CyberLetter Issue#6: Series A Funding and Link3
0x148D
May 28th, 2022

CyberConnect is a decentralized social graph protocol that helps developers bootstrap network effects and build powerful social dApps while returning data ownership back to users.

Through our publicly accessible protocol, we are democratizing social connections and making social graphs self-sovereign, portable, composable, blockchain-agnostic, and contextually meaningful.

If you like what we are building, make sure to play around our site, subscribe to this newsletter, check out our Mirror, and follow us on Twitter.


Hey Gang!

We want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for your faith in us, this community, and our mission. This has been one of the most incredible few weeks for our team as we’ve achieved some major milestones, launched a new product, expanded the team, and grown our community manifold! We couldn’t have done this without you and we are so thrilled to continue on our journey to enabling meaningful social connections on web3.

Last week, some of you may have met with our US team at Permissionless in Florida (which was a blast btw 🤯 😅). It was quite a special occasion as our Series A funding announcement went live and some of us got an opportunity to get together and celebrate how far we’ve come. We invite you to celebrate with us and share your best experiences/memories/visions/dreams about CyberConnect on Twitter. Don’t forget to tag us 😉

We also faced some tough challenges 😞. Recently, our Discord server was briefly compromised and several community members lost funds and NFTs. While we took back control of the server rather quickly, we learned some hard lessons and have been working on strengthening our account security. We’ve been speaking with community members to understand the true impact of the hack. If you’re one of the affected members, please stay assured that we’re here for you.

On that note, just a reminder that we love to chat with you. Our DMs are always open. You can reach out to us on Twitter here or DM one of our team members. If you have any feedback for us, fill out this form here.


At a Glance


Some Numbers

  • Total Users = 1.46 Million
  • Total Connections = 19.2 Million
  • Total Projects Integrated = 23
  • Projects in the Pipeline = 91
  • New Hires = 4

Major Milestones

  • We have raised a $15M Series A funding round led by Animoca Brands & Sky9 Capital. Read the press coverage here.
  • v0.1 of Link3.to, the all-in-one link for trusted Web3 projects launched. Check it out here.
  • We’re sponsoring the ETH Shanghai hackathon with total bounties up to USD $140k 🤯

Media/Press

  • Cofounders Wilson Wei & Ryan Li sat down with Adam Levy on the Mint Podcast to talk about how crypto and web3 will change social networking on the internet forever. Available here.
  • Wilson also appeared on the Crypto Coin Show to speak with Ashton Addison of Blockwest Capital to talk about data ownership, web3 social and more!
  • Cofounder Shiyu Zhang spoke with Pandaily about decentralized social graphs and web3. Available for listening here.

What To Expect Next

  • Our team will be at Consensus 2022 where we’re planning a special event for a very special announcement 👀
  • v0.2 of Link3.to will be coming out soon.
  • Exciting new integrations and tools for our developer community
  • We’re planning a range of community events including some special programs/surprises for our community

HQ


First off, the BIG news 🎉

Our Series A
Our Series A

We’re so thrilled to share that we have closed a $15M Series A funding round led by Animoca Brands & Sky9 Capital.

To our investors, early supporters, community, and team members, we are grateful for your trust in us and your support in our mission to change the future of social networking on the internet.

New Team Members 💪🏽

We’re welcoming four new team members this month to our CyberConnect family. We’re lucky to have Nazih Kalo (previously Scale AI) joining us as our first data scientist while new grad Jintao Zhao is coming on as a backend engineer. Both Zeshi (James) Dai and Kevin Li are joining our community team as interns!

New Hackathon 🥇

We’re proud to be one the sponsors of ETH Shanghai hackathon (May 20 - June 03, 2022). This year, there’s total bountied of up to USD $140k up for grabs. Our bounty can be found here.

While there are no specific focus areas for this hackathon task, we’re looking for projects committed to long-term development and are excited to build the future of web3 social with CyberConnect. ICYMI, the full replay of our bounty introduction is available here. Our team has also put together a hackathon handbook designed to provide bird’s eye view of building with CyberConnect. Let’s get to work 🤝


Product


We’re proud to report the launch of our latest product, Link3.to.

