From Coinbase Employee #20 to Building Farcaster with Dan Romero

Dan Romero, Co-Founder of Farcaster, on building a sufficiently decentralized social network, the current state of web3 social, and the crypto-native creator.
Dan Romero, Co-Founder of Farcaster, on building a sufficiently decentralized social network, the current state of web3 social, and the crypto-native creator.

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Background

Mint Season 6 episode 20 welcomes Dan Romero, Co-Founder of Farcaster, the sufficiently decentralized social network. Throughout the hour we discuss his thesis for web3, the current state of web3 social, building an audience as a crypto-native creator, what it means to be sufficiently decentralized, how web3 will beat the bots, and so much more.

Previously, Dan was the 20th employee at Coinbase and is an active early-stage angel investor across web2 and web3.

I hope you guys enjoy our conversation.

Time Stamps

  • 00:09 – Intro
  • 03:37 – Dan’s Original Thesis For Web3
  • 07:37 – The Current State of Web3 Social
  • 19:23 – Problems to Fix With a Web3 Social Graph
  • 31:19 – Building an Audience as a Crypto-Native Creator
  • 36:18 – Measuring the Success of a Creator In Web3
  • 45:46 – What is Decentralized On Farcaster?
  • 53:25 – How Do You See Clients For Farcaster Evolving?
  • 01:02:15 – How Do We Beat the Bots?
  • 01:03:29 – Incentives For Developers to Build On Top of Farcaster
  • 01:05:56 – Outro

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Dan, welcome to mint season six. What’s up, man? How are you doing? Thank you for being on.

Dan Romero: Well, thanks for having me.

Intro

I’m excited to have you on the podcast, a lot is going on in the web three social space and what better person to talk to you than the one who’s building Farcaster, right? I’ve been on Farcaster, a lot of people use Farcaster, a lot of excitement across crypto Twitter, that also now migrates to Farcaster and vice versa. So, a lot to talk about. I want to start with you, though. Okay, who are you? What does the world need to know about you? And more specifically, how did you get your start into crypto?

Dan Romero: Yeah, so I think my background, I’m originally from Massachusetts, I went to school on the East Coast, worked in Boston for a bit and then eventually moved to Silicon Valley. I started on the operational side of things. So, it didn’t study something technical and undergrad, I grew up kind of always with computers, programming, kind of, you know, mucking around with the internals of stuff. But for whatever reason, major in college, but when I moved out to Silicon Valley, I had worked in consulting, so kind of got a job and more on the operational side of things. And I was working at a Saas company, that does visitor sign in software for iPads. And I just kept hearing about Bitcoin from all the smart people I had started to meet in the bay area. And I realized I didn’t have my own point of view on it. And actually, if you back up, when I first moved to Silicon Valley, a college classmate of mine Feddersen, one of the co-founders of Coinbase, heard that I was moving out, reached out, we got coffee, mentioned that he had just raised a Series a for Coinbase. And we’re looking to kind of hire out the first few employees. And I categorically dismissed him thinking that Bitcoin was a Ponzi scheme, why would you be spending your money on that, why don’t you work in a real tech company? Fast forward a year later, I actually had read the white paper finally, and couldn’t stop thinking about Bitcoin. And I think that the thing that got me most excited about Bitcoin, in the kind of early days enough to make the switch over to Coinbase, was thinking about it as a computing layer. And kind of thinking about, if you think about like computing history, you kind of go from mainframes to the kind of like, okay, PCs, then you add the internet, then you add mobile, and then you start to go away from the local machine to the cloud. 

And so, each one of these new platforms offers really interesting opportunities for entrepreneurs and to build new products and experiences, mobile being the most recent, and in 2014, I thought, okay, Bitcoin is clearly that next computing platform, right, you can start to do new experiences that don’t live within a centralized database. And the first applications of that being money and payments. And so, I joined Coinbase, very much thinking it was going to be all about the new apps that were going to be built on top of the Coinbase API, which ended up being wrong. And I’m happy to talk through my experience at Coinbase. And what I learned there, but so I kind of went in with a very naive point of view, and then stuck around for five years, and, in many ways, got lucky in the sense that the market shifted. And something like Ethereum came along, and the company didn’t have doing well. But I always like to point out that I joined Coinbase, with the completely wrong thesis for what was going to be big, at least for Bitcoin. And I think we’re finally actually starting to play out some of the ideas that I originally were excited about in 2014. But that’s how I got started in crypto.

Dan’s Original Thesis For Web3

What were some of those original ideas that now you’re sort of seeing get played out right now?

Dan Romero: Well, the, the idea is that, there was like one very concrete idea that I got excited about, was prediction markets and there was a paper from the Marcous Center. I think Jerry Brito, who now runs coin center was still in academia and he wrote it, just talking about the history of different prediction markets, from a theoretical standpoint. And I’ve always just found that to be fascinating. I’m a bit of a political news junkie. And so, the idea that you could kind of use markets to predict elections better than polling, as I’ve always found intellectually Interesting. And so that they talked about potential using Bitcoin because one of the fundamental issues is, in the US if you want to offer a prediction market that’s considered a derivative, which is regulated by the CFTC. And there’s a notable example of a company that wanted to do a prediction market specifically for Hollywood movies. It’s called Hollywood exchange. They raise a bunch of funding, build out a product and they went to go launch this product, which essentially would allow you to bet on whether what the box office receipts for a movie would be, and Hollywood crackdown by during a bunch of lobbying in DC, which ultimately got the CFTC to shut it down, because they didn’t want people to be betting, especially insiders to be betting on whether a movie was going to flop or not, because then you would start using that information as consumer to potentially not go see that movie, because nobody would do that, which is kind of interesting, if you think about it from a consumer benefit standpoint, that Hollywood exchange would be great, for Hollywood it would be bad in the sense that they couldn’t really package up that movies and try to promote them. 

But CFTC decided that that wasn’t allowed and so that doesn’t exist. There’s actually now an exchange in the kind of more FinTech world that is not crypto related called Kashi. And they are one of the first kind of more consumer-oriented prediction markets that have found some amount of CFTC approval, or at least the set of markets that they’re doing. But I think that the other thing that I just generally got excited about in crypto is regulated markets are fine. And if you know Coinbase, the experience I had there did a lot with the regulation, and you have to get it right and actually ends up creating a lot of value for business because not a lot, a lot of people want to do it. Some people call that regulatory capture. But there’s a kind of aspect of the internet that I’ve always been interested in is permissionless innovation. And I think the ethos of the internet is, if you have a good idea, you should have a computer and the capability to program something, you should just be able to do it. And with FinTech, it’s much more, okay, if you can go convince people to raise money, and then you can go build out like a special relationship with other banks or card processing companies. And then you can put an API on top of that, right? 

