The web 3.0 gateway for social media networks

Project Description

What

Mask Network is a middleware protocol that acts as the gateway to web 3.0 for users of existing social media platforms, namely Facebook and Twitter.

By using modern encryption techniques, Mask Network allows you to:

  • Share encrypted files.
  • Limit visibility of posts, for example limiting to only your friends.
  • Safely pay and tip each other in a decentralized way or even start an unstoppable fundraising campaign.
  • Directly interact with decentralized applications (e.g. Uniswap, NFT marketplace).

Direct interactions with decentralized applications will be made possible by displaying dApps on top of the current webpage. This not only increases user experience and ease of access but further changes the possibilities in which dApps can be accessed. This will be fundamental for the emergence of what Mask Network calls a “dapplet ecosystem”, in which several dApps can be easily accessed and interacted with while browsing web 2.0 websites. Developers will be able to contribute to this dapplet ecosystem by using Mask Network’s SDK.

Mask Network recently launched its CMC and Uniswap integration. This allows you to directly get all the key information about a mentioned coin or token right on Twitter, and even purchase it through your linked wallet. Mask Network will soon launch Wallet Connect and hardware wallet support.

Just bought crypto *directly on Twitter* via Uniswap with @realmaskbook wallet. So cool.

September 25th 2020

199 Retweets748 Likes

Why

There have been many attempts to build alternative social media networks or even alternative networks, e.g. Tor, to achieve privacy for users. Unfortunately, the network effects of existing products are often too high or the user experience of privacy-preserving alternatives not good enough.

The majority of social media network users know about the various problems, namely:

  • Data leakage and third party security risks
  • Censorship and centralization
  • Data silos and inaccessibility
  • Loss of privacy and data autonomy

Despite the importance of such topics, no alternative product has been able to gain traction yet. Replicating the experience of Twitter or Facebook would require all of its existing users to make the switch, something which might never happen.

For this reason, Mask Network chose to improve the experience of using existing social media networks.

How

Mask Network is accessible via a browser extension (e.g. Chrome Extension). This browser extension allows for the previously described overlay functionality. Therefore, Mask Network uses centralized services, like Twitter and Facebook, as its infrastructure.

The process to link your account is very simple and mostly automated. You will have a wallet-like dashboard, and the user experience on Twitter is only different if you compose an encrypted tweet or decrypt a tweet of someone else. Mask Network is completely opt-in, and for every post you make, you can decide whether to encrypt it or not. Your everyday social media browsing experience will not be impacted in any way as you can continue to see everyone’s posts normally.

Due to the architecture of Mask Network, centralized services cannot block it. The last resort for social media networks would be to ban users who use Mask Network, which would probably result in substantial brand damage and a negative feedback loop for the respective platform. There is no effective way to shut Mask Network down.

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Stage of Maturity

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Token Model

Initially, Mask Network will not charge any fees. Token holders will have the opportunity to change key parameters of the network through Mask Network’s governance process. This means that token holders could decide to charge fees for a particular service Mask Network is offering, for example, a fee on the NFT marketplace integration. This fee could then be distributed to token holders, used to buyback and burn MASK tokens or whatever the token holders see as the best strategy.

Furthermore, all important financial decisions of Mask Network will be taken by token holders in the future. The DAO will be truly community governed, and the team will not skip the community governance decisions, as it’s common among current DAO setups (e.g. Maker selling tokens OTC without token holder consent).

All in all, the token holders will decide about the monetization and value capturing mechanisms of Mask Network.

Product Development

Mask Network has launched various live features already:

  • Dashboard to link your Twitter and Facebook account, inclusive of a wallet functionality.
  • Encrypted posts.
  • “Red Packet” dapplet live: tipping and sending payments easily on top of social media networks.
  • Storage functionality on Arweave.
  • CMC integration for key coin/token information right on social media.
  • Uniswap integration to directly buy and sell right on social media.

Soon, Mask Network will focus on the release of an NFT marketplace and multiple wallet integrations, and this includes hardware wallet support and support for Wallet Connect.


Go-To-Market and Growth Strategy

Tapping into a huge target market like “all social media network users” would not be narrow enough for an early-stage product. For that reason, Mask Network identified a few key strategies for early user acquisition:

Growth Strategy

Mask Network has a detailed growth strategy in place, which allows to divide the user base of Twitter and Facebook into smaller groups and conquer them in a more focused manner. The team will share details about their strategy only in person.

Network effects

When a post is encrypted with Mask Network, it prompts readers of the encrypted post to download the browser extension for decryption. This effectively means that whenever someone uses Mask Network for the creation of a post, a comment or any of the integrated various functionalities, the person’s whole network will be exposed to Mask Network and learn about it.

