Retention, Focus, and Roadmaps

hahaha maybe we will allow the #Politics this must be hot topics and issue. :grin: :sweat_smile: :laughing:

Hello,

I’ve only been following this project very recently, there was a thread about a month ago regarding user retention (and dives into WAU, MAU, stickiness, etc.) and that caught my attention. Would like to give my feedback based on some limited use of Status app.

There seem to be 2 main ways in which the Status app, with reference to its messenger function, can be used:
(A) as a private messenger (Telegram/Signal equivalent) and;
(B) as a community chatroom (Discord/IRC equivalent).

Obviously the 2 points above are not mutually exclusive, but at least for me they represent distinct use cases.

Personally, I don’t see myself using Status as a private messenger because the network effect of the dominant messenger (in my case: WhatsApp) is too strong: Everyone I know in the meatspace uses WhatsApp. When Telegram first came out, my close friends and I tried to switch to Telegram on multiple occasions, but failed. It seems Telegram founds its market/fit in more specific use cases (programmability/bots) and with a more niche user base. For the record, I consider Telegram as a Discord/IRC equivalent.

On the other hand, I do see myself using Status as a community forum/chatroom, as there is little or zero switching costs. I must agree with @j12b in that I too, struggle to connect with conversations in channels.

What @kcrypto.whisperer is pretty interesting, e.g. Reddit used NSFW subreddits to grow its user base in its early days. Not advocating that Status do the same, but interesting nonetheless (especially with elections coming up later this year).

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I think we’re a bit too obsessed with making Status a replacement for XYZ. I never though of it this way personally, but rather a viable secondary messaging app you go to for private, secure conversations. It doesn’t need to replace WhatsApp or Discord for me to fully enjoy it. This helps me to focus on what needs to be prioritised, if having a certain feature adds to that value

with that our of the way, here’s what I’d focus on in the coming few releases

:bell: In-App notifications


:frowning_woman: Profile Pics


:name_badge: Local Contact names


:link: URL unfurling in chats


:newspaper: Read only public channels


:ghost: Disappearing Messages


:camera: Universal QR Code Scanner


honourable mention to #6375 Unread position indicator and loading messages on scroll


And work towards unblocking differentiators like Tribute to Talk and SNT reactions :money_with_wings:

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Love the honourable mention :innocent:

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Thanks André for kicking off this thread and for all of the thoughtful replies.

Status has always meant different things to different people. Before we can have conversations about improving retention, we first need to understand who we are retaining, and have a strong consensus on who that audience is. I’m conscious that we’ve discussed this a number of times over the years, but now is a good time to revisit, and land on a primary persona for the months ahead to inform prioritization.

How can we inspire more people to use us?

Perhaps a better question to ask, is how can I inspire myself to use Status? I’m of the opinion we should have a mindset of creating for ourselves, and building the Status community (along with providing tools for other crypto communities). If we avoid treating ‘users’ as an abstract ideal, we can make improvements based on our own needs and pain-points, and these are often self-evident. Can we really expect floods of users to be excited to use the application if we’re not happy users ourselves? What would it take for you to recommend Status to a friend in crypto? What would it take for you to use Status daily?

Status has always been about building accessible tools for a wide audience, but the path to get there will be iterative. One could argue such an approach would result in a product that’s too insular. But crypto presents all kinds of UX challenges (many of which core have solved elegantly), but some hard problems remain and thus it will take time before Status is ready for (almost) everyone. We can’t immediately please everyone, and thankfully there are plenty of people who are accepting of these trade-offs. I see no reason why they shouldn’t be our primary audience for the months ahead. One possible way to think about this progression would be:

P0 - Members of ethereum related communities [Our first 15,000 DAUs]
P1 - People who care deeply about privacy [Our first 75,000 DAUs]
P2 - (Out of scope for this discussion) [Our first 1M DAUs]

Where P1 is not a priority, until P0 is met. From here we can ask - are we focusing week by week on the most important things to help ourselves and other crypto communities use the app more frequently? Are there any quick wins that may move the needle but don’t require weeks of planning?

^ This is up for debate, but I suggest we hone in on the primary persona ASAP.

Pain-points

(I’m conscious many of these are in the works - but here are some things that come to mind for me)

Why don’t I use Status more often?

