What comes first: app innovation or infrastructure innovation? A USV deep dive suggests the cycle has always been apps first, then infrastructure – and crypto is speeding up that flow.
Find out how the Web3 stack fits this thesis, how crypto networks are two sides of the same coin in the app-infrastructure cycle, and how Pocket Network is advancing the development of DApps.
First Apps, then Infrastructure, in an Ever-Lasting Cycle
A popular USV essay suggests that as new technologies have arisen, applications have come before the supporting infrastructure was fully “ready”, leading to a necessary development cycle and improvement of the infrastructure stack.
Some would argue that infrastructure is needed before applications to ensure that the use-cases from developers can actually be built and adopted by the community. The same thought is present in the Web3 community. On the other hand, USV-backed Web3 founders suggest that the “biggest challenge for them is to get developers to build apps on top” of networks.
USV hints at an “apps–>infrastructure–>apps” repeating cycle that elevates both apps and infrastructure, a trend seen since the advent of internet/email, through to new programming languages that led to the rise of early Web apps (e.g., Amazon, eBay), and on to today with crypto networks.
Crypto Networks Accelerate the Cycle of Innovation
As USV points out in its thesis, crypto networks bring a new face to this debate, since many of the protocol layers are also applications that can thrive off each other through interoperability.
Bitcoin is already an application for borderless financial transactions in a peer-to-peer way, besides operating as a layer for this new financial system to function. Ethereum is the layer upon which multiple applications in the decentralized ecosystem can exist, but it itself is also already an application with a multitude of use cases (e.g., smart contracts).
The intricacies of crypto networks will only accelerate the development cycle between infrastructure and applications and make each project even more useful, enabling additional utility for users, investors, and the community.
How Does the Web3 Stack Fit This Thesis?
We’ve covered how the Web3 stack goes from the protocol layers (e.g., Ethereum, BSC, Optimism) up to the applications that support entry into Web3 while offering their own specific use-cases.
In the middle sits infrastructure providers, linking stack layers to achieve interoperability, efficiency, and scale. What makes Web3 particularly interesting is that each layer could be an infrastructure provider and an application.
Let’s look at how this plays out.
A layer emerges (e.g., Solana), and developers build the entry point to it, for example, through a wallet (like Phantom). But why did a new Layer 1 like Solana emerge? If we go back even further, why did the original network (Bitcoin) appear?
It all came from the need for a new financial system, an application/tool/avenue/protocol that could enable decentralized financial transactions between people. Even at the inception of Bitcoin, its application, or in other words, its potential value/utility, came first.
From there, new projects rose from the potential of Bitcoin (e.g., Ethereum). The bottlenecks of those layers posed challenges for the needs of novel applications, leading to new Layer 1 and Layer 2 networks appearing. Meanwhile, the infrastructure to connect all the pieces of the puzzle began to emerge.
This improvement of the protocol layers and applications is happening in parallel, given the nature of crypto networks and the app-infrastructure cycle.
Where is Pocket Within this Cycle?
Pocket is a key Web3 infrastructure player, enabling applications and developers to scale by streamlining data from multiple protocols at low costs, with zero downtime and low latency. Pocket is one of the infrastructure providers serving the needs of crypto applications that came before, which have led to the current trend to boost interoperability in the crypto sector.
At the same time, Pocket is advancing the app-infrastructure cycle to provide more scalability, optimized performance, cost efficiency, and use-cases for application developers.
Developers spotted the need to streamline data communication between new layers, which sparked the associated need for a decentralized player facilitating those data relays in the RPC endpoints market.
Pocket effectively advances applications to align more properly with important Web3 principles, while creating an ecosystem that spurs out value to all stakeholders.
With More App Growth Comes More Use-Cases
Pocket boosts the app-infrastructure-app cycle, leading applications to reach more scale and users, who in turn start desiring additional use-cases, leading to the appearance of new solutions (layers, apps, infrastructure).
Pocket is the actor linking the growth of applications and the increasing need for blockchain data in a decentralized environment. The current boom of crypto applications has led Pocket to service, on average, 1 billion daily data relays between apps and networks.
With the emergence of new solutions and the proliferation of further use-cases, Pocket is the key to unlocking more scale for application developers.
Pocket’s V1 upgrade and TriForce initiative (which incentivizes the community to launch, support, and scale more networks in the Pocket ecosystem), will only further help Pocket to become the link for Web3 to cross into mainstream awareness and adoption.