Crafting the Next Meta with User-Generated Assets

Kinjal Shah
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Memecoins are having a moment. But what we’ve witnessed over the past four years of crypto, is the same idea instantiated in new mediums. Social tokens, NFTs, or memecoins--they all enable the financialization of a shared idea, asset, or message. To participate in these markets, is to participate in the constant creation, dissemination, and evolution of the next meta. 

The current state of memecoins is highly controversial, due to its culture of celebrating gambling-like mechanics. But mimetic online behavior is a storied engagement tool on the internet. If you squint, you can see how this might evolve into deeper forms of engagement, ownership, and monetization for creators and users.

In this previous piece, I claim that user-generated content is a form of native currency on the internet. User generated content, such as memes, are primarily distributed by technology’s biggest aggregators like Meta and X. With crypto, we see this taken a step further. User generated assets are distributed on digitally-native exchanges, and as we’re starting to see play out, new age publishers. Memes are just another way to capture attention as it’s distributed across web3 platforms.

Memecoins as part of the creator toolkit

Although it's rudimentary, and not in its final form, a toolkit is emerging for creators in web3. Mechanisms like points and airdrops reward usage on protocols. The airdrop design space continues to have significant room for maturity, with constraints like allowlists and vesting, to potentially create a more concrete rewarding mechanism. Growth is further driven through existing communities, onchain referral rewards, and “social proof of token.” 

Memecoins can also be used to bring together adjacent communities or capture a moment in time. For example, Seed Club recently launched $ENJOY on Zora in a fully permissionless manner. They bootstrapped attention via the Zora network for their broader ecosystem. Their memecoin specifically targets users that have engaged with both Zora and Seed Club authentically in a variety of form factors.

With the power of onchain addresses and wallets, $ENJOY can specifically reward behavior that’s demonstrated greater engagement than simply minting once. Holders of $ENJOY represent a unique set of wallets that have demonstrated (to a degree) loyalty and engagement with both Zora and Seed Club. Memecoins can be ephemeral in nature but they are also an effective tool for gaining attention and marketing. 

We’re going to start seeing an increasing number of creators and brands rewarding and engaging their users with onchain mechanisms . Your favorite newsletter writer might open up referral rewards for a subsect of their readers. An influencer might airdrop their own memecoin based on active participation on a channel. Below are some examples of tools that creators can use to acquire users and grow their assets.

Social consensus and narrative building plays a critical role in this. We’ve seen virtually every form of content aggregation occur on the internet. To this day, the crypto community largely relies upon traditional social media platforms to build narrative. We finally have the first few instantiations of onchain publishers with protocols like Lens and Farcaster, and applications building on top like Warpcast, Drakula and Orb. 

With these platforms, memecoins are part of the experience. You can comment on a cast, and be rewarded with $DEGEN directly to the wallet tied to your FID. Orb recently saw the first bootstrapped memecoin on Lens, $BONSAI, where holders have access to specific collectibles or groups. We are also seeing this social behavior congregate on new types of marketplaces - whether its a wallet frontend or a telegram trading channel. Publishers can use this data to provide contextual experiences for users of a particular protocol or application. 

Until now, our primary mechanism for monetizing internet memes and content relied on advertising and sponsorships. With onchain assets, we’re witnessing a new set of behaviors and mechanisms usher in the next internet meta. We’ve only just begun to crack open the design space - if you’re thinking about this DM me!

Thanks to Denise Shaefer, Anay Simunovic, Sterling Campbell, and Jess Sloss for reviewing this post

Blockchain Capital is an investor in one or more of the protocols mentioned above. The views expressed in each blog post may be the personal views of each author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Blockchain Capital and its affiliates. Neither Blockchain Capital nor the author guarantees the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of information provided in each blog post. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made or given by or on behalf of Blockchain Capital, the author or any other person as to the accuracy and completeness or fairness of the information contained in any blog post and no responsibility or liability is accepted for any such information. Nothing contained in each blog post constitutes investment, regulatory, legal, compliance or tax or other advice nor is it to be relied on in making an investment decision. Blog posts should not be viewed as current or past recommendations or solicitations of an offer to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. The blog posts may contain projections or other forward-looking statements, which are based on beliefs, assumptions and expectations that may change as a result of many possible events or factors. If a change occurs, actual results may vary materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date such statements are made, and neither Blockchain Capital nor each author assumes any duty to update such statements except as required by law. To the extent that any documents, presentations or other materials produced, published or otherwise distributed by Blockchain Capital are referenced in any blog post, such materials should be read with careful attention to any disclaimers provided therein.

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