  • I can’t rename contacts locally so it’s confusing, but don’t expect everyone to have a username.
  • There are no notifications in private group chats.
  • My (young, tech-savvy) friends find it too difficult to add me, and those who are non-native english speakers find the 3 Word Pseudonym intimidating.

Why don’t friends (who are part of other blockchain communities) use Status more often?

  • They find inviting friends is too challenging, and usernames difficult.
  • Network effect is required (could be solved by finding ways to import their existing social graph, or easy access to join vibrant public communities where people can feel connected).

What are the likely needs for entire crypto communities to switch to Status?

  • Lack of moderation tools.
  • Channel discovery / ease of joining different channels specific to that community.
  • Desktop sync.
  • Lack of custom onboarding into a specific DApp or community.

We’re all aware by now that our retention isn’t great, but it’s also really not too far off where it needs to be to begin to scale. Each release has been a huge improvement on the prior, and as of 1.4.1 some of my friends are finally using it to chat with one another which I’m super happy about. If we are effective at prioritizing improvements and stay laser focused for the remainder of 2020, it will put us in a very strong position for 2021 and beyond.

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Roadmap planning process

As @andre raised, we need Retention, Focus and Roadmaps. Retention will count to Daily Active users, which is a metric that needs to reach 6000 by August. We’re not there and need roughly a 6x to 10x nr of active users we have today.

Some plans are 99% done and being prepped for release. Release 1.5 includes features that we’ve judged in the past can improve retention. The thinking (gross generalization) has been that bringing chat on par with other messengers, reduces the chance of ‘detracting’ people. Release 1.6 includes a referral program to facilitate onboarding the network of existing users, grown through 1.5. (See roadmap on Zenhub for details). We now need to address: What comes next?

To decide we need to answer a few other questions first:

  • Who are we building for? (effort led by @jonathan)
  • What do we believe drives more people of this audience to use Status more often? (retention drivers) (effort led by @hester)
  • What can be utilized, tweaked and build in a week’s time that supports these drivers? (effort lead by @andre and @hester)

Next to answering these questions, the roadmap planning process has a secondary objective: improve alignment.

Day by day I want to see everyone in the organisation becoming more aligned, we must all be aligned on growth and retention, and the mobile team must lead the way, with that our future is going to be bright. I have no doubt we’ll cross the chasm.

Outlined below are steps to take :rocket: in the coming 7 days :rocket: to help us get a Roadmap, Focus and, if we get it right, retention.


Step 1

  • Who are we building for? (Effort led by @jonathan)
    • Output: target audience definition, that’s used in following steps

Step 2

  • What do we believe drives more people of this audience to use Status more often? (retention drivers) (Effort led by @hester)

a. Teamlevel, identifying drivers for retention

  • Each team takes 10 min in a chat, on a call, however they prefer answering the question: What makes more people use Status more often?
    - For example, Earn SNT, most secure messenger out there, best way to check defi investments, etc.
  • Output: Possible retention drivers

b. Async, individual ranking of drivers (survey) by confidence

  • Output: Collective ranking of retention drivers

Step 3

  • What can be utilized, tweaked and build in a week’s time that supports these drivers? (effort led by @andre and @hester)

All hands workshop

See Status calendar and your mailbox

(Tentative) agenda

  1. Call to action > @andre 5’
  2. Review target audience > @jonathan 10’
  3. Review driver results > @hester 10’
  4. Breakout > sort subset of user stories by drivers 30’
    *Groups TBD, but ideally a mix of teams
    *ca. 10 user stories per group
  5. Come back and share out 20’
  6. Overall dot voting 10’
  7. Conclusion and closing 5’

*Session should be as visual as possible to document conversations live. Looking at a combination of Sococo for conference call and Mural for board exercise
**Those who cannot join the live session, can dot vote async till 12h after

Step 4

a. Planning of voted user stories

  • Core team (Mobile + Desktop) discuss immediate actions and timeline

b. Conversion to roadmap

  • Shared on Discuss

Teams requested to send input and participate:

cc @carl

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@hester I’m really interested in joining in and working on this. Is there any way I can join to help out? I have some ideas and suggestions too.