A company like Stripe, or a company like plaid has done an excellent job of managing that. And actually, by virtue of them being very developer oriented, have significantly increased the number of apps that exist in the world of FinTech, because each of those kinds of apps that sit on top of a platter or stripe, they don’t have to go do those relationships directly, right. But what’s neat about crypto is there, you don’t even need the middleman, the API’s and the data and the value are directly accessible to the end user as well as the driver. And I think that that concept of removing a huge chunk of kind of like intermediaries is just like a concept that I think is really fascinating. And frankly, one of the most compelling reasons to work in technology for me, is you can actually build these things on the internet, that can exist as protocols that create coordination between humans, but honestly, rarely any one individual or company.

The Current State of Web3 Social

So, is that where social comes into the picture? Because of the things that you said that interest you, you didn’t bring up social media as like, the key word sort of within that entire explanation, and I’m curious, like, where does social fit into that vision of yours?

Dan Romero: I think 2014, I wasn’t thinking about social as a crypto thing in that. When I first started at Coinbase, we were Bitcoin only and the push was payments, which ended up again, not not quite playing out. And what Coinbase ended up becoming is more of an investment platform, but also a gateway into being able to take the coin or Eth. And then put it into whether it’s defi or any kind of permissionless, they build app on top of these blockchains. So that’s an important function, right? It’s not just purely financial exposure. But in 2014, at least when I was joining Coinbase, I think that was right around when Twitter was potentially hamstringing the API, but prior to that Twitter and had a very open API. And so, you had a very diverse ecosystem of third-party clients, I like to always point out that the pull the refresh, the kind of universal of you know, whether you’re using a mail client today, or Instagram, to just refresh your feed, that was invented by a third party, indie developer, Lauren Richter, who had an app called Tweety, which eventually ended up selling to Twitter, and then Twitter technically owns the patent for polar refresh. And they did something that’s quite honorable, they kind of said, hey, we’ll never prosecute anyone from using it. 

But that was an era where I think there was still a lot of promise in social media as potentially this API driven, yes, there were going to be kind of first party clients, but third-party clients, there could be a diverse ecosystem, especially for something like Twitter. Fast forward to 2022, I think we’re in a far different state of the world related to social networks, social media, in that they are more centralized. There are, I think, a stricter set of guidelines in terms of what’s acceptable use versus not. And I think in some ways, there are some good aspects of that, but at the same time, I think it’s kind of wild. If you think about something like Twitter. You have a bunch of people in San Francisco making decisions on what is acceptable speech for right use for the entire world which what? Right. Whereas something like the internet, again, it’s country by country. But to me, that’s a much more credibly neutral platform in the sense that the US has strong free speech laws. So if you maintain your own website, and you don’t fall afoul of very limited set of things that would violate free speech, that’s on you, and, or you and your hosting provider. Whereas if you live in another country that maybe has stricter limits on speech, that’s your version of the internet. But what’s neat is, it’s kind of is global, and you as an individual, if you can either get outside of your country, or maybe have answered anonymous way of publishing, you really can get access to the direct level of the protocol. Whereas with the social networks, you’re much more limited in terms of where that company’s leadership and jurisdiction is for the company. And then that kind of propagates out to the rest of the world. 

And so, I think, where my thinking from 2014 to 2020, 2022 era has changed is, we’ve gotten significantly more centralized with social media and social networks, they’re significantly larger and more present in terms of just public discourse. And I think we’re starting to see the seams where they just they can’t scale at this level, and maintain some of the core original promises that they have. You go back to the early product marketing for Twitter, as they were very pro free speech. Like that was actually their differentiator as hey, Twitter is a place to be able to express what you think, whether you’re in the US or a country in the Middle East, the whole Arab Spring was a moment for Twitter, at least in that moment and I think that’s changed quite a bit. And the question is, is like, as society should we have a neutral public square protocol that allows us to do some of the things that social centralized social media is significantly better than kind of open protocols, right? So, the open protocols here would be the web, email, RSS. But can you actually take some of the best aspects of centralized social media from the usability standpoint, discoverability and actually, bring those into something that looks more credibly neutral, like more traditional Internet protocol. And so that’s the thing that I got excited about, and why I’m working out.

Interesting. So, I think we’re seeing an increase of like senate adoption across what three social applications, whether it be from people trying to build applications to users trying to use these applications, or creators trying to create content and monetize through these applications. And I’m still trying to understand the space from like a macro lens. I’m curious to hear your point of view, what do you think is the current state of Web3 social?

Dan Romero: we’re early. I think there are a variety of different approaches, there probably more additional networks that pop up, and people with different points of view on how to do things. We are also in a slightly different situation, compared to maybe some other technology trends. And that if you take the examples of Twitter and Facebook, they were kind of in that first generation of social media, the web two social media boom. And so, a lot of the stuff is getting figured out for the first time for the most part, right? Because yeah, you had some earlier social networks, Friendster, right, Myspace. But the inflection point was really as society shifted over to mobile as being the dominant form factor, that actually massively increases the amount of social media to use, right, rather than being something that oh, I’m gonna go sit on my computer and use Facebook, versus being on the couch watching TV and also having Facebook open. And so, I think with web three, you’re not in a situation where you’re competing mostly against greenfield like in that here you are in a greenfield situation, you’re competing against mature web to social networks, for time spent, right. And so, if you think about social, it’s a zero-sum game, in that you only have a limited amount of time, you can’t spend time on two social networks at once. 

So, if you’re spending it on one social network, or watching Netflix, that’s the tradeoff. And so, I think we’re web three social is early days in terms of infrastructure development, both the protocol layer as well as app development on top, but also in the kind of figuring out what’s the differentiator versus the mature options that basically everyone is already on, right? It’s not like people are onboarding social media for the first time with web three social. They’re already on web to social media. And if anything, that’s actually where you’re finding a lot of those people as a developer of a web three, social media product, but the challenge is okay, I already have a big audience and web two social media, I have the habit of spend time curating my feed I like the algorithmic stuff that I’m getting, maybe you don’t. But to then actually get everything up and running and web three, that’s where we really are right now it’s can you actually offer something that is reasonably competitive, such that someone is willing to trade off time spent over here in web three. And so that’s actually something that we’ve been really focused on for the last two years, is building the initial client for Farcast, for the protocol. Because from our point of view, that the thing that’s actually going to drive the most switching is you have to have a base level of feature parity, right? You can’t say, hey, is really rough app, but it’s decentralized, no one, no one’s gonna switch to that. Whereas if you can get a mobile app that from a performance standpoint, feels pretty close, maybe not quite there. And then sufficient number of kind of people that are interesting, then you might start to get the early adopters who say, oh, this is actually kind of nice. It’s the spam bots aren’t here, or I actually have more control over what I see in my feed. 

