This a FrenGate collectible article needed also for InfinityGate.
Dank u to Napzilla for translating from smol and halping maku sense. All eroors Jani’s. Henlo, and furthermore, ooga booga. Please note everything written after this statement may, or may not be, psyops. This is written for education and entertainment purposes and does not constitute financial advice. Most of this was written by Janitooor who has a lot of bear jpegs and is also a seed investor in Berachain. Remember anon, do your own psyops.
Do you know the history of the Bong Bears? Check out the Bonga Bera 101 - "For all the Beras that came before, Present, and in da Future: Here is our Collective History, Bonga Bera 101". Or you could just keep reading ahead…*
“Berachain is a developing EVM-compatible blockchain leveraging its unique “Proof-of-Liquidity” consensus to allow users to stake layer 1, bluechip DeFi, and stablecoin assets with Berachain validators. It sprouted as an idea from the Bong Bears NFT community, and it is built with the Cosmos-SDK. The chain operates around a tri-token structure consisting of $BERA, $BGT, and $HONEY.”* Intro from Wait, It’s Real? What is Berachain?
You may be a bera, or you may have seen beras on CT relentlessly FUD’ing their own bags, or having more fun during the bear market than seems real or reasonable, or just generally engaging in absurd copypasta. But what is Berachain?
Berachain is primed to launch soon. It is a shiny new L1 which leverages a multitude of the current metanarratives circulating around CT. Baked in at the protocol layer out of the box there will be: deep liquidity, real yield, the DeFi Trinity (borrow/lend, stable, swaps), perps, liquid staking derivatives (LSDs), NFTFi fueled by a strong DeFi/NFT degen culture, cosmos x EVM meme, memetic (memecoin/memechain) misunderstanding, shiny L1 rotation play, as well as an absurdist irreverent cult.
“Berachain's lore is the memetic Trojan Horse behind what will be DeFi's deepest and most productive liquidity pools.” - Smokey, co-founder of Berachain
But what is the best way to get exposure to this compound of meta? Up till now Bong Bears and rebases, which are gud jpegs, have been one of the few ways to get exposure. But with the soaring bera prices, even during the bera market, exposure is still out of financial reach for many degens… until now. Enter stage left, The Honey Jar… but you’ll have to wait for the alfa.
These days it’s heretical for a Bera to break the code of Ooga Booga and speak in full sentences with minimal copypasta (or one of our stoned sessions with chatGPT got a little out of control) but we feel it’s worth it to shill the upcoming launch of The Honey Jar’s Honeycomb games, which looks potentially poised to become one of the premier, financially accessible ways to get exposure to the Berachain ecosystem. But before that, what’s the deal with Berachain? Is it real? Is it a cult? Why should you care? How did we get here? Lets jump down the bear hole to see how deep it goes…
((For those of you who, like Smokey, can’t read scroll to the end of this post for a picture visualisation of Berachain.))
“Participating in crypto markets during the thrill stages of a bull-run” writes Cobie, CT’s resident town square drunk, “is isomorphically more similar to playing a modern video game than it is to investing.” In his ‘Trading the metagame’ piece, Cobie asserts that most competitive modern video games have an ever-evolving metagame (a subset of the game’s basic strategy) which you need to understand to play the game at a high level - just like crypto. An example given is the L1 rotation metagame in play since 2017, which is the premise that whilst Ethereum’s fees price out the majority of users, there is edge in rotating funds to other emergent L1s to reap their benefits.
We liked this article, but feel like it’s missing the pre-eminent foundational layer to the game (not to mention how game dynamics differ during bera markets). With the advent of crypto - more specifically cryptography + blockchains + digital networks - everything has become part of the game. We’re already agents in a crypto-drunk metaverse, no VR goggles needed. Sorry Zuck… Let us explain.
You wake up and with half open eyes you fumble around as you reach for your serotonin/dopamine modulator. A few quick hits from CT or your portfolio, a few henlos and ooga boogas to get you rolling to the kitchen where you’ll mainline your first caffeine fix of the day. These dopamine hits from the degen digital dungeon masters guide you to whichever flavor of chaos dominates today’s game. These habits are already interwoven with our nervous systems in our personally and algorithmically tweaked augmented reality. Simon Sinek called an aspect of this ‘The Infinite Game’.
“Finite games, like football or chess, have known players, fixed rules, and a clear endpoint. The winners and losers are easily identified. In infinite games, like business or politics or life itself, the players come and go, the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers in an infinite game, there is only ahead and behind.” - Simon Sinek, ‘The Infinite Game’.
The Holy Trinity of Crypto (blockchains, wallets) + Cryptography (signing, encryption) + Digital Networks (the internet, digital media) propels us across dimensions, fusing meatspace with cyberspace into cypherspace. What can we learn from other “games” across space and time? And who are the players best suited to crypto-fueled Infinite Games?
