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Notes on Consumer Crypto | May 18, 2024

0xDesigner, emotional crypto, bundled apps, world pvp, attention, and more.

Happy Saturday!

I love all of you for taking a few minutes every week to read my crypto brain dumps. Here's what I found interesting this week...

Design Everydays

We kicked off the show this week with the homie 0xDesigner. He’s well known for his Design Everydays, where he explores and mints a new crypto user experience concept daily. He’s been doing it for almost 500 (!!!) straight days and has probably thought about the intricacies of crypto UX more than anyone.

It’s easy to overlook how insane it still is to get onboarded into crypto. All of us here have done the work to understand what’s happening behind the scenes and swapping, signing transactions, bridging, etc feels as intuitive as liking a photo on Instagram at this point. But we’re fucked up and most people aren’t ever going to care enough to figure this out.

To attract new waves of people we’re going to need to thread the needle with product experiences that are elegant and understandable enough to not scare them off while maintaining the novelty that actually motivates people to try something new.

We finally have the tools and infra (literally in the last 6 months) needed to build elegant crypto products, but we haven’t cracked the code on how to package them in a way that can virally mass onboard new people. 

It’s coming though, and I’m confident a breakthrough product is going to be built this year. This won’t be a surprise, but I expect it’ll have memecoins at its core.

Emotional Crypto

0xDesigner dropped a couple tweets this week highlighting how one dimensional most crypto product experiences are today. One about the current meta not having any notions of self-expression, and another about the lack of builders focused on serving emotional needs.

I’ve been saying similar things for a while. Collecting onchain media won’t go mainstream until there are social contexts that make what you’ve collected matter, and memecoins probably won’t go mainstream until you’re able to better signal and organize around your affiliation with them.  

The people who are attracted by purely financial games are already here, and it’ll be more emphasis on the emotional and social games that get the rest of people here.

Bundled Apps

There was a time 8 months ago when 0xDesigner and I were talking a lot about the idea of everything apps. The thinking was that with open data and permissionless protocols, attention-capturing networks will be able to build products that bundle these protocols together and serve their community in surprisingly expansive ways. 

Boys Club was an example I used a bunch at the time because of how strong a community they have and how deeply the people that are a part of it identify with the brand and its values. Them building an app branded and tailored for the girls that acts as a farcaster client, zora client, defi front end, etc seems like the ultimate way to serve them. This is core to the emerging scenecoin opportunity as well.

The common pushback we would get is that super apps don’t work in the west, but I think that misses the point. It’s not a super app, it’s many super apps. It’s scenes owning their own product stack.

World PvP

Last week we talked about the idea of productized memecoin consensus building in the context of rug.fun. They’ve run two games now and clearly haven’t figured out the consensus building piece yet (the charts get ugly af post-game), but they have been fun. 

I do think it’s critical they figure it out quickly though or people will stop playing. The possibility of a 1000x return is core to the memecoin experience and hyper short term PvP games get old in a hurry.

Anyways, this week another memecoin-centric game emerged, building on the backs of the country-coin meta. WorldPvP gives every country a coin and they compete to see who can have the highest market cap. At shortening intervals (starting at 7 days) the top country receives a nuke they can use to attack another country’s liquidity, decided by the country’s president (top holder). 50% of the ETH from the attacked country goes to buying tokens of the country that nuked them, and 50% goes to buying the tokens of another random country. This continues until there’s only 1 country left that has consumed the liquidity of all other countries. 

The game has made over $700k in fees so far. The majority of this is from the 2.5% trading fee, but people can also pay to decorate their country and make global announcements to all players.

The long length of the game (it’ll take months to play out?), increased social surface area (all countries have outrageous twitter accounts, there are fake news networks, etc), and pre-existing consensus memecoins ($USA has a $60M market cap) will make this another pretty informative experiment. If this keeps getting more attention and USA wins, how does the battle for USA coin supremacy play out post-game?

Many of you probably think I’m crazy for paying so much attention to this stuff, but I’m very convicted there are going to be some massive companies built around memecoins, and ephemeral memecoin games are likely to play a big role in them.

Attention is All You Need

Delphi dropped a good report (paywalled 😭) this week that runs through the state of attention markets in web2 (ads) and web3 (tokens). The majority of what’s in there isn’t going to be news to anyone reading this, but it provides a nice holistic overview of what’s happening right now in the attention arena and how we got here.

The most interesting takeaway from the report is really the open question of what comes next. The rise of chat and voice-based AI is going to break ad-based business models and crypto is emerging as a net new distribution channel with crazy attention-generation properties.

New ways of engaging with and getting the attention of consumers are clearly coming, but what are they going to look like? 

People making money off of their attention is a 1,000,000x improvement over Facebook or Google making off of your attention, so what if memecoins are the new ad units?

What if brands start buying memecoins to signal their affiliation with subcultures and get their attention? 

What if brands start launching their own tokens and lean on and reward participants in their scene for distribution?

This is something I need to think more on.

Ethereum FUD

Solana generated more economic value than Ethereum in a day for the first time, SOL/ETH hit all time highs this week, and we’re back into deep Ethereum FUD land. We had talked about its struggling narrative on internet explorers late last year, but people seemed to stop worrying about it as it ripped alongside everything else in the following months. 

Obviously this stuff is reflexive as hell and number going up makes everything better, but Ethereum feeling less cool is a genuine problem for the ecosystem. Consumer products are going to be the largest drivers of value going forward, and obviously how everyone new is going to onboard, so if Solana becomes the cool place to build then you know what happens next.

I thought this call for marketing from the Ethereum Foundation was interesting, but it’s just not who they are. A lot of the future growth is going to come down to how successful Base is at attracting the net new builders, which is easy to be bullish on, but is ETH the best way to get exposure to that or $COIN?


Peace

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