Coconut Report 29

Iowa, US

This week, we moved to Marcus in Iowa.

Marcus is a tiny town surrounded by farmland, that mostly grows corn. It took us less than an hour to walk around the town. People here are nice too. People greeted us when we passed by their yards. Even drivers waved their hands to us.

For Cocoverse, we plan to make new recipes often (maybe every week?). I also need to edit some old videos and upload them to Cocoverse. We are trying to live a not-too-boring life by trying new stuff.

Thoughts on blockchain applications

This week, I have more sense about what to build for the next project.


The decentralization concept has been used for almost every project as part of its slogan or branding. But do any targetted users really understand or need it?

When I built BigAnnouncement.eth, I thought it would be a channel for everybody who can pay by crypto, and nobody would know who the author is. Everybody would have a voice via this “platform”, which is running by IPFS, that nobody can shut down.

Actually, a message can reach a bigger audience from many centralized channels, such as Quora, WordPress, Medium, Substack, etc. (messages on some of those centralized channels might not be available). Then why do people need a platform with fewer readers to publish their messages? Moreover, the decentralized platforms even cost more than those centralized platforms because of the “Gas fee”.

Do people really need a decentralized publishing platform? I don’t have an answer to encourage people using BigAnnouncement.eth for publishing a message yet.


I have similar concerns about ownership.

Data ownership is another popular concept for blockchain applications, but owning your data to keep privacy means a lot of work for most non-tech people. Not to mention, some are willing to give away or share their data for daily convenience.

For instance, in general, people who live in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing, and Shenzhen are willing to pay by WeChatPay or Alipay instead of cash. It is a one-way process, that either you share your payable QRcode to the merchant or scan the merchant’s QRcode to pay. People in Hangzhou use Alipay for taking subways and buses. Almost every taxi supports Alipay and WeChatPay. Didi, the Chinese version of Uber, supports credit cards, Alipay, and WeChatPay.

People only need to bring their phones for their daily lives. It obviously saves time an awful lot, and people’s energy as well. More importantly, it encourages people to consume without the feeling of losing money.

Everybody has a pretty fair user experience of those applications. If some people don’t want to share their payment data with applications’ owners, they may choose to pay in cash, which is much more convenient than crypto. And everybody accepts cash, but not crypto.

I don’t think decentralization and ownership are selling points for users.


Few applications have active users except DeFi – Decentralized Finance.

People love money, and people want to get rich easily. That’s why people are willing to “invest” their money in stock markets, exchanges, and DeFi applications.

Ethereum, as the biggest blockchain application platform, has the most active dapps compared to other blockchains. But it is mostly DeFi projects that are successful and active.

DeFi draws people’s attention in diverse ways: hackers want to find bugs to get bounty awards or steal crypto; astute “investors” look for arbitrage opportunities; others wish for their best luck while actively checking prices and trading.

Every DeFi project sells the same dream: you will be rich by “investing” your money.

This is the only story they tell and keep telling, and it works very well.



New thoughts and learning

  • Started Engineering DeFi idea
    • Bought domain
    • Started twitter handle @engineeringdefi
    • Thinking of implementing Uniswap with Rust as the start, and then write posts
  • Registered Chainlink hackathon(09/07~09/27?) and NEAR hackathon(09/15~09/30)
  • Tools for auto-testing Solidity contracts: Specron

Always on

  • RiB
    • Sent tweets
    • Updated events and new projects to the next draft
    • Called for contribution for the next issue
  • Trading
    • Eth & BTC options

Daily life

  • Made bread and cookies
  • Uploaded a 30sec video The sound in Marcus
  • Stay in Marcus for two weeks


  • Finish the BigAnnouncement.eth post/doc
  • RiB newsletter
  • Write code for EngineeringDeFi