Link3
Link3

The internet is going through a reawakening. If you’ve been keeping up with the space, you will know that there’s a lot of exciting things being built by teams across the globe. From DeFi to play-to-earn games, we are witnessing entire industries change in real-time. Many have likened this enthusiasm to the early days of the World Wide Web. But with so much activity and innovation, comes a lot of noise - and noise erodes trust.

To solve this challenge, we’re excited to announce Link3.to - the all-in-one link for trusted Web3 projects. Teams can now unlock the power of their project by helping their community discover everything about them in one place. Whether it’s your latest community updates or verified links for secure NFT minting, Link3.to will help you cut the noise and build a foundation of trust with your audience.

Mission 🏆
Our team hopes that Link3 (currently only available to projects) can help navigate the fraud schemes/scams so rampant in the crypto universe. Our mission is to empower users to get the most up-to-date and verified information about their favorite web3 projects in one simple place.

With Link3.to, we are also enabling projects to develop wallet-to-wallet relationships with their community members. We anticipate Link3 to power many new and exciting social features among DAOs, NFTs, and all other Web3 communities.

Good News ☺️

  • We received over 100 applications for Link3’s waitlist. If your project would like to sign up, fill out this form here.

Next Steps 😎

  • Upgrade UX/UI
  • Introduce personal profiles
  • New on-chain use cases for users

Protocol


Our protocol team has been busy working on deploying lots of new integrations and tools for our developer community. Below, we’re sharing some updates on this end:

Integration with Scaffold-ETH now live

Scaffold-ETH is everything you need to start building decentralized applications on Ethereum. It provides an off-the-shelf stack for rapid prototyping, giving developers access to state-of-the-art tools to quickly learn and ship an Ethereum-based dApp.

Now with the CyberConnect x Scaffold-ETH starter kit, developers will have everything they need to get build with CyberConnect on Ethereum 🚀

Our dev team is working on a tutorial for using this starter kit. We’ll share it soon.

Developer Center

We’re happy to report that we have a fresh new Developer Center with a goal to deliver dev-friendly quality documentation so that we can attract talented contributors to our open-source projects. The first version of the dev center was successfully launched on May 2nd, 2022. We conducted a survey to gauge community interest and gather feedback. We’re happy to report that the overall community response was positive with over 274 responses, achieving an average Net Promoter Score of 8.47/10.

New look for our Dev Center
New look for our Dev Center

It’s very reassuring that our team’s efforts to improve the dev center have received support and constructive feedback from our community.

Major Milestones Achieved 🏆

✔️ Implemented a unique yet simple documentation structure

✔️ Introduced user-friendly design

✔️ All GraphQL endpoints are now listed for developer reference

✔️ Examples are now accompanied by code snippets eliminating the need to write code

✔️ Introduced live sandboxes allowing developers to interact with the code

ICYMI, we did a walk-through of this new dev center in our developer community call on May 3, 2022.

Next Steps 🚀

  • Launch v0.4 with some major changes and additions including:
    • Open-source contributor list
    • iOS SDK
    • Scaffold-ETH tutorial
    • ‘Get Started’ example for Profile API

Bidirectional Connections Coming to CyberConnect

Currently, the CyberConnect Software Development Kit (SDK) only supports unilateral connections. We’re now extending the SDK to support bidirectional connections. Such ‘bidirectional’ connections can be used to express a ‘friend’ relationship as is done in traditional social media platforms. There’s an important caveat though - the “friends” relationship in the bidirectional connection model has nothing to do with the “friends” in the current CyberConnect product. The CyberConnect product currently defines “friends” using mutual “follow” between two individuals, which are two unilateral connections under the hook.

