So Many Blockchains
Messari lists 97 smart contract blockchain platforms.
It’s a weighty task for Web3 developers to decide which to build on.
While some platforms appear similar today, I think the differences will become more obvious and important over time. The key differences will be audience and ecosystem.
Here’s an imperfect analogy. If you’re a roller-coaster builder, you have greater chances of success if you build in Disney World versus on Wall Street. There are millions of people who go to Disney to spend money on fun rides (i.e. audience). And, Disney World has existing ecosystem you can rely on without building yourself like ticketing, food vendors, nearby airports and hotels, and other fun rides. This allows you to focus on your strength of building a roller-coaster. The story would be different if you were building a bank.
A similar dynamic exists across blockchain communities.
If you’re building a blue-chip NFT marketplace selling artwork for $100k+, Ethereum is most compelling. Audience: crypto-savvy and crypto-wealthy users that are early adopters and strong believers in NFTs. Ecosystem: most liquid secondary trading marketplace OpenSea, proven NFT standards (e.g. ERC-721), and enhanced user experiences through existing integrations like Twitter Profiles, digital displays, and Sotheby’s auction house.
If you’re building a new DeFi trading product, Solana looks attractive. Audience: many DeFi users from Ethereum community, high TVL (metric for dollars used in DeFi). Ecosystem: existing infrastructure (e.g. exchanges, lending, DeFi-friendly wallets), stablecoin support from USDC, publicity attracting new financial-minded audiences, and fast and cheap network transactions.
If you’re building a music or sports NFT project, Flow is attractive. Audience: fans of sports and entertainment signed up for products like TopShot and NFL All Day, 1.4m+ Dapper Wallet users who are mostly mainstream (i.e. pay with fiat instead of crypto). Ecosystem: biggest mainstream wallet provider Dapper Wallet, fast and scalable blockchain for billions of users.
The audiences and ecosystems will become more differentiated as the flywheels accelerate: apps bring in users, users attract developers, developers build apps.
Have a great weekend.