1 – 🖤 Chicken Soup for the SOL

el Prof

April 26, 2024

GM HEARTLAND

And welcome new subscribers! JK. You’re all new. It’s our first ever issue. LFG.

—El Prof, Muhammed & Chad

What Is Heart & SOL?

This is a newsletter about money. Specifically, about internet money, also known as cryptocurrencies; one cryptocurrency, in particular. But, less specifically/particularly, it’s about the practical applications of complex concepts. And at the end of the day, most crypto is, practically, money.

Sure, there are plenty of practical use cases in the crypto space; for tokens, NFTs, dApps, etc. Too many, maybe. In a stray tweet or tech blog headline, it can all seem very complex. So let’s look first to the obvious jumping off point: Money. Certainly, one of the simplest things to do with crypto is make money. (Second only to losing it.)

So how do you make—and/or not lose—money with crypto? There’s a practical problem. We have practical solutions. And we will devote future words to them, providing digestible weekly insights into the concepts, projects, and strategies powering web3 and making crypto investors money. But here, in our first few words, we have the luxury to get a bit more theoretical.

Why Heart?

It might sound heartless to say we’re “about money.” But what is money, in practice? It’s splurging on a 20 oz latte to get you through to the weekend. It’s getting theme park tickets for the whole fam. It’s buying a bobblehead once a month to keep the locally-owned comic book shop in business. Money may not buy happiness or love. But it can buy real things, and make real differences. Precious metals aside, currency is quite literally hard work, paying off.

Some call these heartland values. No matter what you think of the term, there’s a reason this American Dream—working hard, earning money, supporting family, giving back—is associated with the geographic heart of the country. As co-founder of a startup in Kansas City, I’ve seen it firsthand.

When courting investors in Silicon Valley and New York City (the billionaires behind a generation of tech monopolies and data silos) we were asked to sell 10-year visions, perpetually ballooning profits, pipe dreams. Now our company, playhaus, does have all those things. Yes, we’re building to be bigger than Google, even more synonymous with the internet. Who isn’t? But we quickly realized the coastal metropolis venture capitalist mindset did not align with our roadmap. Changing the world is not about throwing money in the air hoping a genius catches it. It’s about slow, steady problem solving; practical tools.

Why SOL?

If Bitcoin ($BTC) is gold and Ethereum ($ETH) is silver, some would relegate Solana ($SOL) to bronze. But perhaps a better comparison would be iron, an element indispensable to human progress, the value of which isn’t how “precious” it is, but how “practical.”

The Solana ecosystem is a decentralized data store—a place to keep your info where prying eyes can’t peep it. And it’s a more secure, scalable data storage solutions than either Ethereum or Bitcoin. (Due to differences in cryptographic verification techniques, but we’ll get technical another time.)

TL;DR: Solana can handle millions of transactions efficiently, making it ideal for sustainably powering real world applications built on a decentralized ledger. In other words, it’s a blockchain where you can get things done. Like making money, yes; and reclaiming your personal information, pooling data to power the next generation of AI systems, building an audience you won’t lose if say the federal government bans the app you blew up on, and so on.

So…

On the iron blockchain, we are building a company, and building it to last. Every week, we are working hard in service of a better future with a better balance of resources for everyone, be it knowledge, data, or, yeah, money.

But with money or without it, we hope to create something bigger, something truly immutable: A community of humans who look at the world dead on, see it for what it is, and want to make it better. Whether we make or lose money, build something well or watch it fall, by sharing our perspectives and looking from others, we will have done good, in theory and in practice.

Each time we pay our hard work forward, it pays off. So we will now do so, once a week, for the foreseeable future. We’d love for you to join us.

—Chad

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The Effect of Bitcoin Halving on the Solana Ecosystem

Solana is exceptional among blockchains because of its speedy transaction and low charges. The Solana ecosystem, like other DeFi ecosystems, makes it possible for developers to make decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts. At the same time, users can engage in these applications to contribute to the network growth.

The ecosystem includes decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible networks (NFT), gaming platforms, and more. Users can take advantage of its network flexibility, security, speed, and low transaction charges to build exceptional projects. Indeed, new projects and initiatives are constantly being developed, contributing to the overall growth and adoption of decentralized technology and blockchains.

The Solana ecosystem may be self-contained, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The incorporation of Bitcoin has provided users with more effectiveness and efficiency in dealing with Bitcoin-related activities within the Solana blockchain. Solana Bitcoin (SBTC) enables users to interact with Bitcoin on the Solana network, ensuring rapid transactions with low fees.

In a Bitcoin halving event—like the one that occurred a week ago today—the reward received by miners for the confirmation transaction is reduced by half, helping to maintain the token’s supply and scarcity. This obviously leads to an increase in attention for Bitcoin. Its effects on the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem may be less obvious, but no less tangible.

In times of increased market activity or shifts in investors’ emotions, Solana’s network may encounter changes in transaction volume. Participants in the Solana ecosystem must be properly informed about the market dynamics, monitor network performance, and adapt to changes in the broader space to navigate events like Bitcoin halving—and whatever comes next.

—Muhammed

Chicken Soup for the SOL

It’s Friday, barely a week out from the Bitcoin halving. You might not know it. Major cryptocurrencies have held relatively flat since the news, and outwardly, little seems to have changed. However, the landscape is far from static.

Government authorities continue to disseminate fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), targeting legitimate platforms for merely utilizing speech- and privacy-preserving code in their operations. National Guard troops are being deployed against student protestors on college campuses. And TikTok could potentially be banned as spyware—a decision steeped in hypocrisy when compared to other social platforms. Add in a sprinkle of stagflation and the state of traditional institutions may seem bleak.

Which is why, increasingly, it feels like parallel systems built by the next generation will truly be our only path to putting “free” back in the Land of the Free—ideally, without regressing technologically or socially.

But, to be clear, I am not talking about building a network state, or a virtual, digital-first geopolitical entity. Even a fully online and decentralized network needs a “heartland.” The physical proximity of communities is fundamental when it comes to initiating real life change. No matter how advanced a network gets, to function properly, it requires a foundational community, on which the models of all communities are modeled. The norms you internalize while growing up are determined by the physical, not networked, space.

Post-Bitcoin halving, we appear to be on a path where crypto, other traditional commodities, and real estate are the only real safe havens from inflation during this fourth turning. Solana is the only one I’m aware of on which you could feasibly build a decentralized, private, uncensorable world computer. It’s for this reason that I expect the sector’s focus to shift to SOL as the price of Bitcoin moons throughout the summer months. I believe those gains will be recycled into SOL, and all of the useful, affordable, and consumer-accessible applications built on privacy preserving blockchain rails will go mainstream and propel the project forward. The name of the game this cycle is utility. You may see institutional interest in Bitcoin and Ethereum, or sky-high gains from PEPE and dogwifhat. But on Solana, you will see adoption, and it will be here to stay.

—El Prof

TL;DR

Stay tuned for more salve for the SOL next week. Or, if you can’t wait, join us for our Twitter space this afternoon at 2 PM CST, where we’ll discuss more on the Effects of Bitcoin Halving.

Halve a good one!

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