Investigative Report: Crypto x Social Media Platforms

April 12, 2024

In conclusion

A deep dive into crypto culture and audience across social media platforms.

If you’ve ever wondered what the crypto community on social media is like in general or on different platforms, this research article is specially crafted to satisfy your curiosity.

You see, for the average crypto-pilled individual, the routine typically involves two cups of pure black coffee (the choice of brand and brewing method varies depending on one's preferences)or any other caffeinated beverage, followed by a deep yawn and a reflexive eye rub in anticipation of the high-energy, short-wavelength blue light that awaits— from a mobile phone, laptop, or a stylish setup (the specifics of which are determined by the size of the individual’s portfolio).

There are a million articles and content on why this could be a highly dangerous lifestyle to be caught up in. Still, for the yet-to-make-it crypto degenerate, the message of making healthier lifestyle changes is a noisy gospel they will be ready to pay attention to when their portfolio hits “Lambo levels.”  The silent consensus to any routine, on the contrary, is an assumption that you’ve struck retirement money.

However, our focus today lies on the screen they choose to open first or next! What social media platforms do they opt to visit immediately after checking their various wallets or ledgers or upon opening their preferred centralized exchanges (for those who resist the drawbacks of using such platforms) to ensure that their cryptos are still intact, their stablecoin pegged, and the bags they bought hours ago are performing as expected.  Moreover, we seek to examine the general makeup of these platforms and the structure of the crypto communities that reside there.

Within the above scope, we will center our focus on a handful of social media platforms: Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), Reddit, TikTok, and a brief look into SocialFi or crypto-powered social media platforms as well as alternative platforms with a considerable crypto-native congregation.

Crypto on Facebook

Yep, we’re starting with the controversial blue app that made everyone think Zuck was a lizard.

Facebook is the oldest and most widely used among the social media apps we have today. Crypto projects, influencers, and other crypto media stakeholders could easily reach more people if they were to run extensive ad campaigns on Facebook.

And many do. It’s not uncommon to see random sponsored posts or influencer content about a crypto project on Facebook. However, compared to the flood of similar posts that sweep X (formally, Twitter), crypto content on Facebook is a drop of water in an ocean.

Why? The bulk of Facebook’s active users are made up of non-crypto audiences with cumulative age demographics prominently between 25 - 54 years old.

Source: Statista, 2024

Even more, most of the dominant crypto pages on Facebook are for some of the oldest projects like Ethereum, Steller, Litecoin, Ripple, and the like. Projects that don’t quite tickle the fancy of the modern crypto-savvy community who are mainly looking for sexy new coins to 5X, 10X, or even 1000x their portfolio.

The app itself isn’t fully optimized to accommodate crypto content that doesn’t just thrive on “news,” “what’s trending?” and “searchability” but is also ladened with “alphas,” “insights,” “entertainment,” “active project pioneers” etc — just the way crypto degenerates want.

So, while Facebook remains the most widely used social app, crypto-related activities on the app are pretty shallow. Most activities happen in crypto-specific Facebook groups created by protocols, affiliates, or influencers to nurture communities around specific crypto niches. One such group is Crypto, set up by David Brown, an active enthusiast on Facebook. The group has amassed nearly 500k+ members.

But compare that number to what you would call a “high engagement” in the group, and you get the picture. The engagements usually fall significantly below the member count. In my opinion, that’s not a good look.

Anyway, a con of using Facebook as your go-to social media platform to digest crypto content or interact with like-minded people is that you get to see the bullshit in the image above all too frequently. Dan Brown or David Brown, or whatever his actual government name is, is clearly larping with the post. A closer look will reveal that the balance of both tokens remains unchanged, and yet he’s somehow made $430ksssss and would surely want to show you how to do the same. We’re sure of one thing, though: he needs more lessons in photo editing.

But hey! You get the picture. Facebook might be the most buzzy social media platform, but it has a lot of downsides when it comes to crypto and the crypto community there. We do not recommend it strongly but acknowledge that there is a good deal of active crypto community presence.

Besides, as Gen Z would phrase it, “Facebook is for old people.” Old people don’t like crypto that much. But if you’re looking for some quality stock investment advice, the platform might come in handy.

