Welcome to 2024 brave pioneers.
The action in web3 never stops and it didn't take long into a new year for frontier action to go live. ZKFair ($ZKF) was completely off my radar until December 20th when the mainnet went live. I caught wind through a Polygon fren who often pays closer attention than me and typically scouts well. That in mind, I decided to dive in deep on a day-one mainnet launch. That wakes up much nostalgia and I had to shake a bit of dust off my old degen boots. It had been awhile since the trail had been this fresh.
I don't know how much discussion there is around DYOR (Do your own research) but I figured I could recount my mental pathway of initial discovery and investigation. Maybe by discussing some of our perceived best practices, we can sharpen each others overall skillset in this edgy space that can often punish naivety and ignorance.
Let's recount this in a stream of consciousness. Follow along frens.
Day one mainnet for a "community ran" zkevm + celestia network, bleh. I think not...
But this fren serves alpha and it could definitely be zkEVM early season. Don't be so quick to close doors that you miss the real signs of spring. Let's take a look.
From the frens post, let's scan into their social media footprint and try to find a website, whitepaper and discord. Check, check and check. All three in hand, quickly and easily where I'd want to find them. Well done. Many of my trusted followed accounts on X already follow the social media account of the project in question. That's a good sign. Whitepaper has actual crypto jargon and technical specs of not only the network thesis but contract addresses, fees structures, rewards models, etc. Also a good sign. Discord...a bit of a wildfire. Mods don't have strong command of the room and are seldom spotted providing useful information or answers. Most people are in here based on the "Come claim .1 usdc for gas on our new mainnet" reason. And a good portion of those people seem as though they've never used a crypto wallet in their lives. It's uncanny to see so many rookies in one place. The tempo is rapid though the slow mode is enabled at 60 seconds, a lifetime in these halls. Long enough that any attempt at back and forth conversation gets carried away on the waves of one hundred unique "How to claim?!" requests.
Most of the signs are good. The discord by far is the most unorganized element of the project assessed so far. That's not a fail though. New projects always attract attention, from rookies and vets alike. And often times in web3, you can find yourself in a very crowded room filled with very excited people who aren't too sure about anything that is actually going on. Sometimes, that's just the gwei.
You look for nuggets of truth and knowledge within the discord river. Someone mentions easily bridging over with low fees. "Where from fren?" They give you a name and the investigative due diligence cycle starts all over again. Research done, bridge crossed. Smooth process so far. Any chain with simple Polygon PoS bridging? That's another check in my book. Gas fees seem high on this chain but again, as a PoS primary user, I live a pretty spoiled life in terms of gas fees. With that in mind, the USDC based gas fees are interesting and haven't been seen myself before. Txns settling quickly. Then I catch wind of a dex and boom, I'm in an LP. God I love Decentralized Frontiers.
Time will tell the tale for ZKFair and the hundreds of other networks, dapps, nfts and projects that will spring to life over the next year and cycle. Reflect on what DYOR means to you and whether your due diligence will stand up to the rigorous attempts to separate you from your coins. Only skeptics survive in this space and I wish you the best of luck as we enter another season of rapid deployments. If you do the hard work, you are definitely GMI frens. Much love.