But I think that’s a pretty slow process. Whereas maybe fast forward two or three years from now, and you have a variety of attempts and web three social that have kind of gotten that first stage done, you may start to see actually apps grow at a faster clip, but more mainstream audience clip. But I think where we are right now, isn’t that kind of early adopter deployment phase and then you have this kind of challenge of like, okay, well, how do you cross that chasm to mainstream? But I actually think that you need to focus on the first phase first, before you even worry about them, right? I think there are a lot of people who, when they think went through social, I think NFTs in a positive way kind of increased the aperture of what crypto can be for people, rather than this kind of like very finance, quantitative numeric thing. There’s a visual element, a very consumer element, yes, there’s a financial element to it. But I think as a result of that, a lot of people, especially with the kind of bull market of 2021, want it to proclaim, okay, this is cryptos, mainstream moment, and I can tell you having worked since 2014, people have been saying this is cryptos, mainstream moment. And I think I think it’s just the wrong frame, right? I don’t think we get to a sudden, okay, this is now mainstream because I think the analogy is people like to use oh, this is like 1993. And now we have Netscape, that’s why to kind of kick off this adoption. The difference is, there was no internet before. Whereas now with crypto, it’s a subset of the internet. 

So inevitably, like it isn’t a step function of a change for consumer, if you just kind of the simple thing of, okay, I can get an Uber with Uber or someone goes build the centralized Uber, you still get the Uber, whereas pre internet, there was no Uber, taxis or whatever. But the step function changes to the zero to one and I think we’re crypto is always, fairly or unfairly compared is this. I think that when people are being unreasonable, they’re trying to say it’s a step function change but it’s probably more incremental. And I think that’s even the wrong frame to be thinking about as an entrepreneur, because I actually think what’s interesting is if you can just actually shift to say what new experiences are things that are fundamentally not possible in web two, can you actually start to build. And so that’s one of the first principles in terms of building that we’ve approached with Farcaster is use the amount of web two or web three, as minimal as possible, like the amount of stuff we put on chain as small as possible, and then leverage everything else from web two. That’s great in terms of usability, and speed and all that and see if you can actually start to get to a fundamentally new experience. In our case, it’s a social network, where the back end is truly a protocol. And it’s permissionless. And then figure out okay, how do you scale that from there without trying to say that everything is fundamentally better? Because to be totally frank, like, it’s not like our client for Farcaster is like pretty good. But it is not as good as something like Twitter. Yeah. And so, there’s a lot of work to do.

Problems to Fix With a Web3 Social Graph

But I think that’s okay. Because just like having an open brainstorm session, I just reached, I feel like a stage on Twitter, I just crossed 10k followers, okay. And as a creator, as a content creator, like that’s like, a pivotal moment for me and for many other creators, right? But I still like going to these other platforms, because they act as pockets of information and they act as like a pocket of like, reset, right? Like, I feel like there’s too much going on sometimes on these mainstream platforms. Whereas in these new social platforms, it’s like, things are just like starting to cook up, right? Like it’s not there and that type the conversations you see having on those platforms are different than the conversations you have on the mainstream platforms, right? So, I see from like, an information pocket point of view, right. Another thing that’s super interesting is like, I know you’re big on history, right? And also, the way you speak, I noticed like you reference a lot of like, learning lessons and insights that you sort of developed and picked on, picked up on like, as you saw social media kind of develop. I’m curious, can you share more about like the history around the social graph, right? And if you build a web three social graph, like, what sort of problems are you aiming to fix, right, big picture? What did web two social graphs do wrong, that you think, yeah, like these, these more open permissionless, protocols can do right?

Dan Romero: Yeah, so I actually don’t think there’s a ton of great reading out there, you kind of had to experience some of it and I was fortunate that I was not super old yet. But I was in high school enough that I really got to see the full rise of web two social media. But the kind of things to think about are, you have the kind of early version of the internet, which is very much about read, right? So, it’s a kind of consuming information, weather information, sports called stocks, and then as the performance of browsers and broadband connections, you started to move to this kind of interactive model, where you could effectively use a web application as in lieu of using desktop software, right? And as that happened, you had the kind of first wave of social networks Facebook in 2004, Twitter, I think 2006 and, and a whole bunch of other ones that popped up. But what’s interesting is, in that era, the primary way of bootstrapping those social graphs outside of just people kind of friending each other on Facebook, specifically, because they went to school together. So that was actually gated on email. If you look at some of the growth tactics, this is what I’ve been told, at least, that Facebook used, it was kind of the contact importer, from your email address, right, like sign in with your Gmail or upload your contact list. And that in of itself, kind of it was able to create a pretty big graph. 

And what’s interesting about that is, so let’s say 10 of my friends had signed up for Facebook, and I show up for Facebook, because I was in their contact book, Facebook actually had enough information to make a recommendation of here’s some potential friends. And I think there’s the kind of apocryphal story of you know, getting to 10 friends is the magic number. And then Facebook users. Right, so that was the Facebook implementation is gate on email, based on school, get concentration in those schools, expand to other schools. And then eventually, once you have all the college students in the US, you can expand out for the rest of the world. And the thing I always like to kind of point out is, if you think about Facebook stopped being cool the moment it stopped being only for colleges, but because they had created such a high concentration of very engaged users at a, I think a critical cool juncture for society, right? Everyone younger than a college student thinks they’re cool, because they’re in college, and then people who are graduated from college, were back in college. 

And so, my theory on that is that that concentration of you know, basically, college students had this crazy half-life where even if college student engagement started to slowly decline on Facebook, it didn’t matter because the rest of the world wanted to kind of go after that original field. And then you eventually get to several billion people using the app, I mean, phenomenal success from building a social graph. Twitter is a little different, in that it was a little bit more SF tech scene, and the, you know, South by Southwest, and it kind of started actually, as a slightly older platform relative to, if you look at a lot of social networks tend to be younger. And the push with Twitter is, if you actually look at it, just didn’t grow that much in the scheme of things for the first five years. And it really, it’s an only in the last five, seven years that it’s had a significant, like really big impact on society. It really kind of around the 2016 election, I think Twitter became a lot more mainstream. Obviously, always high status from the, you know, the hashtag, are the out reply, but in terms of Twitter being used as kind of this true Internet public square, and in 2016, and after that’s where, you know, Twitter, and then part of is the President was using Twitter correctly?

