Celo Memetic Forces

Listening to Anatoly and Justin this week on Bankless, I’ve come to realize that I’ve undervalued the memetic side of crypto. Like Anatoly, I’ve always identified myself as a builder, interested in solving real problems for real people. It’s why Celo is so good at delivering value for people in emerging markets interested in custodying and sending stablecoins around with ease.

The memetic side of things always felt a little like noise, as a way to build hype, for hype’s sake. What I realize now after hearing Justin talk about it so eloquently is that it’s not just about hype. It’s a vehicle for building social consensus, for building something that is bigger than us, that will outlast us even in the face of strong competition and new technology.

I sense that I’m not the only one that’s had this viewpoint in the Celo ecosystem. The ecosystem has historically been light on pushing memetics, and in hindsight, I think that while using memetics to drive hype for hype’s sake continues to be a mistake, I think using it to communicate culture, to share values, and ultimately to create something greater than just technology and network effects is worthwhile.

After all, the Celo ecosystem is truly unique and the culture that we’ve collectively built is special, but the reality is that few people outside the ecosystem understand it. With the CEL2 migration to Ethereum continuing to be on track, I suspect the Celo ecosystem has to get better at communicating its values and its contribution to the broader Ethereum ecosystem. Memetics can help, and so I’ve been thinking a little about what would be the best way to go about that.

If you agree, what should this meme be that Celorians evangelize to the rest of the world? One potential answer in a way is obvious. The mission of the Celo ecosystem has long been one of Prosperity For All, a very grand yet elusive goal that programmable money is uniquely well positioned to realize. So one option could be to run with it!

How do we turn this mission into the ecosystem’s meme? Are there other aspects of the Celo ecosystem that we could also build around? I look forward to exploring that question with you all!

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Thanks for opening a thread on this. I think this is a great discussion to have as a community. I thought about this recently in the context of a talk I gave at DappCon (Make Dapps Not Memecoin) … the key point I was trying to make then was for people to use memes to build differentiated culture around what they are building (with examples like Apple’s 1984 campaign) vs spend time on memes for memes sake. I think you articulated it really well. If we had something that would connect the work we do as a community and give others a taste for Celo and Celo values - I agree it would be super powerful.

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I love this thread, and it comes at a perfect time, especially with the increased recognition of L2s operating as value systems / cultural expressions (even Vitalik wrote about this last week).

I’ve been thinking about the future of CELO and the ecosystem at large a lot for the past weeks. Being expressive about your core values and coordinating around them onchain as effectively as possible is one of the best ways to reinforce and accelerate these values. With CeloPG, we’ve created a good foundation for onchain coordination, which I hope we can expand further with, for example, meme/culture coins and other initiatives to coordinate around the Celo values.

With the transition to CEL2 - I see significant potential for Celo to be the best coordination environment for builders and users, creating value for the real world. I believe the move back to Ethereum and joining the Superchain greatly increases Celo’s potential to become the digital regenerative economy that creates the conditions for prosperity for all. To accomplish that, we must ensure our values align downstream with builders and users and upstream with the wider Superchain / Ethereum Ecosystem. Hence, the graphic I shared at the end of my Gather talk!

Yesterday at ETHDEVNL, I spent some time with the $REGEN (a public goods-focused meme coin in the Optimism/Farcaster ecosystem) about ways to collaborate. Since CeloPG is running a small program with Giveth soon, so Celo users can start earning some REGEN. They are happy to share learnings / collaborate in any way.

Tangible Ideas for Memetic Forces on Celo
I have thoughts about a Celo ecosystem meme/culture coin, but I want to make sure we do it the Celo way: with real purpose.

The most significant opportunity I see for H2 for CeloPG is applying for Optimism Season 6 intents budget 3B: 12M OP for a chain-specific grant program supporting the Superchain. I imagine CeloPG applying for significant programs around Real World Builders and Climate Innovation as Celo’s ecosystem truly shines in these areas.

In line with this opportunity, I think the following Memetic ideas could accerlate this further:

  1. We could leverage existing memes such as $REGEN, mainly on Optimism, and $BUILD, mainly on BASE, to attract those that have overlap between those communities - the Regen Builders, which I think greatly aligns with the programs mentioned above and the Celo values.
  2. We could issue $PROSPER or $PURPOSE in various ways related to onchain programs (we have a list of 200 applicants now after CeloRPGF0) and could look for ways to integrate these other meme tokens. For example, allow users to move their REGEN and BUILD to Celo, LP in a CELO / REGEN / BUILD pool and lock that to earn PROPSER / PURPOSE.
  3. Finally, I think another way to further expand the Celo values is by building useful tokens/programs that express what Celo represents up and downstream, such as SuperGreen Money (I have tangible ideas on how to expand UltraGreen money to the entire Superchain while keeping Celo-chain as an important element), and potential Yield Bearing Tokens that stream value to certain value-aligned concept - such as the current GLO dollar proposal which would send all APY to CeloPG funding. Maybe Mento can play a role here?
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Very interesting to see this thread being opened and thank you for bringing it up! I think there’s definitely huge potential in memes when I see for instance how @pcbo has been experimenting with this within their ecosystem.

I think memes are an interesting and important aspect of crypto culture. I would be interested to see a memecoin that feels native to Celo and can help quickly testing CEL2 roadmap and increase user onboarding.