Fiskantes, CT’s resident Jester, anti-main character we don’t deserve, and caffeine puritan troll, periodically touches on aspects of this game. A year after Cobie’s piece, his colleagues at Zee Prime Capital wrote about another aspect of the game. They posit an alternate thesis to Joel Monegro’s 2016 ‘Fat Protocols’ thesis (majority of value created is captured by protocols, not apps) called the Fat App (FAPP) thesis which hypothesizes: Most value accrues to an app (or a few apps) that provides a broad range of products. As they expand upon their thesis, ‘The Fappening’ describes blockchains as more akin to medieval religions than modern metropolitan cities.
A little bera history lesson: In 1517, legend has it that Martin Luther nailed a piece of paper containing 95 revolutionary opinions to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, which triggered the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Generally, these 95 opinions challenged the idea that believers should be so reliant on the Catholic Church, but should rather be more independent in following their faith.
Zee Prime sees Ethereum as the medieval Roman Catholic Church. They suggest that applications of today are like precarious medieval towns beholden to the control (and taxation) of the Church. They equate The DAO Hack to the movement towards separation of powers between State and Church. Furthermore, the ETC devs are likened to Martin Luther hammering their ‘code is law’ thesis to the church door. In the olden times, this fracture of the Church weakened its monopoly, progressing society towards the growth of nation states and further separation of powers between State and Church. As a result, so the reasoning goes, the cities and principalities grew more independent and better able to accrue the value they generate for themselves.
While neat for its stated purposes, we feel that this Protestant Revolution comparison does not account for other material conditions and innovations which were happening at the same time, which are more fitting analogies for the coming Berachain Cambrian explosion.
At the time of Luther’s revolutionary actions, there were 85 free imperial cities in Germany alone. These cities had moats of cash liquidity from previous kingdoms, ran with a great deal of autonomy, and embraced and leveraged new technologies (the printing press and the emerging merchant and banking sectors). Indeed this was the era when the Kingdom of Portugal was at its height - being the mercantile centre of the east-meets-west world, buoyed as it was by both financial and literal liquidity.
In medieval times, free mercantile cities brought together financial liquidity from previous kingdoms (contemporary parallel: institutional capital) as well as liquidity from rising merchant trade (contemporary parallel: exogenous apps and protocols - think uniswap, aave, etc). They embraced innovations in boat building, legal organisational structures, and financial technologies enabled by the printing press. Fast forward to today. Which blockchain is best positioning itself to pull in institutional capital, incorporate DeFi protocols, and leverage innovative blockchain technologies? Smokey, Papa, and Dev Bear - with their experiences in TradFi, FAANG, and as DeFi degens - are archetypes of these Free Imperial City merchants of yore, and are poised to build the next metaphorical Kingdom of Portugal.
This sets the stage for a counter thesis to both Joel Monegro’s 2016 ‘Fat Protocols’ thesis (the majority of value created is captured by protocols, not apps) and Zee Primes’ Fat App thesis (Most value accrues to an app (or a few apps) that provides a broad range of products). The Fat BERA Thesis goes something like this: Protocols with endogenous apps (AMMs, perps, stables, borrow/lending) which capture value and share with exogenous protocols, apps, and the cult (other stakeholders) will become prosperous zones of power (aka will be DeFi's deepest and most productive liquidity pools). Or as Smokey says; Ooga Booga for that Sticky Liquidity (Source? We made it up).
In the Fat BERA thesis, the Protocol (or Religion of trade) is shared with the Apps (or cities). Just as these Free Imperial cities rose together as they embraced financial and technological innovation, so shall the apps within the Berachain ecosystem.
Ok so Berachain is medieval Portugal with gud jpegs and a team of bong smoking Canadians (big red flag). But what about the other metanarratives circulating around CT? Deep liquidity, real yield, DeFi Trinity (borrow/lend, stable, swaps), perps, liquid staked derivatives (LSDs), NFTFi fueled by a strong DeFi degen/nft cult, memetic (memecoin/memechain) misunderstanding, shiny L1 rotation play, as well as an irreverent cult. Well, anon, Berachain’s got 'em all. Let's explore the cult facet.
“I’ll play the L1 rotation game, ‘cos I don’t wanna leave money on the table, but I don’t know what most of these copy paste L1s have to offer - they just seem hollow” - Chainlink God on Flywheel pod
The Alt-L1s we’d like to focus on can be broadly broken up into three camps. Copypastas, Ghost L1s, and VC chains. In most of these cases when they first launch they are primarily sites for PvP knife fights between degens (1v1 rust knives only). Once a degen bridges to the chain (which can be hard), there isn't that much to do (mainly copypasta apps and protocols). It’s also the case that there isn’t really much organic community growth because who is truly devoted to a chain without real value. This means there’s going to need to be incentives which are often 0-sum games for the Religion (chain). These incentives will be provided either through distribution of grants or high emissions which often do not lead to anything much other than relentless dumping of the downonly governance tokens and very little organic engagement or traction. You may have noticed that any influencer who built their brand around, say, AVAX is no longer around.