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Yes, please! Would love to have you join. Will coordinate with @Jinho to involve all ambassadors. For anyone else interested, please ping on status. ENS name: hester

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Tap me on marketing @jonathan :grin: :grin:

I too am willing to help out in any way possible. Ping me on Status (cryptounknown)

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This is a very important initiative, and as Carl mentioned, the perfect time to revisit the audiences and have a crystal clear, collective understanding of who we are building for. Much work has been done in this area over the years and while we may agree on a name or group of people, it is imperative we all deeply agree on who this actually is (as I have found that even though we all may agree on a term such as “Ethereum Community Member”, we all may have a different understanding and idea of what that ACTUALLY means. So before we move forward, lets all get on the EXACT same page.

I totally agree with this. However, we need to be more precise.

“Members of Ethereum related communities” could in fact mean many things with many different wants and needs:

  • Defi users & “Yield Farmers”
  • Developers looking to integrate their products
  • Enthusiasts who join DAOs or the Ethereum Cat Herders
  • NFT & Crypto Artists & Collectors
  • Common good & blockchain philanthropists

IMO we can either pick one (or two) and provide the absolute best experience for them. Or we need to look for the lowest common denominator between all of them (which i think is ok considering they are subsets of the same larger group).

Agree with Carl that there are simply some things that are missing to make Status a viable option as a private messenger (notifications, local contact names/universal username convention, desktop). However, I wouldn’t say this target community is yearning for much more than that in terms of private 1:1 and group messaging (this area also poses by far the steepest competitive landscape with many products already having achieved mass adoption…and even market dominance if you will).

With that, I agree with Maceij

We are building something much different than a purely private messenger, and this is what the Ethereum community expects from us (many of these people invested during the contribution period for this very reason). Status is more than a messenger, it is a Window into Ethereum – and when you combine this with the private messenger, NOBODY can compete with us. IMO that is our product market fit.

Understanding that the concept of a window with robust integrations between dapps and messenger, wallet and dapps, and wallet and messenger is extremely difficult with a long road ahead– we can rethink exactly what the idea Window into Ethereum can mean.

At the current moment, many people’s window into this world is through the communities they join. At the moment, many of these live in Discord and Telegram

and the list goes on and on and on and on…

I see a huge opportunity to port these communities over into Status and provide a crypto native experience. One in which they don’t have to toggle between apps, browser tabs, metamask, etc to use the very products they are chatting about within those communities. Once again, nobody can compete with us in this regard. Exactly what this looks like from a feature perspective, I dont exactly know.

Just something to consider as we align on who we are building for, what they want, and how we can offer them something that nobody else can. Lets build for our community, for us, and play to our strengths & differentiators.

Ill go through this in details, and need to refine further, but here is some work that has been done over the years to define audience (primarily for comms briefs and onboarding agencies/freelancers, etc)

@henrystats @kcrypto.whisperer @cryptounknown you know ill be calling on you all for support :slight_smile:

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Who are z yield farmers that want status?

Where Degen and YOLO intersect is https://yearn.finance/ launched by z single developer. A very active community has emerged and z need help coordinating z anarchy. Someone created a message board - gov.yearn.finance z is very active.

Chat is unofficial only

Who z status supports?
degenorsoft

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How hard is it to replicate their bots API? https://core.telegram.org/bots/api

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Pulling out the scissors to cut some cords here, as I think it’s important to move onto 'Step 2

For Step 1 our key question is: “Who are we building for?” @jonathan and @carl have both answered this question and we’re getting close to narrowing it down.

@carl:

P0 - Members of ethereum related communities [Our first 15,000 DAUs]

@jonathan:

We need to be more precise. “Members of Ethereum related communities” could in fact mean many things with many different wants and needs:

  • Defi users & “Yield Farmers”
  • Developers looking to integrate their products
  • Enthusiasts who join DAOs or the Ethereum Cat Herders
  • NFT & Crypto Artists & Collectors
  • Common good & blockchain philanthropists

I want to hone in more by identifying “one (or two)” most promising audiences, as @jonathan suggests.