Besides this I think Celo could be a great home for memecoins that are programmed differently and aligned to our value. $REGEN has been an interesting prospect on farcaster that can inspire the next wave of purpose driven memecoins. :yellow_circle::+1:t3:

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Did anyone talk about memes? :sweat_smile: Thanks for bringing this up @marek :pray:

I wasn’t a meme-fanboy either but then magic happened when – quite by chance – we launched $BUILD with a bunch of other folks. Talent Protocol only holds ~0.6% of the circulating token supply (because we invested in the Party App round).

By the way, before explaining my stance on memes, this is my new macro-stance in the Web3 space:

“If the online casino is what ushers in moving our entire financial and social systems onto open-source and decentralized infrastructure, then so be it.”

Long gone are the days of “let’s bring 1B people into web3 because decentralization matters” (sigh, SocialFi 2021 calling!).

We’re now in the “f* around and find out” phase and, in order to do that, a risk-taking culture is necessary. I’m a fan of this phase :slight_smile:

So… Memes, right?

Memes are culture! Memes always have been culture, crypto just “stole” it and “weaponised” it to… well, make $. The usual degen behaviour… But, there’s a bright side to this:

  • Memecoins are bringing a lot of folks into Web3 who just want to gamble / play games.
  • There’s a select few number of memes who actually represent a community, $REGEN and $BUILD have both been mentioned in the comments section already. $ENJOY is another one.

So far we’ve been observing that memes that make it tend do be grass-rooted and human-centric. Some happen just for fun (like $WIF or $BORED), some for political reasons (like $BODEN and others), some others have some utility (like $DEGEN, $BUILD and … $REGEN – to be launched soon).

My advice for the Celo community is to “bet” on a couple of fronts:

  • Support the $REGEN and $BUILD movement (I’m biased, on both actually, but more on the latter).
  • Support the creation of a new meme (kicked off by a trusted group of individuals – remember: grass-rooted!) and make it a satire, stupid, fun and don’t think so much on utility for starters, let it flourish on its own – it’s a meme!

@rene_celo still waiting to check out that talk!

Let’s do this! :green_heart:

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Great take, sir! :saluting_face:

Huge fan of the Real World Builders concept :red_circle: :yellow_circle:

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For folks wanting to learn more about my experience with $BUILD, this is probably the best read.

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Yes agreed! Memes are a really powerful way to create consensus and scale culture/values. I’ve seen this occur within the regen movement through Owocki’s green pill meme. It’s simple, clear, memorable and has grown into a global movement.

Farcaster is the home where a lot of the recent meme culture (especially within the Superchain) has incepted. Meme coins like $DEGEN, $REGEN, $BUILD, $HIGHER, etc grew like crazy via this platform. One low-barrier, high-impact way that Celo could begin embracing this wave is by encouraging our ecosystem (individuals, projects, companies, communities, and DAOs) to begin to leverage this platform and share Celo’s culture/value with the masses.

I will admit, building a successful meme culture is tough and is by no means a perfect science. IMO to build a long lasting memetic culture it needs to revolve around authenticity (individuals, stories, relatable content). People want to feel connected and resonate with narratives that humanize values they personally relate to.

I think the best way to foster this organic growth is to piggy back off of already popular memes that are aligned with Celo values. For example, $REGEN rewards users who support public goods through donating on Gitcoin, Giveth, and other activities. We could partner with them so that they reward users who do X on Celo. Or $BUILD where people can nominate their favorite builders. We could partner by encouraging those in the Celo ecosystem to nominate other Celo ecosystem builders. (ex: a Farcaster post saying “Here’s some builders we think you should nominate and why: 1. user A who built X 2. user B who built Y…” )

If we want to create a new meme, highly recommend to focus on something silly and fun (and fairly clear). Specificity around what the meme represents is key!!! ($PROSPER may be a bit too big in scope, but something like $GROW* for climate goals or $MINI* for mobile might be easier for a mass audience to easily understand)

*disclaimer: just randomly chose these fake token names for explaining purposes haha

Have lots of thoughts on this! Super happy to discuss more :slight_smile:

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Interesting topic to discuss on the Celo ecosystem. Hard to ignore the influence and awareness that memecoins can bring to networks and communities (meme <> build <> community).

Some interesting tools could be deployed on Celo, like what we see in other chains like Base, a tool to create memecoins in few minutes (with a simple marketplace for it), or make it as a kind of standard to reward participation/engagement in specific actions/events/programs (following @LuukDAO examples).

PS: Maybe that could be somehow part of the new Bloom initiative? cc @rene_celo

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+1 to this discussion. Lots of exciting ideas for value aligned Celo memetics :seedling:

^ on this point, I have been speaking with Cyrus (one of the founders of $REGEN) about the creation of a shared database for on-chain regen actions. i.e. How can we build an accurate and reflective picture of all legit regen activity on Celo (Investing in EthicHub, holding GoodDollar / GloDollar, supporting ImpactMarket, donations on Giveth & Gitcoin, Ecosapien NFTs etc…).

As well as informing $REGEN or other aligned memecoin allocations, this dataset could be used as the basis for some sort of ‘ReFi/Regen Passport’ or possibly extending / creating a new version of the Prosperity Passport in a way that could drive on-chain regen activity and boost TVL in leading ReFi projects. I have been working with RegenScore on this idea and I know @LuukDAO has also been making some ideas and developments here around Superchain Accounts. Excited to explore further!

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Great job sir! This is the way! :saluting_face:

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