Crypto on X (formally, Twitter)

If I have to type “formally Twitter” one more time, I’d knock books off my writing desk. So let’s stick to X, ok? (No thanks to you, Elon).

This one’s a no-brainer. X is the go-to platform for crypto enthusiasts to exchange insights on cryptos and budding projects. Renowned figures like Hayden Adams (the brain behind Uniswap) and Ethereum pioneer Vitalik Buterin are two of many thought leaders who actively utilize this social network for self-expression. Notably, Web 3 projects like Dogecoin and Cryptokitties gained immense recognition worldwide, leading to exponential increases in token value, all thanks to X. Since then, it’s customary for every project to take the same route, so much so that we have bots that scrape X feed for new projects even before they reach 100 followers.

This came about due to the app’s unique features, which accommodate crypto projects, content, and culture. Culture-wise, while it’s more common to see everything about the person behind an account on Facebook, the case is quite different on X. The crypto section of X (commonly known as CT) has a deeply entrenched anon culture, with even the most sophisticated of persons hiding behind waifus, NFTs, anime characters, or just abstract display pictures. Some accounts go the length to adopt the personality of their display pictures, even in their tweets (*Ahem* *Ahem* CL207). Crypto culture on X is pretty interesting; one day, you’re scrolling on the timeline, and another, you’re getting airdropped six figures by an account cosplaying as a cat (study JUP airdrop).

Any attempt to unravel the person behind an account against their will is often frowned upon (except you are ZachXBT, the crypto Twitter version of Sherlock Holmes) — in fact, the act has a name for it: “doxxing.” One popular anonymous account, The DeFi Edge, tweeted the reasons why he has decided for the account to remain anonymous and why he would “semi-doxx” himself down the line. And you can trust that he’s one in a million other enthusiasts on X that go by the same code of conduct.

 See post

The behemoth that is CT culture doesn’t end there: there are insider languages or slangs such as GM, GN, copypasta, study, HFSP, reeee, etc.; likewise, cliques; and in CT terms —the larps, the based, and the quants.

The larp is a term used to describe a person or an account in the crypto X community that feigns knowledgeability in the intricacies of the space, whereas they’re really bottom-feeders. This term is a clear example of an extractive nerd culture that’s made its way into CT culture.

The next is the Based: folks that have a history of being right in their predictions throw in a little generosity there, some ballsy renowned gesture, a deep network, and some bit of uprightness. For an account to be known as based, they’ve to have a place in CT lore, playing a role that etch in the memories of CT participants.

Nonetheless, while the exploration of the depths of CT culture will make for a good thesis someday, there are many parts to why X is popular amongst crypto enthusiasts. For example, threads are useful for finding topics everyone is talking about the most on the app. Crypto degenerates use that to find projects likely to perform well and jump on the wagon early.

X’s short-form content style works well for spilling out ideas quickly and consuming them faster – a feature that serves as a cost-effective solution for crypto projects to initiate project social activity, offering daily engagement without the need for lengthy content creation.

But the juice doesn’t stop at the 280-character writing style. X’s hashtag power still remains unmatched, serving as a focal point for users seeking information. These days, projects are socially engineered to create interest in their products by incentivizing mentions, hashtags, and strings— an act that can come off as very tacky and a bootlegged marketing ploy. Also, streaming now works on X, allowing crypto projects and degens to host live video content and bond closer with their communities.

There’s also ‘X Spaces’ for hosting live audio talk shows, which are widely used by crypto communities for niche-specific discussions or by projects for AMAs (Ask me anything sessions). A new article tab allows users to write and share long-form content like Facebook but with the unique ability to hyperlink texts. X equally has an API that displays real-time prices of crypto assets.

Projects looking to hire crypto-savvy employees can now easily do so on X using ‘X Jobs’, a hiring feature. In effect, X Jobs incentivizes crypto natives seeking employment or collaborations in crypto fields to contribute to crypto content on X as a show of expertise. As a result, you will find a ton of blockchain and DeFi devs, founders, and VCs hanging out on X than any other social app.

