Why Every App Should Be a Web3 App (and Why Every Dad Should Listen To His Son)

Published 13/05/2024
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From the very beginning I built the new app to take advantage of our proprietary, web3 technology, and Tony is convinced that we should ditch it and remove everything “blockchain”.
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This morning, Tony and I had a spat.

It’s been brewing for a bit - we’re both strong willed and have a tendency to “know” when we’re in the right, and this morning it boiled over a bit.

It all happened over slack - and the CAPS lock key was involved.

In the end, it left me with a sour taste in my mouth. This blog post is my attempt to smooth things over while explaining WHY I think we should do things my way.

So, what happened?

Well, we’re currently working to launch a new app, dedicated to resolving a critical problem for a very niche audience - options traders.

While I’ve built all of the core functionality, Tony is the one who brings things to life by making them look and feel totally top-of-class. In this sense, we compliment each other really well.

He, however, has a very pragmatic “solve the problem and move on” attitude. I take, in my opinion, a more strategic, longer range vision of how it should be built.

So, what the heck happened?

From the very beginning I built the new app to take advantage of our proprietary, web3 technology, and Tony is convinced that we should ditch it and remove everything “blockchain” from the app.



To be honest, I’m not totally sure.

Options traders are a pretty savvy bunch, and I don’t think the idea of blockchain is going scare any of them off. But it is true that our web3 technology adds in a certain amount of complexity.

Users need a valid Deso profile.

Also, they need to be able to manage that Deso account from within the app in a reasonable manner.

And it does require that we “play nice” to respect the needs of existing Deso users who might want to try out the application.

All of this got me thinking…

I don’t want Tony to abandon the project, or feel like I’ve ignored his input, but I also don’t want to radically change course - at least not without thoroughly explaining myself.

So, here we go…

Here’s why EVERY app should be a web3 app!


In today’s world, every app is a community.

It doesn’t matter what your app does, in order to succeed, you absolutely must cultivate a sense of belonging to a tribe.

People are fickle.

They sign up for things, try the out and then move on.

Community is the glue that keeps them sticking around.

Our new application is for options traders. It helps record trades and gives the user a clear picture of how much they’re making on each position and whether, or not, its been a good investment.

It also helps promote a strategy that leads to longterm, sustainable, compounding growth.

Yeah, I know its a really specific, niche product.

Inside the application we’ve incorporated an entire Deso-based community function where users can automatically share their trading milestones and shoot the shit about their strategies, ideas and thoughts about the market.

And because its powered by Deso, they can diamond posts they like and follow users they respect. There’s a weekly leaderboard ranked by ROI. And a cool dynamic image function that automatically creates branded share images.

For the moment, that’s all the “web3” this application has.

However, I believe this is important for the longterm success of the application.

If we can get our users hooked on seeing the weekly leaderboard, sharing their successes and engaging with their piers, my belief is that this will cultivate loyalty and lower churn rates.

The fact that all of these social posts are automatically synced across all of the existing Deso nodes and apps thanks to the blockchain is an added SEO bonus that can’t hurt (and it might very well amplify our reach).

But this does come at a price.

Onboarding is a little more complicated and we do need to maintain additional pages for managing Deso keys, and the user’s wallet - for example.

Tony believes that if the app solves the trader’s tracking problem well, everything else is just a distraction and confusion.

This is a question that many of our Ratio clients will have to make.

Are the tradeoffs worth the benefits?

But to make a better decision, I believe we also need to think about the future.

Rewards & Spreading the Love

One of the core tenets of the web3 philosophy is allowing users to benefit alongside the platforms that they use.

Unlike Google, Facebook, Medium and the rest of the “big boys” - web3 platforms preach about democratizing content creation and sharing the wealth among users.

But how would this work on a little niche application like the ours?

Well, first of all, almost any application can benefit from having a system that identifies “super users” and rewards them for spreading the word.

After all, options traders likely know other options traders.

How would this work?

Well, it could be a referral program. Or it could be a loyalty program. Or it could be something all together different.

For example, what if we were to put a certain percentage of our income into a special trading account and then shared the earnings from that account with our best users?

It’s not something we’re going to do today, but it might be a cool idea, no?

And an app-specific token would be a great way to actually identify who those super-users really are.

For example, we could send free tokens for every community post, for every monthly payment and for every external share.

And then we could proportionally split the earnings based on the number of tokens held in the users’ wallet!


Yeah, I know, aren’t NFTs yesterday’s news?

Well, probably the feverish, gold rush days of collecting overpriced, jpegs and reselling them on the open market are gone and likely not going to come back. (Thank the Lord!)

That doesn’t, however, mean that the idea of using NFTs in your application can’t be an interesting proposition.

If we think about NFTs like digital certificates, all sorts of ideas can flourish.

What if users could use their app-specific tokens to buy cool NFTs right on the app? What if those NFTs could be exchanged for t-shirts or access to premium content?

What if they could be showcased like badges of honor to distinguish the best traders or highest earners?

It might not be a core functionality of every application, but having the ability to quickly and easily incorporate NFTs into the application could definitely encourage users to spend more time in the app.


Staking is a concept that most application builders fail to understand.

Staking a token is when the user deposits a number of tokens in exchange for access to a product or feature. Later, when they no longer need the feature, they can unstake the tokens and use them for something else.

Why is this powerful?

Because it allow the application builder to add in a certain amount of friction (which weeds out tire kickers) without requiring the user to make a credit card purchase.

For example, in our application we could ask users to stake a certain number of an app-specific token in exchange for receiving a weekly list of recommended trades.

To get onto the distribution list they would stake X number of tokens, and if they later decide they don’t want to continue they would get their tokens back!

Why would this make good business sense?

To make this possible, there would probably need to be a way for users to purchase tokens.

These tokens, don’t however, have any significant cost to the application creator. This means that when they return the tokens, they aren’t taking a hit to their bottom line.

Obviously, tokens need to be useful in more ways - otherwise we’re just disguising dollars as tokens.

But if there are multiple ways to use the tokens (NFTs, loyalty rewards, premium content…) then they can become a powerful tool for driving engagement and promoting loyalty.


So, here we are.

Am I stubborn, delusional dreamer who’s drunk too much of his own koolaid?


However, whenever I wrote “Behold the Cryptopreneurs” and started Ratio, my vision was to help founders bring to life realworld applications that harness the power of the blockchain in innovative and useful ways.

Have we conquered the world yet?

Definitely not.

Is the vision still alive?

For me, yes it is.

Obviously, I totally understand Tony’s point of view.

As his father, its my duty to listen and value his point of view. I know he only wants the app to succeed and I am aware that we can still make progress improving things so that our users are well served.

We definitely need to keep the application clean and focused on the core needs of our options traders. It has to accurately track their trades and make their trading easier and more profitable.

But I also believe that it can foster community and make participating in a community of like-minded traders fun and engaging.

I’ve already started making progress on reducing some of the tradeoffs and hopefully Tony will at least read this and give his old man a chance at making his point!

If not, I can always hit the CAPS LOCK and start shouting!

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About The Author

Dennis Lewis, co-founder of Ratio.dev, is a leading expert in building cutting-edge web applications using no-code platforms like Bubble.io. He and his team have extensive experience building general business, web3 and social media applications.

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