And so, I think that network, I don’t have as much insight into exactly how the social graph develops. But that said, I also think one thing to think about with Twitter is, Twitter is not a social network for most people who use it, I think, on the order of 200 million people use Twitter every day, what percentage of people are actually tweeting, liking, replying is relatively small. Whereas I think most people use Twitter as an information feed and just simply a way to catch up on news. Whereas if you and I, the way we use Twitter is this kind of intellectual, you know, thought leadership network, where you’re meeting other like-minded people in your industry to kind of have a better perspective on whatever you’re working on. And that version of Twitter is what it started with, but really has not expanded. It didn’t, we didn’t have 100 million people all of a sudden doing threads on Twitter, right? And so that’s actually something that’s influenced our thinking with Farcaster is if you actually think of, of the addressable market that you have to go after in order to be something that’s competitive with Twitter, that total number of users are the 200 million people using it every day. That’s a daunting number and feels like we never get there. 

But if you reframe it to say, actually, the Twitter version that we’re trying to compete with early on, is go for the people who use Twitter as kind of this public intellectual social network, then that’s a far smaller number, and it makes it more achievable, right? Like, you go from being barely any way that the percentage of the way there to, okay, maybe you can get to like point 1%. And, you know, then point 5%, 1%, 10%. And so, I think that is a way of reframing what we’re going after. And the other interesting thing about people who use Twitter as a social network, is they’re the ones who hit the problems the most, right? They post about, you know, Meta mask, or the future of crypto wallets. And then they get all the crypto spam responding to them, right? You take a lot of time to craft, whether it’s a thread or a post for your podcast. And for whatever reason, the algo is like, oh, you put a link, we don’t want you clicking on the link, because that kicks you out of the app. Okay, it gets downright underrated. 

And so that is where I think the opportunity for a new social network, at least in the bootstrapping mechanism, it’s to go after the people that feel the acute pain points of Twitter. But the challenge with those people, and I think we’ve talked about this on DM, is you’re trying to build an audience. And so, you’re going to optimize for the platform where you feel like you’re gonna get the most reach and so for something like Farcast, or we’re approaching it with this kind of very deliberate growth, invite only 3000 ish people in a beta, it’s gonna be hard to justify for you as a content creator to say, hey, I’m going to spend more time on Farcaster because I really want to build my audience. If you feel like there’s more potential on either another web three social network, or realistically, something like Twitter. And it’s actually an insight that when we launched Farcaster, last year, I on boarded a whole bunch of people that I would call on my Twitter, friends and people in my professional network. And they had talked a lot about for a long time about the need for a decentralized version of Twitter. And so, I started working on this thing, I’m ready to onboard them, they go through an onboarding with me, they’re really, you know, excited. They’re like, wow, this is actually pretty decent, never come back. And I reached out to them and asked, why didn’t you come back, you told me that you thought this is an important thing. 

And whether they were willing to admit it or not, I think I finally figured it out. And this is obvious in retrospect, but I think you sometimes have to just go through the hard lesson of sure is, if you have 500,000, or 800,000 followers on Twitter, and you have 80 followers on a nascent social network, how are you going to justify spending the time on that network out of just pure passion or interest, but those people are busy. So, like, of course, they’re going to default to the thing that has massive distribution, because ultimately, if you’re playing this kind of public intellectual social network game, what you care about is mean propagation and idea, idea profit and so quantity does matter. Now, I think one thing I would say is, quality has been very hard to measure traditionally. And I didn’t want interesting thing about a decentralized social network, that is crypto native, like Farcaster is, one you cannot have a whole bunch of competing companies have full access to the entire data set. Right. So, one thing about Twitter, like the proverbial firehose, I think that that’s pretty limited and who has access to it, I don’t even know if they even give access to it at this point. But the idea is you can actually do a full measure of the entire network, you have to do sample, right. Whereas with something like Farcaster, you can genuinely, you can just actually index the entire network, right? And then what’s interesting is you can also look at the on-chain activity. 

And so, you can actually use that on chain activity in two ways, I think is interesting is one, you can quickly figure out if things look spammy, right? Because it’s very expensive to put you know, high value NFT or even $5,000 worth of Ethereum into a whole bunch of addresses to kind of fake account. Whereas contrast that to a Twitter account, you know, bot account, we’re, you know, I think lot of times, they just need a phone number which you can programmatically create and, and so I think that that becomes really interesting because you can actually start to measure the quality in by whatever metric you want, of your audience in a way that in web two, you get a little bit of it like Facebook and have some centralized reporting tools. But it’s pretty general and crude, whereas I think you get a lot more detail with web three, and maybe it doesn’t always fit the same, maybe we get a little bit more privacy on chain in terms of what we’re doing. But I think it’s an underexplored area. And I think as we scale Farcaster, I do think people are going to build some interesting tools, so that you have a much better understanding of your audience, building on a, you know, decentralized crypto native network like Farcaster. And yes, your audience might only be 10% or 1% of your audience on Twitter, but you have higher confidence that it’s actually a higher value audience and an audience that might actually refer your podcast to another front, right. And so, I think that’s like one element that we’re trying to figure out, because it’s just gonna be a really long time before we ever kind of reached the larger scale that web two social networks have.

Building an Audience as a Crypto-Native Creator

I’m curious, Dan, because I’m trying to figure out like, what does it mean to be a crypto native creator, let alone build an audience using like web three primitives, right? So, one thing that I’ve been experimenting with is like giving out like NFTs to my listeners as a way to kind of like prove their participation across seasons, right? And over time, like there’s been 1000s of NFTs that have been minted. And now I’m trying to use that information to create better content for them, right by seeing like their activity on chain, right, so that I can find better sponsors, etc., find better guests. So, if I noticed that a lot of people have been, for example, collecting music, NFTs, that tells me I should be having more music NFT related conversations. If I see a lot of activity around like web three social applications, right? Then I want to have more web through native social conversations, right? Hence why I did like this season on like, web three social media data, like interoperability, etc., right? And I’m trying to figure out still like, what does it mean to be a crypto native creator and build an audience in web three, right? Do you have any insight on that? Like, do you have any opinions on that?

