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FriendTech, Fantasy Top & The Future Of SocialFi | Bread (@0xBreadGuy)

By Unlayered

Published on 2024-05-23

Explore the rise of SocialFi with crypto expert Bread as he discusses FriendTech, Fantasy Top, and the evolving landscape of blockchain-based social platforms.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!

The Rise of SocialFi: FriendTech, Fantasy Top, and Beyond

In a rapidly evolving crypto landscape, new paradigms are constantly emerging. One of the most intriguing developments in recent months has been the rise of SocialFi - a fusion of social media and decentralized finance. To shed light on this burgeoning sector, the Unlayered podcast recently hosted Bread (@0xBreadGuy), a prominent Crypto Twitter personality and early adopter of SocialFi platforms. This comprehensive discussion delved into the mechanics, potential, and future of social finance protocols, with a particular focus on FriendTech and Fantasy Top.

What is SocialFi?

SocialFi represents an emerging layer in the cryptocurrency ecosystem that aims to tokenize social profiles and online interactions. It's a natural evolution of the creator economy, where individuals can potentially monetize their online presence and social capital in novel ways. Unlike traditional social media platforms, SocialFi introduces blockchain elements like tokenization, bonding curves, and on-chain interactions to create new economic models around social engagement.

FriendTech: Pioneering the SocialFi Space

FriendTech emerged as one of the first prominent SocialFi platforms, quickly gaining traction in the crypto community. At its core, FriendTech allows users to buy and sell "keys" or "shares" associated with Twitter profiles. These keys grant access to private chats with the profile owner, creating a unique, gated social experience.

Bread explained the mechanics: "You would just sign in with your Twitter account, which instantly tied and verified your online persona with a specific address. People had the ability to deploy capital, in this case Ethereum, and buy access to this person - almost like a gated private chat."

The Bonding Curve Innovation

One of FriendTech's most significant innovations was the introduction of a bonding curve for key prices. As Bread notes, "The more people that bought it, there was a bonding curve. So the more expensive they would get." This mechanism created a speculative layer, incentivizing early discovery of promising creators and rewarding those who identified rising stars before they became widely popular.

The bonding curve concept has since been applied to other areas of crypto, such as token launches. Platforms like Pump Fun now use similar mechanisms to reward early adopters with larger allocations. This demonstrates how SocialFi innovations are influencing broader crypto token economics.

FriendTech's Unique Chat Experience

FriendTech's chat functionality offered a novel "public-private" experience. Bread elaborated: "The person who generated the account could see everyone's responses inside their chat. The only time anyone could see other people's requests or comments to the person was if they specifically replied to that person." This created a one-to-many dynamic with built-in moderation capabilities.

Challenges and Criticisms

Despite its initial popularity, FriendTech faced several challenges. The chat application itself was criticized for technical limitations. Bread candidly stated, "The chat app was frankly not good. Objectively, not a very good technically built platform, which kind of scared off a lot of people."

Additionally, concerns were raised about the potential for doxxing users' wallets, as the platform created a direct link between Twitter profiles and on-chain addresses. This highlights the ongoing tension in crypto between transparency and privacy.

FriendTech V2 and Clubs

Responding to user feedback and market dynamics, FriendTech launched its V2 iteration, introducing "Clubs" as a new feature. Bread described this as a set of "training wheels" for creating tokenized communities: "You can go click a button, choose how drastic you want the curve to be. So you instantly have a coin and picture and whatever... you also have a chat that's natively integrated into it."

This update aimed to simplify the process of launching a tokenized community while keeping liquidity within the FriendTech ecosystem. It also introduced a referral system and the concept of "club presidents," creating new dynamics for community governance and engagement.

Fantasy Top: A New Contender in the SocialFi Space

As FriendTech's user numbers began to decline, a new platform called Fantasy Top entered the scene, quickly gaining traction. Fantasy Top applies the concept of fantasy sports to Twitter engagement, allowing users to create teams of Twitter profiles and compete based on social media metrics.

Bread explained the concept: "It's just fantasy sports but the players are Twitter users. You're building a team of cards, but just building a team out of Twitter - crypto Twitter, predominantly - users, hoping that whoever gets the most engagement performs better on Twitter metrics, scores higher, and then you compete against other people over a certain duration to try to win prizes."

