For those of us frequently browsing Crypto Twitter (commonly known as CT) you may have noticed a recent surge in digital avatars backed by mellow color schemes.
Every time I Tweet about Ethereum pic.twitter.com/X6JOW6AzaZ
— $RIC 🐚 (@ricburton) December 28, 2019
To many of us, these avatars signalled a degree of status for those in the know about blockchain’s most pressing issues.
In today’s article, we’re going to dive into the creators of the campaign, and how you can get your very own!
Behind the recent avatar FOMO is a new project called Whiteblock. Marketed as “The world’s first and only development platform for the Web3 space”, Whiteblock aims to make it easier for teams to test and develop projects like distributed systems, blockchain protocols, and smart contracts.
The Twitter avatars were created to live in a “Whiteblock world” which can be thought of as a vibrant ecosystem of web 3 developers coming together to push the boundaries of innovation.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the origin of the Twitter avatars and how it came to be.
Reminiscing on ETHBerlin
At the end of last summer, the Whiteblock marketing team was mapping out a promotional strategy for the launch of Whiteblock Genesis. This included the creation of avatars for people to use as profile images. Aaron Beattie, CMO, relates:
“The idea started when we needed some graphics to explain the distributed systems testing. I used generic people at first but it was way more fun to depict actual team members from Whiteblock. The outcome was hilarious.”
ETHBerlin had launched a similar campaign in which attendees would change their Twitter avatar to a specific color (blue, red or yellow). The ultimate goal was to try and get as many people as possible on your color’s team. In fact, a few people still have their ETHBerlin avatars today.
The team quickly recognized the power of organic Twitter campaigns for project awareness, and the question then became – how do we give our audience a little more ownership and engagement?
Enter WhiteBlock Avatars
At inception, the first users to claim a Whiteblock avatar were employees and a few people very close to the company.
From there, Whiteblock started sharing a number of posts that allowed other users to be eligible for their very own avatar.
3. 𝐉𝐨𝐢𝐧 𝐖𝐡𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝
> Want to get your own avatar for Whiteblock World? DM us a photo of yourself and we’ll make one for the first 50 people.
> You _can_ live another life. pic.twitter.com/tO3vcS4X3h
— Whiteblock (@whiteblock) November 12, 2019
Seeing as the avatar creation process is highly customized, those who have received one have either long-since established themselves as a prominent community leaders OR contributed valuable resources in the form of spreading awareness about the project.
Now if you’re anything like me, you were probably thinking damn, I need to get my own avatar!
Enter the Queue
As it stands today, the only way to get your own avatar is to tangibly engage with Whiteblock in a number of value-adding ways.
First and foremost, head on over to the main site and sign up for early access to Whiteblock Genesis.
Next, follow Whiteblock on Twitter and be on the lookout for new campaigns that can boost your place in line.
At the end of the day, those who are most vocal about Whiteblock and their mission to empower web 3 development are most likely to be next up for a custom avatar.
What Makes This Unique?
In a world where many blockchain projects tried to stand out through airdrops and the sharing of mediums with tangible resale value, Whiteblock takes a much more organic approach.
With each avatar being customized, recipients gain a sense of ownership and connection to the project due to the time and effort that goes into the creation of each unique design.
Secondly, the nature of the designs is inherently specialized, meaning it’s quite difficult for someone to mimic the campaign unless they possess similar design talents to someone like Trent or Aaron.
Lastly, Whiteblock World is a niche community in and of itself. Seeing as many bounty campaigns are targeted at reaching as many users as possible, this specific campaign is intentionally scarce. Only the best of the best get a unique avatar, pushing the ecosystem at large to bring forth their best talent.
Aaron summarises the effort well here:
“When the community caught on, we had an endless amount of requests to join the Whiteblock World. The demand hasn’t stopped. We have made every effort possible to bring members of our community into the story. They are the reason why Whiteblock built this product.”
Enter Whiteblock Genesis
Speaking of talent, the Twitter campaign parlays into a much bigger event that is the launch of Whiteblock Genesis on January 15th.
As we mentioned above, Whiteblock provides custom testing environments for developers to deploy their contracts with specified conditions. This means it becomes much easier to run testnets in real-world scenarios.
For example, developers can introduce constraints like latency or bandwidth on a network of provisioned nodes, thus simulating how their code would react to given events that would be nearly impossible to simulate on public testnets.
Here’s an example of how Whiteblock helped STARKWARE test their research for EIP 2028.
In summary, if you are a developer working on:
- New protocols that want to prove network-level assumptions without full-blown self-hosted testnets
- Existing protocols that need to test improvements before they go live (think EIPs) OR
- Smart contracts that need a highly tunable environment to deploy contracts to
Whiteblock is for you.
What’s the Big Deal?
Whiteblock Genesis highlights two key factors:
- The power of specialized communities
- The importance of strong test grounds that allow innovation to thrive
Through the advent of stronger tooling, we can expect developers to identify flaws prior to launching on mainnet, thus drastically reducing the likelihood for hacks and bug.
Whereas smart contract audits and unit tests are sufficient for identifying how code acts when things are running smoothly, tools like Whiteblock allow us to be much more cognisant of how things work when shit hits the fan.
As DeFi continues to aggregate millions upon billions of dollars in value via smart contracts, Whiteblock has the opportunity to help developers create the most robust code possible.
Similarly, their viral marketing campaign is a great way to show who’s staying up to date with the industry’s most promising new projects.
Cooper is the Editor of DeFi Rate and an active contributor to leading DeFi media outlets like The Defiant, DeFi Pulse, and Bankless. He works with early-stage teams through Fire Eyes DAO to incubate governance models and grassroots community development. He is an ambassador to Set Protocol and an author of a weekly publication called Token Tuesdays. To stay up with Cooper, follow him on Twitter.