The most important metric for measuring crypto's adoption is active users.
Here are two smart contracts that have hit consistent user growth in recent months 👇
Azuro is an onchain sports betting market. Crypto casinos like BetSwirl and DexWin build frontends for Azuro to offer sports betting to their users and earn a percentage of the profits realized by the Azuro pools.
This month, Azuro has earned $302k of revenue so far. This makes November their highest-earning month to date.
The LP contract charted above manages all operations related to depositing or withdrawing funds, such as placing a new bet, receiving winnings, or receiving DAO/Data Provider/Affiliate rewards.
The main driver of Azuro’s growth spike is people farming points, hoping for a future airdrop. I don’t believe Azuro will be able to maintain its growth post-airdrop.
But I find it interesting that Azuro decided to outsource the work of building and marketing the frontend to other teams. Most teams try to build both the on-chain protocol and a canonical frontend for it.
In the case of Azuro, I’d guess this was an attempt to avoid dealing with regulatory compliance. But I find the decision fascinating because it fits into a wider meta-trend of “B2B protocols that focus on being the backend for other people’s apps”.
Liquity is a great example of this trend, with more than a dozen third-party frontends currently live that get rewarded with tokens based on the usage they drive to the protocol.
I’d like to see more new protocols embrace this trend for two reasons:
- It enhances resilience. If one frontend gets taken down or censored by governments and ISPs, users can simply switch to another frontend. This is how Pirate Bay has managed to stay active for so many years despite being banned in 30 countries. Given the US government's shift from ignoring crypto to being openly hostile, it’s a good time to prioritize resilience.
- Frankly, most protocol teams are not good at designing and marketing interfaces that regular people would want to use. They are usually much better at building interfaces that appeal to existing crypto natives. It would be great to see a future where popular protocols have multiple frontends that fit into two buckets:
- Frontends for crypto-natives that offer deeper customization and a user experience familiar to those using existing crypto apps.
- Frontends for normies that simplify the details and leverage account abstraction to offer a more user-friendly experience.
This is easier said than done. Attracting developers willing and able to build a great third-party frontend is not easy. Many protocols have tried and failed to incentivise such an ecosystem. Early-stage startups are low on time and resources so working on frontend decentralisation won’t be a high priority. But I think more experiments in this area could lead to exciting outcomes.