What kind of DApp do we need?
Colin Wu . 2023-09-14 . Data
Author: OFR XIN



If you are a rational and neutral investor, please admit, we don’t need more infra projects.

— At least at this moment.

Current infra can sustain us to the next bull run or maybe even the next next bull, if there is one.

Scalability — we have Solana, legitimacy- ETH L2 Rollups and incoming zkEVMs; Decentralization- Ethereum L1; Composability — Cosmos or Polkadot.

We possess all the necessary elements for the creation of applications, including hundreds of Raas or AppChain services. However, the question remains: Where are the killer apps?

Last cycle, we have DeFi saved our ass, AMM Dex + Pooled lending + Yield farming ignited thousands of Dapps with tweaks in mechanism to copy to different chains. What kind of Dapps will be the saviors this time?

Here is what I’ve found. Let’s dive in.

1.Meme coins

Meme coins such as $Pepe or $Bitcoin(HarryPotterObamaSonic10Inu) are awesome innovations during the bear market. They have given rise to a culture of degens and a more equitable token mechanism compared to VC-backed tokens with billion-dollar valuations and over-hyped strategies that are likely to experience a dump in the coming days.

In a way, some of the major infrastructure projects could even be seen as meme tokens, created specifically for venture capitalists to alleviate their fear of missing out on large infrastructure investments that they missed in the previous cycle.

Creating a cultural symbol that can spread like a virus is always a challenging task, with no set template to follow. To become a successful meme creator, one should possess a thorough understanding of the degen subculture, as well as a keen sense of artistic design. Furthermore, using tokens with no “intrinsic” value poses a challenge to growing the community.

In my opinion, meme coins have become another cultural phenomenon that has gained traction in the crypto world, following the popularity of NFT PFPs.

2. Friend. tech (abbreviated as ”FT” in the following)

FT is often referred to as a social product in most analyses. However, I consider it a financial product based on Twitter’s (or X’s) user network. It didn’t create a new social network or introduce any new communication paradigm, like how IM did with SNS in Web 2.0.

We can create a product formulation that incorporates token monetization into Twitter’s social network value if you agree with my assessment. Essentially, we would be tokenizing Twitter ahead of its own token launch.

Based on the first principle, we can develop more Twitter-based token products with different product formats. Recently, a team proposed a product called “Tip coin” which aligns with this principle.

FT user traction peaked on Aug 21 and then declined continuously (Source: Dune Analytics)

3. Telegram bots

Unibots originated from a simple idea that many teams have likely explored. However, it stands out from other products with similar initiatives in two key aspects:

Unibots launched new features catering to meme traders, including limit orders, copy trades, and private mempools. While many teams are touting their “intent-centric” concept, Unibots has already put the concept into daily use millions of times.

Additionally, their token design is carefully crafted with a fair launch model that maximizes community interest and aligns token value directly with revenue.

It is important to note that Unibots leveraged Telegram’s user base, which is considered essential for any player in the crypto industry.

Unibots fees skyrocketed over the last 2 months (Source: Dune Analytics)

What can we conclude from the above example?

If we consider Product, Subculture Creativity, and Tokenomics as a triangle (as many metaphors in crypto‘s jargon), successful projects typically possess two of the three elements. However, for a project to attain widespread adoption and long-term viability, all three are recommended.

Meme tokens have sparked a subculture craze and feature a well-designed token mechanism, but currently lack an available product.

The FT has a strong approach to product launches and a well-designed token system for bootstrapping. However, it doesn’t embody any specific subculture.

Unibots has successfully launched a great product, and the token model aligns well with it. However, the project has yet to establish its own distinctive subculture.

What are the products and builders I’m expecting?

  • Product and Growth Strategy: Develop a plan to acquire users right from day 0. Make use of the user base on Twitter or Telegram. This doesn’t necessarily mean creating a Twitter extension or Telegram bot, but rather finding a unique way to get users from these two largest user base apps on board.
  • Tokenomics: A well-designed structure of token allocation balancing the sell side and buy side. The revenue can be accumulated by token holders or tokens can be used as a method of bootstrapping in a sustainable way.
  • Creativity & Culture: a talented individual with a strong sense of community and subculture, and expertise in growth hacking through Twitter.

Based on these criteria, I expect more DApp builders to join the DApp building community. I don’t want to label it as just another buzzword or category. If I had to, I might refer to it as “TwitterFi”, “TelegramFi”, or “MemeFi”, using the universal nomenclature of the crypto industry.

In some of the more contentious areas, like Onchain Gaming or Autonomous World, I believe there is significant potential for talented individuals to create highly successful products. However, I also have concerns that the learning curve for non-hardcore crypto gamers may be too steep. I would be interested in collaborating with builders from Onchain Gaming to explore more accessible ways of onboarding users, while also considering proper tokenomics. I am genuinely surprised that there hasn’t been more discussion around token design within the Onchain Gaming communities.

The best Timing to invest in Web3 is — Now!

  • Companies established after the last bull market that was unable to build sufficient competitiveness or raise sufficient funds have either failed or shifted to other sections such as AI.
  • Investors who were previously hesitant to invest in cryptocurrency, but experienced FOMO during the last peak of the bull market, are now eagerly seeking opportunities to invest in AI deals.
  • The market appears to be tired of all the ZK and infra stories. Additionally, with over 10 projects having a valuation of nearly or over $1B preparing to launch their tokens, it’s difficult to imagine they can successfully launch tokens given current market conditions and user stats, especially without any new application innovations.

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