We want to identify a target audience so we can better cater to their requirements. To identify this audience, we have requirements too :blush::

  • [ ] Community must be of reasonable size
  • [ ] Community must have daily communication engagements (we’re looking for DAU)
  • [ ] Community must be within reasonable reach (established connections)
  • [ ] Community must find few detractors with Status today and must allow for offering added value compared to existing alternatives next week
  • [ ] Has must have an incentive to move from what they are currently using, based on hedonic or utilitarian needs currently not met
  • [ ] Must have needs that fit with our mission so we don’t wonder off

Status strives to be a secure communication tool that upholds human rights. Designed to enable the free flow of information, protect the right to private, secure conversations, and promote the sovereignty of individuals.

Conclusion

The above requirements considered and given a more detailed pseudo-objective analysis below, I suggest we move forward with these 2 audiences:

  1. Enthusiasts who join DAOs or the Ethereum Cat Herders
  2. Developers looking to integrate their products

I’ll follow up tomorrow to ask all CC’s, ambassadors and whoever else wants to share their view on this to answer our next question for step 2:

What can drive more ‘enthusiasts who join DAOs or Ethereum Cat Herders’ and ‘Developers looking to integrate their products’, to use Status more often?


Analysis

Limited data leads me to the above conclusion. Flawed in many ways, but we really don’t have much recent data to go on. I’m hoping to look into Twitter following, but I’m relatively confident it doesn’t change my conclusion much.

Ambassador applications

  • Analysis of people who apply to become a Status ambassador shows they are community managers, designers, developers, social media managers, marketeers, (blockchain) engineers.
  • Their main interest in Status shows to be: the project, the network, privacy, communication, secure, open decentralized messenger. Notice crypto does come up, but less. Dapps come up in the context of ‘all-in-one’, not for any specific purpose (e.g. defi)

App store reviews

  • We get higher ratings than peers for, non-surprisingly, ‘privacy’ in the communication category (Play store). This tells me that privacy is recognized as differentiator and a strength to play to in a community that recognizes this
  • Positive reviews refer to security and 3-in-1. A negative review remarks the app as: “if you’re neck deep in smart contracts and blockchains, you’ll be right at home”
  • Again, the absence of very specific use cases, or anything that gives an indication that specifically those interested in defi or collectibles have a vested interest. That doesn’t mean they don’t, it mainly shows that those invested enough to write a review note privacy, versatility and blockchain tech focus.

Subjective take on drivers, needs and our position to fulfill them

This is based on highly anecdotal insights from the past years in view of the requirements above for audience identification. Would love to validate these more carefully, but given where we are, I ask to consider this take an informed opinion and use your critical thinking to see if you agree. @jonathan is summarizing similar insights way more structured and less opinionated here here.

Defi users & “Yield Farmers”

We can’t offer the same convenience of one-click access to define actions Argent, Trust and Coinbase offer; this community is not likely to move out of idealism. They don’t have a problem Status solves that others aren’t already offering them (lending, profits, etc). They have no reason to move from what’s working. Exception is if we can offer relevant projects to use Status as news outlet. Which they are unlikely to do if it means to risk losing followers

Developers looking to integrate their products

We have more to offer than other 'browser-enabled wallets, through identity and contacts. This is a security and privacy minefield, but unique. We also have a credible reputation based on the incredible work on Vac, Embark, Subspace and Nimbus. The opportunity to fit a developer workflow with Desktop. We’d need to offer something unique that solves a problem developers currently face. IMO that’s notifications. We’re in a good position to offer this.

Enthusiasts who join DAOs or the Ethereum Cat Herders

This segment ticks all boxes. Idealist DAO’s solve a governance problem that is in line with decentralized communication; DAO’s don’t provide new access or utility the way Defi does, they provide an alternative way of doing things. DAO enthusiasts are more likely to be open to use Status if we remove detractors. The challenge would be to offer relevant functionality to support DAO management and community coordination.

NFT & Crypto Artists & Collectors

NFT standardization is a mess. We cannot solve this without integration with a 3rd party like OpenSea in the short term. Aside from that, this segment is likely expecting a highly visual experience. Even if we were to integrate with a 3rd party, we’d be playing catch up. To become competitive, I’d be concerned draining resources in UI development that is difficult to reuse when supporting functional needs of other communities. Lastly, the benefits of integrated communication and transactions are limited for this segment

Common good & blockchain philanthropists

We have very little sitting knowledge about what could attract this segment, nor direct ties to somewhat larger communities. I suspect functional use cases, if any to actually be very similar to Enthusiasts who join DAOs or the Ethereum Cat Herders. I’d consider this segment to potentially consist potential ambassadors, influencers, but not a community to build for

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Thanks for kicking off this thread @andre and @hester for organizing a mini workshop.

