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Notes on Consumer Crypto | March 22, 2024

Bracket.game, scenecoins, the new attention economy, Botto, and more.

Happy Friday!

Woo it was a busy week in consumer crypto land, so let's get right into what I found worth writing about..

Bracket.Game

We kicked off the show this week with the founders of Bracket.game, a new speculative sports game built around the idea of owning shares in fan collectives. They’re starting with a focus on March Madness (A big US College basketball tournament if you’re not familiar) which kicked off yesterday. 

The way it works is you buy into teams that are playing in the tournament which gives you voting shares into the underlying fan collective. The price to buy into a team is on a bonding curve so as more people buy the higher the share price gets. 

There’s a 6% fee on all trades that goes towards a prize pool that gets distributed at the end of the tournament based on how well the team does. 30% of the pool will go to the winning team, 14% to the 2nd place team, etc.

It’s been out for 24 hours and they’ve done almost $100k in volume from 700 participants. The tournament lasts for about a month so I expect this to continue ticking up as awareness spreads. 

The game theory will get really interesting as teams start getting eliminated, the prize pool grows, and the end of the tournament gets near. This is also just the start of what they’re building with Bracket.game, and they have high hopes for how this can fundamentally change sports fandom and the impact these fan collectives can have across all sports. Should be fun to continue being a part of.

My deep interest in what they’re building lies in what I tweeted about this morning. I think there’s so much potential for crypto to unlock the true attention and cultural value of sports fandom, and open up completely new ways for fans to participate and have ownership in it. 

This is just the beginning.

You can watch our chat with John and Tim here.

Scenecoins vs Memecoins

We’re having fun over-intellectualizing memecoins because we are literally over-intellectualization as a service. We were also very early in realizing they deserved to be over-intellectualized, so give us a break.

Anyways, I casted this week that what we’re building with $enjoy isn’t a memecoin, it’s a scenecoin. Jess really liked it and started testing the language a bit more in the wild and it’s been getting a nice reception, so wanted to tease the idea out a bit more here.

The core insight, and likely an obvious one, is that not all memecoins are alike. We’re pretty clearly using the term to describe too broad of a surface area. 

A distinction that I think we need to make is between memecoins and what we’re starting to call scenecoins.

The former is the vast majority of memecoins ($DOGE, $PEPE, $POPCAT, $BODEN, etc), which derive their value from the attention that exists on the underlying meme. They’re cultural prediction markets, and a bet that the meme will attract more attention over time. It takes a good team and some concerted effort to go from 0 to 1 with these and become the consensus schelling point for a meme, but once it breaks through it doesn’t really have any external dependencies. Nobody needs to ship the Jeo Boden App for the token to maintain its value.

Scenecoins on the other hand derive their value from the collective time, energy, and money people are devoting to the underlying scene, and ultimately the desirability of people it’s able to attract. 

$DEGEN is a great example. It’s not the cultural schelling point for the degen meme, but rather a coordination asset for a scene of farcaster and base builders fascinated with cryptoeconomic social experiments. Its value is derived from its ubiquity within the growing (and tokenless) farcaster ecosystem and the desirability of tapping into the scene. VCs are buying the token to signal their alignment with builders, new projects are integrating the token to bootstrap engagement and liquidity, and builders continue to run novel experiments on top of it. 

This is also how we’re thinking about $ENJOY, as the scenecoin for onchain media enjoyoors. We’re building experiences and tools that will attract people that are passionate about digital culture moving onchain, they’ll earn $enjoy for their contributions to the scene, and people wanting to tap into the energy and attention base can use the token to do it.

Definitely have more over-intellectualizing to do, but think there’s something here.

The New Attention Economy

This was a good post by Li this week highlighting the inefficiencies and market failures of the web2 attention economy, and suggesting that tokens will be able to provide a bunch of improvements to it. I’ve talked about this a bunch as well.

What % of the attention value of Mr Beast is captured running ads and selling chocolate bars? I’d guess it’s very low.

How much more of his attention value would be able to be captured through memecoins and NFTs (assuming broad acceptance and participation)? I’d guess it’s way more.

Tokens are a granular and pure expression of attention, belief, and prediction on future success. Interestingly though they extend the participation and entertainment opportunities in a brand, actually creating more value. So not only do I think they’re more efficient capturers of existing leaky value, but an entirely new product line that will create a ton of net new value.