Dan Romero: Well, I think you’re on the frontier. So, what you’re coming up with are from an idea standpoint is the innovation that you know, enough people doing it, you’ll start to start to come up with the new patterns, that may be more crypto native or web three native. And so, one thing that you mentioned that I think is really interesting, is you actually have insight into what your listeners, assuming you kind of correlate listeners on a web three social network, like Farcaster or other ones, you can actually look at their own trade activity, and then start to glean insights and say, oh, interesting. 100 people who are following me also have the new Reddit at avatar that’s on Polygon, I think. And maybe I should actually reach out to Reddit and see if I can find the lead engineer or product manager who did that product, as a way for you to offer a more compelling interview that is really relevant to your audience, or at least a portion of your audience. And then that person might never have been interviewed before in terms of like a, like a bigger podcast shows that tends to focus on the CEO or something like that. Right. And so, I think that those insights that you can start to permissionlessly get from your audience may offer better tailored content for your audience or like subset segments of your audience. I also think that the concept of fandom is, I’m not nearly as deep as some of the other people in space, who building dedicated companies to this but I just think it’s a really interesting concept because if you take crypto weaponry and put it this up, for as long as music has existed, there’s always been that kind of early fan hipster, who finds a band, really enjoys them when they’re kind of under the radar and you know, really passionate about it. 

That early passion creates some word of mouth which creates more and then that network effect, right you can kind of model a band like a social network, gets big enough that the band becomes more mainstream, which then brings it even more people but the original people who were early kind of get disaffected, like I liked them before they got big or they sold out or whatever. And just the idea that there could be a provable way, not even have a financial setup, just a provable way to say, oh, I used to listen to x artists before they were, the classic, hipster line and was like okay, well prove it like show me the music NFT or you get to a level where every Spotify streams somehow is in a decentralized data structure, we’re ways away from that if that ever happens, but you can generally understand the concept of that provable skin in the game historical on kind of an immutable ledger. It starts to open up some new interesting experiences, right? Maybe those artists now can actually say, hey, yeah, we’re really big. We do these big stadium tours. But every year, we do a concert in New York City at Madison Square Garden for our original 50,000 fans, right? And for the rest of your life, you have access to that concert. That kind of seems interesting. You can find someone like a web two person who hates web three is gonna go oh, wait, well, you could have had a fan club, and then you can find, yeah, you could do that. But I think like part of the beauty of web three is it changes people kind of to think bigger, or new paradigms. And the ability to permissionlessly do that is pretty cool, right? Imagine if you give a free concert to your original 10,000 fans, didn’t need to pay, just show up to the door, show me the NFT, that’s it, like no money exchange has pure brand. Can’t do that, web two for the most part, right? Like you’d have to maintain this list and well, okay, what happens when you want to switch providers, whereas if it just lives on the blockchain, it doesn’t matter like that NFT will exist. 

Measuring the Success of a Creator In Web3

Let alone try to get that information to like when a creator builds an audience on like a web two native platform, there’s only so much information that they can get access to, right? Whereas in crypto, when you’re building these audiences using either tokens or NFT, social, whatever it may be, right, like that lives immutably like, you can always go back to that record, like one thing that I’m thinking like, at some point, as the podcast grows, I can do some type of like David Letterman type of shit, where I just like rent out an auditorium and everybody that’s sort of collected my early season, or NFTs, they’ll have access to watch like a live interview with us, right? And experience that. Yeah, I think that’s really cool. I’m also trying to think from like, a monetization point of view, I think we sort of maybe just skim the surface of what monetization looks like, a lot of my bet is that all media will be tokenized to an extent, right. And all media, everything will be collectible, to an extent, in some shape, or form. And what does that look like in terms of monetization? So right now, a lot of creators, they measure success from like views on YouTube or subscribes, right? How does that look like in the context of web three, does that mean the number of unique holders that you have at scale, right? Does that mean like the number of primary and secondary sales you have? Like what gets, how do you measure the success of a creator? I don’t know. I’m thinking out loud over here.

Dan Romero: I again, I go back to this idea that I think web two is very much about quantity. Everything’s about scale, like total number of users. Cristiano Ronaldo has, you know, 100 million followers on Instagram or Kim Kardashian. And that’s how you talk about it. And Balaji has come up with this concept of like, being able to measure a fan economy is a far more interesting thing. So fine, Kim might have 100 million followers on Instagram. But what is the GDP of the Kim Kardashian expanded universe right? As a gimmick, but people laugh at that, right? So, he was saying this a couple of years ago, and now Kim Kardashian is potentially starting a private equity firm, based on the fact that he’s gonna potentially be able to use that distribution. And so, I think that what gets interesting is, if you can actually take the distribution out of the silos, like I have this many followers on YouTube, I have this many followers on Twitter, and you move it to kind of these decentralized credibly neutral kind of core data structures, where now the relationship is between the creator, the publisher, whatever, and the people who choose to follow them, right. And that is a, actually it’s an opt in relationship, right? Because the person can always unfollow you. It’s not like you own that follower forever. But the key is that no one can come in and say, oh, you know, our terms of service violation, we’ve decided that what you said here is no longer acceptable. You’ve spent 10 years building an audience, tough luck, but right you get kicked off YouTube or Twitter. There’s no recourse there’s no exit. There’s no oh, take your followers who you got here all their emails, now you can email them. 

And so, I think if you look at just the way web two social media is, you as a creator have to spend way more time, you either take the bet on these platforms will keep you forever, probably fine or you do the extra effort of hey, subscribe, also sign up for my newsletter. So, I have a direct line of communication with you. Whereas if these web three social protocols work, you as a creator, you just have a direct relationship. You want to send them a podcast, you want to send them a video you want to send them a cast, can basically come through a variety of different client’s applications channels, but that that relationship is a single relationship and it belongs to the two people who have opted to be in it, which I think is a pretty radical shift from what we’ve been used to in web two. And that also means you have freedom of monetization. Right? So, I think the kind of idea space for monetization is just getting started, not only because you have crypto with this kind of poor, financial primitive, and you can do things like NFTs, and defi and the remix ability and composability of that. But also, just the idea that, okay, I can do a traditional subscription, and maybe it’s done on chain, or maybe it’s done through stripe and a traditional web to platform. Fine, I think the challenge is when you are reliant on platforms, and in some cases, platforms that are relying on other platforms with the example of like, if you’re on YouTube, and then Apple iOS, like there are two rent seeking platforms that want to take dollars before they even get to you. I think the most extreme example, was, I think, meta-Oculus. They were trying to do a platform for that and then they had a like a Facebook like horizons platform cut. And I want to say if you did the thing on an iPhone, it had like an iOS, like, it was just like cuts all the way down, right. 

