The SocialFi category of the crypto industry is experiencing a true mini-boom after the launch of the influencer-focused decentralised social platform Friend.tech. SocialFi, the amalgamation of social media and DeFi concepts, had stayed in the shadows of the larger crypto niches – DeFi, NFTs, the Metaverse, Play-to-Earn – for years. It’s now experiencing its first big rise, courtesy of Friend.tech. In our past articles, we covered this leading SocialFi network, along with two of its competitors – Stars Arena and New Bitcoin City. Now, there is another emerging big SocialFi player on the block – Tomo. Let’s have a closer look at this decentralised social network, which has already risen to the top 3 in this booming category.
What is Tomo?
Tomo is a decentralised social network built on the Linea Layer 2 blockchain platform. Tomo was launched just 2 weeks ago and shares many conceptual similarities with its key rivals – Friend.tech, New Bitcoin City, and Stars Arena. Tomo allows users to purchase keys to join chat communities that interact with various social media influencers. Users can also trade “votes”, the main currency that props up the popularity of individual social media profiles on the network.
Tomo’s distinct feature is the opportunity for users to make predictions on the value of keys for influencers who have yet to join the platform. For instance, any user can punt on the value of keys to access the network of Elon Musk should he join the platform. On the basis of these predictions, Tomo calculates an average key value for the influencer yet to join the network. Let’s say the current value for keys to Elon Musk’s account is valued at $1,000. If the enigmatic Tesla boss joins Tomo, this is the price at which his keys will be traded. The unique prediction feature introduces elements of betting on the platform.
Tomo is based on Linea, a Layer 2 platform linked to the Ethereum blockchain. Similar to the other Layer 2 solutions for Ethereum, Linea is designed to make Ethereum transactions faster and cheaper. Tomo users can use a bridging solution to move their assets between Linea and Ethereum with ease. This opens up enormous potential for the platform’s growth as Ethereum is home to the largest number of active crypto users, with more than 100 million non-zero-balance network addresses.
Tomo’s Position in SocialFi
Tomo is the youngest among the leading SocialFi platforms. In just two weeks of operation, the protocol’s total value locked (TVL) has already crossed the $1-million mark, making Tomo the 3rd largest SocialFi network, behind Friend.tech and New Bitcoin City.
The top 5 SocialFi protocols by TVL as of 27 October 2023
Image source: DeFiLlama.com
Tomo’s TVL now stands at $1.1 million, still well behind New Bitcoin City’s $3 million and especially Friend.tech’s mammoth $40 million. Some other crypto niches might laugh at these TVL figures, but for the young and newly-developing SocialFi category, any values measured in millions represent significant amounts.
Another new SocialFi network, Avalanche-based Stars Arena, experienced a debilitating hacker attack in early October but is quickly regaining its position. Currently, Stars Arena is one spot behind Tomo in the TVL rankings, but the successful patch-up of the security problem on the network means that these two SocialFi platforms are going to compete nose-to-nose in the rankings table very soon.
Does Tomo Have Potential?
Tomo is one of very few SocialFi networks that replicate many of the features first introduced by Friend.tech – the current absolute category leader. Tomo is well-positioned to reap the benefits of the current SocialFi frenzy. While Friend.tech continues to dominate in the world of SocialFi, this doesn’t mean that it somehow takes away from the potential usage share of Tomo or protocols like New Bitcoin City and Stars Arena. Influencers and ordinary users aren’t limited to using one platform only.
Most social media users tend to create profiles on a few social networks that fit their interests. Thus, many of those who have adopted Friend.tech are likely to also register accounts on Tomo, New Bitcoin City, and Stars Arena. Naturally, if the number of Friend.tech replicas continues to increase, this might negatively affect Tomo’s potential; at the end of the day, a social media user might be very interested in using 3-4 similar networks but not 5 or 10 of them.
As of today, Tomo, New Bitcoin City, and Stars Arena are the only significant Friend.tech-like platforms. This will continue to prop up the growth of Tomo. If the niche becomes too congested, we might then see some dilution of the growth potential for the protocol.
Another key factor that points to great potential for Tomo is its connection to the vast Ethereum blockchain. Tomo’s host platform – Linea – is a Layer 2 solution for Ethereum. This opens up the opportunity for Tomo to leverage Ethereum’s massive user community. Among the other 3 big SocialFi networks, only Friend.tech can boast a similar advantage. Friend.tech’s native platform – Base – is also a Layer 2 protocol for Ethereum.
In contrast, New Bitcoin City and Stars Arena are based on platforms that lack this advantage. New Bitcoin City is hosted on the NOS Layer 2 platform. This is a Layer 2 solution for the Bitcoin blockchain. While Bitcoin is massive compared to Ethereum when it comes to the overall market cap, it’s not a blockchain known for its active decentralised app (DApp) community. Bitcoin’s DApp functionality is rudimentary, and solutions like NOS are designed to address this limitation.
Despite NOS being a promising concept, it’s yet to be seen if Bitcoin’s user base adopts active DApp usage, specifically in the field of SocialFi, as actively as is widely expected of Ethereum’s user community.
As for Stars Arena, its host network – Avalanche – is a relatively small platform. While Avalanche is no minion in the blockchain industry, its overall user base and DApp ecosystem are vastly behind those of Ethereum.
In conclusion, we believe that Tomo’s inherent link to Ethereum could act as a key success driver in the network’s competitive race against the likes of New Bitcoin City and Stars Arena. While currently the 3rd SocialFi protocol, Tomo might soon become Friend.tech’s biggest rival. Things are definitely on the move in the world of SocialFi!