Posted on Jan 19, 2024Read on

[Thursday Thoughties] Dark Future Bright Now

The future is dark, but it's also bright now.

Crypto is full of potential. I’m personally convinced it’s the future, but it’s important to remember how dark it is in the future - it ain’t the bright metaverse of snow crash just yet - so unless you’re up close and personal with it, it really is rather hard to see.

Add to that the needless complication, amongst other things, that Coopahtroopa mentions in his latest article The World Hates Crypto and it’s easy to understand why so many folks can’t understand let alone see the potential or point of crypto today.

So then, what can we do to illuminate that potential and present the bright future of crypto for others?

Make things stupid-dumb

Simplify, simplify, simplify. And simplify some more. Whatever you do, avoid over-complicating things. Honestly trying to make something stupid dumb is probably the best place to start.

Creating something that the left-curve can understand immediately is key. If a crypto-powered idea is that easy to understand that means it should be dead simple to engage with, and that’s the next step to focus on.

The quicker folks can go from ‘What’s that (crypto thing)?’ to actually using it the better.

To me this means not requiring folks to purchase anything upfront. That said, I think folks take it too far when they advocate against requiring users to download or install an EOA (Externally Owned Address) like Phantom or MetaMask.

Empower users new to crypto early on

EOAs are the passports of crypto.

They’re your crypto identity even before they’re a container for crypto assets, and over time they’re an essential tool that highlights the power of crypto.

That said EOAs are kinda unfamiliar at first to folks. So starting simple is key. Simply requiring users have an EOA to a) log in and b) sign a message with their private key for some in-app action helps build that association that EOA = identity that they control and carry with them.

StreakPoints, a game where users earn onchain points for keeping up a streak of daily onchain check-ins, does this better than any other crypto project I’ve seen. In order to sign up for StreakPoints just need to have an EOA. No email required. But crucially they also don’t need any crypto to get started.

Thanks to EIP-712 and the gasless metadata transactions it enables, when users check-in using their EOA, all they need to do is click a sign message in their EOA and boom, they’ve committed an on-chain interaction that results in a public transaction on the blockchain.

Lean into crypto-native incentivizes early

Each daily onchain check-in also results in them receiving a share of the daily $SP tokens that gets distributed amongst all users (called Streakers) that check-in onchain within a 24 hour period.

Tokens are strangely powerful incentives. Even tokens that are worthless and useless like $SP have an uncanny ability to attract users. StreakPoints is up to around 140 daily user checkins off the strength of users joining to farm $SP.

Leaning into those sorts of crypto-native incentives in a crypto-powered app designed to appeal to newbies is crucial. Don’t keep the crypto-native aspects away from new users too long, otherwise the crypto aspect will seem boring. Leveraging the sticky aspects that crypto incentives unlock really is the way. And we’re constantly discovering new ways to make those effects stronger, so designing an app or product that is open to evolving is also important.


Cover image: C³ #201/256 by Han

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