There’s of course a lot to figure out and build before they’re ready to be mass market products, but the dramatic improvements they provide to the attention economy are obvious. 

Li brought up a great point that this also works in reverse. “Tokens can help to incept attention initially, forming a speculative community that can pave the way for more organic attention/interest later on.”.

NBA In-Context Betting

The NBA announced they’re integrating live betting into NBA League Pass (their all access streaming product) and it's hilarious how familiar this feels

My immediate reaction was to hate this even though I enjoy sports betting, preach “creating contexts people want to transact within” as the core goal of consumer crypto builders, and am generally very pro speculation. 

I think it’s because we already have way more fun and pure forms of speculation in crypto that do a better job at serving that desire without detracting from something that I value for other reasons. I don’t want the competition and drama of sports to be distilled down into a purely financial game, I watch it to get away from this stuff lol. 

It’s also of course annoying for regulatory reasons. We have to sit here in legal ambiguity with systems that are more fair and transparent than the gambling industry, while the extractive duopoly of Fanduel and Draftkings continue to get the red carpet laid down for them. Such is life.

Botto

I’ve been wanting to talk about Botto for a bit, and they just announced a $1.67M raise so figured was the time. 

Botto is an autonomous AI artist that’s guided and assisted by human-voting feedback. Every week Botto self-prompts it’s art model, it them uses a taste model to select what it thinks are the top 350 images, and then this goes to $BOTTO token holders for voting. The top voted image then gets auctioned off, with revenue divided between token holders and the DAO treasury. The votes also get fed back into the prompt generator and taste model to improve it.

It’s one of the few Social/Cultural DAOs that have sustained through the last cycle and have seemingly been thriving. They’ve generated over $4M in sales to date, including a Christie’s sale, and consistently sells pieces in the $10 - $30k range.

I think the reasons for their success are twofold; they’ve built a great DAO contributor product, and they’ve focused their collective action on a very narrow and clear output.

We’ve talked at length about how people want ownership experiences not ownership responsibilities when participating in DAOs, and many have failed because they’ve expected people to show up and do things that feel like work. Botto has turned participating in the DAO into a fun social consumer product, and using it earns you a rev share.

The focus of the DAO is also powerful. They’re not trying to be this big amorphous blob of activity where anyone can come and do whatever they want, like many others unsuccessfully did. They’re just collectively working with an AI model to create the best piece of art they can every week. That’s it. If they do that well they can of course expand their capabilities, which I’m sure they already are, but starting from a point of anything is possible is unhelpful. Us focusing on running the best in class consumer crypto accelerator is another example.

I’m excited to see where Botto goes from here as well as see people apply the playbook to other opportunities. A Botto-like Memecoin production house? Why not.

The Week in Memecoins

It was a busy week in memecoins, so figured I’d give a quick hit of what happened..

Slerf

Slerf raised $10M in a presale and then the dev accidentally burned the tokens that were set aside for the airdrop alongside the LP. While obviously horrible for the dev and anyone that participated in the presale, the lore and trading conditions it created were irresistible to the memecoin community and it’s gone crazy in the days since, peaking at over a $700M market cap.

Andrew Kang captured the investor sentiment perfectly.

Avax

The Avalanche Foundation first announced their plans to acquire a bunch of ecosystem memecoins back in December and they’ve continued leaning in since. This week they announced a $1M liquidity mining incentive program for a handful of “community coins”.

It seems so incredibly obvious today that ecosystems should be doing everything they can to support their memecoins, such a high ROI move to increase onchain activity, but it was kind of a surprising move back in december. Crazy how quickly perceptions change.

Base Szn

People have been calling for Base Szn for a while, and it finally happened this week. Not sure if it’s because of lower fees after Dencun, the Solana memecoin market getting saturated, or a coordinated effort by memecoin influencers, but it’s poppin off.

Users, transactions, volumes are all way up week on the backs of a huge surge in memecoin activity. 

It’s pretty fun to compare the top memecoins on Solana and Base and bask in the cultural legibility it provides. 

Presale Meta

Over $100M of SOL has been contributed to presales over the past couple of weeks after the success of BOME. That’s insane, stop doing this. You know what the chart is going to look like.

BOME was a real project with a community and fanbase that has been built over years, and most of the successful memecoins had a critical period of community formation where people were coming as much for the vibes as the upside.

Bottling up a ton of speculative energy for a token sitting on a blatantly weak meme is never going to go well.


Have a good weekend y'all

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