The decentralized blog-publishing platform Mirror is now open to anybody with an address for the Ethereum cryptocurrency, the company announced last week. The platform, somewhat similar to Medium, decentralizes publishing through the use of an open blockchain rather than a centralized database.
The platform is part of a suite of crypto-native tools, including blocks for crowdfunding, auctions and a governance product.
Mirror was founded a year and a half ago by Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto partner, Dennis Nazarov. It advances beyond Medium through its crypto-based decentralization.
“Your account is owned by you and lives on an open blockchain instead of a centralized database,” Mirror XYZ said in a statement. “All data published on Mirror is cryptographically signed by users and stored on permanent decentralized storage (Arweave). This means that data cannot be corrupted or modified by faulty service providers or malicious parties.
"Permanent storage means that you don’t need to rely on the Mirror team to ensure the longevity or integrity of your content. Most importantly, cryptographically secure and permanent data ensures users can credibly exit a platform if it no longer serves their needs or becomes misaligned."
The company was valued at $100 million in June by Union Square Ventures, an early backer of the crypto exchange Coinbase and raised at least $10 million in other seed rounds from investors, including USV and Andreessen Horowitz.
Online publishing drives enormous engagement, the company continued in its statement, but it has proven difficult to monetize in sustainable ways. Because Mirror is built on Ethereum, it natively supports new crypto-native business models around tokens and non-fungible tokens. The process lets writers monetize their work without putting it behind a paywall.
Because publishing on Mirror is built on an open protocol where data is stored on blockchains, developers don’t need permission to extend the system and build on top of the data. In addition, the company says, Mirror’s client is designed to provide a snappy and beautiful interface. Posting and editing feels instant, while data asynchronously commits to permanent decentralized storage in the background.
“We believe that every creative project starts with a story,” the Mirror states. “Our goal is to make Mirror the best place to share your story with the world and build a highly engaged community around it, powered by world-class crypto-native tools.