Newsletter: Base, Web3 Work, and ... are we friends(.tech)?

It Feels Like 2021 All Over Again... Except Gas Fees Are Lower, Wallets Aren't As Bad, And We're (Hopefully) Closer To Mainstream Adoption Than Ever Before.

By Forefront - Aug 14, 2023

Happy Monday!!

Welcome to edition 153rd edition of the Forefront Newsletter. If you’re new here, we give you a weekly roundup of the best news and insights at the intersection of crypto, culture, and community.

This week we’re covering:

  • L2s, Web3 Social, and the rise of
  • Web3 Work Research Report
  • Consumer crypto categories to watch
  • …and much more!

Let’s get into it…

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Week’s Highlight

We're buying friends and NFTs like it's 2021 again... but this time feels different.

Last week I experienced a crazy case of deja vu, and web3 social was to blame. Alongside the booming activity of Ethereum L2s leading way to creative, highly accessible minting opportunities across communities, we also saw the rise of a new take on an old friend: bills itself as "the marketplace for your friends," allowing you to buy and sell shares of other users with the price set by a bonding curve. Holding a share grants you access to that user's pseudo-group chat, where holders can send messages to the user and the user can broadcast messages to all of their holders. Activity on the platform is insane -- despite the buggy interface, the platform has seen 6800+ ETH in trading volume since launching just last week.

For those who were around during the 2021 bull market, you might remember BitClout, a platform that also allowed you to purchase shares in people. There are a few notable differences between the two platforms, the biggest of which being that BitClout made profiles for celebrities who might not have even signed up for the platform., however, only has profiles for folks who have actively gone through the sign-up process, and new accounts all begin at the same price and follow the same bonding curve.

The rise of not only was made possible by cheap gas of L2s (Base) and new wallet tech, but also follows a long-discussed thesis around web3 social: new crypto social primitives will need to focus on assets in order to gain adoption (h/t Li Jin).

Take Note. Farcaster and Lens have made huge strides in the bull market and will likely continue to be the home of more crypto content and discussion, but degen culture is still alive and well. With its revival on L2s and the new possibilities ahead, it will be exciting to see what new primitives develop on this fertile ground.

What's Poppin'

Base -- Coinbase's Ethereum L2 -- is open to the public, with 100+ dapps and service providers available in the ecosystem and deep integrations across Coinbase products. Much has already been said about the launch and the opportunity ahead, but it's worth emphasizing just how bullish it is that a public company the size of Coinbase is putting so many resources and so much energy behind an L2. The "Onchain Summer" campaign has managed to align most major Ethereum projects, dozens of creators, and thousands of users around their drops and dapps, and the promotion is set to continue through the month and beyond. is currently driving lots of activity on Base, and it's likely many more experiments are coming in upcoming weeks.

PayPal launches its own Ethereum-based stablecoin

PayPal launched its own Ethereum-based stablecoin this week: PayPal USD (PYUSD). With the launch of PYUSD, PayPal's diving headfirst into an industry despite regulatory uncertainty. Earlier this year, New York regulators ordered Paxos (the same firm issuing PYUSD) to stop issuing the Binance-affiliated BUSD stablecoin --- reportedly over customer due-diligence concerns --- sparking a selloff of the coin. Now Tether's USDT and Circle's USDC command a combined 87% of the stablecoin market, and PayPal is looking to compete.

Other Internet's Web3 Work research report

Other Internet published their Web3 Work research report, the result of interviews and workshops with 38 contributors representing 50+ DAOs in the Ethereum ecosystem. Among other things, the report outlined the reasons folks contribute to DAOs such as "DAOs as an excuse for collaboration," "DAOs as impact machines," "DAOs as freelancing 3.0," and more. For DAO contributors, security is a 3-dimensional concept encompassing: regulatory clarity, financial security and psychosocial stability. Strengthening security enhances the DAO contributor experience and builds legitimacy and longevity across web3 as a whole. The report is definitely worth a full read for anyone involved in the DAO ecosystem!

DAO Governance is not like sex: Consent vs. Consensus

In this essay, the author reflects on their involvement in DAOs, discussing their passion for governance and their role in proposing delegated voting for BanklessDAO. They differentiate between consent and consensus, where consent implies agreement that an action is safe to try, while consensus means everyone agrees an action is the best course. The essay emphasizes the importance of delegating authority alongside responsibility within organizations. The author explores the concept of "circles" within a DAO, where each represents an organizational unit with defined responsibilities and authority. They propose that delegated voting can increase decentralized decision-making based on consent, but caution against excessive centralization through this approach.

Consumer Crypto: categories to watch

The Messari research team outlined some consumer crypto categories to watch, and they cover a lot here: AI Agents, Decentralized Social, Autonomous Worlds, NFT Financialization, Digital / Physical Intersection, and more. The report goes deep on each of these categories, many of which we discuss regularly in the Forefront community and across our media. If you're interested in any of these topics in particular and want to see more focus from Forefront, reply to this email and let us know!

Mainstream headlines this week…

SBF Jailed. First off, a judge ordered Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-defunct FTX crypto trading firm, to be jailed until his upcoming criminal trial after prosecutors accused him of witness tampering. At a Friday hearing, Judge Lewis Kaplan revoked Bankman-Fried's bail, saying that he attempted to tamper with witnesses on at least two occasions.

SEC Appeals Ripple Case. Next, the SEC sent a letter to Judge Torres stating it plans to file an interlocutory appeal re: the summary judgement in the Ripple cryptocurrency case. It also wants to pause further proceedings in the case until the outcome of the appeal. The party isn't over yet...

Worldcoin Under Scrutiny. Finally, Worldcoin scrutiny continues as The Argentine Agency for Access to Public Information (AAIP) has initiated an investigation targeting Worldcoin to ascertain the legality of its data collection practices within the South American country, the agency said on Tuesday.

Forefront Hangout

Forefront Hangouts are back!

This week, we’ll be hosting LGHT – cryptoartist and developer of the “hypercultures” thesis – to discuss the nature of collecting onchain, L2 experiments, Zora Rewards, and much more.

This is going to be a can’t miss conversation covering the frontier of L2 creativity. Join us on Twitter Spaces!

Forefront Hangout

Inbox Signal TL;DR

The first edition of Inbox Signal just went out to Forefront Members this weekend. Here's a taste of the stories:

  1. Base is open for business. Congratulations to Jesse Pollak and the entire Base team. Onchain activity is spiking due to
  2. Lenster now lets users choose their own algorithms.
  3. Folklore has opened Season 2 Memberships. You can mint here.

Forefront Members can subscribe to the twice-weekly digest here.

You can become a Forefront Member by minting a 2023 Annual Pass here.

More from Signal

◎ Forefront Members get full access to Signal -- our daily curated feed on consumer and creator crypto -- every day. You can become a Forefront Member by minting a 2023 Annual Pass here. Already a Pass holder? Subscribe here

For the Culture

Onchain Summer ENERGY – proceeds go to ENERGY, an onchain creative arts collective.

The information in this newsletter is not intended to constitute legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied upon as such. Any opinions reflected are the opinion of the author(s) of the newsletter only and not necessarily of Forefront. Please DYOR.

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