I very much agree with what @carl wrote above. Specifically this line of thinking:

Perhaps a better question to ask, is how can I inspire myself to use Status? I’m of the opinion we should have a mindset of creating for ourselves, and building the Status community (along with providing tools for other crypto communities). If we avoid treating ‘users’ as an abstract ideal, we can make improvements based on our own needs and pain-points, and these are often self-evident. Can we really expect floods of users to be excited to use the application if we’re not happy users ourselves? What would it take for you to recommend Status to a friend in crypto? What would it take for you to use Status daily?

We can’t immediately please everyone, and thankfully there are plenty of people who are accepting of these trade-offs. I see no reason why they shouldn’t be our primary audience for the months ahead. One possible way to think about this progression would be:
P0 - Members of ethereum related communities [Our first 15,000 DAUs]
[…]
Where P1 is not a priority, until P0 is met . From here we can ask - are we focusing week by week on the most important things to help ourselves and other crypto communities use the app more frequently? Are there any quick wins that may move the needle but don’t require weeks of planning?

With the minor addition that’d I’d make it very explicit that [P-1] is ourselves. Specifically Core and related functions. This doesn’t necessarily mean everyone-everyone straight away (individual teams, like Nimbus, might have good reasons to stay on Discord for now, e.g. with Eth2 Research happening there). This points to the value of dogfooding, a subject that we’ve talked about many, many times before.

I am not an Ethereum Unicorn Herder or DeFi gun slinger, but I am myself and I’m working at Status. As such, here are the top things blocking me from using Status:

1. Basic desktop sync. I work at my computer, and I want to be able to send links and talk to people using my keyboard. Phone is OK for one off things but not sustainable (I end up having to copy paste stuff via Standard Notes as links to myself).
2. Status moving to Status. I need people to talk to, and the most obvious community here is people at Status and Vac. This is not a feature, but a mindset and organized action. It has many positive side effects that can’t be captured in laundry lists of feature requests.

Slightly minor things:
3. Status desktop stability. In some earlier builds it was crashing for me, but it seems to be less of an issue now.
4. Pseudonyms hard to remember. It was mentioned above, it’d be nice to have alias or so.
5. Channel/user discoverability/importability. This can be extremely low-tech for my present use case. In the past we had a basic hackmd with a list of relevant channels and usernames. E.g. I want to see and join all the Status related channels easily. It’d be neat to have a way to bulk add people I talk to on Status quickly. Do things that don’t scale, then figure out how to automate them. Don’t rabbit hole into some generalized uber discovery thing (this is important, but it isn’t a requirement to solve my immediate problem).

Note the absence of things like audio messages, SNT reactions, and similar nice-to-haves.

I won’t be able to attend on Monday, but I hope there are more people in the organization who feel like similar to me and can speak for this mindset. If nothing else, here are the 5 top things I’d like to see solved as soon as possible, and to me the effort seems reasonably low and achievable in a week (sans some specific technicalities around desktop sync or desktop stability, though this worked well enough a year ago with the other desktop client).

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Great points—kudos everyone! Not having as much context/history here, I have more questions than answers at this point. Apologies if they’ve been discussed earlier, but here they are:


Total/Serviceable Addressable Market (TAM/SAM): As we refine our target audience, it is critical to evaluate the total/serviceable market size to have a shot at achieving the desired DAU metric.

Q1: How does TAM/SAM look for our two shortlisted audiences?

My guess (based on limited data from https://defirate.com/daos/ and https://medium.com/electric-capital/electric-capital-developer-report-h1-2019-7d836d68fecb; also see graph below) is that the TAM here is much below what’s required for the 15K DAU P0 target. The SAM is going to be even lesser given that there already are some incumbents (across different products) in this space.

However, these two audiences capture a small fraction of the broader Ethereum community, unless we have a more accommodating definition of “enthusiasts” which takes me to my second question.