Reducing Friction for Content Creators

One of Fantasy Top's key advantages is its low barrier to entry for content creators. Unlike FriendTech, which required active participation from profile owners, Fantasy Top allows for passive inclusion. Bread noted, "All they have to do is continue shitposting on Twitter. So it works in that respect that you're not really asking them to do anything differently than they would be otherwise."

This approach could potentially lead to wider adoption, as it doesn't require creators to change their behavior or learn new platforms.

The L1 Landscape: Solana, Ethereum, and Bitcoin

The conversation then shifted to the broader blockchain landscape, particularly the positioning of major Layer 1 networks like Solana, Ethereum, and Bitcoin.

Solana's Abundance Mindset

Bread highlighted Solana's "abundance mindset" as a key differentiator. He argued that Solana's high throughput and low transaction costs allow developers and users to experiment with new use cases that might not be economically viable on more constrained networks.

"The mindset of abundance versus the mindset of scarcity which was Bitcoin and Ethereum almost exclusively building with abundance allows for people to think on new products," Bread explained. This environment could potentially foster innovation and lead to novel applications that we haven't yet imagined.

Ethereum's Scaling Challenges

The discussion touched on Ethereum's ongoing scaling efforts, particularly the shift towards Layer 2 solutions. Bread noted that while Ethereum has a strong ecosystem, its base layer is struggling to keep up with demand: "Ethereum hasn't been able to keep up with it even with the L2 scaling roadmap. It's kind of created this fracture liquidity stuff."

Bitcoin's Resurgence Through Ordinals

Bitcoin, long considered primarily a store of value, has seen renewed interest through the emergence of Ordinals and inscriptions. This development has brought NFT-like functionality to the Bitcoin blockchain, driving significant on-chain activity.

Bread observed, "What it showed me was that people very much value on-chain storage of their stuff. People, whether you think it's practical or not, people really like putting their asset on the chain to be stored."

The Future of Blockchain Scalability

A key theme throughout the discussion was the ongoing challenge of blockchain scalability. Bread proposed an interesting theory about the cyclical nature of blockchain evolution:

"We're in this step function of okay, you make blocks. You get to a point where it creates enough demand to make it sustainable, cool. And it hits capacity and you start to ossify a little bit because now it's harder. There's more people that have adopted it. It's slower to move. And then the next thing comes along with a little bit bigger blocks that's orders of magnitude bigger than what you currently have."

This pattern suggests that we may continue to see new blockchains emerge and gain traction as existing networks struggle to scale to meet growing demand.

ETF Approvals and Market Implications

During the recording of the podcast, breaking news emerged about increased odds for Ethereum ETF approval. This development could have significant implications for the crypto market as a whole.

Bread shared his perspective on the potential market impact: "I feel like it's pretty clear to me that between the structural flows that will come from us being - us as the crypto market - being recognized as an actual asset class on the uprise, like it's just going to take time for that to play out. And I'm comfortable just kind of sitting and watching my bags go up for the next six to 12 months."

The Political Dimension of Crypto

The discussion also touched on the increasing political relevance of cryptocurrency, particularly in the context of the upcoming U.S. elections. The hosts speculated that crypto-friendly positions could become important factors in political campaigns.

Conclusion: The Evolving SocialFi Landscape

As the conversation wrapped up, it became clear that SocialFi is still in its early stages, with much room for innovation and growth. Platforms like FriendTech and Fantasy Top are just the beginning, experimenting with new models of social interaction and value creation in the digital realm.

The success of these platforms will likely depend on their ability to create compelling user experiences, navigate privacy concerns, and integrate seamlessly with existing social media habits. As the broader crypto market continues to mature, with developments like potential ETF approvals on the horizon, the SocialFi sector stands to benefit from increased mainstream attention and investment.

Ultimately, the rise of SocialFi represents a fascinating convergence of social media, finance, and blockchain technology. As these experiments continue to evolve, they may well reshape our understanding of online social interactions and the nature of digital value itself.