With Berachain, this will not be an issue on either the protocol design side (things to do) nor the organic community side. Let's start with exploring the cult facet first…
Keeping in line with the medieval analogy, we can also summon the multitude of medieval cults as key stakeholders in the power struggles from that period. Cult, which shares the same root as culture (both bacteria and human), was initially used to describe those who glorified a saint, but in modern times has come to refer to ancient or even primitive religious practices (wagmi, gm, henlo, and furthermore, ooga booga, koolaid). So it is now, as it has always been, that new technologies such as the printing press and the printed materials that followed, are fervently propagated through culture by cults (source? we made it up).
There is a CT narrative which sporadically circulates which states that cults fare well during bear markets. The Link marines are the prime example from the last bear market cycle (2018-2020) who managed to find gains where others could only crab or downonly, and whose culture fostered a fervent cult-like following. Typified by frog pfps and memes, ridiculous jokes, spontaneous community events and education, and eliciting strong emotions on either side of the aisle. Another key feature is the very low barrier to entry. Don a Frog PFP and away you go. Henlo? Welcome to the club…
Had you listened to this influenza (even broken clocks are right twice a day) you would have done well this past year. The only jpegs to have done better than bong bears are the milady and pudgy penguin cults (also DeFi adjacent). But how else will these cult dynamics help the Berachain ecosystem beyond jpeg prices melting faces? I’m glad you asked.
In a 1997 essay, and later a book called ‘The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source’, Eric Raymond, a “neo-pagan” with “batshit insane wingnut tendencies'' examined the struggles between top-down and bottom-up design in open source projects. He contrasted two different free software development models; on the one paw there is the Cathedral model, where source code is available upon release but developed by a restricted set of developers. And on the other paw there is the Bazaar model, originated by Linus Torvalds creator of Linux and git, the system which enabled the Bazaar model. The essay's central thesis is that "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" (which he terms Linus's law). Cool history lesson grandpa - but what the fuck does this have to do with Link marines, cults, CT, and Berachain? Glad you asked you lickle shid. For that we need a lil moar early 2000s internet history.
We can apply the studies of Wikipedia in 2006 by Ross Mayfield where he describes the Power Law of Participation as the combination of low barrier engagement and highly technical edge contributions. Dawn Foster applied this framework to studies done by Apache in 2000 which found that 80-90% of submissions came from 0.005% of the community. This concept applies similarly in studies of contributions to GNOME and a multitude of other open source projects. In CT parlance this starts with the “gm, henlo, furthermore, ooga booga, wagmi, copypasta” memes, and works all the way up to smart contract devs, and includes everything in between. Mayfield suggested patterns “have emerged where low threshold participation amounts to collective intelligence and high engagement provides a different form of collaborative intelligence”.
The archetypes here are the gm’s, henlo’s and ooga boogas for low threshold participation and 0xSami_, itsdevbear, ohmzeus, or 0xngmi for high threshold and inversebrah somewhere in between. The theory asserts that these multiple levels of engagement generate two very different forms of intelligence - collective and collaborative - which coexist together to form the essence of a community, or as we prefer to call it on CT: collective mental illness.
What’s the point here? The point is that Berachain already has a metric fuck ton of this compared to most new L1s, and even to many that are already established. Core community members (e.g. itsdevbear, Smokey, etc) foster collaborative intelligence, while the larger community provides the important collective intelligence that contributes in the form of bug reports, ideas, comments, connections, memes and weird magic. The fusion of these types of contributions have historically allowed open source communities to be vibrant, but not prosperous.
Historically these communities, though rabid and devoted, have been vulnerable to corporate enclosures. Do open source development communities truly realize the gains from all their work, or do those contributions only further enrich those within the corporate structure? Decentralized blockchains have the newfound ability to turn this outdated structure on its head, where community vibrancy can now also directly translate into prosperity for those participating. But what the fuck does this have to do with Bazaars and Cults? Thanks for your patience, we’re almost there.
When you apply the effects of the Bazaar and the Power Law of Participation with the context of the memetic lore of the Bong Bears, you get something which Janitooor has previously called Cult as a Service. This is the pattern where cypherpunks write code, busDevs leak alfa to the cult, the cult creates culture, the culture feeds the cypherpunks, which fuels busDevs in a feedback loop of ))<>((.
The key to all of this is the observations of ‘The Cathedral and the Bazaar' and ‘Power Laws of Participation’ which applied perfectly to the state of the internet of the early 2000s can also be applied to the new era of blockchain and web3. A key difference in the new blockchain paradigm is that all participants in the ecosystem can additionally become financial stakeholders in a way that was not previously possible. Where projects and communities have been vulnerable to corporate capture, they now have the means for economic sovereignty.