And what’s great about web three is like you can actually solidify through cryptographic proof, again, the average user doesn’t need to see this, but from a developer standpoint, that relationship between the creator and a person in their audience, as well as what also gets interesting, audience the audience connections, right. And so that’s another interesting thing that’s hard to measure. But if you think about it, what if you’re on Taylor Swift, and you want your whole fan club, maybe Taylor Swift is big enough to have like a custom social app that people are willing to even show up to, whereas most other artists or creators, you’re never going to have like a custom app that people are going to use, their basically, their time spent as an Instagram, their time spent isn’t in Twitter. And so, you kind of have to play the game there, because that’s where the attention is. Whereas I think with this kind of remixable, composable, open access social protocols, I think there’s a totally foreseeable future, where for the three or five creators, whether that’s, you know, video creator, or music artists, if I want to have a direct relationship with them, I’m using one of these open protocols, because it actually just does a lot of the plumbing for me. And then there’s probably some version of call it WordPress or whatever, where you can kind of or Squarespace, where you can basically, as a creator, have a mobile app, that the user is like, oh, great, this is completely interoperable. So, when you post a video, I can get it over here on Twitter, the Twitter one, if I want, but if I really want to go deep with everyone else in the community, I can use this token gated app that based on your show, and I can get really, really deep with other people who are members of the show.

 And we have seen this, by the way, with like the rise of discords, is an indication that there is demand for this, but discord, which look tremendous products and success in terms of just scale. But it’s imperfect in the sense that it’s not really optimized for mobile, it’s a game or product at the end of the day, right. And so, it’s a very desktop heavy experience. Whereas if you think about it, like when you as a as a creator, if you say hey, I have a discord and I have 10,000 people in my discord, you’re just like another little icon. And this whole long set of discord controls the notifications and all the experience, where you can imagine being, if you know, you’re my favorite Podcast Producer, I can actually now install your app, which didn’t take you a lot of effort in the scheme of things, no different than a website, because it’s using these open protocols. And now you get push notifications on my phone that are completely, you know, direct between you and your audience. And whatever the experience, right, and so that has a way off. And maybe we don’t get there, I’m a big believer that we will. But I think you need to get the infrastructure in place first, before entrepreneurs start to say, oh, this has become a commodity or this has become this kind of credibly neutral infrastructure, that I know I can actually go build these apps for these different creators, because this protocol is going to have some level of stability, right. 

And I think the example here is obviously email is an example of a protocol that, if I really wanted to take the brain damage and go build my own email client, right, super human being the most recent, you can do it. And there’s no, you don’t have to ask the email Consortium for permission, if you understand SMTP and IMAP, like it’ll just work. And what’s actually even kind of neat is, you can build an email client that works with Google. And Google just because at least in the email world kind of has to support IMAP because it’s kind of the Defacto standard. They don’t even really get to say it’s like oh, wait, so, I can actually build on top of your back end and you did all the hard part and just build a better client, which is what I think superhuman is today. Like they don’t even handle the like low level email plumbing. They’re just an IMAP client or a deeper integration with Google. But I think that that like becomes a pretty powerful thing, where if more stuff in social actually has that level of like permission list innovation, and in the case of the building on Google, that’s not even permissionless. It’s like, mostly permissionless. I think you just yield a whole bunch of more interesting experiences, which gets back to this monetization thing is, I think we’re just scratching the surface it just to say, oh, well, we’ll have Aves, we’ll have subscriptions. And then we’ll have some amount of, you know, NFTs, I guess, you’re just at the start. It’s like looking at the Internet in 1994 and predicting all of the different business models and new companies that have come out of it. 

What is Decentralized On Farcaster?

Right, right. One thing that Farcaster tends to be very public about in their branding and their image is that it’s a sufficiently decentralized social network. And I think when you come back to and you ask yourself, like, what does it mean to be sufficiently decentralized? And I’m sure you get this question all the time. I’m curious, what is the answer to that? What is decentralized on Farcaster? How do you make decisions on what to decentralize versus centralized, like, share with me your entire mental model around that?

Dan Romero: So, the way to think about how sufficiently decentralized works is, there’s a spectrum between centralized and decentralized, in terms of an application, right. And in a centralized application, most common example is a company runs a set of APIs, the company decides who uses those APIs, can revoke the API keys at any point. And that’s basically Twitter. There is no adjudication process for getting back on Twitter. Twitter doesn’t want you on Twitter, tough luck, right? Same thing goes for the developer. So, Twitter has a bunch of APIs. In a prior era, they were much more open, they changed over time and so that is very much the centralized approach. Other side of things, decentralized, right, so something like SMTP for email, Git is another good example of one, right? Like, I can go build a competitor to GitHub, and I don’t have to ask GitHub for permission. And it’ll work out of the box, because Git is a decentralized protocol that does not have kind of like a corporate owner, right. But the challenge, when you start to get out on the decentralized side of things is, the user experience tends to get very technical and way worse, right? You just need to know how to do everything. RSS is a good example of that, right. So, to use RSS, you need to know, oh, I need to have a feed reader. And it’s like, oh, I have a feed reader. And I need to keep all of my subscriptions in place. 

And so, the protocol itself tends to be the thing that is more decentralized. And then the spectrum in between is, where you can get to something what we’d call sufficiently decentralized. And so, from our point of view, rather than start with decentralized and work your way to centralization, it’s actually start with centralization. And then work your way on the spectrum to decentralization to the point where you can satisfy two conditions. The first is, in the case of a social network, any user can have a direct relationship with another user, and no one can take them away like that way from them, right. So, if you and I want to be connected, there’s no third party that can come in and say no, sorry, you can’t be connected. The most extreme example of that, obviously, is if you have 100 million followers on Twitter, or YouTube, and the platform comes in and says, sorry, you don’t have a relationship with those followers anymore. So, the kind of user-to-user relationship or creator to audience relationship, that is a core primitive in my view, for what decentralization is. And then the second thing, is the access for developers, right? So, if I want to go build on the data set here, and APIs, there shouldn’t be a single individual or company that can come around and say, sorry, Terms of Service change, we’re going to really actually monetize the advertising. And sorry, your app doesn’t work anymore. 

And so, from our standpoint, the way to accomplish that is the thing that needs to be decentralized is the, effectively the identity, which is two parts. The first is an ID number, right? So, every person on social media is represented by an internal number in a database is just an ID. And one nice feature of that, is on Twitter, you can upgrade your username, and you don’t lose your followers, right? It’s not like people were following Dan Romero before. And when I switched to DWR. I lost all of them. It’s because the way Twitter maps follow is just to that idea, right. And then the second thing is the user name, which that is much more of a status symbol and a kind of like a, what represents how you interact with these networks. And so, if you can remove that from any corporate company and API, it allows any user to choose whatever client they want, and not have to worry about lock in or anything like that. And I think an analogy here is Bitcoin and Eth. When you put it on a company like Coinbase, Coinbase is a centralized company over here, right? Coinbase can choose to kick you off Coinbase. But when Coinbase kicks you off Coinbase, you don’t lose your Bitcoin or Eth, you, we call it you know, mandatory account closure. That’s what happens with Coinbase for some compliance reason, they don’t take your money from you, they say, where do you want your money sent? Like, we don’t want to do business with you anymore. But you as the user have the ability to exit and then interoperate with everything else in the ecosystem, right? It’s not like special Coinbase Bitcoin, it’s no, it’s like, this is real Bitcoin. And I can move that to FTX, I can move into a self-hosted wallet, same thing goes for social network.

