CLINT ARTHUR19 June 2022
OCEAN FLOOR MUSIC AT PERMISSIONLESS: WHY WEB3 MATTERS
If I was to say money speaks louder than words, this article would be about the volatility of cryptocurrencies.
From the highs of watching powerhouse VC’s such as Andreesen Horowitz release $4.5 billion in the ‘Golden Era of Web3’, to the unpegging of Luna/Terra and the recent plummet of Bitcoin below $20,000.
And given the media’s laser focus on the recent downturn in crypto markets, you’d be forgiven for forgetting about the havoc also present in TradFi markets as the global economy teeters and warnings of a potential recession grow louder.
In a recent interview, New York Mayor Eric Adams spoke of receiving his first three pay cheques in cryptocurrency, a move made to demonstrate to his city that crypto is the future. While current market conditions mean Adams hasn’t yet netted the equivalent of his salary in USD, he is curious why that has been the focus of the media rather than the $100,000 his stock holdings have lost in value over the same period.
Why the mainstream media insists on oversimplifying all the goings on across countless projects in the Web3 space down to one word - ‘cryptocurrency’ - was the first topic addressed when I arrived in Miami at the Permissionless Blockchain conference, hosted by Blockworks and Bankless, just two days after the Luna/Terra crash. We discussed how it was easier to do if you don’t understand the opportunities that blockchain technologies provide - things like the Ownership Economy: and Creator Economy, the future of Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) - or haven’t witnessed the army of trailblazing developers, founders, crypto VCs, and exchanges that are building a better future for us all.
Seated among more than 2,000 attendees at the main stage on day one after 40 hours travelling from Perth, there was a vibration of pride and a commitment to keep building. Web3 wasn’t a new topic that needed to be explained to anyone, it was a symbiotic relationship of building a new future of ownership and creator economies.
Discussing how the next 1 billion users will enter Web3 and what will bring in this next wave allowed the audience to connect their protocols to this larger vision in some way. There were insights into Decentralised Social Economies (DeSoc) , where we witnessed the launch of lens.xyz, and further understood why Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin is focusing on this area with his new project, Soul Based Tokens (SBTs).
The overriding message was to build systems for people that will help ‘inform’ them to make the right decisions, and ‘empower’ where their lives go. To make sure these systems are all about them, that they can be used anywhere at any time, can exit with ease, are ‘safe’, and to move away from tech lingo so they’re easy to understand and use. Metamask has grown from 200,000 users to more than 30 million in just two years with an emphasis on this type of thinking.
Self-made billionaire and Australian success story, Kaine Warwick, Founder of Synthetix, noted that we have probably been in a DeFi bear market for the past 18 months and shared his excitement around the new wave of NFTs in music and movies. Chris Dixon from a16z.com referred to the ‘State of Crypto 2022 report which demonstrated the revenue opportunities for creators in Web3:
“We counted 22,400 Web3 creators (based on the number of NFT collections) compared to the nearly 3 billion users posting content on Meta platforms. While in absolute terms, Spotify and YouTube paid out more to creators – $7 billion and $15 billion, respectively – the “per capita” disparity is striking. According to our analysis, Web3 paid out $174,000 per creator, while Meta paid out $0.10 per user, Spotify paid out $636 per artist, and YouTube paid out $405 per channel. Web3 is tiny but mighty.” Chris Dixon, a16z.com
It was pleasing to see so many female leaders and game changers throughout the event. Porting between her roles and presentations as COO for Gala Games and CEO for Gala Music, Sarah Buxton announced that she still has $600 million to invest into her gaming portfolio for 2022 and that the future of music is already here. She will stop at nothing to help drive this forward and should be admired for her vision and commitment to do so. Informative fireside chats with Kate Rouch, CMO at Coinbase, who launched their QR ad at the Superbowl this year, Avery Akkeneni, President of VaynerNFT, driving NFT Marketing Strategies, and Evin McMullen, CEO of Disco.xyz with her vision of private verifiable data, were demonstrations of wisdom and inspiration.
So, what’s next? With lots of layer 2 solutions landing, notably Immutable X and Optimism, as well as the long-awaited merge of ETH 2, there is excitement around this deployment of more eco-friendly solutions coming to blockchain. Very soon we will also see the next horizon of gaming platforms that have been in development over the past 1-3 years launching in the back half of 2022.
Watching the likes of Illuvium build out the final stages of their game with input from their community, really demonstrates the future of business. Not only having voting power on the game development or some future business decisions as part of a DAO, but understanding that their community of staked contributors also receive a passive income is impressive. I'm sure this realisation will become conscious on the back of their most recent $72 million land sale once it transcends into staked token holder wallets.
This also reminds us that there is a new way to ‘Earn, Create and Own’ in Web3. At Ocean Floor Music, we are proud to have Danny Wilson, CFO at Illuvium, as one of our core advisors on our solution with blockchain music and helping us become a leader in Web3 music. It was great to finally meet Danny in person and the extended Illuvium team at the Permissionless Conference.
Right now, the tide is out and businesses with a true product market fit that have the right values and teams to operationally deliver in this space will still be standing strong when the bull market returns. So, immerse yourself in the opportunities, understand your risk appetite and most importantly, educate yourself. Web3 is most certainly here, it is you and you matter.