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Using Dapps
This article was written by Brayton Williams, and first published on Medium on September 7th 2018

All of 2018 up until about a month ago — all everyone could talk about was the price. We hit the high of ~$830B market cap and it has been in a steady decline losing more than 70% of that value as of today. Well thats isn’t fun to talk about. Luckily the #buidl meme started and people got back to work. Focused on creating products and core infrastructure for this decentralized world. The world, crypto community included, got caught up in the vanity metrics — PRICE. The #buidlers are getting back to what really matters — USAGE. The #buidl meme is no stronger than in the Dapp community.

Dapp: An abbreviated form for decentralized application. A Dapp has its backend code running on a decentralized peer-to-peer network. Contrast this with an app where the backend code is running on centralized servers.

I am firm believer that cryptocurrency as a Store of Value (SoV) use case is very clear. Bitcoin, Zcash, Monero, Grin and a few others are doing this well. I see this as a defined product market fit: censorship resistant SoV/money. Outside of that — we enter a bit more uncertainty around what use cases will arrive next for crypto. This decentralized application layer has thousands of projects all working on different products for users whether it be exchange, games, governance and more. Current usage of top 10 here.

VERY low user bases. Why?

As a VC who invests in crypto — my job is to meet and talk to investors, founders, devs and enthusiasts who are active in the crypto space. A month ago I started asking most of the people I meet if they have tried the latest Dapps. Conversations 95% of the time went:

Have you tried Augur? No. Have you tried Aragon? No. Have you tried MakerDAO? No. Have you tried Lightning? No.

You get the picture. Well technically a lot said they did buy a Cryptokitty so 👏 to the AxiomZen team.

Enter Dapp Night

With the incredible Boost VC crypto network we’ve built at my fingertips, I realized I had the perfect community who would be excited to demo DApps. Founders volunteered to demo and walk through the experience with the group. I had to make sure that at the very least, I could answer YES when someone asked “Have you tried XYZ Dapp?”

Since then we have hosted two Dapp Nights and have done live demos of AragonAugurLivepeerDeconetLightningDecentraland and MakerDAO. The goal was to be informal, collaborative and hold open discussions around the good and bad: product/market fit, usability, design, role of the token — with each of the nights going over 2 hours.

Product Market Fit / Positioning

UI/UX

Token/Crypto Usage

Other Takeaways

Time to Keep #Buidling!

We are in the first inning still. A long way to go. To sum up:

  1. Solve real problems for real people.
  2. Build products understanding where the technology is at today.
  3. Incorporate best practices from traditional products.
  4. #Buidl On!

 

What is exciting though is how much green field is left to explore and create in. If you are looking to just get started solving some of the problems mentioned above, we are continuing to invest heavily at Boost VC — and reached at info@boost.vc. If you are looking to jump into crypto come join one of our more than 100 teams we have backed — crypto portfolio and some job listings.

Disclaimer: Either Boost VC or myself are invested in Aragon, Decentraland, Augur, MakerDAO, Etherscan, Deconet.