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The Polkadot ecosystem will soon feature a para chain devoted to decentralized social media called "Frequency," the company behind the protocol said during its annual community event Polkadot Decoded on Wednesday.
Frequency, the initial implementation of The Decentralized Social Network Protocol (DSNP), has already made Polkadot its home. It is arguably best known as the protocol behind the Project Liberty of real estate mogul Frank McCourt.
Project Liberty, backed by around $250 million from McCourt, promises to "democratize" social media by creating a publicly available database of people's social connections and fighting the dominance of social media companies and surveillance capitalism.
With the emergence of the metaverse, decentralized social media – in which a single organization does not manage a user’s content and social network – has gained momentum. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Aave’s decentralized financial platform have touted the possibilities.
The difficulty is reconciling blockchain-based incentive structures with the scale required for social media. According to Harry Evans, chief technology officer at Unfinished Labs and creator of the Frequency chain, Polkadot provides an intuitive solution to the problem. The Polkadot concept of a relay chain and linked parachains includes a fixed-price consensus.
Parachains do not pay a separate fee for each block that is verified since the cost of the parachain lease accounts for this. Evans stated that Parachain leases were settled with monies raised from the Polkadot community via slot auctions, a process Frequency initiated.
“For applications like social networking, where you are extremely cost-sensitive, it gives you this capability to sort of manage costs and figure out how those are allocated in a way that is much more difficult in other blockchain ecosystems,” Evans said interview.
Evans noted that instead of transaction fees, Frequency utilizes a token staking strategy that yields “capacity,” a renewable resource replenished every number of blocks. Regarding scalability, he stated that messages might be batched in channels similar to layer two companion systems while being tethered to the main chain.
Creator of Frequency (and DSNP) Braxton Woodham stated that users staking tokens to maintain the network creates the possibility for intriguing future models.
“It allows users to vote with their pocketbooks for different applications that are more effective and better for society,” said Woodham. “It also allows for transparency that avoids some of the toxic outcomes we’ve seen in the current web.”