Introducing Syndichain - The censorship-resistant Web3 news aggregator

I’m excited to share the soft release of Syndichain! Syndichain is a censorship-resistant news aggregator with open algorithms and news context. Syndichain is built on a new Layer 1 blockchain that is purpose-built to syndicate content using an eventually consistent consensus mechanism.

Syndichain was inspired by a systemic issue with news aggregators like Google News, Apple News, Twitter, and Facebook filtering content to a very narrow Overton window. These apps have recreated AOL’s walled garden of sanitized content. Many people are happy with an AOL experience. Syndichain is the app for people interested in a news aggregator that automatically includes alternative perspectives on issues like the Ukraine war and COVID response, as well as niche topics of interest. 

It’s been a two year journey of stealth development. Building a Layer 1 blockchain, news aggregation middleware, and a full app experience was a much bigger endeavor than we initially expected! It’s also fun to go deep on new distributed computing methods, a field I have worked in since the 1990s. A big thank you to the Syndichain engineering, devops, and QA team for their tremendous effort. Thank you to our two rounds of beta testers for contributing their time and feedback. And a special thank you and our prayers for our colleague Serhiy, the first Syndichain blockchain engineer, who is now fighting in a war.

Whyfor Web3

Ten years ago, I was the CTO/CIO at CBS Interactive, a Comscore 10 media behemoth. Even at the scale of a top media company, aggregators were extracting a lot of value from our content creators and curators.

Web3 offers the opportunity to radically change the economics for creators and curators. Curators currently do not have mechanisms to monetize their audience, and creators split a large percentage of revenue with aggregators or are hidden behind paywalls. Web3 offers the opportunity to invert the monetization pyramid and pay curators and creators for their efforts. Syndichain’s roadmap includes a placed content network for curators and microtransactions for creators.







OG Web



RSS readers





Web 2.0

Google News

Apple News










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Opt-in block lists





Syndichain’s six core features

#1: Blockchain syndication

While blockchains are typically built for transactions, Syndichain's Layer 1 blockchain is purpose-built to syndicate content. Current blockchain consensus mechanisms ensure that there is never an instant where two people have the same asset like a Bitcoin, but the mechanisms are prolonged and cumbersome. Conversely, a news article or comment does not require consensus prior to node distribution. If I post an article, and you like a post, and Jane comments on a post, there is no reason why someone can’t access the new content the instant a node is aware of the content. This is why we have built an eventually consistent Layer 1 blockchain that is well-suited for content syndication.

#2: Censorship-resistant

Blockchains like Syndichain are inherently censorship-resistant since they are immutable and achieve consensus across a worldwide network of nodes. However, every country has its laws and customs for content. Syndichain Node operators in individual countries can additionally filter content for their users, but their actions are isolated to their country and they can’t affect what happens in other countries. I’m the founder of InCountry, where we help companies keep confidential data within a country. Syndichain is the inverse of InCountry in that Syndichain helps countries manage what information enters a country.

Syndichain is a modern progressive web app (PWA) that bypasses the Apple and Google app stores, which are increasingly censoring content. The Syndichain app functions like a native app, with an icon on the home screen, a full-screen experience, and snappy native user interface features like smooth transitions and translucency. The only feature the app doesn’t offer is browser-based push notifications, which Android and iOS may soon enable.

#3: Open algorithms

The algorithms used by news aggregators and social media sites are black boxes. You can’t see the source code, and the weightings are undisclosed. Many news sites and blogs are black-listed or throttled. And there’s a definite tilt towards attention-seeking rather than interesting content. With Syndichain, every post, comment, and like is on the blockchain, and anyone can write an algorithm to sort the content. The default algorithm in our middleware surfaces relevant content using the accounts you follow, the accounts they follow, and your activity. Node operators and developers can compete with algorithms to attract traffic.

#4: RSS compatible

Dave Winer invented Really Simple Syndication (RSS) for the OG Web to syndicate content across sites. Most media sites and blog platforms still include RSS feeds. RSS makes it possible for Syndichain to include news from around the web. Soon, any Syndichain account will be able to have an RSS URL that automatically populates the account with new posts.

#5: Context included

A big problem in today’s media environment is that readers typically live within content bubbles. News is so skewed nowadays that readers must discern a semblance of the truth by consuming a variety of perspectives. Syndichain uses machine learning to automatically surface related articles when you are scrolling through or reading an individual article. For example, Syndichain can provide the mainstream media, liberal, and conservative takes on a given news article.

#6: Curator powered

Syndichain's content experience centers on topic-based Curations of accounts and posts. We have included Curations covering common news sources, alternative voices, and even foreign state media. Soon, users will be able to create Curations of accounts, feeds, and posts on topics where they can offer expertise. We hope to see a Cambrian explosion of Curations for cities, hobbies, professions, and more.

The Syndichain road map

v1 - Aggregator: Now shipping a full news aggregator experience with social features. Adding bot detection so we can remove the token invitation system.

v2 - Curators: Users can build their own news Curations and attach RSS feeds to an account.

v3 - Monetization: Placed content network so curators and creators can monetize their audience with relevant content.

If you got this far down in the blog post, thank you for your interest!  Please check out Syndichain and let us know what you think through the app’s feedback feature or on our Telegram channel!