With such diverse features underpinning the long-standing presence of crypto activities, X facilitates enduring partnerships between crypto stakeholders, enabling the execution of comprehensive PR strategies for projects.

Crypto on Instagram

Twitter may be home to all things crypto, but Instagram thrives at video-based crypto content, particularly those targeted at educating the public. Although you can always find videos or photos of some bro flexing his 100Xed crypto bags, standing beside a colorful Lambo, and holding an LV Distinct PM Messanger bag every now and then.

This is because the bulk of crypto content on Instagram comes from crypto course marketers, traders, influencers, and theme pages.

Instagram photo, video, and reel features also allow for quality, aesthetics-laddened media content, which captures and retains attention. As a result, Instagram lends itself to crypto newbies, most of whom get sold on the ‘Lambo lifestyle’ and a smaller percentage genuinely interested in their first blockchain projects.

Projects leverage Instagram’s videos and reels to promote, aided by hashtags, which are the currency of discoverability on Instagram. They can host AMAs using Instagram Live and use the tag feature to seek collaborative posts with influencers within the app.

Instagram community feature, though it’s been around for years now, is hardly utilized by crypto projects or influencers, given that the platform’s audience is more interested in engaging in visually interesting activities than group discussions or events. But hey! That’s a gold mine for anyone who can take advantage of it.

However, certain NFT projects have successfully built an Instagram presence by delivering content ideally tailored to the platform. An example is the Pudgy Penguin page with 1.3 million followers, sharing relatable content with impressive consistent engagement.

We are not entirely caught off guard by the growth of the Pudgy Penguins as we are conversant with the vision of Luca Netz for these extremely cute collectibles, thanks to our sit-down with Luca last year.  

Another NFT project flourishing on Instagram is the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which has come a long way from being one of the OG NFT collections to being a status symbol. The project, despite its recent shortcomings, still maintains a quality Instagram presence with 558k followers at the time of writing.

We are poised to think that the features that Instagram provides are better suited to specific crypto projects and a type of user. Instagram has a tendency to support more superficial content that might not tell the true story of how things are and will likely be adverse to those who are deep in the trenches of crypto searching.

Nonetheless, it’s a great way to show legitimacy for projects and a great tool for those who intend to show off the lifestyle that crypto’s fortune can provide for them.

Crypto on TikTok

If you enter “crypto” on your TikTok’s search engine and hit enter, your screen will fill up with a flood of shorts with thousands (and sometimes millions) of views. If you scroll down and keep scrolling, they will keep popping up, seemingly endless.

Wow. Look at all those views!

Bottomline: Crypto is very much alive on TikTok.

Similar to Instagram, TikTok supports video-based crypto content. However, its signature 1-minute long video format, called shorts, appeals to younger audiences with shorter attention spans and makes it possible for a user to view huge amounts of content at a time. In effect, crypto content on TikTok is kept short and lightweight, heavily devoid of the technicality and culture you’ll find on X or the depth of educational value you will find on Instagram.

TikTok has features that could support crypto projects’ promotions and degens wishes, such as the LIVE function, explore (for finding trending videos), hashtags for discoverability, and search. However, it falls short of what’s required to build a real community around a project, and it is sort of late in adopting the culture. The short-form content also makes it difficult for technical crypto projects to fully pass their message in a short ad that might get sandwiched within a myriad of more interesting content.

Also, combing through TikTok for an account of a known crypto leader like CZ or Vitalik would probably leave you empty-handed. Their absence ripples across key crypto stakeholders — VCs and reputable subject matter experts — the majority of whom don’t also have TikTok accounts.

All these shortcomings make TikTok unattractive for crypto projects despite the high attention to crypto-related content. Another thing worthy of mention when it comes to crypto content on TikTok is that it has a very sticky algorithm. Once you binge two or more crypto contents on your “FYP” (for your page), you’re airdropped right into an abyss of relative content that you cannot entirely control: you’re either in the algorithm or completely out of it. You can decide to curate your feed by following a few good crypto content creators, and the result is the same! Your FYP remains invaded.

