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Breakpoint 2023: Resetting Consumer Expectations

An insightful discussion about evolving consumer expectations and the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain applications.

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


At the Breakpoint 2023 conference, industry experts gathered to share their insights on resetting consumer expectations in the age of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The panel, featuring leaders from tech companies including Tensor, Sphere Labs, and Step Finance, focused on the evolving landscape of crypto consumers, the state of technology, and applications that are shaping the future. The discussion emphasized a shift from scarcity to abundance, the proliferation of new consumer bases in various geographies, and the critical role of non-state money in emerging markets. Keynotes also pointed out the differences between crypto native and crypto enabled applications, highlighting the potential of blockchain as a technology to transcend beyond its current connotations with financial speculation.

Key Points:

Crypto Consumer Evolution

The panel discussed the evolution of the cryptocurrency consumer from one interested in speculative investment and technological novelty to a user focused on practical and ideological uses such as non-state money and financial inclusion. This future-oriented vision sees blockchain technology providing unbanked populations access to financial systems, propelling adoption in emerging markets such as Nigeria, Turkey, and Vietnam. The discussion pinpointed the necessity of creating applications with unique compelling use cases that can solve real problems for users worldwide.

The Role of NFTs and Compressed NFTs

Panelists highlighted Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) as a critical element in the adoption of blockchain, acting as a "gateway drug" that leads consumers into the wider ecosystem of decentralized finance. The advancement and adoption of compressed NFTs, which allow for greater scalability and user engagement, were identified as key to transitioning towards a broader and more inclusive approach to digital assets. The compressed NFT marketplace was showcased as an innovative example of fostering this new mindset of abundance.

Payments and Creator Economy as Use Cases

Two primary areas identified for crypto's disruption potential are global payments and creator enablement. With the current costly and cumbersome traditional payment systems, blockchain presents an opportunity for free, permissionless global payments. The creator economy was also emphasized as a likely beneficiary of the blockchain, providing artists and creators with new avenues to monetize their work and potentially making creative jobs a significant part of the future economy.

Facts + Figures

  • Compressed NFTs have enabled an increase in wallet interactions, particularly from developing countries.
  • 90% of revenue but only 30% of wallets for apps like Tensor come from the West, hinting at a significant non-Western user base.
  • The evolution in NFTs reflects a shift from a "scarcity" mindset to one of "abundance," impacting how applications reach new consumers.
  • Emerging markets with volatile local currencies are increasingly adopting cryptocurrency as a means of preserving value.
  • Sphere aims to facilitate multi-chain fiat payments and off-ramp services, starting with Solana and expanding to other networks.
  • Step Finance's All-Stars program and Solana Crossroads conference focus on education and consumer onboarding.

Top quotes

  • “You come for the NFTs, you stay for DeFi." - Arnold Lee, Sphere Labs
  • "I think the most important thing that crypto does is it's non-state money." - Chris Fiore, Step Finance
  • "I actually think education doesn't scale." - Ilya, Tensor
  • “Crypto is always about abundance. We're just trying to onboard more people.” - Chris Fiore, Step Finance
  • "The way you scale a startup to a billion people is you build a use case that is so exciting that people will jump through seven hoops of fire to try it." - Ilya, Tensor

Questions Answered

What is the focus of the Solana Foundation's Creator Economy team?

The Solana Foundation's Creator Economy team focuses on supporting creators, social applications in the web3 space, and general consumer applications. They aim to integrate these groups into the Solana blockchain ecosystem.

What is unique about compressed NFTs and why do they matter?

Compressed NFTs matter because they enable a scalable approach to digital asset distribution, promoting a mindset shift from scarcity to abundance. This scalability allows for a broader user base and more engagement with NFT projects.

Why are payments and the creator economy significant use cases for blockchain technology?

Payments are a significant use case because blockchain provides a solution to the high costs and inefficiencies of traditional financial systems. The creator economy presents a potent use case as blockchain technology offers artists and content creators new ways to monetize their creativity.

How does consumer expectation in blockchain technology impact application development?

Consumer expectations drive the development of applications that provide unique, compelling use cases that address real-world problems. Developers aim to create apps that users are willing to explore, even if it means overcoming initial complexities.

What difference do non-Western markets make in the adoption of cryptocurrency?

Non-Western markets, particularly those with unstable local currencies or financial systems, have a clearer and more immediate value proposition for adopting cryptocurrency. The need for a stable, secure financial solution drives more organic and motivated adoption in these regions.