Web3 Social Ecosystem Round Brief

Mask Network
4 min readJun 7, 2022



Mask Network is excited to host the first-ever Web3 Social Network ecosystem matching round with Gitcoin to help web3 social-related projects flourish using Quadratic Funding.

Mask just hosted ETH Shanghai Hackathon with a focus on Web 3 social network along with 20 other partners including the most notable names in the space. We just witnessed over 300 submissions across the board racing to piece together the next generation social network, as well as over $140k total prize.

We’d like to extend the momentum with this grant round so that projects coming out of the Hackathon, along with other projects within the Web3 Social Space, can have better exposure to the general public and a better chance to gain more public funding.

Quadratic Funding (QF) is the mathematically optimal way to fund public goods in a democratic community. With QF the number of unique contributors matters more than the amount funded, giving power to the majority and not the wealthiest. QF has been established as a powerful mechanism to support open source, bootstrap ecosystems, and share resources in an egalitarian manner.

Why you should participate

The Web3 Social Ecosystem Round will run as part of Gitcoin Grants Round 14. This round will be held on gitcoin.co/grants and is open to all grantees who fit the eligibility guidelines below. Mask believes this is a fantastic way to let our community decide which projects deserve funding. The matching pool will be $50k in total, out of which $40k will be provided by Mask Network. Only donations during this round will be counted towards the QF distribution of the matching funds (GR14 will run from June 8–23, 2022). We are excited to see the projects and support from the community!

By participating in grant round, projects will benefit from several highlights. First, they will not only receive funds from the main round but also from the Mask ecosystem round. Second, this grant round will draw vast attention from developers and VCs, as well as influence the Web3 community. Grant Round allow you the opportunities to involve community members’ voting power for higher distribution of funds from the grant pool. It means that the more supporters you have, the higher funds you will collect. Take QF 13’s first prize result as an example: Project Unchain Fund received 989 numbers of contributions, a total contributed of $20107 which brought up their total matching amount to $258750. Here is a reference for all the GR13 projects.

About Mask Network and Web3 Social Ecosystem

Mask is building a complete Web3 social network ecosystem that can be compatible with all social apps and protocols. Our vision is to protect everyone’s self-sovereign identity and freedom of self-interpretation.

On the application front, Mask Network’s major product — Mask Browser Extension — has dedicated itself to protecting data privacy and building the best bridge between Web2 and Web3. Active since 2019, we have introduced an ecosystem of 30+ popular Web3 dApps (mostly by 3rd parties including Uniswap and OpenSea) that work seamlessly on top of existing Web2 sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Mask SDK, the middleware, allows developers to modify any existing web pages and thus powers the Web3 dDpp ecosystem that works seamlessly on top of existing Web2 sites.

On the back end, We’ve introduced Next.ID as the all-in-one ID solution that aggregates multiple Web2 and Web3 accounts. We are also piecing together a vast social network with various components including DIDs, social graphs, messaging protocols, info distribution protocols, and Domains provided by our ecosystem partners.

The Mask Network Social Ecosystem Map

The left side of the graph above shows where Next.ID fits in the Web3 social protocols landscape:

  • Next.ID is the protocol that unites identity relationship graphs, serving as a Universal ID.
  • Lens Protocol aggregates on-chain identities and behavioral data, and can be an identity input source to Next.ID.
  • RSS3 is a protocol that aggregates and distributes content based on the identity and behavioral data from Lens and Next.ID.

The right side of the graph above shows how do the back end protocols fit into the social apps:

  • All social apps need a universal ID that aggregates both Web2 and Web3 accounts
  • All social apps need a social graph to better understand the relationship between users
  • Most social apps need a feed to help with information distribution
  • Most social apps need a messaging protocol to facilitate communication

The Key to ecosystem development

The Mask Network ecosystem construction has gradually transitioned from being officially developed by the team to a larger proportion of new applications and new expansions that are developed and accessed by community and partner developers.

This is inseparable from the long-term construction of the Mask Network ecosystem, such as funding Gitcoin, offering donation grants, and quadratic funding for non-profit purposes with the hope to nurture the Web3 social ecosystem in the long run. Mask has also held DWeb, RadicalxChange China, ETH Shanghai Summit, and hackathon events globally in the past years.

Now it’s finally the time to start the first-ever Web3 Social Ecosystem Grant Round.

Grant Ideas and Inspiration

The main criteria for this round are that you’re actively doing work that accelerates Web3 social space and the overall decentralized world. This can be anything, but we are especially interested in Web3 infrastructure layers, info distribution protocols, data storage, Web3 social dApps, and games:

List of early-stage projects we plan to approach and list in this round (tentative and incomplete)

  • Social intelligence: Inspect, TwitterScan, DeFiEye, Blocktracker Metasearch
  • Instant Messaging: Swapchat, Metalink, Atem Network, Boo Universe, Ingroup, beoble, Dm.chat, BChat
  • Social Network & blog & forum: Lenster, Link3, Fuse, Metaforo, Light.so, hide.ac
  • Social Tools: Genki, Quest 3, Aki, Dataverse, PIP, Interface.social, Valt
  • ID & Social Graph: 0xScope, KNN3, zCloak
  • Domain: Nametag, DAS
  • Social apps: Sonorous, Kola, Readem, Readon, Attrace, Ideamarket
  • Social Games: Phi, May, Hashworld

Prospective applicants can check this article for details to sign-up and participate in the Web3 Social Grant Round.



Mask Network

The Portal to the New, Open Internet.