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E-mails are handshakes, Wallets are portals

A letter to Paragraph

Welcome to the 18 new people who joined the onchain letters community since Tuesday!

I'm thankful for all 119 of you and I hope everyone is having an awesome Friday 🔥

If you're enjoying my writing, please share Onchain Letters with your friends in Crypto 🤝

Key Takeaways

  1. A year ago, I made a bet on Colin and the Paragraph team after talking to them about their vision to support crypto native creators. It's clear that this bet is starting to pay off big time.

  2. Wallet subscriptions serve as a portal to help creators better understand who their community really is. Being a crypto native creator enables you to build a community, not just a list of e-mails.

  3. In the last 24 hours, the Onchain Letters community has transacted 500+ times. 70% of the activity was on Base and there was a long tail of projects I've never even heard of.

A letter to Colin & Paragraph

In November 2022, I started spending more time on Farcaster because crypto Twitter had become a toxic feed covering the FTX saga.

It was right around then when I first interacted with Colin and learned that he was working on Paragraph. I got a chance to talk to him about his vision for the product, how he was leaning into the Farcaster community, and what a "crypto native creator" even was.

By January 2023, I had started my first paragraph newsletter and was off to the races. I was well aware that I was taking a hit by not using Substack for its distribution or Beehiiv for its analytics features. But after talking to Colin, I was so impressed by him that I decided this was a bet I was willing to take.

Throughout 2023, both of us have had a constant back and forth on ideas of how Paragraph could better support creators. There have been various examples where I drop a feature request or bug in my discord chat with the team and it's shipped within the week.

Now, a year later, I'm starting to see my bet pay off big time. It's just the beginning, but it's clear to me that my decision to lean into Farcaster and Paragraph was the right call.

Yesterday, Farcaster hit its 5th consecutive record DAU with over 20k users. And the Paragraph team (only 3 people) have been shipping at such a high velocity that I'm not even able to keep up with the new product feature announcements.

However, last Friday, after the Farcaster team launched frames, it really hit me how exceptional of a developer and product leader Colin was. As soon as Varun (Farcaster co-founder) put out the frames docs, everyone was off to the races to release a cool concept. In the first 30 mins Colin was already testing a new feature. And a few hours later, he had shipped a fully functional in-app subscribe button 🤯

And creators were beyond excited.

Chris Carella

With that being said, I wanted to dive into what I believe it even means to be a crypto native creator.

I know the term is tossed around a lot and there's no one right definition. But I'll use this letter as a chance to dive into my understanding of newsletters and community building.

More than a list of e-mails

For those of you that don't use Paragraph, here's a rundown of some of the crypto specific features that are available to use:

  • All posts can be saved on Arweave

  • Posts can be collected on OP, Polygon, Base, or Zora

  • Token gated content & communities

  • Paragraph frames allow you to subscribe and read posts inline without leaving Farcaster

  • Paragraph bot on Farcaster that uses AI to summarize and share the posts when published

For me, the most exciting part about Paragraph is that the definition of subscribers moves beyond traditional e-mails.

Up until recently, subscribing could only be done by providing your email. Now, with tools like Paragraph, you can engage with a creator with your crypto wallet as well.

This makes it possible for creators to understand and engage with their audience better than ever before.

Why? Because wallets serve as a portal to help creators better understand who their community really is. Onchain social graphs, dapps they interact with, etc.

But instead of explaining, let me just show you.

Last night, I went through my list of subscribers. There's 119 of you in the onchain letters community and 53 of you have a connected Ethereum address as well.

I went ahead and added all 53 wallets to a group in Once Upon to see how the community is spending their time in crypto.

What are all of you excited about? Here's what I learned.

  1. In the last 24 hours (as of me writing this), the 53 addresses have made 506 total transactions. That's ~9 transactions / day from each subscriber!

  2. 70% of the 506 transactions were on Base. Optimism, Zora, and Ethereum mainnet were all roughly the same.

  3. The highest overlap mint was the Layer3 Cube - 10 addresses collected 15 pieces

  4. 5 of you were lucky enough to participate in the $FRAME token drop on Farcaster yesterday

  5. There's a long tail of Base projects I didn't even know about that you all are minting

Pretty cool that we can do that now right?

Compare this to traditional models such as Substack. You simply collect a list of e-mails and have zero context on who is even in your community. With wallets, I'm able to better understand who my true fans are and how I can better serve them.

For example, now that I know there's interest in Layer3, I can reach out to my friends there and ask if they'd like to do some kind of partnership.

Additionally, in my weekly mint overview on Sunday, I can share some projects that the community has been interested in. This broadens my range and allows all of you to see what everyone is doing onchain.

Lastly, it's worth mentioning that these are just the addresses of people who are in the community.

However, every single one of my letters can be minted onchain by anyone. So far, my 22 published letters have been collected 160 times! Of course, some of those are repeated so I have to account for that.

But now I have access to another data set which allows me to make a list called "Potential Subscribers" and see what kinds of things they're up to onchain. And based on that information, I can try writing some posts that these folks might find interesting and send it to them proactively.

Long Road Ahead

Of course, I want to be clear that this is just the start. Remember, only 44% of this extremely onchain community even connected their ethereum address! Meaning the insights are still limited and the habit is yet to be built even in the crypto world.

But, it's exciting to me that this kind of opportunity even exists - I'm getting new data that traditional creators don't have access too.

As I continue posting my letters in the months ahead, I'm excited to keep tabs on how WE as a community are participating onchain and provide all of you with those insights.

Additionally, I'm excited to try different experiments such as token gated chats, commemorative airdrops (stay tuned 👀), and other ideas that haven't even been talked about.

The Paragraph frame feature this past week helped unlock a huge part of this thinking. I always knew these ideas were possible, but as the list of wallet addresses started flooding in from Farcaster, it became a lot more real all of a sudden.

That's all for today's letter - I hope all of you have a great weekend! can collect this post on Base :)

- YB

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