Facts + Figures

  • FriendTech introduced a bonding curve mechanism for pricing "keys" tied to social profiles
  • FriendTech generated upwards of $50-55 million in fees from its original contract
  • FriendTech's V2 introduced "Clubs" with integrated chat functionality
  • Fantasy Top is a new SocialFi platform applying fantasy sports concepts to Twitter engagement
  • Bitcoin reached $70,000 during the recording of the podcast
  • ETF approval odds for Ethereum increased from 25% to 75% according to some analysts
  • Solana's throughput is estimated to be about 0.005% of Ethereum's in terms of block space
  • FriendTech's daily active users dropped from 70,000 to 366 for key trading, with about 100 unique addresses transacting on the club side
  • Fantasy Top is reportedly giving away 600 ETH to "heroes" (Twitter profiles used in the game)
  • The crypto market cap is expected to continue trending upwards for the next 6-12 months according to Bread
  • Traditional VC raises in crypto are not yet at the frothy levels seen in previous bull markets, with recent raises around $1 billion compared to peaks of $3 billion per month
  • Coinbase stock (referred to as a "token" by Bread) is gaining attention in traditional finance circles

Questions Answered

What is SocialFi?

SocialFi is an emerging sector in cryptocurrency that combines social media with decentralized finance. It aims to tokenize social profiles and interactions, creating new economic models around online engagement. SocialFi platforms typically use blockchain technology to enable users to invest in or monetize social capital, often through mechanisms like bonding curves and tokenized access to exclusive content or interactions.

How does FriendTech work?

FriendTech allows users to buy and sell "keys" associated with Twitter profiles. Users sign in with their Twitter account, which links their online persona to a specific blockchain address. Other users can then purchase these keys, which grant access to private chats with the profile owner. The price of keys increases along a bonding curve as more people buy them, creating a speculative element and rewarding early adopters.

What is Fantasy Top and how is it different from FriendTech?

Fantasy Top is a SocialFi platform that applies the concept of fantasy sports to Twitter engagement. Users create teams of Twitter profiles and compete based on social media metrics. Unlike FriendTech, Fantasy Top doesn't require active participation from the Twitter users themselves - they can continue their normal posting habits. This reduces friction for content creators and potentially allows for wider adoption.

How is Solana positioned in the current blockchain landscape?

Solana is positioned as a high-throughput, low-cost blockchain that enables an "abundance mindset" for developers and users. Its ability to process transactions quickly and cheaply allows for experimentation with new use cases that might not be economically viable on more constrained networks. This positioning contrasts with the "scarcity mindset" associated with Bitcoin and Ethereum, potentially fostering more innovation in the Solana ecosystem.

What impact could ETF approvals have on the crypto market?

ETF approvals, particularly for Bitcoin and potentially Ethereum, could have a significant positive impact on the crypto market. They would provide easier access for institutional investors and could lead to substantial inflows of capital. This recognition of crypto as a legitimate asset class by traditional finance could drive prices up and increase overall market stability. Some analysts have dramatically increased their odds of ETF approval, suggesting a potential shift in regulatory stance.

How is Bitcoin evolving beyond its role as a store of value?

Bitcoin is evolving beyond its traditional role as a store of value through innovations like Ordinals and inscriptions. These developments have brought NFT-like functionality to the Bitcoin blockchain, driving significant on-chain activity. This has renewed interest in Bitcoin's potential for hosting more complex applications, although it also raises questions about how this increased activity might affect Bitcoin's core value proposition and network performance.

What challenges does Ethereum face in its scaling efforts?

Ethereum faces significant challenges in its scaling efforts, primarily due to high demand for block space on its base layer. While Ethereum is pursuing a Layer 2 scaling roadmap, this has led to some fragmentation of liquidity across different L2 solutions. The network is struggling to keep up with demand, which has opened the door for competitors like Solana to gain market share in certain application categories.

How might the upcoming U.S. elections impact the crypto industry?

The upcoming U.S. elections could have a significant impact on the crypto industry, as cryptocurrency policy is becoming an increasingly important political issue. There's speculation that candidates may adopt more crypto-friendly positions to appeal to certain voter demographics. The outcome of the election could influence regulatory approaches to crypto, potentially affecting everything from ETF approvals to broader industry regulation.

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