If you’ve been tracking the Bitcoin and Ethereum ecosystems in recent years, then you may remember the Lubin vs. Song bet.
Back in May 2019, Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin and Bitcoin evangelist Jimmy Song struck up a high-stakes deal. Per the agreement, Lubin would win if Ethereum had five unique dApps that achieved 10,000 in daily active users (DAUs) and 100,000 monthly active users (MAUs) by May 23rd, 2023. In kind, Song would win if those usage metrics weren’t met by that deadline.
Accordingly, Lubin agreed to pay Song 69.74 BTC if he lost the bet, while Song agreed to pay Lubin 810.8 ETH if he lost the bet. The thrust was clear: Lubin was going all in that Ethereum would have significant use in a few years’ time, while Song was putting his chips on the opposite scenario.
Alas, the crypto die were cast. So how’s the bet looking now, almost a year and half later?
My Two Gwei …
This is an op-ed, so first let me quickly explain where my forthcoming opinions are coming from.
I’m a professional writer and editor. Since 2017, I’ve been working daily in tracking essentially everything Ethereum and have become a hands-on specialist in covering the platform and its many blossoming sectors, like decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and beyond.
All that said, I absolutely respect Bitcoin. I understand all the context and am reverent. But in my personal opinion, it’s seemed clear for some time that Ethereum was going to surpass the old master and turn a become a true tour de force in the world.
That’s what the heart of the Lubin vs. Song debate was getting at. And we’ve seen Ethereum ripping into that prominence all throughout 2020, in multiple regards. So I do personally think Lubin will handily win this bet.
In this article, then, I want to highlight the apps — decentralized or less-than — that I think will easily carry Lubin across the finish line in his bet with Song. Let’s dive in!
MetaMask is the leading Ethereum wallet and dApp browser. The project’s been crushing it lately, and its recent metrics alone should have Song already scrapping up what ETH he can to pay off the bet.
Why do I say that? Because this week MetaMask revealed that it’s reached the 1 million MAUs mark. In one app, that’s 10x over MAU parameter of the Lubin vs. Song bet.
In this sense, MetaMask is the true Ethereum gateway drug. Folks aren’t just flooding into MetaMask right now, they’re flooding through MetaMask onto other Ethereum apps because they’re are so many different activites to partake in within the Ethereum ecosystem right now.
All hail Uniswap … all hail Uniswap … all hail Uniswap …
That’s how I’d be feeling if I was Joe Lubin right now!
Uniswap’s journey to date has been nothing short of a DeFi Cindarella story. This decentralized trading protocol is currently dominating centralized exchange giant Coinbase across many trading pairs. It’s DeFi’s David vs. Goliath scenario, and our David isn’t just surviving … he’s thriving. People want to trade and provide liquidity for tokens 24/7, permissionlessly. Uniswap’s the ticket here, in a big way.
Note: State of the DApps shows Uniswap had +1,800 users over the past 24 hours alone.
The Lending Triumvirate: Maker, Aave, Compound
Ancient Rome had its first great trio in Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey the Great. DeFi has its first great lending trio in Maker, Aave, and Compound.
Make no mistake about it, these three lending and borrowing protocols have played absolutely pivotal roles from the get-go in supporting and fostering the ongoing DeFi boom that we’re witnessing in the here and now.
Folks will continue to want to borrow against their crypto assets with as much ease as sending a text message or two. These protocols are early giants, and they’ll be titans in the future. Song should be shaking in his boots accordingly.
Note: State of the DApps shows Maker had +5,000 users over the past 24 hours.
People are loving the ability to earn income in DeFi by putting your crypto assets to work in so-called “yield farms.” And among the biggest hits on this scene this year has been yEarn, a yield aggregator protocol that makes DeFi farming and beyond simple and automated.
Yield aggregator protocols will rise and fall, but none so far have captured a magic and organic community like yEarn has. I anticipate the project will keep drawing in droves of farmers as such.
WBTC (and the Other ERC-20 Bitcoins)
Tokenized bitcoin: if you haven’t heard about it by now, then it’s time to wake up!
Courtesy of Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard, tokenized bitcoin implementations have become a hit in DeFi this year. Why? Tokenized bitcoin can be put to use directly within Ethereum DeFi to earn attractive yields in ways that simply aren’t possible with regular ol’ BTC.
The king of this hill right now is WBTC, an ERC-20 bitcoin project backed by CoinList and BitGo. In total there are currently 131,000 bitcoin tokenized atop Ethereum, of which +95,000 are WBTC.
I expect these ERC-20 BTC implementations will continue to surge in popularity and expose new users to a range of other Ethereum apps.
Ethereum’s blockchain gaming ecosystem has been blossoming in recent months. And no project represents the promise of this ecosystem better right now than Axie Infinity.
What is it? A play-to-earn fantasy pets game where you battle fierce creatures called Axies for token prizes, glory, and more. It’s really fun, I’ve played it quite a bit and have enjoyed all its wrinkles. Other folks of all stripes from around the world have too, so I only see Axie Infinity continuing to ramp up and win more hearts from here. It’s most certainly a project to watch in the Lubin vs. Song bet.
Note: State of the DApps shows Axie Infinity had +1,000 users of the past 24 hours.
DeFi’s stolen the show in 2020’s cryptoeconomy, but Ethereum’s non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystem has been catching fire as of late, too.
With more people clamoring to use NFTs than ever before, reputable and reliable marketplaces are going to be key to sustain and foster adoption. That’s where OpenSea comes in as the current standard bearer for NFT marketplaces. As a popular place for trading all things NFTs, OpenSea’s usage has been booming: last month the marketplace’s monthly volume reached a new all-time high of $2.75 million. This is only the beginning of notable volume records being notched by OpenSea, I believe.
Zapper.fi is a DeFi dashboard for tracking holdings, trading tokens, monitoring lending positions, and “zapping” into yield farms all through a single, easy to use UI.
In other words, Zapper.fi makes it easy to play around or seriously participate in a variety of other Ethereum apps right now. So as Zapper.fi wins over more users, the dashboard in kind will keep winning over more users to more Ethereum apps.
The Projects to Come
The aforementioned projects are just a handful of ones that should already have Jimmy Song very concerned ahead of May 2023.
But that’s saying nothing of the projects that will come in the +2 years between now and then. We’re going to see more rapid innovation and adoption, so I think Song is definitely busted on this bet. We’ll see!
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