Does Web3 infrastructure even matter if there are no apps?

Framework Ventures’ Spencer and Anderson say the apps are coming, they just won’t look like Web2’s “form factor”

article-image

Rob Nazh/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

share

“Everyone’s building infrastructure. No apps,” says Jason Yanowitz.

“There’s a lag in between infrastructure and apps,” Mike Ippolito replies, “where you actually need good ‘infra’ to build the apps.”

The relationship between Web3 infrastructure and application development resembles the chicken-egg problem, Ippolito says on the Bell Curve podcast (Spotify/Apple). “To build good apps, you need infrastructure that will support those apps. But ultimately, the infrastructure should be in service of the apps.”

Ippolito explains that, as of now, the industry seems to be lacking “that one thing” — an application with product market fit that drives infrastructure development — but it’s coming.

“What you’re starting to see,” Ippolito says, “is really good entrepreneurs building a product, like an app, and then supporting infrastructure around it.”

Ippolito sees this happening in layer-2 development with the example of zkSync Era, where a stack will allow for application-specific environments using a variety of modular components. “Here are all the components. And if you want to change some stuff, you could build it custom, the way you need it, too.”

Yanowitz adds the example of the DEX Infinex, built to operate on the Synthetix protocol. “They’ve built the protocol for liquidity here. And now they’re also building Infinex,” a front end app that offers a more intuitive interface for decentralized trading.

The Web3 form factor

It’s a matter of perspective, according to the co-founder of Framework Ventures Vance Spencer. “Would you call liquid staking an app? Would you call stablecoins an app?”

“I would probably call those ‘money apps’ in some ways.”

Spencer suggests the applications are coming, but might not fit the prototypical Web2 model. Most people expect Web3 applications and infrastructure to parallel what they have experienced in the Web2 environment, he says. “People want us to build photo-sharing on-chain and that’ll be a killer app,” he says. “It’s just not really the form factor of the technology.”

“We see a lot of apps getting funded,” Spencer says. “We see a lot of infrastructure at the conferences, but there’s a ton of games and weird consumer apps that are raising rounds.”

The applications are “definitely coming,” according to co-founder of Framework Ventures Michael Anderson. In the current market cycle, he says, many builders have already been funded and are in the process of developing their applications, he says. “There are tons of games that have been funded in our building,” he says.

“But if you’re starting a new game from scratch right now, and you need to get some seed capital to get off the ground, or you need to be able to build a team of 50 to build the game, it’s going to be incredibly difficult.”

It’s a “terrible time to be raising [funds] for an app,” Anderson says, “because you have to be able to prove success and you have to be able to prove usage, to get the valuation that you had last time, or to be able to raise any capital whatsoever.”

“Infrastructure can get funded right now, whereas apps are having a tough time,” he says.


Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg

Research

In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.

article-image

The results mark “a major positive inflection point,” one analyst says, as the exchange carries net income momentum into a crypto rally

article-image

While the slate of 10 US spot bitcoin funds have tallied $4.6 billion of net inflows thus far, half of the field is lagging the leaders

article-image

Trading volumes totalled $154 billion in Q4, including $125 billion in institutional volume

article-image

DeFi on Bitcoin is all the rage right now and Stacks is positioned to benefit

article-image

The Boston Globe reports that lawyer John Deaton is weighing a possible bid

article-image

Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade will enable Uniswap v4 to optimize smart contracts for complex functionality