Let’s apply this effect to our favorite blockchain. By the time Berachain launches (if it ever launches), there will already be a vibrant, organic and prosperous cult(ure) surrounding the project. Every single bera, whether they are participating in the form of henlos or are building novel bera protocols, are financial stakeholders who have much to gain from the success of the chain. Ever engaged in some bera copypasta? Better start believing in Memetic Electronic Computer Money Cults, bud; You're in one.
Beras spread the bera culture that acts as a memetic pipeline into the ecosystem. FUDooors, trubelievers and new edge contributooors all contribute to the buzz. Bear markets are for the BUIDLooors - so the saying goes - but there is no denying that a very large percentage of the beras have fun regardless if it’s a bulla or bera. Indeed, the cult having fun and creating culture through bear or bull markets is a part of the work. When degens arrive to Berachain they will have a whole ecosystem of innovation and sticky liquidity to give them true incentives to stay, contribute, and gain financially, rather than just going through the PvP smash and grab which typifies most L1 rotation cycles.
Arguably Olympus DAO’s key export from the last cycle was the memetic power of the (,) notation, even compared to the actual innovation of Protocol Owned Liquidity, Internal Bonds, and more recently Range Bound Stability. When (,) was replicated far and wide, that was memetics at work for Olympus. The beras are masters of these memetic hieroglyphs (indeed many of them are OG OT Ohmies). Don’t take our word for it, listen to Pavarotti bera Jala or Papa Fisk talking about the power of cults and memes (referencing the Olympus and Chainlink communities) from 33 mins 33 seconds in the inaugural episode of the Yunt Capital podcast: GoodWill Yunting: "What is Olympus DAO?" featuring Fiskantes and JaLa.
Of course, we can’t forget about the (very convincing) argument that regardless of technical merit, CT bids ridiculous shit (APT, FTT, and OP being the flavors of the moment), and retail loves meme coins like the million different yet the same dog coins. Enter a coin called BERA. A coin for a chain with real technical use cases that is built by a team of bears smoking bongs. Can you imagine the smell on CT?
“CT skipped to the cottage for a closer look. She knocked on the door and was disappointed when no one answered. Then it hit her—the most wonderful smell she had ever smelled! “BERA!” CT said dreamily as her stomach rumbled.”
But calling Berachain only a meme with a fanatical cult following would be selling it very, very short. What about the aforementioned metanarratives that CT loves so much? Well anon, Berachain has got it all. Let’s look into all the technical innovations happening within Berachain.
“So many of these rotation plays where we hear about Vitalik chain one week, Vitalik’sMom Chain and then Vitalik’sSchlong Chain the next week where it’s like you’re playing mad libs with protocols. Here’s my uni for xchain and balancer for metis and it’s great to fill voids but we also wanted protocols to have a reason to exist and be a part of sticky liquidity and drive value to their token holders. These situations where gov tokens are just down only and now maybe i’ll turn on this fee switch as part of this real yield narrative, and so many cases… ask not what you can do for your chain, but ask what your chain can do for you.” Smokey on Market Capping: MarketCapping - Interview #4 w/ Berachain Founders
“Berachain's lore is the memetic Trojan Horse behind what will be DeFi's deepest and most productive liquidity pools.” - Smokey
Berachain will be a vibrant L1, which is easy to access from the lucrative Ethereum mainnet. There will be bucket loads of utility from day one, including earning staking yields on your native bluechips (ETH, BTC, USDC, etc) paid out in sticky stables. From a protocols perspective, there will be yield directed to them from the security and block production of the chain itself which will align incentives of protocols, which they can pass on to their users. There are games for retail, protocols and perp funding for the arbooors. There is an AMM and Perps built into the chain itself. We could go on but we’re too stoned. We hope you've had enough of the Bong Water to get the picture and dive deeper into the Bera hole. We could expand on all the technical 0 to 1 innovations happening within Berachain but you should just check out these resources so we’re not spinning the same yarn. Consume all of these and you will have your Mad Honey Moment.
If you would like a picture visualisation of Berachain then scroll to the end of this document.
Bonga Bera 101 - "For all the Beras that came before, Present, and in da Future: Here is our Collective History, Bonga Bera 101".
The Honey Jar is an unofficial community NFT project, which hosts a number of games. The Lore draws influence from the BongBears and the wider Berachain ecosystem. It is built by the beras 4 the beras <3
Technically speaking The Honey Jar is a number of immutable smart contracts, hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, and a website, hosted on the world wide web, which anons can use to interface with the games and contracts.
Find out moar from a post thooon…(Moooom, I got rugged by the bears AGAINNNN)
Lifted from ELI5_DeFi’s thread.