Albiverse

Posted on May 10, 2024Read on Mirror.xyz

My Farcon Takeaways

Farcon 2 happened last week in LA. Because of Farcaster’s recent growth, the conference ended up being much bigger than planned a few months earlier. Vibes were really high. You could definitely feel the euphoria of an early community that is growing and winning together. Although as some highlighted, its also competing against each other. I think both are true depending on who you are.

Here are a few takeaways from last week that I think are relevant to share.

1. Farcaster adopts a “growing with crypto” strategy

During their introductory talk, Dan and Varun laid out the strategy for Farcaster in the months to come.

https://warpcast.com/dwr.eth/0x778b9e01

The highlight for me is that the team will keep building for ‘crypto natives’.

The plan is to grow inside of crypto, with crypto, and win the category before expanding to other markets.

I think that makes sense at a time where crypto is about to grow a lot again, and where serving non-web3 users is still a nightmare. By the end of this cycle (and next bear?), the strategy can be evolved.

2. ‘Channels’ are where the action happens this cycle

Another point in Dan and Varun’s talk was their intention to double down on Farcaster channels, turn channels into protocols, and invite builders to create customized experiences for communities on top of channels. I am pretty convinced that within a few months, most of crypto’s economic and social activity will happen there. Here is why:

  1. Think of channels as the 2024 version of 2021 Discord: the homebase for web3 native communities, but this time around it is web3 native and open for builders to integrate with. They’re a new iteration on DAOs but more accessible and scalable; people gather in channels and hang out around projects, memes, speculative assets… Projects and creators are building a presence in the various channels that matter to them. Note: the [memecoin x channel] combo has been the core of Farcaster’s user acquisition engine.

  2. Kiosk (former Mirror team) raising $10M to build a channels client

    1. The former Mirror team handed off the Mirror product to Paragraph. I assume that they felt appealed the sizable opportunity that channels and Farcaster represent vs. a smaller market for Mirror. Kiosk raised $10M to build a client that integrates channels' social activity with web3 assets tightly is a great validation of channels’ momentum.

    2. The experience that they’re aiming for is letting ppl copy-paste any web3 asset in a chat and sharing that with their friends, socializing and trading - all in the same place… Check out their Mirror post and trailer video.

  3. Reminder: channels are also a thing in the Lens ecosystem. The Orb team has been prioritizing Clubs in their product which, for example, can now have a shared treasury that captures part of the minting volume in a given club.

3. New token allocation mechanisms seen on Farcaster?

I listened to this recent Bankless episode describing how the current points x airdrop meta was “cooked” and likely needs to change. At the same time on Farcaster, we’re seeing interesting and organic means of distributing tokens emerge as potential alternatives:

  1. Social distribution - aka. allowance tipping

    1. Tipping already existed in Discord, but it was brought back to life by the team behind $degen, and it stuck. More and more tokens on Farcaster are currently adopting tipping as a way to go around or complement airdrops. It seems like tipping is particularly good at putting tokens in the hands of many and grow the number of holders which is directly correlated with longer-term success of the token.

    2. Raz, founder of Guild, pointed out on a panel last week that the allowance part of tipping was actually the most interesting part. It is like giving voting power to people that contribute to your project, letting them judge on where to allocate that capital or resource. So far it's always been an ERC-20 token allowance, but it could be something else?

    3. There are still lots of unsolved questions around tipping in the longer run. How do you sustain or replace tipping when token treasuries run out? How do you compensate for the lack of tipping?

  2. Voting on grants allocation through tipping

    1. During his talk at Farcon, Degen’s founder Jacek mentioned wanting to let people use their tipping allowance to vote on which projects should receive grants bottom-up, instead of having to allocate them top-down.
  3. rounds.wtf is a top-down mechanism to reward community contributions

    1. Rounds has been built by Nouns co-founder, @seneca (on FC), as a simple tool to allocate grants retroactively through Frames. Community members post memes and receive small amounts of ETH at the end of the round, claimable through a frame.

      1. Case Study 1: $Higher has been using Rounds - they’ve distributed all the supply at launch among members. Distributing among people creating content in the channel.

      2. Case study 2: the Boss community is currently running a meme contest and allocating 1ETH to creators through rounds.

  4. Direct grants

    1. Syndicate and Degen have partnered on an initiative to fund projects building on Degen L3.

    2. Some Higher team members have manually distributed retroactive grants to reward writing initiatives in their community.

4. Clients and apps that caught my attention

  1. Kiosk (mentionned above) - a homebase for communities on top of channels

  2. Fabric.xyz - a subscription-based patronage platform for creators, UX is sweet and simple

  3. Alfafrens - friendtech meets superfluid subscriptions, I feel that UX on there is pretty smooth. The app uses $degen as base currecny

  4. Nook.social - a modular Farcaster client where you can group channels together for easier browsing

  5. bracket.game - token enabled betting app

  6. Sonata - aggregates music shared on Farcaster - layered with a new economics through tipping

5. Recommendations and opportunities for projects

Disclaimer: I am very biased as I’ve invested a lot of time learning about Farcaster/Lens and building a presence there, chatted with many bullish people last week, and I have invested money in Farcaster related projects.

I don’t know about the future of Farcaster and web3 social beyond this bull cycle, but I expect that a good chunk of the wealth creation, activity, and innovation will happen there in the next 18 months.

For projects I think the following initiatives are worth considering:

  • Engaging through personal accounts in most aligned Farcaster communities

  • Launching product experiments to serve channels and their communities

  • Growing your own channel on Farcaster

Now, on the longer run I expect the hype to come back down by a lot, as we’ve seen time and time again with crypto hype bubbles. Plan your moves accordingly!