Feliz Cinco de Mayo! To all the gringos reading this newsletter: No, it’s not Mexican Independence Day. Yes, it’s like 300, but with Rurales. And, yes, I’m technically a gringo myself. But I was lucky enough to be adopted into a loving Latinx family and bequeathed a modicum of culture. Now, with the future of said culture up for debate by the balding heads of our Gerontocracy, it’s important to remember, all it takes for the scrappy upstarts to fend off the old white men with Napoleon complexes is a better narrative. Viva descentralización!
(Price changes reflect past 24 hours as of 5.5.22 @ 4:20 PM EST.)
- As referenced above, the pentagenarian powers that be are back to discussing crypto regulation, which tends to encourage more entry into the space from the risk-averse.
- As referenced below, however, Elon Musk is tweeting again.
5.5.22 sure is a day in NFT history
Salvador Dali (overrated as fuck, to be fair) got nada on the surrealism of NFT Twitter circa 2022. I’ve gone off on the odd, almost clinically compulsive patterns of Crypto and/or Shill Twitter plenty of times by now. But NFT Twitter — which self-identifies as its own thing — is where the simulation truly jumps the shark, as evinced by the pure potpourri of poetic irony serendipitously pictured above.
The initial question tweeted by good old @horndogdoteth — ‘Is tomorrow going to be the biggest day in NFT history?’ — had nothing to do with any specific happening planned in the Neopets-esque economy of non-fungible tokens. It turns out to be a fairly common refrain on NFT Twitter, as one commenter perceptively pointed out:
Sort of a ‘give a Bored Ape infinite time and typewriter and eventually it’ll rewrite Hamlet‘ type thing, I guess. Tweet your unfounded optimism out every day and surely one day will be the biggest day in NFT history, at which point your few thousand followers will hail you as a God and all that Reddit karma will carry you off into Internet nirvana. Only problem is, every other day, you’ll look like a glitching Russian bot, at best. And, at worst, you’ll become the butt of a Culture H0R joke, if you happen to still be tweeting it when the worst day in NFT history inevitably comes.
Well, come it did, along with an Elon Musk tweet, as worst days often do. A report in The Independent — shared above by @wondermundo — dropped today, revealing that daily sales in the NFT market have fallen 92% since last September. And, naturally, it just so happens to coincide with Once and Future King Musk suggesting they’re ‘pretty fungible’ to his millions of followers / future subjects.
Correlation or causation? I’ll leave it up to the meeting of the minds gathered on NFT Twitter to decide. While they’re at it, maybe they can explain why we, too, rang the death knell for Ethereum-based NFTs last Tuesday, a day and a half before the news broke. But idk. Could be everything is random and the universe is just a meaningless hash of binary code.
Do be a DUMaaS
We’re starting to embrace our status as your favorite thought leader’s favorite thought leader. We happen to know at least a few of you, our Highest Order Readers, wield a great deal of influence in your respective Twitter spaces. And we’ve seen some of our more out-there ideas pop-up on your timelines — uncredited, of course. Look, we’re not bitter. To our considerably oversized egos, ’tis but a flesh wound. Still, we’re thinking it might be time to double down on our questionable habit of rebranding crypto concepts in our own image. What better way to stake our claim to an idea than by assigning it an acronym so asinine, only we could’ve coined it?
Without further ado, we’d like to introduce: DUMaaS. It stands for Decentralized-User-Management-as-a-Service, and it’s a fitting title for the VCs who are so blood-thirstily lusting after this emerging industry. We’ve been lowkey teasing the DUMaaS reveal for a while now, in our discussions of online identity and the problems it faces on the blockchain. And, indeed, DUMaaS is the perfect term for the increasingly frequent attempts at using web3 to solve them.
Decentralized-User-Management-as-a-Service is an industry we define as: developing software to enable communities to provide individuals with support to manage their individual and collective legal identities online. (Now throw a ‘permissionless’ or ‘ownership’ in there somewhere and Guy Oseary will throw you a couple M’s, guaranteed.)
DUMaaS is a response to the fact that large technology companies have abused their data silos by means of negligent profiteering. It’s also a response to the emergence of a decentralized cloud internet powered by blockchain and other web3 technologies. Given the complex nature of the private public key system, the need to run scripts, and a bunch of other technical shit I don’t have the bandwith to go into here, we believe it’ll be incredibly important for a community-oriented system to arise, allowing consumers to share and distribute risk so they can access the full benefits of decentralized technology without needing to be technophiles themselves.
In theory, DUMaaS could also service the need for accountability in managing the 1:1 relationship between an individual’s IRL self and their Internet identity. An ideal DUMaaS platform would provide reputation-backed KYC by allowing, essentially, self-moderation. A series of decentralized communities supported by the platform would be empowered to establish their own rules for governance and membership, with the capability to remove bad actors or reform them to comply. The reputation of the community as a whole would be displayed public, while individual actors retain the right to remain anonymous online, held accountable by those they trust, in private.
And, if entire communities decided to tank their reputations (looking at you, every other subreddit) their collective reputation would be signaled to others, and their members could be identified pseudonymously and avoided. By utilizing an established range like Dunbar’s number, communities could remain small and intimate enough for the reputation management to be effective in maintaining appropriate behaviors of individuals online.
Of course, that’s just our proposed solution. Other DUMaaS attempts include scanning eyeballs, handing our biometric data off to robots, and talking a big game without proposing any solution whatsoever. Personally, we prefer our own. Only because we’re egotists, though. Or because we want to avoid the technofascist fiefdom every sci-fi writer and their mothers predicted for our future, but hey. Why listen to us? I mean, just look at our track record.
Rigorous journalism at its worst
While we’re on the topics of eerie prescience / web3 news sources / Twitter surrealism / cultureless white people and/or Elon Musk, here’s one more distillation of top shelf dark comedy in a couple tweets. Binance, the largest crypto exchange by volume, recently committed $500M in venture capital to Musk’s Twitter bid. Blockworks, the largest web3 media property by volume, responded with a photo of, supposedly, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao with Musk back in his university days. Only, as CZ soon clarified, it wasn’t him in the photo. Just some other Asian man.
Unfortunately, it’s not the first — nor even the highest profile — case of #WrongAsian in recent memory. But given web3’s fear of doxxing and obsession with digital identity (and considering Elon’s promised ‘Edit’ button is still a few months away) you’d think Blockworks would exercise a little more caution before hitting ‘Tweet’.
Then again. It is the Internet we’re talking about…