This 19-Year-Old is Making Waves in The Arweave Ecosystem

Blockworks exclusive: “Venture Studio” will be designed to guide entrepreneurs through the process of launching a startup on the Arweave blockchain

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Kyla Witte, Tate Berenbaum; Source: Community Labs

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Community Labs, a Web3 native software development company, is launching “Venture Studio,” focused on accelerating the adoption of Arweave — a database storage blockchain that also supports smart contracts.

The purpose of Venture Studio is to prepare startups and founders through the process of launching a standalone company on the Arweave ecosystem.

In an interview with Blockworks, Community Labs COO Kyla Witte said aspiring founders will be able to “ideate, validate, build, launch and scale,” during their time with Venture Studio.

So far, one protocol that has launched through Venture Studio — Execution Machine, a code agnostic application development environment, according to Witte. ​But only now is the company ready to “go public” with the studio. 

“It’s something we’ve been building in the background for a few months now,” Witte said. “We have a rolling application for founders who are interested in developing protocols into businesses, but we’re also looking for people that want to come and build with us.”

Modeled after ConsenSys, an Ethereum-focused software development company, Community Labs was founded by 19-year-old Tate Berenbaum. 

Berenbaum has been building on Arweave since 2019 when he was still a high school student. 

“The story is kind of funny, I clicked on a Brave ad — the Brave browser that was boasting permanent storage — and that’s how I discovered Arweave,” Berenbaum said.

He recently closed a $30 million strategic funding round for Community Labs led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from Bain Capital Crypto and Blockchain Capital among others.

At a high level, Arweave is a permanent data storage blockchain, where once you pay a one time transaction fee you are able to store a piece of data on it forever. But over time, Berenbaum began noticing other user cases for the blockchain.

“We realized that it’s an incredible language-agonistic smart contract layer,” Berenbaum said.

“These smart contracts can be written in any programming language — and people can build their own execution environments for these smart contracts…and Community Labs is really focused on enabling these types of use cases.”

In fact, the Arweave smart contract layer has attracted Hong Kong cyber activists, who have been using the censorship-proof blockchain to archive newspaper articles from Apple Daily after it was forced to shut down.

Arweave announced a partnership with Meta last which, which will be using the blockchain for archiving digital collectibles. That sent the price of Arwave’s native token AR soaring by over 60%. But the move was short-lived, and AR is now back at pre-announcement levels, trading for about $10.20 at the time of writing.


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