Some Things We’re Exploring 🤔

Data sovereignty is crystal-clear for unilateral connections - the user owns their connection. But it’s difficult to express sovereignty for permission-based bidirectional connections. The key problem is, who owns the connection? In theory, each individual should have ‘half’ ownership of said connection. If that’s the case, how should such ‘half’ ownership be expressed in the context of a decentralized, self-sovereign system? Another key question is about terminating said connection as the termination process can be initiated by one party at any time in a self-sovereign manner.

We’ll share more as we go along. We’re currently also working on design and other improvements. Expect for this to be live in the coming weeks.

Notification APIs

Our team is working to provide a notification mechanism to the CyberConnect public API.

Once implemented, users will get notifications when:

  • Someone follows them
  • Their friend request is accepted
  • They receive a friend request
  • Other scenarios…

Users will also be able to acknowledge these notifications by marking them as read.

We’re currently on the designing phase and will share more updates as they come 😋

CyberConnect Explorer

We’re so excited to share that development of the CyberConnect Explorer (CCE) is well underway. The Product Requirements Document (PRD) for the MVP is drafted and ready as is the initial design. We’re working hard to ship CCE soon 🔥

Recap: CyberConnect Explorer is a social graph explorer that enables project partners and prospective developers (as well as individual users) easily visualize connections and project data in an aggregated view. Think of it like a block explorer that displays transaction data related to each address. CCE will enable you to discover things like your followings & followers along with its proof on-chain, your profile data (on Ceramic), and your connection history and corresponding proofs/transactions by timestamps, etc.

iOS SDK

We now have a pure swift SDK available for iOS native developers, including basic CyberConnect API support. Our dev team has also created an example demo as well as a demo video to help developers use the lib fast and easy 👇🏼

We’re going to continue adding new features and keep updating it to provide the basic mobile capability of Web 3.0

Proof V2 and Events API

For the purposes of the CyberConnect Explorer (CCE) as well as to fulfill feature requests we’ve received from our partners projects, we’re building out a mechanism to support query of user connection events chronologically along with their corresponding proofs. Until now, only the current user connection status could be queried, not all past actions.

We’ll keep the community updated on our progress on this front.

Data Availability on Arweave

We’re always working on finding unique but trusted ways to further data availability and pursue true decentralization. For those purposes, we’ve decided to use a permanent public data store - Arweave - to make sure user connection data always remains readily available.


Community & Partnerships


What a wild few weeks it’s been for our community. On behalf of Roy Shen, our Head of Community, and the entire CyberConnect team, we’d like to thank you for sticking with us and continuing to put your faith in us.

As previously mentioned, our Discord server was briefly compromised last week and several community members lost funds and NFTs. The full investigation report of the incident can be found here.

What’s Been Happening 😎

In the last few weeks, we organized a number of events generating lots of new engagement:

We hosted a design challenge and selected three winners through community voting. The winning designs will be available for purchase through our official CyberConnect Merch Store (coming soon). Winners will also receive discount codes.

We invited our Co-Founder and CEO Wilson Wei to our first community call after the spring break for more updates on our projects. Over 850 people tuned in and we announced our brand new role system. We are seeing more and more active members contributing to the community. Welcome to all the new mail boys and doormen! 🤙

If you missed it, the recap in English is available here and in Chinese here.

Over 2,400 people made submissions to our contest which generated lots of new engagement on Twitter.

  • Dappback Contest

    Over 8,000 people participated to earn rewards by joining and contributing to our community.

  • Gravity - CoinMarketCap

    Our profile on CoinMarketCap’s Gravity is now live! Be sure to follow us 😇

..and we announced some exciting new partnerships too!

  • New Partnership with MetaScan 🎉
  • New Partnership with MetaJam 🎉

Wrapping Up


It’s a great time to be working in Web3. Did you know we’re hiring across the board? We’re calling on mission-driven individuals passionate about web3 to join our engineering, biz dev, community, and marketing teams. Come and say hi *here* and help us redefine the future of social networking on the internet!

..and finally. Thanks for sticking with us. If you like what you read, subscribe to this newsletter, check out our Mirror and follow us on Twitter. Tempted to contribute? Join our vibrant community by clicking here or dive into our developer docs here.

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