Haste Arcade has been one of the most successful applications on Bitcoin SV so far. This week, Haste co-founder Jo DePinto talked to David Capablanca on the Friendly Bear podcast about Web 3.0, micropayments, and Bitcoin SV.
Introducing Joe DePinto
DePinto gives a little about his background. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and played baseball at the University of Southern California. After college, he got drafted and played in the Chicago White Sox farm system.
While playing there, DePinto met his business partner Dan Wagner, and the pair had their first entrepreneurial idea called Barpay—an app that would allow them to order food and drinks to their hotel rooms anytime.
DePinto’s journey into Bitcoin
It was through developing the Barpay app that DePinto discovered Bitcoin. He learned that it was possible to do near-instant transactions for fractions of a penny, eliminating much of the friction such as fees associated with using credit cards.
Focusing on the app kept DePinto and his partner interested in Bitcoin. They watched it rise from 2015 prices to the peak of $20,000 in 2017. However, they also noticed that the core fundamentals of Bitcoin were being lost, and a new narrative of ‘digital gold‘ was taking over.
As disagreements grew within the Bitcoin community and splits occurred, DePinto says he always supported the Bitcoin with the most utility. Initially, this was Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and then Bitcoin SV (BSV).
The idea for Haste Arcade
Coming to understand Bitcoin’s capabilities eventually led the duo to Haste Arcade. They realized that Bitcoin’s extremely low fees would allow them to build an arcade in which users could spend a penny (or a few), whereas that wouldn’t be possible using the credit card network.
Other features, such as the ability to split a penny “one hundred different ways,” led to unique features like Haste’s signature Instant Leaderboard Payouts, allowing users who finish on the game leaderboard to get a fraction of every penny someone bets when they fail to beat their high score.
“This is what Satoshi was originally talking about…peer-to-peer cash,” DePinto states.
DePinto says they have looked at other blockchains, such as Solana, and while it’s capable of fast transactions with very low fees, the infrastructure doesn’t measure up yet. “We need at least 100 outputs from a single transaction,” he explains, telling us that when they spoke to Solana developers, they could do about 30 outputs per transaction.
What is Web 3.0, according to DePinto?
Capablanca asks DePinto for his view of what Web 3.0 is and what it means. Since his listeners are primarily interested in trading, they may not be familiar with the concept, so he’s keen to hear DePinto’s explanation.
DePinto reminds us that the current model of the internet is one of data harvesting in which the user is the product. In his view, the user should be making money from their data, and Web 3.0 enables that, taking the existing model and flipping it on its head, even allowing the user to be paid to watch ads rather than being automatically subjected to them.
Elaborating on other potential differences with web 3.0, DePinto says pay-per-paragraph scrolling when reading articles online rather than replacing the subscription model could take off and be one of the first real use cases. Micropayments enable this, and right now, they’re just not possible on BTC and Ethereum. “They can’t do micropayments,” he says, telling Capablanca that micropayments are the backbone of Web 3.0.
Capablanca immediately gets the use case, mentioning how many financial traders use Substack subscriptions to give trading tips and other information. He sees how paying for what you read rather than subscribing to a bunch of content that you might not use is a more efficient model.
Where are we now as compared to the internet in 1999?
Capablanca asks DePinto for his thoughts on where Web 3.0 is now compared to the internet in the early days. He wonders if there might be potential use cases we can’t even imagine yet, just as things like booking a flight on a cell phone seemed unimaginable back then.
DePinto says it is still early days, and one of the reasons he and his partner wanted to develop Haste Arcade was to make Bitcoin simple to understand for anyone. He says that the next thing is to help people understand tokens, which he believes will become a huge deal once businesses understand them.
He then explains how the Haste tokens work. They’re distributed daily as a percentage of daily spending and can then be used to claim prizes and discounts, or they can be traded.
“We minted 200 million tokens for a total of 2 cents, and they’re now trading at half a cent,” DePinto says, explaining how he believes businesses could make their loyalty points tradable tokens in the future.
DePinto also believes NFTs will be a huge part of Web 3.0. He doesn’t mean the sort of useless NFTs such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club ones that sell for hundreds of thousands, but rather utility NFTs. He gives the example of baseball jerseys linked to a new game in Haste Arcade; when the user receives the jersey, they’ll also get a digital copy of it in the form of an NFT, and they’ll be able to let their characters wear that jersey within the game.
Using a baseball analogy, Capablanca asks DePinto what inning we’re in concerning blockchain technology. DePinto answers that we’re “bottom of the first, maybe middle of the second inning.” He says it’s still super early, and he reminds us that when the internet launched, people didn’t really understand how to build on it. He thinks blockchain technology is still in that era. He doesn’t think the ‘digital gold’ narrative helps with that, but people are starting to rediscover Bitcoin’s original purpose.
Wrapping up the interview, DePinto tells us that we can try Haste Arcade at hastearcade.com and can currently play it for free.
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