However, this can be a good thing! I recently took a trip down the crypto abyss on TikTok and was surprised at the amount of “memecoin” testimony content I stumbled upon. The contents are tailored to be captivating and have the tendency to sell dreams to first-timers. But the comments are another thing to take note of. While some people showed interest according to their comments, some are still stuck in the “crypto is a scam” phase or mindset, and others had complaints about their experience with memecoins.

Examples of comments that are prevalent on TikTok posts.

Also, TikTok has a lot of potential, especially in crypto education. You might have once heard that most GEN Z and even more Gen X folks are dumping Google for the TikTok search bar! If you don’t believe me, check out this article by the New York Times.

The opportunity here is that we are likely to get more younger people who rely on TikTok than any other video-based platform to learn how to navigate crypto dApps and tools or take advantage of the blockchain. TikTok is also built to help foster this with coordinated suggestions that link to a behemoth of videos and more content dependent on the relativity of the initial search.

For example, a simple search for memecoin activity on TikTok led me to a link that served content on how to navigate or use Dexscreener and a tutorial on Solana memecoins.

I have no doubt that in a raging bull market, TikTok might have its moment, and specific influencers will hugely benefit from the opportunities that come forth. Hopefully, Normies don’t get caught up in so much euphoric content that leaves them burned.  

My Good Ol’ friend, Reddit

If you’re not familiar with Reddit’s ecosystem, you might find it weird upon landing. But don’t let that fool you; crypto thrives on Reddit, as evident in the thousands of subreddits (forums and communities on Reddit) dedicated to cryptocurrencies and blockchain discussions.

In fact, it’s a featured topic on Reddit’s topic menu, giving you direct access to dive into the many subreddits dissecting everything crypto, from memes and real-time events to projects and trading.

One such subreddit is r/Cryptocurreny, which contains 7.8m members, gets daily posts and has decent member engagement. The photo below shows a recent post from a member of r/CryptoCurrency, showing that Reddit’s crypto community is as current with crypto news as X.

While the most discussed projects on Reddit are still solid, older crypto projects like Cardano, Ethereum, and Bitcoin, you will find newer projects alive in some sections of Reddit. Anon culture is huge on Reddit, spreading widely from individual anonymous accounts to entire subreddits filled with members behind masks.

Feature-wise, Reddit’s forums and blogging capabilities make it an excellent tool for building crypto communities.  It ends with crypto projects looking to add external blogging (away from their main blog platform) to their PR strategy. It also serves as a haven for degens to huddle up and an information trove for normies. However, it lacks features like hashtags, @tags, live, audio, and more compared to X.

A major drawback for Reddit is the near absence of subject-matter authority. Anyone can create a subreddit, and it will attract people who share similar interests. It’s hard to tell who an authority is on the platform as indicators like numbers of followers or verified accounts don’t apply here. But to some, this seems a good thing.

Warpcast by Farcaster

Imagine stumbling upon a social platform that echoes the whispers of decentralization. Yep, that’s what Warpcast is. This new fish in the vast sea of crypto-native social networking apps is undoubtedly promising. Warpcast is built on the Farcaster protocol, a “sufficiently decentralized” social network built on Ethereum.

Farcaster functions like a social network, similar to Twitter and Reddit, in that users can create profiles like we do on X, share "casts” (similar to tweeting), and connect with others.

The cool thing, however, is that, unlike centralized platforms like Twitter and the likes, users have control over their accounts and connections, and they're free to switch between different platforms.

Warpcast is a Farcaster client turbocharging niche crypto communities using technical solutions that are best suited for these communities to thrive. Picture it like X but on steroids!

If you’re on X, then you’re aware that there’s been a lot of noise lately about this Warpcast and Farcaster thing. However, to get a better idea of how this crypto native social platform works, we interviewed a user [Redacted] to fully grasp what the fuss is about.


blocmate: How did you get on Warpcast?

User: I shot “@dwr” a DM on Twitter on the 18th of November, 2022, after I found out about the platform and took interest in it, and he replied in January 2023 with an invite link.

blocmate: How do you view the platform in terms of usability?