“Regulatory arbitrage”

Mask Network dapplets cannot be blocked. Therefore, Mask Network could extend existing social networks and step in where Web 2.0 is stopped by regulation. One popular example is that charity fundraising efforts reaching $100k-$200k in funding via PayPal or Venmo often get stopped due to AML concerns. Alternative use cases could include: cross border money transfer, purchase of multimedia content (18+), crypto social gaming and trading or even recovery of deleted posts.

Cryptocurrency users

Through the possibilities of the dapplet ecosystem, Mask Network plans to attract active users of cryptocurrencies. Possible early integrations could include CrypoKitties and similar NFT dApps, Yearn and comparable products.

This will also be supported by an “Initial Twitter Offering” in which you can purchase a limited allocation of MASK by using the Chrome extension Maskbook linked to your Twitter account. KOLs of crypto Twitter will support this process.

Mask Network recently launched its Uniswap integration and will soon launch an NFT marketplace.


Key Metrics

  • 4 — founders
  • 17 — full-time employees
  • $2.15m — paid-in capital to date (Angels & VCs)
  • ~$30k — Monthly burn rate
    • Salary + Office: 60%
    • Marketing, Growth: 30%
    • M&A and grants: 10%
  • ~20,000 — total number of browser plug-in and mobile app users

Key Highlights

  • Mask Network launched a campaign for their “Red Packet” dapplet during Lunar New Year with support from MakerDAO and the likes of Vitalik Buterin testing it. This resulted in over 1000+ daily DAI transactions using Mask Network.
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  • Growth deal with a known browser (details available upon request).
  • Projects which will fully integrate Mask Network:
    • Twidere, the largest twitter third party clients on android, 500k installations (only counts google play); 50k+ June MAU, expect to surpass 100k MAU by the end of the year.
    • Mastdon.jp & Mastodon.cloud (6% of the entire Mastodon Fediverse users, 3rd & 5th largest instances of Mastodon, 300k users).

Founding Team

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Current Presence


Fundraising Objectives

Upon successful completion of this round, Mask Network plans to open an office in North America or the EU, expand the team, start with growth hacking and execute on their growth strategy.

Current backers include:

  • Dec 2017: $600k angel investment led by FreeS (Feng Li, ex IDG partner, ex-board at Ripple), 6m valuation.
  • Oct 2018: $550k seed investment by Tony Tao (ex-president of NEO, GP of NGC), 10m valuation.
  • 2019: $1.5m series A investment by HashKey (Wanxiang Blockchain) and Angels, 15m valuation.
  • Grants from Arweave and a major browser.
  • Token Sale: HashKey (follow-up investment), Fenbushi, IOSG, SNZ.

All equity investors will also receive tokens (see below).

Token Distribution Details

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Private Sale

In the upcoming token offering, Mask Network wants to sell 13% of their total MASK supply for $3.95m at a total valuation of ~$30m. The raise is divided into three different rounds:

  1. Strategic Round A: 3% of total supply for $0.6m with a 6 months cliff and 18 months vesting thereafter. The valuation of this round is the same as of the last equity round. The strategic round is sold out.
  2. Strategic Round B: 4.5% of total supply for $1.35m with a 3 months cliff and 12-month linear vesting after listing. $1m has already been raised for this round; therefore, $500k is still to-be-raised.
  3. Private Round: 4% of total supply for $2m with a 12-month linear vesting after listing.

Initial Twitter Offering

The Initial Twitter Offering details are still to be announced.

Equity Investors

Equity investors will receive 15% of the total supply for the total raise of $2.15m. Their tokens will be vested linearly for 18 months after listing.

Ecosystem Reserve

Mask Network will allocate 15% of the total token supply to the “Shell DAO”, which will be used for ecosystem initiatives and growth and will be vested. Token holders will govern the DAO. The governance process will be designed as quadratic voting.

Therefore, the unlocks and the usage of the DAO funds will be decided by the community.

Internal Reserve

The team will allocate 34% of the total supply to the “Ghost DAO”, which will be reserved for internal usage and will be vested. This can include incentive schemes and future secondary offers. The Ghost DAO will, for example, deal with the allocation of funds. This can be about grants, future ecosystem initiatives, incentives or even whether to sell tokens OTC to an investor in the future.

Team

The team will receive 20% of the total supply of MASK with a vesting schedule of 4 years.

Future Team

Mask Network reserved 3% of the total supply for future team members, which are also on a 4-year vesting schedule.


This overview has been prepared solely for informational purposes and is not to be considered as investment advice. It does not purport to contain all of the information that may be required or desirable to evaluate all of the factors that might be relevant to a potential investor, and any recipient hereof should conduct its own due diligence investigation and analysis to make an independent determination of the suitability and consequences of any action.