What began as a simple question concerning how many Australians followed pseudonymous Twitter user ‘Boho’ rapidly grew into a tidal wave of Aussie-themed Web3 revelry.
Much to the surprise of Crypto Twitter, which is widely understood as a predominantly American-dominated space, the explosion of Aussie-posting showed that the land down under holds some serious space in the Web3 industry.
The storm of “gm from Australia” Twitter posts grew to its crescendo at 4pm on Sunday afternoon when hundreds of Australia-based Web3 enthusiasts piled into an Aus-focused Twitter space which has since had thousands of listeners tuning in.
The avalanche began when ‘Boho’ tweeted: “We’re making Aussie NFT twitter a thing. Aussie follow Aussie lesss go” to his 13,000 followers on Thursday evening last week.
The resulting hashtag ‘aussiefollowaussie’ blew up, with tens of thousands of unique hits across the Twitter platform as Web3 and crypto enthusiasts rushed to virtually meet up, follow one another and show support for each others’ projects in the space.
Speaking to The Chainsaw, Boho said that while he couldn’t take full credit for launching the Aussie takeover, his initial efforts at raising awareness came from an observation that Australians were largely under-represented in the Web3 space.
“The whole space has always felt very geared towards an American audience and I wanted everyone to know, ‘hey look over here, there’s tonnes of us too’”Boho
“What I wasn’t prepared for was to learn just how many Aussies there were already leading the space in so many ways. It’s actually kind of miraculous that we never came together as a community before now,” he added.
Social media induced-dopamine aside, the #aussiefollowaussie movement wasn’t just a cool way to get some much-needed hopium. The tidal wave of Aussie activity on the Twitter platform permanently altered how the Web3 community functioned and quickly became a multi-day celebration of Australia’s best projects and memes.
“I’ve had so many DM’s from people telling me their whole Web3 experience has changed in a matter of days. They’re finding new friends, joining local projects and engaging online at a time of day when twitter is normally dead,” Boho said.
“The whole hype of it might be temporary, but the connections made during it are not. It’s up to all of us to maintain these networks and friendships going forward,” he concluded.
Australian Web3 goes beyond “flipping jpegs”
Sunday afternoon’s 4pm Twitter Space came as a welcome relief to Aussie Web3 aficianados, who are all too accustomed with setting alarms for 3am so that they can be included in American time zone-scheduled Web3 activities.
Beyond sharing distributed vocal messages of camaraderie, nearly 1000 Aussie cobbers discussed the urgent need for Australian regulation to be supportive of this emerging movement that goes far beyond accessing digital art.
“We need structure to get shit moving but also so that this technology can be used for others, including [developing regions] like Africa and Asia. We’re so primed for so many different perspectives utilising NFTs. It’s easy to put us in one corner but [regulators] don’t usually have an understanding of what these creatives are trying to do,” said pseudonymous crypto thought leader ‘Posty’.
Steve Vallas, formerly head of Blockchain Australia and now head of Blockchain APAC, stepped up on stage to give his optimistic view of the future of Web3 and the need for better understanding of project maps and goals.
“There’s never been more interest behind closed doors, from both mainstream industry and regulators,” he said.
“Everyone’s interested in this space because they’re seeing that this isn’t just a side hustle for people, it isn’t just people flipping jpegs … people are building some extraordinary businesses — and those businesses which are built in front of governments and regulators, and they want to understand this space.”
While it’s important for the community to get excited about meeting for the first time and realising just how many projects are underway in Australia, the maelstrom of activity has worked to help solve what Vallas identifies as a key problem in the Web3 space.
“The biggest challenge we face as an industry is we don’t do a very good job at coordinating large conversations, we need people to recognise how incredible this space is”.
NFT artist and Web3 writer Joan Westernberg also weighed in, saying that the movement over the weekend kindled a sense of community support which despite the friendly nature of Aussies, can actually be quite difficult to foster in a country known for having its fair share of “tall poppy” syndrome.
“If we are going to build a better Australian Web3 ecosystem, the thing that we have to get past is the ‘cultural cringe’,” she said.
“This is something that we have a lot in the Aussie music and publishing industries. We have this idea that we just don’t support Aussie projects because to some degree we kind of feel a little bit embarrassed about things that come from Australia.”
“We need to get to a point where we look at an Aussie project and we just go, fuck yeah, we are behind that 1000% and we’re proud that it’s Aussie. I think that’s really important,” she concluded.
Ultimately, the Aussie takeover showed that despite cratering crypto asset prices, there’s a legitimate community of convicted builders paving the way for Web3 growth in the land down under.
Anyway, here’s the memes …