- Base sensation friend.tech has found itself in a new privacy debacle.
- Amid this controversy, the application has attracted Arkham comparisons.
- Prominent crypto community members have suggested steps to safeguard security on the platform.
friend.tech, a Web3 social media platform built on Base that allows users to tokenize their Twitter accounts, has gained significant traction just over a week after the protocol’s launch, attracting several high-profile sign-ups, including NBA stars and Y Combinator CEO Garry Tan.
friend.tech User Draws Arkham Comparisons
In a tweet on Monday, August 21, Yearn Finance core contributor Banteg published a GitHub repository containing data on friend.tech users collected by scraping the platform’s API.
Intended to raise awareness about worrying permissions requested by the platform, the shared database, which the developer has now taken down, had also linked Ethereum (ETH) wallet addresses to the Twitter usernames of over 101,000 friend.tech users, effectively doxing these addresses.
While proponents of friend.tech and other prominent crypto community members have argued that it was expected that user Twitter handles could be linked to wallet addresses, it has not stopped others from criticizing the project and comparing it to Arkham.
Responding to the data shared by Banteg, one user asserted that Arkham and friend.tech were linked. Similarly, another user quipped, “arkham walked so friend.tech could run.”
Launched in July, Arkham Intelligence’s “on-chain intelligence exchange” received significant backlash from the crypto community for inadvertently revealing user emails and encouraging the buying and selling of information on blockchain wallets, a feature critics dubbed “dox-to-earn”.
In response to the recent debacle surrounding the release of its user data, friend.tech failed to address privacy concerns but fiercely resisted the idea of a leak or hack.
"This is just someone scraping our public API that shows the association between public wallet addresses and public Twitter usernames," the team behind the protocol wrote.
Despite the statement from the team, crypto analytics platform Spot On Chain maintained that many people are unaware of the privacy risks associated with using the protocol. At the same time, the firm also argued that friend.tech’s current API access controls allowed bots to manipulate share prices easily.
While the debate over friend.tech’s privacy practices rages on, prominent DeFi players like DeFi Ignas have offered tips to help users navigate the platform while keeping certain desired information private.
Prevention Over Cure
In a Twitter thread responding to the recent friend.tech controversy, DeFi Ignas noted that the permission highlighted by Banteg could be easily revoked.
DeFi Ignas also reiterated steps users could take to safeguard their privacy on the platform. These steps included using an anonymous email and funding wallets from a fresh wallet funded from a central exchange.
According to Coinbase Software Engineer Yuga Cohler, friend.tech is built by Racer, a company previously known for developing the TweetDAO NFT project. TweetDAO gave shared access to a Twitter account through NFTs, however it appears to have quickly faded into obscurity in August 2022.
On the Flipside
- The data also suggests that friend.tech has attracted over 101,000 users in 12 days.
- DeFiLlama data suggests that friend.tech generated $1.42 million in fees in the past 24 hours.
Why This Matters
friend.tech has become one of Base’s most widely used applications, attracting several high-profile sign-ups.
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