Joseph Lubin: "The SocialFi wave has only just begun".

Joseph Lubin: "The SocialFi wave has only just begun".

For the co-founder of Ethereum and ConsenSys, the use of blockchain for social networks and the media will have a considerable impact.

The Big Whale: A lot has happened in recent days, particularly in the US where the White House has changed its stance on cryptos and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has just validated the Ethereum Spot ETFs. What do you think?

Joe Lubin: I think it's a good thing. What happened last week shows that cryptos have become a political topic. Presidential candidates and more widely elected officials can no longer pretend it doesn't exist. Better late than never.

What will be the impact of this decision?

It gives our industry a little more credibility, which will attract new capital.

In Europe, we don't feel such a wind rising. How do you explain this?

I think the answer is quite simple: no one in Europe has tried to kill crypto. There have been differences in Europe, particularly around MiCA, but no political leader has wanted to bring down the crypto industry. In the US, that's what has happened. For 18 months now, the SEC and certain elected representatives have been waging a real battle.

When you see what's happening in the United States, it's actually not so bad to have the politicians against you...

The blockchain and cryptos carry with them a complete overhaul of institutions based on decentralised trust. It's something incredibly powerful that affects all forms of authority and power. We're rebuilding everything from the bottom up: finance, social networks, all political, social and economic institutions. This overhaul is the biggest in history.

What are the major trends to watch in the crypto universe today?

One of these major trends is clearly restaking. What EigenLayer has done is impressive. It's a new approach with risks, but Sreeram (Kannan) and his team are some of the brightest people in this industry.

They're going to enable thousands of projects to build their network with validators for a lot less money than you could do before. This is a very important point for the industry.

Isn't this risk too great?

When you're a start-up and you raise money, you've only done the easy part. The hard part is finding thousands of users who are going to stake or mine. Without that, you can't build your network and your product, whereas with liquid restaking tokens (LRT), you're able to create your network more quickly by relying on the security of Ethereum.

One of the current big trends in the crypto world is SocialFi. What do you think about it?

There is indeed something happening in this sector. We're working on a lot of things in SocialFi that are going to transform social networks as we currently know them.

When people realise that they can create and own their own decentralised identity, that they're going to be able to develop their social reputation and control all the data and exchanges online, it's going to be massive. They're going to be able to monetise their social identity instead of the digital giants, it's going to be massive.

This trend is not just about social networks. In several of his analyses, Li Jin of the Variant fund, explained that SocialFi would affect sectors such as the media.

Totally. Li Jin is one of the brightest minds in this industry and he's right that it's going to have an impact on everything to do with information. The question of who is going to benefit from this wave and who is going to get stuck in the Web2 model.

Take the case of today's social networks. They're infested with bots, whether it's X or Facebook, there's a surreal number of fake accounts, you don't know who's who, you don't know who's writing what, and as a result nobody trusts anyone any more. Obviously there are still people on social networks, but it's not qualitative.

If you take Farcaster, you can be sure that it's real people and the content is really quality.

You're right, but at the same time Web3 social networks like Lens and Farcaster aren't used that much. Take Lens, there are only people from the crypto universe, and we're only talking about a few tens of thousands of active people... Is it the same for Farcaster? Do you think that's enough?

Lens is too heavy a protocol because it only works with NFTs and everything is onchain.

In contrast, Farcaster is lighter and works exactly like Twitter. Only some of the functionality uses the blockchain and above all it costs next to nothing to put content on Farcaster.

Sending a transaction on an L3 costs nothing, just a few cents. There are going to be a lot of Farcaster forks that will take up the model and develop it on other chains, and that's a very good thing!

Farcaster has just raised $150 million on a valuation of one billion. Is this the new giant of the sector?

In any case, it's the best positioned project.

When you see this kind of fundraising, do you tell yourself that fundraising is back on track?

It's hard to say, but I do think that the context is more positive, especially after the approval of the Ethereum Spot ETFs and the vote by the House of Representatives on the digital assets bill.

These two decisions are a strong signal and show that things are moving in the right direction in the United States.

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