Ironing out the Facts: Joe Lubin and Jimmy Song’s dApp Bet


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Ethereum and ConsenSys co-founder Joe Lubin’s bet with Bitcoin educator Jimmy Song’s bet has been subject to widespread debate. Song, a critic of Ethereum and dApps, bet Lubin that Ethereum dApps wouldn’t reach 10,000 daily active users on five different dApps by 2023.

IDEX explains the nuances of the bet and why the determinants set may not be ideal.

Difficulties in Estimating dApp Usage

Presently IDEX is the most used dApp in the world with nearly 60 percent of the DEx market share, recently trumping EtherDelta to claim the crown. This gives them an added degree of credibility when they list the pitfalls of how Song and Lubin have agreed to measure dApp usage.

Lubin agreed to a bet that five unique and unrelated dApps would reach 10,000 daily active users. The biggest obstacle in this bet, however, is finding a reliable measure of daily active users. Song believes there should be an on-chain record of all the transactions, but the final metrics haven’t been thoroughly hashed out yet.

On chain transactions are a problematic measure of dApp usage despite the most prominent dApp rating websites using it as a critical metric for daily active users. Merely accounting for wallets could lead to Sybil attack to prop up activity. Lubin also indicated that not all active users result in on chain activity as they sometimes do not dispatch their transactions.

Layer two scaling solutions like sidechains and Raiden are not considered on chain but would be an integral part of Ethereum too. It is unclear if sidechain transactions will be considered as part of this bet despite their indisputable relevance.

Finally, daily active users don’t work for financial dApps. Somebody who’s taking out a loan on Dharma or a derivative based hedge on dYdX would not be using the network every day. This shouldn’t discount their contribution to the network and the value it provides them.

How this Could Play Out

Based on Ethereum’s current growth rate and scalability, Lubin would most likely lose the bet. However, if off chain transactions count, it is possible that one or two of these may have already breached 10,000 daily users, including IDEX.

If Ethereum can roll out sharding and Plasma as per its Spring roadmap, the scalability constraints would be significantly lifted. Couple this with a rise in Ethereum’s DeFi and the rising NFT craze and The ConsensYs chief has a good chance of bagging the bet.

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