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Smooth Operators: How DePin Is Remaking the Operator Economy

Amid the hand-wringing over memecoin mania and crypto’s supposed moral crisis, the rise of DePin networks represents a welcome and powerful reassertion of crypto’s real world utility. The term “DePin,” coined by research firm Messari in 2023, is new but the idea behind it is as old as crypto itself. DePin, short for Decentralized Physical Infrastructure, refers to community-driven networks that coordinate hardware using protocols and token incentives.

Running Bittensor

Note: This article was originally published by Ronan Broadhead and Derek Edwards. Highly recommend giving them a follow for more insightful research, and check out the original article right here.

Evolving Influencers

It’s clear that influencers have come a long way from their traditional roots. Gone are the days when only a few voices dominated the conversation. Now, online, each emerging ecosystem entirely shifts the way we connect. The evolution of influence is not just about who is speaking, but about how their community is amplified by the ever-changing tools at their disposal. Over the coming weeks, we hope to explore the ways in which new infrastructure and products, enabled by web3, are transforming the role of the influencer. As we dive further into this transition, we’ll start with some general context.

Intents Are Real (Again)

Intents are a mechanism for encoding desires and constraints within the blockchain ecosystem. They represent a significant leap towards a more intuitive and user-centric model of interaction. By codifying user preferences into executable conditions, intents bridge the gap between abstract contractual language and tangible system behavior. This translation from human intention to machine-readable code empowers users to shape the digital landscape according to their own needs, signaling a future where technology adapts to us, not the other way around. The promise of intents lies in their ability to make blockchain technology more approachable and aligned with individual expectations, bringing in a new era of personalized digital experiences.

Scaling Layers

L2 ecosystems are more than technical platforms; they embody the cultural essence of their communities. As L2s like Optimism, Base, Blast, and Zora distinguish themselves within the Ethereum network, they also foster unique cultural identities. These identities, in turn, influence the types of projects that stem from them, similar to how L1s like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana have shaped their ecosystems with distinct cultures. Base, for example, has become a sanctuary for consumer apps, attracting projects that resonate with its user-friendly ethos. Blast has garnered attention for its gambling and degen culture, drawing in a more speculative DeFi crown. Meanwhile, Zora has become a magnet for artists and creatives. This cultural divergence is an organic step in the evolution of blockchain networks. It represents an opening of worlds, broadening Ethereum's reach by matching projects with communities that share similar visions and values.

Farcaster Frames

Frames are the foundation of Farcaster's interactive ecosystem, transforming static posts into dynamic modules for user engagement. Unlike the passive experience of scrolling through a typical social feed, Frames empower users to take immediate action. Imagine a post not just as a message but as a gateway, where with a click of a button, you can mint an NFT or swap cryptocurrency without leaving the Warpcaster client. With this seamless integration, each Frame is a tool tailored to specific tasks, streamlining what would otherwise be a multi-step process. They enhance utility and user autonomy, making the Farcaster protocol not just a platform for communication, but a hub of transactional activity and more.

America Onchain (Wallets)

With each cycle of development, crypto inches closer to the mainstream. As giants like Coinbase and Binance climb the ranks in app stores, the vast majority of these newcomers remain locked within the walled gardens of centralized exchanges. Will they ever experience the deeper decentralized ecosystem that represents the true pulse of crypto?

ICO Layers

Big shoutout to ChrisF for sparking the idea behind this essay with his latest tweet thread. Do yourself a favor and check that out before jumping in here.

Moore's Law

Things are changing fast in crypto. Much like the early internet, it's an ecosystem where growth often defies expectation, potentially mirroring Moore's Law in its exponential trajectory.  Consider the example of semiconductors and Moore’s Law: for decades, chips became twice as powerful for the same price every two years. Is it possible that there’s a similar natural rate of growth for digital assets? “Meme it to existence” has become the modern mantra. Cultural forces and technological advancements are in a powerful alliance, fueling this proliferation.