The Weekly Hop #5: Bottom-up value creation in Loot
Anay Simunovic
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Jonah Baer
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Chase Chapman
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Juanna
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September 23rd, 2021

The Weekly Hop is a newsletter written by Pathfinders. Click here to learn more about Pathfinders and our role in the decentralization of RabbitHole.

Almost three weeks since its drop, Loot is still on my mind. And not because of what it is–yet–but because of what it could become.

Avichal Garg of Electric Capital sums it up well when he likens Loot with a deck of cards. On its own, a deck of cards is just 52 pieces of paper with signs and symbols on it. But with a bit of creativity, a deck of cards becomes the foundation to your favorite games–from Crazy 8’s, to Hearts, to my personal favorite, Poker. Similarly, while Loot may appear to be just an NFT with eight lines of white text against a black background, it could become the foundation of an entire gaming metaverse.

Turning social capital into financial capital: web3 membership communities

By building the foundation of a game, without building a game itself, Loot leaves its fate to the decentralized community that has begun to take shape around it.

With this strategy, Loot is helping to usher in what Jacob Peters describes as a new era of community membership. Whereas web2 communities make money by charging membership fees, web3 communities make money by taking a percentage of the profits when NFTs are bought and sold. In an environment where NFT supply is fixed, so membership is scarce, communities are incentivized to grow by scaling their narrative.

Peters sums up this process well in his community-first product development flywheel below.

Loot as a headless brand

Given Loot’s reliance on bottom-up value creation, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Loot transform into what our friends over at the Other Internet refer to as a headless brand.  One which is not controlled centrally, has some “immutable aspect,” and where users have a real stake in the brand–be it token, equity, status.

It’s this “stake in the brand” point that really puts things into perspective. Especially when we’re talking about developers: the “true scarce resources of the web3 community world.”

Sure, in the first couple weeks since Loot’s creation we’ve seen a multitude of projects pop  up–from Lootmart, to lootcharacter.com, to the ERC-20 Adventure Gold ($AGLD) token. But if we’ve learned anything from previous projects like CryptoKitties, for Loot to continue to be successful and sustainable, developers need to continue to want to build on top of it. And importantly, that also includes developers who don’t own a Loot bag (i.e. those who wouldn't linearly benefit from the NFT’s uptake in value.)

What’s next for Loot

Key to a developer’s willingness to build is the promise of mass market appeal. And in an environment where the majority of gamers are priced out of a Loot bag (current floor price is 7.39 ETH), this just isn’t feasible.

While Loot founder Dom Hofmann’s release of Synthetic Loot (i.e. a type of Loot bag that “can’t be sold or transferred but can be used in Loot games, should a developer choose to allow it”) is an important step to opening the door to more players, I’m more excited to *hopefully* watch the broader Loot ecosystem begin to flex its decentralized strength. For me, it’s the development of Loot’s DAO that makes the difference between just another unsustainable NFT bubble and a stepping stone to achieving an open-source fantasy metaverse.

Join us in a conversation about what is next for Loot in its journey to decentralize the metaverse by tweeting us @pathfinders_gg!

This analysis of Loot and the role of decentralization in the project was written by @anay_sim.

Pathfinder update

We’re taking Pathfinders to the next level with the introduction of Artisans, a selected group of artists and designers creating the next generation of RabbitHole NFTs.

Here’s a sneak peak on what they have in store. Any thoughts on what it could be?

Hint: RabbitHole hasn’t had a reward quite like this one.

New Pathfinder guides

Pathfinder update and compilation of this week’s Pathfinder guides written by @JonahBaer.

Rabbit of the week

Yu-Gi-Oh! Rescue Rabbit Monster Card

  • Sending this guy to assist in your web3 journey
  • Don’t make us activate our trap card
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