Issue 11: Play games, get fit, all onchain

This issue of the newsletter brings together the first two posts in a series about new onchain apps and services.

Issue 11: Play games, get fit, all onchain

Just a quick PSA that tomorrow is April Fool’s Day and it might be best to stay off the internet wherever possible.

Market-wise, the two biggest pieces of news this week both have to do with legal issues. This stuff is not fun or exciting in any way, but it is indicative of the times.

First thing, Coinbase (one of the largest and the only publicly traded crypto exchanges) is still in a legal tug-of-war with the SEC over whether or not the company is violating securities law. There’s a lot of back and forth on the actual issues, but the headliner this week is that a federal judge in Manhattan ruled that the case can proceed.

One interesting thing to come out of the ruling was that the non-custodial aspects of the Coinbase Wallet business are not subject to these legal proceedings. That alone should just be another reason why moving assets to long-term non-custodial wallets will always be considered best practice.

The other big piece of legal news was that Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to pay $11 billion in restitution following his earlier conviction of fraud as CEO of the Bahamas-based FTX exchange.

While the sentencing aligned with the forecasts of decentralized prediction markets that SBF would get sentenced to between 20-30 years, the general sentiment from the crypto community was that the sentencing was light given the level of damage caused. After all, Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

In some ways, hopefully, the sentencing of SBF closes a long and ugly chapter in the crypto adoption story.

The most interesting products and services being built now will all be onchain, which hopefully goes a long way toward preventing the fraud and rug pull that SBF and others were able to commit.

Building onchain gives users more control through wallet management, which is a great segue to our two posts this week.

March Madness onchain

I’m creating a short series of posts about what it means to move onchain.

The parts of moving onchain that I find most fascinating are the things that underscore the use cases that are not possible with web2.

One example is a new way to interact with your favorite sports team.

A recently launched app called Bracket.Game lets users back their team during big-time sports tournaments and either win payouts or create collectives to advocate for some kind of actions for their teams (the collective stuff is still all very hypothetical).

March Madness with Bracket.Game
This year you can participate in March Madness onchain via a new app called Bracket.Game.

Check out the full post on the Bracket.Game

The thing that’s interesting about Bracket.Game is that it provides a new way for people to organize or coordinate, which to me is what the move onchain is all about.

In some ways, one of the goals of the Bracket.Game is to make it possible for people — in this case, sports fans — get more involved. Not just in rooting for their team, but also in the ability to lobby for decisions. (Like I said in the post, it’s too bad we can’t use this to keep the A’s in Oakland).

Proof of fitness

The second app covered this week is called Receipts and it's a new way to track and demonstrate that you’ve completed a workout.

Receipts connects to the popular fitness tracker Strava and allows people to attest and mint works or a series of workouts onchain.

Save the Receipts | Onchain fitness
Receipts makes it possible to bring personal fitness data onchain.

Learn more about how to bring personal data onchain

Attestation of real-world data onchain is kind of a big deal and will one day likely be a big business. What makes Receipts so interesting is that it provides a model for everyday users to create personal data and package it in a form (in this case an NFT) that can be traded or used for something else.

While Receipts runs some cool leaderboard-style fitness challenges, and the team has big plans for developing the product, the most interesting takeaway is the idea that people will be more in control of their data, which could lead to a big unlock in terms of valuing that data.

The takeaway

Moving onchain is having a moment. In some ways, it feels like the late 1990s or early 2000s when all of a sudden everybody was moving online, getting an email, and building basic websites.

Personally, the most intriguing aspect about this new crop of onchain applications is that they are not all about decentralized finance or making money. Instead, the latest onchain apps are developing new ways of interacting and trying to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

It’s still early, but you can start to see themes of new kinds of interactions and new ways of organizing starting to develop.

Let me know what you think and let me know if you have a favorite onchain app that I should cover in this series. The best place to reach me is @danielmcglynn on X and Warpcast.

Until next week,