Crypto Points Systems Are a 100x Opportunity, But Founders, Be Wary - Ep. 585

Take the Unchained 2023 survey! Over the past year, the crypto industry has seen the rise of a new trend: the adoption of points systems.  Li Jin, cofounder of Variant Fund, says that while points systems have long been a staple in the Web2 domain, their integration into the crypto ecosystem could have pitfalls.  She covers how these points are currently being leveraged within crypto applications in the hopes of driving user engagement and retention, why they’re taking off now, and why they’re off-chain. She also points out that, if implemented poorly, they could engender disloyalty instead of leading to sustainable communities, and urges founders to be thoughtful about the design of these systems, especially about how points translate to economic value. Show highlights: What points are in crypto and their role in rewarding user behavior​​ Examples of popular projects that have successfully implemented points systems​​ Why points mechanisms are gaining traction in crypto, offering benefits of tokens without the downsides​​ Whether points, which are currently off-chain, will eventually move on-chain, and the implications for users and founders​​ How points can incentivize inorganic behavior, drawing from Li Jin's experience in the Web2 sector​​ The potential pitfalls of points systems and how they can sometimes create more disloyalty than loyalty​​ Identifying which crypto projects are best suited for using points, and the importance of product-market fit​​ Why keeping the economic value of points ambiguous can enhance user engagement and loyalty​​ Whether points are being used by projects to navigate around regulatory challenges​​ Future developments in points systems, including the potential of bringing points on-chain for a universal loyalty system​​ Thank you to our sponsors! Arbitrum Foundation Uniswap Popcorn Network Phemex Guest Li Jin, cofounder and General Partner at Variant Fund Previous appearances on Unchained:  Will Every Piece of Media Enter the Internet as an NFT? Variant Fund Says Yes The Chopping Block: Two on Two Debate: NFT Royalty Throwdown! Links Points Li’s Newsletter: Lessons on Points Programs for Crypto Apps Li’s comments on the topic:  Tweet 1 on points entering “the crypto app zeitgeist” Tweet 2 on points discounting the cost of the product Tweet 3 on points and product-market-fit Tweet 4 on how points can “distort activity” CoinDesk:  Crypto Points: Off-Chain Derivatives That Everyone is Talking About  Web3 Loyalty Programs Are a Trojan Horse for Good Crypto Policy DL News: Why DeFi protocols love to offer ‘points’ before airdrops  Projects using points Rainbow wallet Blast Blackbirds Marginfi Parcl Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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Crypto assets and blockchain technology are about to transform every trust-based interaction of our lives, from financial services to identity to the Internet of Things. In this podcast, host Laura Shin, an independent journalist covering all things crypto, talks with industry pioneers about how crypto assets and blockchains will change the way we earn, spend and invest our money. Tune in to find out how Web 3.0, the decentralized web, will revolutionize our world. Disclosure: I'm a nocoiner.