JammSession is a newsletter about the latest trends and stories of crypto & gaming. Each week, I jam on the latest trends and happenings of how the story of mainstream adoption is unfolding.
With the influx of liquidity mining distribution, it’s hard to keep up with what’s the latest. Ever since I heard the word “template” to describe different token models and frameworks from Jesse Walden on Fred Ehrsam’s podcast, it clicked to me that it’s the perfect term to explain what’s happening.
As more templates are discovered for monetizing crypto applications, more niche marketplaces/exchanges will come out of the woodwork very quickly Will feel very similar to early mobile games (remixing what works)
And right now, we’ve officially entered the frenzy stage of the yield farming era.
We saw a very similar wave in 2017 with the ICO era. Once discovering the template, the frenzy produced several projects (some of which are still around today), but the bad actors ultimately ended the era.
While there is an interest in moving money between these protocols and buying up tokens, many of these projects are producing frenzies with their ponzinomics ($YFI). Once projects find the right template, more projects will start to copy the template. And then the template will no longer work because it will produce bad actors (fork + copy = $$$) Then the cycle repeats until there is no more appetite.
The significant difference between the ICO and yield farming templates is that people are actually using these protocols and putting effort in to drive value back to these communities.
To break from this cycle of producing bad actors, we need a crypto-native way to build communities after the bootstrapping phase and separate the signal from the noise, similar to the way that CoinList and Coinbase did in 2017-2018. We need transparency on who’s using these protocols, what their user behaviors are, and what the community is about.
A worrying (and unsustainable) trend in DeFi is that when incentives dry up in one lending protocol and yield collapses, it incentivizes creation of new untested lending protocols (or forks), which pump incentives again by creating a new governance token. This is a vicious cycle
Is now the time for a crypto-enabled social network?
We now have a strong need for education. A crypto-native platform to reward stakeholders for learning how to use the protocol, and a place to discuss changes to governance with transparency on who the major stakeholders are. It requires some technical chops and an understanding of how to acquire these tokens. We need a way to educate and build stakeholders for these communities.
We have the tools in place for this to exist:
- TheGraph to fetch on-chain data across communities and curate it into a digestible user interface
- 3Box to create data profiles of users and link social media accounts, discussion threads
- BrightID to verify unique human individuals
- Aragon to create a community ecosystem fund
With these tools, any project should be able to spin up a community inside of an aggregated platform, similar to how anyone can create a subreddit for a community.
We need a platform for users who care about the networks, not investors or exchanges who want to make a quick buck.
Otherwise, this is the future of every governance token.
IT’S TIME TO DOGFOOD.
To move a community from web2 platforms to a crypto-native platform, we need to find a way to get users excited about porting our identities.
This platform would migrate discussions to a web3-native platform. Discourse-based forums have missed the mark. It is too complicated for a new user to enter and understand the ecosystem, and users don’t know the intentions of each user.
By focusing on the stakeholder types in each network, we could give a more precise indication of how to get involved and what the roles of community members should be.
If we’re going to build a community in each of these ecosystems, we should know who’s using these platforms and identify who the most significant stakeholders are. It took MakerDAO two years to create a robust community ecosystem. We should be able to find what community templates work.
One argument to this is distribution - projects want a widespread meme effect and lower the barriers to entry to get the word out about their project. But I’d argue that we hit capacity on our ability to keep up, and we need a way to start filtering these projects.
Open Feedback on RabbitHole
I’ve been trying this stuff out with RabbitHole over the past few months. Today, I’m going to be talking about some of the progress we’ve been making on RabbitHole and get some feedback from the community.
The goal with RabbitHole has been to create a platform to view what the major stakeholders types in each community are, see who the top contributors are, and create a discussion on how the ecosystem should evolve. We currently don’t have a place to do this, and it’s spread out across Discord/Substack/Twitter. It causes a lot of noise and rewards those who keep up with the protocol as opposed to filtering out the noise.
Here’s a brief rundown of what we’ve been building:
A place to see who the major stakeholders, earn reputation, and learn how to get involved with the ecosystem.
See who the top users are. Eventually, be able to filter by stakeholder type. Every network will have a leaderboard.
A place to discuss the latest proposals and see what involvement users had in the protocol with each of their decisions. Have complete transparency in what their stakeholder role in the protocol is.
See what other ecosystems a user is a part of and what their stakeholder experience is in each. See how they rank up against other users and their recent history.
If we want to break free from the cycle, we need to start curating
I believe that we’re on the cusp of an explosion of tokens during the yield farming era, but the music won’t last for long if we don’t figure out a way to get new users onboarded who can become owners in these networks.
If we want these communities to stick around, we need a sustainable way of building them. We need transparency.
What do you think? Is it time to dogfood? Open to feedback and thoughts, feel free to reply to this e-mail or DM me on Twitter (@Flynnjamm)