the state of crypto 2023; plus, resources on the latest trends
We’re back with all new editions of this newsletter, beginning with our just-released 2023 State of Crypto.
1. Data & pulse checks: On the State of Crypto 2023
Daren Matsuoka, Eddy Lazzarin, Robert Hackett and Stephanie Zinn
It’s easy for a casual observer to overlook rapid progress in the crypto industry, especially given the noise of media headlines and fleeting price movements. But our State of Crypto report 2023 tracks the data, indicators, and signals that matter — revealing a steady cycle of development, product launches, and ongoing innovation. And this year, we also introduced the State of Crypto Index, a tool to track the health of the crypto industry from a technological, rather than financial, perspective.
The index represents the weighted average monthly growth of 14 industry metrics — also displaying, in a single chart, the rate of “innovation” and “adoption” of web3 — that offers a more nuanced measure for the state of crypto. The tool is also interactive, so anyone can tweak the parameters to form their own data views.
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2. Latest trends: applying zero knowledge to machine learning; minting NFTs in ‘waves’ to better build community
Elena Burger; Scott Duke Kominers and 1337 Skulls Sers
In past editions, we’ve shared a lot about zero knowledge, foundational technologies that hold the keys to blockchain scalability, represent the future of privacy-preserving applications, and more. But zero-knowledge proofs can also be useful in providing checks-and-balances on machine learning models and AI. Recently, there have been notable efforts in putting larger and more complex models on-chain — leveraging the ability of zero-knowledge proofs to succinctly represent and verify programs.
In an NFT project, the mint largely determines who the community is and how they (and the broader market) view the project going forward. Since brands and projects need a secure mechanism that draws participation from the people they initially want, we review a new minting strategy called a “wave mint”, in which members of different NFT communities are invited to mint in a series of waves gradually expanding outwards. The wave mint design leverages people’s on-chain data and reputation to select for holders who are well matched to a project’s culture and goals; drives attention and energy to the project; and avoids common problems with “free” mints, like gas wars and bots.
3. Resources & education: What marketers can learn from (or for) web3… and beyond
Amanda Cassatt, Kim Milosevich, and Sonal Chokshi
Whether you’re a marketer, community manager, or in developer relations — and are already in web3, OR are in traditional marketing simply seeking to learn the latest trends and tactics — this conversation is for you. In it, the author (who, among other things, was the first CMO at ConsenSys, helping bring Ethereum to market) of the new book Web3 Marketing: A Handbook for the Next Internet Revolution shares insights on how to do community marketing; how to manage individual brands/ profiles in open source communities; and how to find one’s audience and feedback for product-market fit. The discussion also covers metrics; hiring and managing marketing talent; and what it means to shift organizational mindsets from top-down, centralized control to decentralized, bottom-up collaboration.
If you enjoy reading these newsletters, please be sure to forward it to others who are interested in going deeper on the future of the internet. Be sure to also subscribe to our show ‘web3 with a16z’ wherever you get your podcasts; and, follow us on Twitter, Farcaster, and LinkedIn.
--Sonal Chokshi and a16z crypto team
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