Onchain Principle: Grow the Pie

Optimizing for net new chain users.

At Bunches, we have a few principles that are foundational to how we think about bringing the chain to consumers. Whether we're thinking about decentralizing moderation or designing our utility token, these principles are our system of thinking that help us keep first things first.

Over the next few posts, I'd like to walk through each of these principles, and how they impact our decision making, starting with our first principle: grow the pie.

Grow the Pie

Consumer apps for onchain natives on the left. Onchain apps for consumers on the right.

At Bunches, we're huge fans of the great consumer founders and companies in the crypto space. Apps like Warpcast and Zora are serving existing crypto users extraordinarily well by bringing consumer experiences to onchain natives.

There will undoubtedly be some growth due to these efforts, but I do often wonder if it's going to be the primary "front door" for the next million, hundred-million, billion users to the wide world of crypto.

The question that we're constantly asking ourselves at Bunches is how do we bring net new users to the chain.

Put another way: how do we grow the pie?

For starters, I believe that the target audience of the asset-first NFT/memecoin explosion of 2021-2022 is saturated. That is, if someone is looking for a quick way to make a buck or to find financial alpha, they're likely already onchain.

The next influx of users will come from utilitarian use cases couched in language & experiences that they're familiar with (more on that later and in subsequent Principle posts).

Digital ownership applied to assets that are not financial in nature.

In our estimation, underexplored areas include DAOs, games, non-financial collectibles, etc.

I love that builders and traders are flocking to the space.

But we also have to ask ourselves about the general public.

What about the "normies"?

Yes it's early.

Yes there's still so much to build (that's the point!).

So in expounding on this principle of "growing the pie", let's take a look at the state of things today.

No Good News without Bad News

Anecdotally, it feels like we've flatlined for 12 months.

But not just anecdotally. Quantifiably as well. Let's take a look.

Here's a graph of active Ethereum addresses (as opposed to "total" addresses that so many people love to tout, which are just generated key pairs and not very useful in examining usage):

This isn't the curve we were hoping for.

And here's a look at new Ethereum addresses:

Obvious spikes during the ICO and NFT booms.

The general public wants real use cases and stuff to do with the chain beyond profile picture collections and Shiba Inu related propaganda...as cute as they are.

Yes, developers are excited. And the people hungry for the “thrill of the chase” are still here. But outside of Bitcoin ETFs and crypto growing as an asset class (alongside your real estate and mutual fund holdings), is there anything for the general public to latch onto?

Does the general populace really care about L3s, inline minting experiences, or seamless in-wallet bridging and swapping?

This might not be what you want to hear...

But....no. They don't.

That's the bad news. But now, for the good news.

The Good News

This isn't a call to pack it up and go home.

This is a sober look at the state of growth.

It's a call for hope...and to build.

Problem solvers solve problems.

To problem solvers, to designers, to builders, bad news is opportunity.

The activity I see in the space is extraordinarily exciting.

I love what I'm seeing from projects like Receipts (onchain attestations for real world work), Blackbird Labs (onchain loyalty for restaurants), and ETHGlobal's Packs (bundles of IRL/URL assets).

There's so much to build for the next wave...and it's already happening.

I love the excitement in the space, and it's an honor to build alongside everyone seeking to grow the pie.

I suspect over the next few months we’ll see more “Trojan horses” at the application layer.

Which means more net new onchain users.

What We're Building

We’re building one of these trojan horse applications (what Dan Romero calls a "mullet app" - web2 in the front, crypto in the back) for sports fans.

Our mullet app plays hockey.

Currently, we're serving well over 200,000 sports fans on Bunches...the majority of which have not yet been exposed to the chain, much less are active users on it.

We're changing that, by bringing chain-enabled experiences to consumers on our existing network....starting with community ownership (every Bunch is essentially a consumer-ized DAO).

Our approach combined with onchain native approaches really does feel like the early web, where you had consumer experiences for web-natives (websites, email, usenet, etc) while other companies brought web-native experiences to consumers (search engines and digital commerce, for example).

Eventually these two sides merge into a cohesive experience (like the Internet we all know today).

Bunches will support frames.

Others will build on top of our onchain fandom data.

And so on.

I firmly believe that this two-pronged approach is how we collectively not only grow the pie, but better serve the pie over time.

Together, we succeed. And build something special.

Want to learn more, or just chat about this? Ping me! I primarily hang out on Farcaster these days, so feel free to send me a reply (thinking in public is great!) or shoot me a direct cast there.

Otherwise, thanks for reading! 🙏

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