Definition of “enthusiasts”: Without much data to back me up, I’m going to guess that a majority of the community members in the forums listed below are crypto “enthusiasts” trying to evaluate token utility while crypto devs building on those projects are a minority (compare below numbers with the developers graph above).

Q2: Do crypto enthusiasts in forums listed above fit into our two shortlisted audiences?

I hope they do. Because, these projects need not necessarily be DAOs and a majority of their enthusiasts are likely not developers. These projects could be building DeFi, prediction markets, oracles or any other DApp/infra category on/for Ethereum. This broader definition of crypto “enthusiasts” will certainly provide the required TAM/SAM for achieving our P0 target DAU.


Crypto enthusiasts vs devs: The needs of these two shortlisted audiences are different. Crypto enthusiasts are used to channels such as Discord/Telegram/Reddit for communication and the popular wallets/browsers for transactions. Crypto devs are used to platforms such as VSCode/Embark/Remix/MetaMask/Etherscan for buidling and Discord/Slack/Github for communication. (Note that devs are very likely to also be enthusiasts.)

Q3: If there is only one audience we can target (because of resources, time, focus), which would that be?

Although we have many of the required pieces (Embark/Desktop/Wallet/Messenger), the dev audience has a much smaller TAM as addressed earlier. So for the given DAU target, I don’t see how we cannot prioritise crypto enthusiasts over devs. Maybe I’m missing something.


From who to how:Crypto communities in forums on Discord/Telegram/Reddit have been built over time and risk losing followers if they move platforms without good reasons. There are certainly new (sub) communities being created. The advantage here is that we can hope to convince entire (sub) projects to move to Status (B2B) instead of convincing each of their enthusiasts (B2C).

Q4: If we’re building for crypto enthusiasts, how do we port/create these (sub) communities over-to/on Status from/instead-of Discord/Telegram/Reddit by offering a painkiller and not a vitamin?


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a painkiller and not a vitamin?

Wonderful expression!

I want to clarify that the specific group listed is ‘enthusiasts joining DAO’s’ (opposed to crypto enthusiasts). This is a subsegment, but broader/adds to developers. Which I agree, in itself is too small a TAM. Crypto enthusiasts in general can be very broad and doesn’t help define problems to solve (i.e. direct product development). By honing in on 'enthusiasts joining DAO’s, we’re also putting less focus on ‘Defi users & “Yield Farmers”’, a segment I believe (as described in more detail above) we are in a lesser position to cater to as well as moves further away from our mission.

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Thanks for the clarification.

But, isn’t #Eth-devs + #DAO-enthusiasts << 15,000? How will this address:

P0 - Members of ethereum related communities [Our first 15,000 DAUs]

or is this P -1?

Excellent question. I don’t have the answer, but I think this ventures into who do we build for vs who do we market to. Who do we build for is generally helped by narrowing to specific target users to restrict requirements. We still have the referral program and friends and family messaging features coming out.

I think that together increases total audience size

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I don’t think we need to compete on custom integrations. Let’s also not confuse CeFi users with DeFi users. I think the reason why many are participating in DeFi are for reasons aligned with Status principles. For example they could use a CeFi product like BlockFi and have to sign up with KYC etc and earn ~8% APR on ETH but there is ~$250mm in ETH locked in compound alone earning a measly 0.18% APR. It seems they choose DeFi over CeFi for reasons like privacy, permission-less participation, self custody. Some of the largest users of non DeFi protocols like ENS are DeFi users. I don’t buy that they are here just for the profits, it would be like saying World of warcraft users play just for the points.

Notifications would be useful to dapps but making that our focus I believe misses the bigger picture and continues on the path of Status building an opinionated messenger + wallet rather than an operating system for Ethereum. If we look at the use cases citied in the whisper whitepaper most of them are not possible today with Status.

For example, a currency exchange DApp may use it to coordinate an offer prior to creating one (or two, depending on how the exchange is structured) transactions on the exchange.

This is actually how 0x works except they use centralized servers for the matching instead of in channels.

My point is not that we should build this functionality into Status, but that we should open Status up to unleash developer creativity and enable dapps to leverage the status network in their design.

If we open up the api and allow dapps a way to send and read from channels the use cases now become possible and more (gas abstraction, voting, L2, etc).

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