User: I think it is one of the best social media platforms out there regarding usability. Effort is made daily to increase usability, from channels to their latest tech– frames.

blocmate: What are some features that stand out?

User: Frames, channels that help funnel content, and a power user mark that helps filter real accounts and significant accounts from bots.

blocmate: Would you say this filtering technique is better than the bot prevention mechanisms on Twitter?

User: Yes, there is even a badge for top casters in a channel. You can easily find posts that are from real people/users.

blocmate: How does the frames feature work, and what is it all about?

User: Frames work like a bot that carries out instructions given to it—however, let me talk about the crypto use

blocmate: Go ahead

User:  For crypto use, we have several smart contracts built into the frames that can be activated with a click.

What makes it unique is that it is built into the feed, so you can do a lot by just clicking a button on your feed.

From minting NFTs to claiming airdrops to even sending crypto to other wallets.

blocmate: Do you see a future where all of CT moves to warpcast and CT becomes scanty?

User: The migration is happening already - “Why did he leave?” :). I don’t think CT will be scanty tho, I feel it will be people using Warpcast more because of how easy it is to do crypto there.

blocmate: Thank you for your time.

For additional context to what “Frames” are, here’s a short primer by this X user, Varun.

The sentiments on Farcaster are a lot more positive than those of other crypto-native social media platforms such as Lens and a host of others who have failed to maintain the momentum consistently over time.

Below, we can see another user confessing that they’re leaning towards Warpcast rather than Twitter, which is perceived as the de-facto social media platform for crypto enthusiasts.

Another interesting thing about Farcaster is that projects are also gearing up to use it as their primary social platform. An example can be seen in the tweet below by Rainbow, one of Crypto’s main non-custodial wallet providers.

Other platforms where crypto lives

Besides platforms developed for social networking and media, other platforms exist that are quite popular with crypto users and projects. These platforms may not be tailored to accumulate friends or disperse information to an unlimited number of individuals as is customary with social media platforms. Still, they serve a plethora of purposes that are beneficial to the everyday crypto user.

Medium: One can argue that Medium isn’t a social media platform, but it stands correctly. In any case, the platform is the preferred blogging site for many projects. Typically, projects redirect their followers from Twitter and other social networks to explain the technical aspects of their solutions. Also, thought leaders are fond of scribbling their thesis on the platform, sharing important insights that help their audience.

Telegram: Packed with tons of rich features for building closed communities, Telegram is one of the two most popular community bases for projects — the second being Discord. It’s home to thousands of channels dedicated to crypto-relative topics. Because of its closed community feature, Telegram provides project marketers a place to mobilize their audience to fulfill certain conditions for the project in return for coveted access. It’s also where some projects present their ICOs and IPOs and share firsthand project updates.

There’s also a silent consensus among crypto participants that privy information is more fluid on Telegram. By the time it gets to Twitter, it’s stale information that might not be as lucrative as it should've been.

Telegram channels help key opinion leaders in crypto to build communities that benefit from the information that they have to share.

Discord: The wide, wild west of the crypto world resides in Discord. This is because its unique features and usability primarily appeal to tech and gaming geeks— the same people who happen to be frontiers in crypto.

Like Telegram, Discord’s closed community feature makes it ripe for sharing insider information, project updates, AMAs, and other community-first/specific activities crypto projects perform.

Concluding thoughts

Social media has been, and still is, instrumental in the rise and adoption of cryptocurrency.

Today, every social network has its share of crypto content, and audiences that rely on them for their doses of crypto dopamine — be it the “Lambo-dreaming” degens sniffing for diamond projects and praying for pumps on their bags or normies wetting their feet in crypto.

Crypto is an internet-native industry. Blockchains live solely on the internet, the protocols build on top of these blockchains, and industry participants can be from any part of the world interacting with this technology through a phone or laptop. It only makes sense that social media is this industry's town hall.

For now, X remains the number one social network for all things crypto. But we wouldn’t be surprised if crypto-native platforms replace it in the very near future.

At the end of the day, the goal is to have everything on decentralized rails, so if the industry’s stream of information is on censorship-heavy platforms, what good does that do?

Expect exciting developments in the near future.

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