Liron Shapira Profile picture
Jul 26 11 tweets 7 min read
.@Helium, often cited as one of the best examples of a Web3 use case, has received $365M of investment led by @a16z.

Regular folks have also been convinced to spend $250M buying hotspot nodes, in hopes of earning passive income.

The result? Helium's total revenue is $6.5k/month
Members of the r/helium subreddit have been increasingly vocal about seeing poor Helium returns.

On average, they spent $400-800 to buy a hotspot. They were expecting $100/month, enough to recoup their costs and enjoy passive income.

Then their earnings dropped to only $20/mo.
These folks maintain false hope of positive ROI. They still don’t realize their share of data-usage revenue isn’t actually $20/month; it’s $0.01/month.

The other $19.99 is a temporary subsidy from investment in growing the network, and speculation on the value of the $HNT token.
Meanwhile, according to Helium network rules, $300M (30M $HNT) per year gets siphoned off by @novalabs_, the corporation behind Helium.

This "revenue" on the books, which comes mainly from retail speculators, is presumably what justified such an aggressive investment by @a16z.
.@cdixon's "mental model" thread on Helium claims that this kind of network can't be built in Web2 because it requires token incentives.

But the facts indicate Web2 *won’t* incentivize Helium because demand is low. Even with a network of 500k hotspots, revenue is nonexistent.
The complete lack of end-user demand for Helium should not have come as a surprise.

A basic LoRaWAN market analysis would have revealed that this was a speculation bubble around a fake, overblown use case.
The ongoing Axie Infinity debacle is a similar case of @a16z's documented thought process being shockingly disconnected from reality, wherein skeptics get vindicated within a matter of months at the expense of unsophisticated end users turned investors.

More generally, I posit the two keys to understanding Web3 are:

1) Beware of easy money schemes
2) Beware of #HollowAbstractions

When proponents like @cdixon promise riches to come via abstract "mental models", we can gently guide them to focus on money flows and use cases.
I've posed the question to the @a16z partner involved with Axie Infinity, "how does money flow into the system?"

He blocked me.

The tech community deserves better.

Let's continue to press for answers to simple questions about Web3's money flows and use cases.
@helium @a16z 🤔

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More from @liron

Jul 24
Alright for the next 24 hours, as an Ideological Turing Test, I'll be taking the pro-Web3 position!

Throw me your best skeptical arguments and I'll do my best to respond from a place of enlightened optimism about crypto/blockchain/Web3.

I'm doing this because I believe it's important to be able to pass the Ideological Turing Test.

I get the sense that pro-crypto people can't pass it on my views, but that I can pass it on theirs. So let's try it.…
So far, half of my content in this thread is real clarifications to people's misunderstandings of blockchain 😂
Read 6 tweets
Jun 15
Today @pmarca was asked by @tylercowen to explain a Web3 use case.

I clipped this gem from 28:08 of Conversations With Tyler.

Highly recommended...
Previously on Web3 Use Case Punk'd:
Read 8 tweets
May 16
Another day, another friendly interview helping @a16z get their crypto "thought leadership" out there:…

I took notes so you don't have to listen to the hour 👇
24:57: When asked about blockchain use cases, Marc says with a laugh, "I live in the future, so for me [crypto's use cases] have already happened"

And supposedly those use cases are...
1. Currency and store of value
2. DeFi
3. NFTs
4. Gaming
"And dozens more in the pipeline"
Read 10 tweets
Nov 24, 2021
Web3 is the epitome of our era of Indefinite Optimism. 🧵

In @peterthiel's smart and highly original book, _Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future_, the chapter "You Are Not A Lottery Ticket" centers around the concept of definite vs. indefinite attitudes. Image
Thiel says the western world had an era of definite optimism beginning in the 17th century and lasting through to the 1950s and '60s:
> In 1914, the Panama Canal united the Atlantic & Pacific ... the Interstate Highway System began construction in 1956, and the first 20,000 miles of road were open for driving by 1965 ... NASA's Apollo Program began in 1961 and put 12 men on the moon before it finished in 1972.
Read 17 tweets
Nov 7, 2021
Web3 promises to let applications easily share data.

My new post explains the problem...

Why Web3's shared data across applications doesn't matter. 🧵…
In web2, the podcast ecosystem is an example of shared open data. To publish a podcast, you publish an XML feed on the open web. Different podcast payers like Apple Podcasts, Overcast, and Spotify are all reading from the same set of published podcast XML feeds on the open web.
Problem is that participation in this ecosystem is voluntary. Nothing is preventing Spotify from having exclusive podcasts that aren’t published to the open web. That’s what they’ve famously done with the @joerogan podcast, and it may be a highly successful strategy for them.
Read 13 tweets
Nov 6, 2021
Why Web 3 (a.k.a. the semantic web) matters 🧵
If you're new to all this Web3 stuff, let me catch you up with a friendly explanation you can easily nod along and drool to.

Web 3 is the internet of meaning, orchestrated with tags. Some people call it the semantic web.
In Web3, a token is a little unit of text like <this> enclosed in angle brackets. The semantic meaning of tokens is decentralized. Users & builders can own pieces of internet services by owning tokens, both non-fungible (NFT) like <toothbrush id="32467933> and fungible like <div>
Read 21 tweets

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