What is Smrti Lab?

Smrti means mindfulness in Sanskrit.

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

It's a principle that we will always bear in mind when exploring in the crypto world.

We are a Web 3 Buidler/Tester/ Player Studio founded by a group of Regens (aka. non-degenerate degens).

🧚🏻 What is Regen?

Degen is usually used to describe risk taking gambling behavior in poker gamers and has increasingly been used to describe crypto gamblers. However, this word has developed a different connotation for us over the years. Being crypto degen means always being the the first product tester with upmost curiosity.

We were the earliest supporter/buildr/participants of: Ethereum, 0x, MakerDAO, Cryptokitties, Decentraland, Uniswap, Compound, AAVE [EthLend], yearn.fi, dYdX Expo, Arbitrum and many other category defining crypto products. We were early not because we understood thoroughly what NFT And DeFi would offer about back then, but simply because we were curious.

Therefore it brings us to the opposite of what degen was supposed to mean. We become the regenerative supporters of the network. Our goal is to use our genuine curiosity and authenticity in these crypto primitives to find, invest in and regenerate the protocols, networks and communities that are going to become the future of Web 3.

💡 What is a Web 3 Buidler/Tester/Player studio ?

0x992 and 0xbitbear started our journey in crypto in 2017 as one of the earliest DeFi Builder/Tester and crypto infrastructure operator/investor respectively. However, increasingly we found the best way to learn about crypto is just like being a player in the old Dragon and Dungeons game: you take on small explorations into new places and earn rewards, and sometimes collect the loot dropped along the way.

Every participant will be rewarded for the little adventures you take, ie earning comments and likes on a web3 social media platform, Beta testing a new product, voting in governance proposals, or pre-approving token for a bonding curve auction finished within one block (thanks, stargate). Web 3 is a world for builders and players. And our goal is to help Buidlers buidl a better open source Web 3 experience for all players.

👀 The Smrti Thesis

Smrti incubates and invests in:

  • Digital and physical primitives that lead to a more pluralistic open society, enabling the interoperability and composability of ideas and human intelligence.
  • Applications that support permission-less communities where users exchange virtual goods and value in the most fluid way.
  • Infrastructure that support the aforementioned networks and applications.

🌍 How does it work?

A Hub for Capital, Talents, and Ideas

When 0x992 and I reflected on what we are good at and what differentiates us from the rest of the crypto market participants(all the other VCs, NFT flippers, Quant funds, derivative traders etc), we realized that our real edge is in catching and identifying emerging crypto communities, usually the ones with below 10k followers and 50mm market cap. We are usually the earliest tester of a DeFi protocol or a crypto game. We know what differentiates a project from the other zombie copycat forks, we use both on-chain and social media data to track the growth of these small communities relative to the rest of the crypto markets, and we trade on these relatives.

The only scarcity in the crypto/digital world is the user’s attention and the secret sauce for making money in trading crypto is to predict where will see the largest growth in terms of user’s attention (and whether it will stay). Does this make us short-term traders instead of long-term value investors?

Not necessarily so.

We think Smrti Lab is a new type of fund that is different from traditional VC, PE, hedge funds. A hub for capital, talents, and ideas is usually how we call ourselves. So how will we do it?

The 2017 ICO Bubble and What Really Changes the Game

We both decided to all in crypto in 2017, during the infamous ICO bubble in which most projects could raise several millions of dollars with just shitty whitepapers. It’s not the ones that decided to prioritize products that made the most money (or raised enough money to outlive the following two years of a depressing bear market). This is sad but revealing.

Looking back, what is beneath this grand irrational exuberance is a complete change in the power dynamics between builders(people who build projects), capital, and markets. Venture capital is no longer the power man on the table, or at least not the only one who has arbitrary control over who gets to the next stage.

Fundraising and user adoption in crypto essentially become one thing with the adoption of smart contracts and tokenization, by which early users can be rewarded with tokens based on their onchain footprint, and early users can also fight for being early investors in crypto projects through proof of work. This might not be the case in previous bear markets, but we believe it will increasingly become the new norm. We still think venture capital has a role in smoothing the transition from an illiquid market to liquid market. But the transition will become increasingly short and small, in terms of both time and importance.

Under this new norm, buidlers, ideas and (early)users are much more scarce than capital.

That’s why we have decided to build our whole team around this new norm, the intersection of builders, ideas, and early users.

A Network of Buidlers

Our first hire, 0xy42, is now going to run her own crypto talent hub project, which is a spin off of Smrti’s previous Hacker House project. 0xy42 was previously building at Roam Research, a knowledge graph application that is also endorsed by crypto enthusiasts in that its graph structure shares some characteristics with crypto’s smart contracts. In the past two months, she organized the best gatherings with the highest quality discussions in EthDenver, Avalanche Summits and DevConnect, attracting visitors and projects like Axelar, LayerZero, Starkware and Celestia. Although 0xy42 will run the project independently in the future, we will continue to work together to support the crypto buidler community.

“first check or first regen”

We like to call ourselves Professional Web3 Testers (s/o to Changhwan for coinaging this term). Despite our different expertises in investment, trading, product and tokenomics design, the Smrti team share the same ethos of “first check or first regen”.

We focus on identifying and supporting crypto primitives that enable new design space in Web 3. We support long-term hunger, visionary, sometimes lunatic buidlers, and help emerging crypto networks and communities through Proof of Stake and Proof of Work. We provide regenerative capital and human resources and use our past experience in designing protocols (ddex.io) and tokenomics (KatanDAO) to help turn ideas into reality.

DMs are always open: www.smrtilab.xyz

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