, a sidechain scaling solution for Ethereum, the leading blockchain platform for decentralized apps (dapps) and NFTs. Polygon enables faster, cheaper, and less energy-intensive transactions than Ethereum’s own mainnet, making it more viable for a social network built around a potentially large number of NFT assets.

Social media is seen as an ideal use case for blockchain technology, enabling platforms that are censorship-resistant and let users own, control, and possibly profit from their own content.

Such platforms have yet to approach the scale of giants like Twitter and Facebook, although the Ethereum-based Minds is one notable example—it claimed to have 14 million total users as of June 2021.

Lens Protocol was first teased last June, when Aave founder and CEO Stani…

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