This edition is sponsored by Purple, a DAO whose goal is to proliferate and expand the Farcaster protocol and ecosystem. Interested in sponsoring a future edition? Send us a reply to this email!
Farcaster News and Links
Farcaster landed in the App Store! Dan shared his own scoop in a cast on Tuesday night. You can access the app in the App Store here. Some other notes: User-driven invites are coming “soonish,” but signups remain gated for now. Also new on iOS - Muting users. Muting is private (the muted user won’t know).
Perl is pivoting. Cofounder Alex Kwon held an AMA about the reasoning, as well as what’s next for him and cofounder Peter Kim.
V (aka Varun Srinivasan of Merkle Manufactory) is continuing his video series getting into the nitty gritty of Farcaster protocol development. This week’s lesson was on the five properties of a secure direct messaging system. He also shared a video on how end-to-end encryption works in direct casts as well as “break in recovery.” As @v notes, @cassie is the protocol engineer who designed and implemented the crypto behind this system.
Chess anyone? Kevin O’Connell, self-described “bad chess player,” is working on a Lichess + Farcaster app. Give @farcasterchess a follow to stay tuned for his first move. (Editor’s note: Believing yourself to be a bad chess player is a prerequisite to being a good chess player, no?)
Purple got a shoutout in the weekly Forefront newsletter as part of a promo for Forefront’s new Terminal dashboard for tokenized communities. (HT @ccarella)
Farcaster got a shoutout in the latest edition of The Scoop from Kanav Kariya, president of Jump Crypto. Go to the 45 minute mark to listen. (HT @hunterbm)
David Furlong started a conversation about how folks in the Farcaster community would be open to helping others. “Wholesome,” said Liang in response, noting that casts like this are “what makes FC nice.” Some of the ways people would help include meme review, understanding art, beta testing, and all flavors of technical/product support.
Eventcaster got a big v2 update featuring a new and improved website, a smarter bot, and an expanded and solidified direction, according to founder Matthew. Check out @event or eventcaster.xyz to use the service.
Launchcaster, a service that watches for hot new launches on Farcaster and Lens, added the ability to see and copy upvoter wallets (think ProductHunt but make it web3). Check them out at launchcaster.xyz. Builder Jayme Hoffman is sharing continual updates on Farcaster – other tweaks later in the week included a new welcome email, updated socials, and more. Another big focus right now is Launchaster Communities – you can now see launch feeds for communities including Zorbs, Purple, Orange DAO, Developer DAO, and DEF.
Purple (the app, not the DAO) introduced a trending topics module, powered by AI. Creator Jason Goldberg says that native apps are in development. The website, getpurple.xyz, is read-only for now, and we are admittedly biased towards the very regal color scheme. 🟪
Paragraph co-founder (and Purple DAO member) Colin Armstrong spoke with Mac Budkowski about getting to his first 5,000 users, integrating with Farcaster, and more. Find links to the episodes here.
Move over, Bitly. Sharecaster has added click analytics, so now you can see how many people are clicking your shared casts. Including this one pointing to the cast by builder Michael Pfister that announced the new feature. Links and mentions are also now clickable on Sharecaster.
Lights… Camera… Casting! Builder Payton Garland is working on a video app for Farcaster, Pixel Pool, and launched Pixel Pool Studio this week, which enables basic edits to published content.
@borodutch (a.k.a. Nikita Kolmogorov) launched Farcantasy.xyz - “the genesis of the farcaster card trading game” - in a cast Friday. The first 1,000 users are now available to mint. A few users have already minted a dozen or more cards. @borodutch said that the attack and defense attributes will evolve as users gain (or lose!) followers.
The interview hadn’t dropped as of publication time, but Dan is going to be featured in a Bankless episode dropping this weekend. (HT @rsa)
Vitalik Buterin continues to explore the Farcaster ecosystem and on Friday he started a conversation about the norms of quoting tweets in a cast. Buterin said that he likes the soft norm against the practice – “Keep the two universes separate.” (Although as Buterin notes, he has also done it in the past, and Dan has also recasted news from the bird site, so this is really the softest of norms right now.)
As Farcaster Hubs get closer, the protocol team is delving deep into the challenge of allocating limited storage and bandwidth between users to maximize network value. Hubs are meant to fit into a single cloud instance (less than <64 TB) and support upwards of 10 million users. Read the team’s current thinking here. (HT @v)
a16z crypto engineer Mason Hall blessed us all with a Friday drop of farcaster-py, a modern Python library for Farcaster’s v2 API. As Hall described it in the introductory cast: “It supports auto-completion and type hinting everywhere, and has abstractions for the most use cases. Perfect for writing bots, clients, data sci., auth tools, and much more.”
Sponsored by Purple
Purple is a DAO whose goal is to proliferate and expand the Farcaster protocol and ecosystem. The DAO operates on Nouns.Build, Discord, and Charmverse. Currently, the DAO is considering purchasing a BuilderDAO token to participate in the governance of Nouns.Build. More background in the discussion here.
Get to know Purple
This week, meet Purple DAO member billzh.eth.
TWiF: Why did you want to join Purple?
I first saw Purple in November of last year when people were talking about it on Farcaster. The word "Purple" kept popping up in my feed and in the Telegram group. In early December, I was taking a really long flight from London to Shanghai, but I had Internet access. On that flight I had time to read through basically every single message that was posted in the Telegram group and the Discord. I was so inspired by Purple's mission and the fact that a group of people had come together to promote an app that they didn't create (meaning that they weren't part of Merkle Manufactory). They shared the same value as I do – which is that we believe in the value of web3 social, that everyone can post on a social platform without getting censored and every developer can build on top of that platform. I started to ask questions in the Discord, placed a bid, and won the first time I placed a bid. Ever since that day I've been participating in the DAO and trying to help out where I can.
TWiF: What excites you most about Farcaster?
I think it is the potential that we may be able to create a real web3 Twitter that would redefine the norms for what social media platforms look like. It is an extremely difficult task because Twitter as it stands today has enormous network effects – hundreds of millions of users. For something like Farcaster to succeed, it's going to take a decade or more of hard work. Not just the people in Merkle Manufactory, but everyone on the platform who shares this common goal. In order to achieve something great as an entrepreneur, you have to leverage the talent of people outside of your organization. I think Dan and the team has done a really good job of leveraging people from outside of their own company. This is, I believe, the recipe for achieving greatness and so far they've been really open, and shipping a lot of product. All of that gives me confidence that this is the closest that we've got to replacing Twitter and creating a true web3 social platform.
TWiF: Can you give us a few recommended follows on Farcaster?
Other than @dwr and @v, here are a few accounts I enjoy: @ccarella @jayme @kmacbeth @antonio
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Farcaster Posts of the Week
This newsletter is published with Paragraph.xyz. The format of this newsletter was inspired by Week in Ethereum News. With questions, comments, or other feedback, please send a reply to this email, or access the "farcaster-weekly" channel in Purple's Discord.