 So, in the totally centralized version, you get kicked off, there is no ability to exit and then interoperate with the same graph, you have to effectively rebuild it, right. Another example of this, and there’s actually more relevant for social media is email. So, I have sub stack. And for whatever reason, I might not want to use sub stack anymore, as a publisher, or sub stack, doesn’t want to host my content, there is no confusion that the email subscriber list that I have belongs to me, right. And if I take that list, and I moved to a self-hosted option, or a competing newsletter provider, I have an uninterrupted access to my subscribers that I worked hard to build that relationship with. And so, in our point of view, that’s the only thing you actually need to focus on the decentralization, everything else you can actually have it be the primary way people deal with stuff, is in a centralized client, right. And the benefit you get from that, is the centralized client is going to offer vastly superior user experience, because the economies of scale that start to happen, you probably have cloud-based services versus if you use the truly decentralized client, where you have to host everything yourself, you’re now dealing with what happens when the, you know, my client goes down, or the host doesn’t work, or I have to now upgrade it because there’s like a vulnerability in the, you know, the no JS package that’s in the open source software, it like the user experience is significantly worse. 

And that the easy answer is why do most people use Gmail, and they don’t run their own mail server? It’s just because it just works. It’s easy, right? And what’s interesting about Gmail is, you have a Gmail address that’s not exit with interoperability, if you have your own domain and use G Suite, you can move to a different host, right? Because you own the domain, you can just change where it’s pointed. But if you have a Gmail address, and you get really attached to that Gmail address, Gmail is not allowing you to move that to Yahoo and say, Okay, well, the Gmail address can’t belong to this client over here. Generally, I think Google is pretty good, in that you can use other clients that sit on top of it. But the relationship you do have with Gmail is they’re looking at all your emails in mining and data, right, for whatever advertising purposes they want to do. That’s part of it being free. But I think that the core of that sufficient decentralization is, find the thing that you need to be able to get to be a decentralized point, keep that decentralized. And then let the market develop in a way that you’re gonna have centralized clients that people opt into, and then people can choose more decentralized clients.

How Do You See Clients For Farcaster Evolving?

Yeah, I feel like Dan, we need to have like a three-hour long podcast episode, because I’ve maybe asked three questions in this entire, like, 53 minutes, and I’m impressed with how much you have to say around. Yeah, but I want to jump to some community questions that we had to come across Twitter, Farcaster, etc. Okay. So, this one comes from Martin. Okay, how he sees, how do you see clients for Farcaster evolving plus monetization plans in the future? And we can even do this thing like fire rounds kind of thing.

Dan Romero: Yeah. We have the initial client; I think we been building it for two years. It’s his certain level of polish usability, we have a mobile client desktop client. So, we’ve done a lot of work to kind of make it easy to onboard the Farcaster or the protocol. Everyone who onboards to so the company has named Merkel manufacturing Farcasters, the protocol. Anyone onwards to a Merkel manufacturing client has this really nice easy experience, gets in, now they’re active on Farcaster, which now also means that they’re an addressable user, for anyone who wants to build within the Farcaster ecosystem because now as a developer, building a new client or experience, I don’t have to worry about going to convince someone to sign up for Farcaster I already know that they’re there. I can actually just kind of focus on, okay, here are the active users. Let me let me try to market my product or go to market in terms of that and by the way, you can post in the feed and people will respond and you know, that their native Farcaster users, right so There’s some built in distribution there, which as we add more users to the protocol, then the distribution gets better. The natural place for clients to start, which has already happened is, simple view clients that are kind of just doing read only operations, right. So, most of the apps that have been built in Farcaster ecosystem today, have been kind of read only where they index all the data, or rely on a third-party indexer and then are able to show kind of a specialized view. So, an example of this is Insta caster shows all of the posts on Farcaster that had an image in it. Pretty straightforward, pretty interesting UI, relatively easy to boot up. 

But right now, it doesn’t have the ability to also use that client to then post back an image into Farcaster, we’ve been doing a lot of upgrades to the underlying protocol over the last few months, we’re going to hopefully get there and offer a much easier way for a developer to actually now go from just read access to both read. And that right access is where I think you’re going to start to see people do two things. So, the first is actually just, okay, I’m going to be a specialized client that does something really well, I don’t know, maybe surfaces, all the questions on Farcaster, other recommendations, and it shows it in slightly different way. And anytime you take an action there, maybe you like something, it kind of propagates back into the protocol, and then it would reflect in that that kind of like feed experience for other users. Those are probably the easiest place to start because they they’re smaller projects, maybe you can do them over a weekend or a week and you start from there. I think that the longer term, you’ll have people building completely new social experiences and using Farcaster to bootstrap the social graph, and all of those interactions, the likes, the replies, because it kind of get it out of the box for free. But those are apps that probably need a larger number of people, the more substantial apps, probably start to exist when you have 10x, or even 100x number of users, right. 

So today, we have about 3000 people using Farcaster. It’s a private beta, invite only been really deliberate about growth. So maybe 10x or 100x from here, 30,000, 300,000. That’s where you start to get developers who go okay, maybe it’s actually worth me, testing out this kind of weird social idea I have on this network, because that gets to them at least enough potential users that if you get 10% of them, now you’ll at least have an early user base that you can play around. And as the overall protocol grows, I think that the sophistication of the apps will get more and more sophisticated. And I think the natural way to monetize for these different apps are as the network gets more scale, I think you’re gonna see naturally apps do free with ads or something. But I do think in the early days, and part of this might be a norm set by our client, we plan to use subscriptions as the primary way to do monetization, because we actually think it aligns the values that we are hoping to have in terms of what the network should be, as this kind of a little bit more sophisticated pro feeling network, versus lowest common denominator scale of maybe some of the web two social networks. 

