Headless Brands with Money: The Case for Onchain Capitalized Networks

Onchain capitalized networks are the DAOs we didn't know we needed

DAOs haven’t seen incredible success

Sriram Krishnan’s note on "Group Chats Rule the World" resonated hard with me. I am part of multiple group chats, and I have like 3-4 go-to group chats.

In these chats, I know everyone and actively contribute to conversations and banter. The trust coefficient here is extremely high. No wonder, I’ve co-invested, lent, borrowed, and transacted with people on these group chats.

Surprisingly, these group chats don't have a treasury; they are just plain networks. Decision-making in these groups is driven by 1-2 core members who guide the conversations.

Building FBI- Farcaster Builders India 

FBI is an open network on Farcaster. It has a channel /fbi on Warpcast and a telegram chat where people talk about building and complain about FBI merch.

FBI has a core team and several subgroups focused on specific things:

  • Core community: FBI’s telegram is an open space for building and banter. Everyone is welcome, as long as they don’t shill. FBI’s treasury is ~$200k majorly from drops received permissionlessly.

  • Onchain rookies: Originally started as a rookie and product feedback testing group, it's now the most promising alpha group. This group is gated by activity, and folks who don't add value are purged monthly.

  • Onchain ballers: FBI content creators chat, coordinate, and learn from each other here. This is not gated but has a purge element. Recently they launched Based Academy channel on warpcast to create the education layer on base.

  • Brokers: Onchain Poker is now a thing at FBI, and folks that love poker find themselves here. Brokers is decentralized, has a multisig wallet, and is gated by an NFT.

  • Laxmi Chit Fund: A spin-off from the Rookies chat, has 12 members and holds several NFTs and token positions. They’re raising their 2nd round and the first 2 bids combined are at ~1E.

  • Rode Nunners: A 20-member subgroup that runs nodes now has ~10 E in treasury. This is gated and closed.

  • FBI Labs: A service agency that designs and develops on Farcaster. Current MRR for FBI labs ~$50k.

  • Farside FM: A podcast run by Ishika that FBI supports with access and capital. 

  • FBI Goats: Girls of All Time (GOATs) is a women collective at FBI that aims to bring more women builders onchain. They are not gated and do not have a treasury.

This is just the beginning of where FBI has reached in just 4 months. Various shapes of onchain capital coordination have allowed FBI to-

  • Drop ~$12,000 to 60 FBI members, all of which came from the community in a first-of-its-kind drop.

  • Run ‘Based fellowship’ costing $40,000 for top Indian builders, most of this we bootstrapped.

  • Conceptualize an IRL ‘Based House’ in Goa, budgeted at around ~$100k.

A core reason for FBIs rapid growth has been having a flexible structure with a deep focus on speed. FBI is not the only one, though; I see similar experiments now happening at:

  • Proxy Studio by proxy

  • Higher collective by Six, Kugusha, Jihad, and others

  • The Based and Yellow Collective by Toady Hawk

  • Terminally Onchain by YB

  • Club Ted by Ted

Proxy studio runs Proxyswap (the largest Dex on Degen L3), a node ops business, mercenary capital (A hedge/trading fund), and invests in several other projects. We co-build with them and have been amazed at our shared vision. 

The higher collective recently launched an athletics program that completely took me by surprise. No wonder I find myself saying ‘higher’ in day-to-day conversations now.

ToC by YB is backed by a hypersub and launching its own client game ‘the terminal’ to reward those that are terminally onchain.

The Yellow Collective and its approach to empowering creators has built this massive creator network. Members often get access to exclusive mints and co-create things. 

Club Ted by Ted I am not a member of it, but everyone that is has told me great things. Ted is now helping build FBI goats.

Notice how all these networks are not only creating value for themselves but also for other networks.

The case for Onchain Capitalized Networks:

Onchain capitalized networks are collectives of people who come together to create value for each other. The fundamental thesis is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Think of them as a large network of people that can operate under a given brand umbrella, all while adding value to the network and benefitting from the created collective value. OCNs allow for easy movement of funds, aggregate reputation, and are truly global.

OCNs are experimentative and everyone operates on varying degrees of decentralization in decision-making and ownership. Here are a few core commonalities-

  1. OCNs are Permissionless: 

Anyone can permissionlessly join the network and contribute to it, in turn, the network rewards the participant’s effort. Even if it is gated by an NFT, a hypersub, or certain other requirements, those requirements are transparent and not dependent on the approval of a centralized authority.

  1. OCNs are onchain:

The network is onchain, people can coordinate with each other on a channel, a warpcast group chat, or a telegram group without requiring approval from a central authority. 

  1. OCNs have access to capital:

The network has a treasury or coordinates in unique ways to coordinate capital onchain for specific tasks. The network finds unique ways to distribute this capital to support its growth and development by funding new projects, rewarding contributors, or investing in strategic opportunities.

As I build FBI out, I think less about fitting FBI into predefined buckets and more ‘what can the collective enable’ for folks involved without compromising on decision-making speed. 

Maybe, just maybe, these onchain capitalized networks are what DAOs were supposed to be all along.

Either way, I am bullish on these networks. You should be too.

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