This year people watched the crypto world transcend.
Not so much in the (crypto shaman-bro) false ‘transcendence’ kind of way. More in the sense of how the crypto ecosystem began to feel like it was prioritising the need to become more human. We started to witness shifts in how people observed Meta’s not so hot takes on the evolution of its Metaverse, the real comeback from remote-everything, the fatigue with url conversation spaces like Clubhouse, and the response mechanisms that started kicking in.
1. What started to become more apparent this year was the collective craving for belonging, community modularity and connection in the midst of extreme url-ification.
The desire for humanness. A damn good aspiration for the collective crypto consciousness to hold onto. But why is this so important? And importantly, why does Frothy stand by this so vehemently?
As a collective of crypto-native strategists, growth experts and designers, our studio is adamantly focussed on the human bonds and cultural roots that accelerate growth and create cultural moats for crypto companies.
We are fundamentally bullish on humanizing and growing crypto through mechanisms that steer away from overt url-ification that is exploding in the wake of AI, Metaverse mayhem and distributed teams.
Not to say we don’t believe in the aforementioned movements at all. In fact, we love some GPT3 action, heck shoot the GPT4 and 5 our way as soon as the latest shit drops. What’s alarming however, is when those kinds of yang are not balanced by the most formidable and beautiful form of yin: the human experience.
Its when we have this level of priority placed on humanness, in tandem with game changing emergent tech, that the real magic can kick in. From our perspective, we truly desire for the transition to emergent paradigms to happen with humanness at the core. This is tied to our deep belief that the best network effects emerge from deep culture and community roots.
2. Connected to this drive for humanness we are now witnessing more emergent “cultural nuance” around crypto.
What do we mean by “culture” in this sense? The way Frothy thinks about culture requires drilling into shared values, as well as shared rituals and practices that ignite behaviours and create moments of meaning. It’s about shared lore and narratives that have the power to bind relationships and loyalty. It’s about shared spaces, as much as it is about shared leaders and individuals to rally behind and orbit around. These elements are of course all the more potent when in person. In a space where humanness reigns supreme.
It’s evident that we saw more of this crypto cultural nuance manifesting in 2022 than ever before. This came in the form of experiences like FWB FEST, in the Californian redwoods, that brought people together specifically around a shared love of music, food, juicy chats. Tangentially, the binding factor of crypto being part of the glue that made this festival so special wasn’t necessarily the glue.
This is precisely the point: the crypto ecosystem is finally evolving in a way that means crypto events aren’t about the crypto. They’re about the shared ‘froth’ around a certain activity, movement, taste, lifestyle design choice etc.
We really believe that 2023 will be the year that Culture and Experience Design steps up its game. There’s a number of reasons why this is the case. We’re now at a point in the evolution of blockchain where the railroads are very established. The infrastructure is there, yet we need utility + activity to make it valuable and enduring.
That has never been clearer than it is now, in the current timeline. And this utility + activity is coming in the form of memorable ‘moments’. Moments that really pull back to culture, and shared rituals, practices and formats.
Which leads to Frothy’s major reflection around crypto culture and where we’re headed next …
We’re entering a phase of modularity in humanized crypto experiences. Community Modularity is here in the crypto space.
First, what do we mean by the concept of community modularity and modularism? In the technical sense, it’s all about going beyond monolithic, and embracing a blockchain not needing to handle all the components in the stack on its own. By disaggregating these core components a modular blockchain can focus on specialising in a particular area, which leads to major optimizations and true scalability.
Extending this idea of modularity to community and culture, we realize how so far in crypto, it’s been pretty monolithic in terms of experience design, cultural practices and execution of these.
How it started: one kind of experience was expected to handle mostly everyone (premised largely on the fact that the wider crypto ecosystem has been a monolithic boys’ club – a narrative Frothy is seeking to change).
How it’s going: we’re entering a phase of community modularity where there’s far more specialisation, flexibility and disaggregated community legos. This is seen in terms of more specialised representation, culture and experiences. Monolithic community experiences no longer satiate the ecosystem.
The community is hungry for more. We’re seeing examples of this shine through with groups like ThirstyThirsty, a membership DAO focussed on natural wine lovers who appreciate regenerative practices. Or Peer Summit, pulling in folks who love to ski and talk ZK proof chat on the chairlift. You only have to check in on Seed Club’s latest demo day and the customization of niche DAOs in their cohort to see proof of real experiential modularity in action.
Given these key changes in humanness, culture, and community modularism are in motion, how do we deal with these transitions? if we want to break down the crypto experience legos, then what are the core components? Does it come down to physical activities and practices being the most powerful glue? Or does it hinge more on potency of rituals, evidenced by the compelling Crypto Coven community. What is the vibe glue really holding it all together ?
This question is one that Frothy is obsessed with solving. We solve this for projects leveraging our ecosystem insights and secret sauce. We’re here to talk to those who really want to figure out this question for the growth and resilience of their crypto mission.
Let’s get this space humanised.
Keep up with Frothy here.