And the other nice thing is that it aligns how we built the product with what our users want, versus how to get them to spend more time so they see more ads, right. So, every subscriber we have, essentially, you can think of it as like Amazon Prime, where what Amazon is constantly trying to do, is they’re trying to find other things that they can add to the prime bundle that make prime subscriptions that much more valuable to their subscribers. It’s this kind of drive more value. Same thing for Netflix, right? Netflix is looking at how can we add better and more interesting content for the same price that we’re charging for people. But that is a fundamentally different model than something like Facebook and Twitter, they have to keep users happy enough but there’s always that kind of tension where they can dial up the amount of ads in the feed or just do whatever they want. Because they’re ultimately focused on time spent. Good example of this recently as Instagram because of Tik Tok is pushing on reels, the revealed preference, by the way, as people love algo feeds despite what people complain, but the push is a result of you were trying to actually compete in a zero-sum world of time spent between Tik Tok and Instagram. And so, doing the kind of change is, you’re focused on what gets our users spend more time versus does this actually what people want? And it’s a hard thing because again, the review preferences, people actually do like algo feeds but I would say it’s a slightly different model for us in that, you can imagine that the average person is spending 10 minutes a day on Farcaster.

We may actually launch a feature, that maybe it’s algorithmic, machine learning, or just filters that allow people to be more efficient in finding whatever they’re looking for and farcaster when they look at the feed, that it reduces the time spent from 10 minutes to 9 minutes and 30 seconds. In an advertising-based business, probably not a good thing, right? Because the amount of time you spend is probably how many correlates with how many ads you see. Whereas in a subscriber base business, you could argue that that is actually providing more value to the customer because now what they got is they got 30 seconds back, as a result of it being higher signal or more efficient for them, right. So, thinking of it as like a tool, versus this kind of almost a competitor to television of like, we just want you to spend time here and then look at a bunch of ads, I think is somebody that we’re going to try to experiment with. But if it works, I do think it sets an ethos in the ecosystem, at least for the early adopters. And I think more pro users, the people who are using the network as this kind of public, intellectual social network, that, I bet you if you could actually go back in time, if Twitter could choose a different monetization path, and probably would have done this, instead of trying to kind of always be this Facebook that never has the same scale or the ability to do the targeting. And I actually think their business would be in a fine place today, compared to basically it’s a public company that has never made a single, like the total cumulative mount of profit is negative is a public company. 

And part of that is also I think they’re overstaffed. There’s like 8000 people that work there and you can’t solve the spammer problem. But part of that also might be a set of incentives is that you don’t want top line numbers and an advertising-based business to go down, maybe a little cynical on that. But my point being is I think clients in a new ecosystem in 2022, may find success with subscriptions, thinking of themselves more as tools accessing this kind of public social network, versus we need to kind of be this lock in, and everything needs to be in the mothership. So that that’s one way.

How Do We Beat the Bots?

Okay. Couple more questions. How do we beat the bots?

Dan Romero: I tweeted this recently, I think Twitter could do this tomorrow, if they really wanted to just take the hit on their total number of users. And I think we’ll plan to do this with Merkel manufacturer clients, phone number, credit card on file. So, you know, don’t charge them but you know, maybe do a one-time charge of $1 till you have that. Coinbase, we ask for a passport, so you could do it another thing. And it should just be a set of steps, five steps to get verified and that’s how you get a blue check, not your celebrity or you work in some media organization or whatever or maybe you have two different types of checks, right. But I bet you a ton of people would go through the friction if they spent a lot of time on Twitter to get that checkmark. Especially if you could say, hey, the algorithm will boost anyone who’s verified and explicitly, we will not show replies from unverified people, you can use Twitter as an unverified way, like that’s a consumption mechanism. But if you want to participate in the conversation, you need to go through a little bit of back. So, to me, that’s what we do, recommend if you don’t have bots, plus, it costs money to register Farcasters username because there’s an on chain.

Incentives For Developers to Build On Top of Farcaster

Right, are there, Akil BVs asks, are there any plans relevant incentives to build on top of Farcaster to attract developers? What sort of new apps with social primitives’ slash used cases do you think builders can build?

Dan Romero: Well to the second part of that question is the world’s your oyster, if I get every new social app, the new primitive to go after because it’s a lot easier to grow if you have a viral new primitive. That said, I think, incentives, that’s something that we’ve tried a little bit. So, we had a couple of people build early apps last, like, you know, in the spring, and we offered them kind of a onetime block grants no strings attached for the summer. And just to kind of defense over costs, and encourage them to keep building the apps that they were doing that work pretty well. So, I think that we probably will do something along those lines. I think what’s important though, is people show organic interest. And there’s no promises like, oh, if I build something you’re gonna give me grant. It’s more of a, you know, when you see a good faith effort, which maybe doesn’t scale, but I think aligns you much more towards a organic community versus a strictly paid for mercenary community. So, I think we want to avoid that that part but there’s probably a pretty optimal trade off. And I think going back to the idea is, the one thing I think that I’m excited about is one primitive that every user on Farcaster has, is a private key. So, it’s the first network that just by itself, you’re signing up for Forcaster username, you have a public and private key, even something like signal, you have to actually verify with phone number. 

And so, you can imagine the amount of encrypted or zero knowledge, if you want to get more technical in the crypto side, types of experiences that you can permission to build as a developer, knowing that every single user and Farcaster in order for them to even be on forecast or half to have a private key that’s, that’s hot, right live, I think is an idea space that someone will build something really interesting. And to use a framework that I think a lot of people talk about, generally, social networks that succeed, offer some new type of speech or new primitive that enables people to communicate in a new way. And I think that entire space of new encrypted experiences and new zero knowledge experiences, is completely under tapped, partially because the It’s cutting-edge technology, right? Like you have to really understand it. It has not been, there’s no ruby on rails equivalent for ZK and so I think it’ll take some time for that to happen.

Outro

Got it. We’re way over, but I appreciate you staying a little bit longer. Dan, before I let you go. How do we get a Farcaster invite if those listening wants to join, and where can we find you?

Dan Romero: Yeah, so if you’ve made it this far, it’s proof of work. Proof of Work amount that if you DM me on Twitter, DWR and mention you heard the podcast, I’m happy to send you an invite. I think we’re really trying to be deliberate people who are thoughtful, optimistic, energetic, and if you spending time listening to podcasts, someone talking about web three social, you’re probably a good candidate for Farcaster.

Cool, cool. Thank you so much. We’ll have to do this again soon. But yeah, until next time, cheers.

Dan Romero: Cheers.

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BlockchainBrett highlights his new article “the crypto creator economy”, why he believes content NFTs are the next wave, and understanding the value of collecting content.
Podcast Transcript

Content NFTs.

BlockchainBrett highlights his new article “The Crypto Creator Economy”, why he believes content NFTs are the next wave, and understanding the value of collecting content.