The Cupcake Vision

Chris Liquin
Cupcake Protocol
Published in
4 min readApr 10, 2024

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Unlocking the Untapped CultureFi Opportunity

Crypto products and platforms have exploded with innovation over the past many years. Yet, true mainstream consumer adoption remains a distant reality. Among many reasons — esoteric terminology, clunky user flows, or the sheer pace of change — I’m not quite ready to recommend a crypto wallet and the latest trending token to my mom or my sister.

More importantly, though, there’s really just not much for them to do here today.

The vast majority of retail crypto participation in 2024 is speculative — airdrop farming, memecoin sniping, narrative riding — which isn’t particularly accessible to non-traders. As an industry, we are missing out on massive value by not building products that unite the crypto natives with the crypto curious. Something that gives a degen trader something familiar, friendly, and onchain to share with her friend who’s never bought or sold a stock before, let alone ventured to DexScreener. NFTs were the primary vehicle for this social sharing last cycle, but we’ve learned that no one wants a collectible without context, and tradable JPEGs with today’s tools aren’t quite yet a rich enough experience to sustain. Crypto is a cultural revolution as well as a technological one, and we need consumer products that create net new experiences celebrating digital ownership. This new cycle — with memecoins at the forefront — is now very clearly about the culture layer, which I’m calling CultureFi.

Doing the 100X math: Today, there are almost 40M active crypto wallets according to a16z’s State of Crypto Index. From my own experience having 8+ wallets, that’s likely closer to 5M unique, active crypto users at the absolute most. In their annual study, Crypto.com reports that over 500M users currently own crypto, including via custodial platforms. They might not be regularly active, but after recent all-time-highs, they’re certainly curious. They’re also largely un-monetized. From 5M to 500M, the CultureFi opportunity represents a 100X+ in untapped value for the crypto industry to capture.

Solving Real Problems in Today’s Social Media Landscape

More broadly, today’s social media giants have achieved global scale by conditioning passive consumption — the endless scroll, the dopamine hits from likes, and the paradox of feeling simultaneously overconnected yet entirely alone. This often mindless experience isn’t fun, but it’s addictive and, unfortunately, very much the norm.

Tokens, though, help better align incentives across a multi-stakeholder network and we believe can help catalyze a more active social experience online. Similar to the active experience you get playing Wordle with friends, sharing your high scores on Candy Crush, or even learning a language on Duolingo, the next frontier of digital experiences will have users in the driver’s seat as the main character — not just watching someone else’s life pass them by on Instagram.

It’s these shareable games with active, social fandoms that tend to go viral too. By providing on-chain incentives for active engagement — playing, questing, sharing, creating — Cupcake aims to rapidly create a richer, digital social dynamic.

Introducing Cupcake: Solana’s Culture Layer

Cupcake is Solana’s killer app. We aim to sidestep typical crypto friction by delivering irresistible fun first. We’re designing an intuitive, jargon-free pathway to start collecting and showcasing your Cupcakes, earning tokens, and experiencing digital ownership without grappling with arcane crypto clunkiness. If you’re down to play fun social games on your phone and can log in with Gmail, you will thrive in Cupcake’s ecosystem.

Over the coming months, we will share many more details about the social gameplay, the rewards structure, and our launch partners.

Cupcake is CultureFi

On our path to more mainstream adoption, we need strong stories that make new technology like blockchain and digital ownership easy to understand. As with any new technology, it’s the use case that creates the “light bulb moment” for consumers. We don’t talk about MP3s, we talk about music. We don’t talk about HTML, we talk about websites. In crypto, we can’t keep using complicated technical terms and confusing metaphors to bring people on board. Sure, it’s an NFT… but really, it’s just a Cupcake.

With Cupcake, our goal is to make the complex ideas of crypto networks easy to grasp through games that tap into what makes us human — showing our unique selves, enjoying friendly competition, being creative, and connecting with others. Fun is the key to building passionate communities and spreading new ideas far and wide. First and foremost, Cupcake is fun.

If you’re excited about the Cupcake vision, come join us in creating the next big thing in crypto’s cultural revolution. Cupcake is CultureFi.

Join the waitlist today at Cupcake.com

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