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Blockchain startup Blockstack is out to build a decentralized version of the internet, where users own their own data and apps live locally on your device. The idea is to free users from security breaches, platform lock-in, and a loss of control over their data.

Its challenge now is to get a whole host of developers to build apps for its platform. And so today the company announced a $25 million “Signature Fund” to build out that app ecosystem. Investors in the fund include VC firms Lux Capital, Rising Tide, Compound, OpenOcean, and VersionOne.

Blockstack said developers on the platform will also be eligible for “XPRIZE-style prizes and bounties for large initiatives such as building a decentralized microblogging platform, funded by investors like Naval Ravikant (Founder: AngelList), Albert Wenger (Managing Partner: USV).”

The New York-based startup has received about $5.45 million in funding to date from both traditional VCs, including Union Square Ventures and Lux Capital, and blockhain-specific VC Digital Currency Group.

Last month at its Blockstack Summit in Mountain View, the company said it had registered 73,000 domains so far on its decentralized internet and will be launching a token and mining system to incentivize miners to support the platform. It has not yet announced the start date of its token sale.

Blockstack was founded in 2013 and said it has been working on its platform since 2014.


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