Avalanche subnet changes

Teemu and I discussed the possibility of Avalanche no longer requiring subnets to validate the main network.

At the time, I did not see the value - why wouldn’t you just build on Cosmos?

Teemu mentioned the possibility of raising from capital that needs to invest in an otherwise barren ecosystem.

I now suspect they may end up sucking air off L2s instead of Cosmos.

Also, I think Avalanche has the advantage that they can tell any EVM story to those were looking to L2s.

It is something I hadn’t considered.

It might not pull away teams that are looking into Cosmos, but will impact those that look at the L2 landscape and decide there is not enough there for them.

Subversion to capitalization

Back in 1999, David Bowie spoke about how music used to be subversive, but had since become merely an information delivery mechanism - it was the Internet that was subversive.

Fast-forward, and the Internet is an information (and disinformation) delivery mechanism - it is crypto and other areas that are subversive.

The thing that is subversive now is the what will make money in a few years.

ZKP Bridging

TL;DR: I don’t see any practical path forward for decentralized stuff other than abandon the pretense of cross-chain value transfer and embrace balkanization, while letting the centralized stuff handle the cross-chain value transfer.

Backlash technology

Backlash Technology is a term coined by Peter Watts - it’s tech for which one of the key properties is a prominently displayed middle finger at something else. Think Signal and Telegram adoption spikes whenever WhatsApp screws something up, or crypto as a reaction to the financial system (particularly in places plagued with hyperinflation).

Bridges, not platforms

(Update: This is an older view on the potentials for bridges for crypto. For an updated perspective, check my thoughts on The Spelunking Podcast Ep. 21 about how we are moving to a “zero-knowledge everything” world, or this piece on ZKP Bridging.)

Cosmos and Polkadot, which were both born to ensure interoperability among different chains, are in a race to maintain their relevance.

TVL is not for platforms

I’m starting to get pretty annoyed with people using TVL to compare the value or activity in a platform.

I personally think TVL is a flawed metric for platforms as a whole. It works only when you’re comparing domains like DeFi. If a particular platform is very DeFi-focused, it could have a higher TVL than one that gets more active use but does not require value locking (eg. Arweave).

It also seems that high chain fees would skew users to locking, since active use chews up your stack. With low fees you can be liquid and productive. Instead of keeping your $VOTE tokens locked in a system, why not move them in just when you need to cast a vote, and then out when you’re done?

(See also: Bridged volume as a metric)

How distributed[C] handles identity

As we had mentioned on Designing for Personas, we want people to feel comfortable creating multiple pseudonymous identities on distributed[C].

How do we manage identity, then?

Bridged volume as a metric

On Beyond The Wormhole, Meltem talks about bridges and mentions that < 1% of bridged assets are going through Wormhole (as of 202111).

That raised an interesting idea: How much is being bridged to each platform is likely a more interesting metric of platform financial usage than TVL.

Impermanent file systems

d[c] uses OrbitDB and IPFS under the hood to store its data.

IPFS got something of a bad rap because people who don’t read documentation expected it to be automagic cloud storage that keeps data for free. However, someone needs to pin the file to keep it around.