Founder of IOSG: MEME is like opium, entrepreneurs should resist MEME
Colin Wu . 2024-07-10 . Data



The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of WuBlockchain regarding VC and MEME.

Recently, I happened to come across the story of the Hundred Days’ Reform in the late Qing Dynasty, where young people risked their lives to follow Emperor Guangxu and advocate for reforms. These young pioneers became role models for future generations.

The spirit of these young pioneers is equally important in today’s crypto world. Many practitioners are enthusiastic about resisting “Western powers,” but in reality, they engage in Restaking mining and liquidity pool frontrunning while promoting meme/shitcoin on Twitter. Everyone knows the issues, but compromises for immediate interests. Both Eastern and Western crypto communities are currently indulging in the frenzy of meme speculation. MEME is like opium, an import from the West, with top MEMEs in BN originating from the West. Entrepreneurs and community builders can get lost in this noise, causing Eastern crypto communities to be deeply involved in meme speculation. Many entrepreneurs, after seeing the success of MEME, start to question their entrepreneurial direction and initial aspirations. I believe entrepreneurs should resist MEME and not shift their focus to MEME or engage in assembly-line meme hype!

We need young people who balance practicality with ambition, especially those who can shoulder the ideals of the Eastern crypto community. These young people should not just engage in trading-related activities in this bull market or the last one but focus on building infrastructure and protocols, creating a better community atmosphere. They should not let aspiring developers and young people immerse themselves in various get-rich-quick meme stories.

To clarify, I do not oppose traders who prioritize MEME in this market. Personally, I have been a part of the dogecoin community since 2013 and have always enjoyed it, but I do not want MEME traders to become the mainstream in the Chinese community. After the ETF was approved, I noticed a surge in American and European entrepreneurs, supported by ample capital from American funds. Meanwhile, some major American funds internally stated they would not invest in Chinese Web3 entrepreneurs. The crypto era seems to be witnessing significant differences and divergences between Eastern and Western technologies and communities. While Western technologies continue to emerge, the Eastern crypto community is trapped in meme speculation, which is clearly not a healthy development trend.

Meme speculation has a lottery effect, with the probability of winning decreasing for later participants. Meme, like opium, creates path dependence for early beneficiaries, with more people becoming spokespersons for meme in the community (similar to compradors). This can reinforce the path of making money through meme, but it does not make our technical protocols and communities more unique and strong. Early participants may profit, but this short-sighted behavior, this gambling game, and the legends of getting rich quick will ultimately cause the bubble to burst, becoming a disaster for the Eastern crypto market, repeating the NFT story from the last bull market cycle. I believe that most frontline Eastern entrepreneurs will persist in frontline entrepreneurship, finding their niche in infrastructure or application building, advancing alongside mainstream Western protocols or even leading the way.

Perhaps the crypto market should not be divided into East and West; it is a decentralized world. In the past few cycles, we have seen various Eastern and Western entrepreneurs. Western entrepreneurs’ success is well-founded. For instance, MakerDAO founder Rune Christensen has been pioneering in Web3 for many years, significantly increasing his protocol’s revenue amid the US macro high-interest rates and crypto bear market. In March this year, he launched the Endgame Plan and various SubDAOs, including the Spark SubDAO focusing on lending protocols. EigenLayer’s founder had an overloaded schedule at ETHDenver, personally engaging with partners, shortening meetings to 15/30 minutes. Uniswap’s founder, a hardware engineer, self-learned Solidity and created 50 lines of concise code, leading the DEX AMM wave in the industry. They have always focused on product design and protocol understanding, pursuing industry leadership. Eastern entrepreneurs are the most resilient and strong group; we see many outstanding ones, but they still need more community support and positive feedback. The Eastern community should be more united and strong, spending time discussing how to learn from the West and support a more powerful Eastern community force. When the community and entrepreneurs reach a consensus, protocols will receive more positive feedback.

As an Asia-originated fund, IOSG will invest in and support more Chinese entrepreneurs in this cycle, helping them better enter Western markets and become mainstream. It’s unimaginable that the industry’s mainstream will still be MEME in three to five years. In the wave of the crypto era, everyone inevitably becomes a trendsetter, but do not ignore the negative energy brought to the Chinese community by everyone shouting to invest in MEME. In summary: we should unite more, face future challenges together, and the community needs higher ideals and visions. Someone needs to stand up for the future of the Eastern community. Crypto is not just about MEME; there are many infrastructure and application opportunities waiting to be explored and discovered, which are the real industry alpha. IOSG will promote the long-term development of the industry and community by investing in and supporting young pioneers, helping Eastern entrepreneurs shine in the global market. Here is a small advertisement: we are looking for a candidate with a PR/Marketing background to help VC coins out of trouble, learn MEME’s community management strategies, and better help the IOSG Portfolio go global.

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