Crypto applications need to focus on attracting new people, says trader Ansem

The trader and influencer says casual apps like NFTs and Web3 gaming are the most effective avenues for adoption


Antonov Maxim/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Podcast host Garrett Harper jokes that his guest, crypto trader Ansem, has probably used 10,000 different blockchains by now. But something is still missing in the industry, according to Ansem: people.

“The biggest thing that I think Solana and other crypto applications need,” he says, “is a focus on people who aren’t in crypto.”

The trader holds a substantial following on the app formerly known as Twitter, built up over years of sharing his ups and downs in the crypto industry. Speaking on the Lightspeed podcast (Spotify/Apple), he says his focus over the next few months is to “bridge the gap” between people “who have absolutely no understanding of crypto at all,” and somehow bring them into the scene.

In the past, many blockchain users dove down the crypto rabbit hole for socio-economic or speculative reasons. But now, according to Ansem, it seems that more casual interactions, like social apps involving NFTs and Web3 gaming, are the most effective avenues for adoption. 

Ansem notes that he might give friends ether (ETH) or bitcoin (BTC) to get them over the initial adoption hump, but to get them engaged in communities, NFTs provide a much stronger draw. “If I give one of my friends an NFT, it’s like, ‘Oh, I have an NFT — I’m a part of this community. We share this with all these different people.’ It’s a more communal thing.”

Onboarding with freebies

Ansem says he likes what Drip Haus is doing to attract new users. The Solana-based platform provides free NFTs from popular creators to subscribers, recently described to Blockworks.

“Instead of doing mints, they do free drops for people every week. They give out all this art to people who subscribe to different artists on their platform. And then you can tip the artist if you really like their work and then share it with other people.”

Ansem notes that the platform has sent out NFTs to “something crazy, like 700K, 800K wallets.” Approximately 250,000 of those new wallets, he says, have proceeded to use other Solana apps. “So they’ve done a pretty good job of onboarding completely new people.”

“You don’t need any Solana in your wallet to get the NFT completely free,” he says. “Now you’re happy, and you’re like, ‘Oh, now what else can I do in the ecosystem?’”

“They’re doing a really good job of onboarding people.”

Ansem also says he is “big on gaming,” noting that nobody seems to have “hit it hard yet” in the industry. “It doesn’t really have to be all that complicated,” he says. 

He harkens back to the simplistic but virally successful mobile game, Flappy Bird, that “did a really good job of getting people’s attention” years ago. Crypto has “a really great lane” to execute a similar strategy in mobile gaming, Ansem says, especially with low-cost ecosystems like Solana, focusing on mobile apps with innovations like xNFTS and the Backpack wallet.

Ansem says that for any crypto project to reach a new audience, it must build a presence on Twitter, the platform where he established his brand. “If you don’t have a big presence on Twitter, you could be building the greatest technical-whatever-protocol to exist,” but if people don’t know about it, he says, “nobody’s going to use it.”

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