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Revolutionary Crypto Startup Nears $1B Valuation with Paradigm's Backing


Lauren Miller

March 30, 2024 - 17:10 pm


Innovative Crypto Startup Nearing $1 Billion Valuation Amid Funding Fervor

In the heart of Warsaw, Poland, the vibrant neon logos of Bitcoin and Ethereum cast a futuristic glow on the city's bustling crypto exchange. This imagery beautifully encapsulates the current climate of the cryptocurrency world, which has been a roller coaster of highs and lows. In a particularly striking turn of events, amidst volatile market conditions and debates over the speculative nature of digital currencies, a new player in tech is shifting the paradigm.

A startup specializing in software for decentralized social media networks, helmed by two trailblazing former Coinbase Global Inc. executives, is on the brink of finalizing a financing round that places its valuation at the impressive $1 billion mark. This information comes from sources privy to the transaction, who preferred to remain anonymous due to the confidential nature of the discussions.

The burgeoning crypto investment firm Paradigm leads this significant investment in Merkle Manufactory. This Los Angeles-based company is behind the innovative software that powers Farcaster, a burgeoning social-media network. While the intimate details of the transaction remain under wraps, the buzz around this development points to a promising new chapter for Merkle.

Dan Romero, a vision-driving former vice president at Coinbase and the co-founder of Merkle Manufactory, took to social media to voice excitement over the upcoming financial boost. On March 29, he exclaimed, "Wanted to let everyone know that Merkle Manufactory is closing a new round of financing," in a statement on Warpcast, the Farcaster-based app by Merkle. However, Romero chose discretion when probed for further insights on the company's valuation by Bloomberg. Similarly, Paradigm has thus far maintained a stance of silence regarding their involvement.

The Beginning of Merkle Manufactory

Merkle made its entry into the tech world in 2020 and has not looked back since. The firm boasts two primary offerings to the tech-savvy world: the Farcaster protocol, a blockchain-centric component, and Warpcast, an application crafted atop Farcaster that mirrors the features of a well-known social media platform, formerly recognized as Twitter. Romero, alongside Varun Srinivasan—a former senior director at Coinbase—has strategically co-launched the enterprise.

Trail of Investments

Previously, in the summer of July 2022, Merkle Manufactory had successfully secured a substantial $30 million in funding. Famed a16z Crypto, a notable player in the cryptocurrency investment landscape, spearheaded this previous financing round. This round of funding had already forged a pathway for Merkle’s burgeoning presence in the decentralized social media space.

Farcaster: The Heart of Merkle's Vision

In a revelation on the Blockworks podcast, Romero delved into the essence of Farcaster's core principle. He articulated the notion that true decentralization means the protocol exists beyond the reach of any single entity—be it an individual, an enterprise, or even a country. According to Romero, this level of autonomy represents the destined long-term equilibrium for what is increasingly recognized as the global public square.

Frames: Farcaster's Pioneering Feature

Farcaster's diverse ecosystem has recently seen the introduction of an intriguing new feature known as Frames. This innovation offers developers a creative canvas to showcase their external apps' functionality within the Farcaster environment itself, eliminating the need for users to navigate away from the comfort of Warpcast. This addition has paved the way for an array of activities within the platform, such as participating in polls, engaging in a game of chess, and even the creation, or "minting," of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

User Growth and Engagement on Farcaster

The adoption and active engagement on the Farcaster network have witnessed a remarkable upsurge. User statistics compiled by The Block Research reflect a dramatic rise in daily active users, soaring to over 50,000 in early February from a modest count of less than 10,000 in the preceding month. This exponential growth in user activity underscores the increasing allure of decentralized social media platforms among tech enthusiasts and the broader public alike.

The Findings from The Block Research

To better understand the Farcaster user base's explosive growth, one can delve into the detailed reports compiled by The Block Research. These reports offer a comprehensive look into the dynamics of user engagement trends, providing context and analysis on the factors driving the rising popularity of decentralized platforms.


The final acknowledgement of Bloomberg L.P.'s role in covering this story adds to the enriching narrative of Merkle Manufactory's journey. As the company approaches a monumental valuation of approximately $1 billion, the tech community watches with bated breath. The bullish inclinations of crypto investment firms like Paradigm, coupled with Merkle's innovative offerings, signal a potential shift in the landscape of social media—a shift towards a decentralized, user-empowered future.