Understanding $BONSAI, the token of choice for NFT mints on Lens!
May 7, 20243 min read

One thing I look out for lately is where NFTs intersect with memecoins and crypto social scenes.

For example, minting NFTs with $DEGEN in the /degen channel of Farcaster's leading app, Warpcast, or $ENJOY being distributed in comments on Zora mints, and so forth.

That said, Lens is another crypto social protocol in the same general ballpark as Farcaster, and it has its own rising scene of apps, like Hey, Orb, T2, and Yup.

A common denominator among these Lens apps right now? Their communities' memecoin of choice is currently $BONSAI.

$BONSAI is an ERC-20 and ERC-721 hybrid (100k $BONSAI = 1 BONSAI NFT) on Polygon built by Carlos Beltran of MadFi per the DN-404 approach. Its first airdrop wave went out to active Lens users in March 2024, with further waves planned over the coming months.

Since this launch, $BONSAI has rapidly become a centerpiece in demonstrating the Lens protocol's programmable potential.

For instance, Lens handles profiles as NFTs, and through these users can interact on Lens apps with Open Actions—think programmable interactions, like collecting posts, minting NFTs, or tipping, all directly in-feed.

As such, $BONSAI can be used to pay for any Open Action on any Lens app, and in fact, it has become the most popular form of payments in the Lens ecosystem to date, opening a new monetization avenue for creators adventuring through the crypto social scene right now.

Just from scanning around, I've seen $BONSAI used to make in-app purchases for everything ranging from 1/1 music NFTs to an actual IRL car.

It makes sense to dabble here right now if you're interested, as this Dune dashboard by Sealaunch shows that creators who have tried monetizing at least once have earned +$200 on average over the past 30 days and are on pace for +$2.6k annually. Not bad!

If you're not sure where to start, my former colleague María Paula recently wrote an excellent guide, Learning How to Monetize Sustainably, that walks through how to smartly approach releasing your content for $BONSAI on the Orb Social app. She recommends...

via María Paula

I don't think you approach $BONSAI as a pure investment here. It's not a basic buy and hold per se, but rather it's an inway to the Lens social scene and a monetization avenue, e.g. via dropping content like NFTs for $BONSAI, distributions from Lens apps like Orb, and future airdrop waves.

That said, though, the current market cap of $BONSAI is only $6M compared to the $244M of $DEGEN, which makes the latter more than 40x bigger right now. Yet is $DEGEN 40x more interesting, fundamentally speaking?

If $BONSAI can even reach half the market cap that $DEGEN enjoys today, then its current $0.02 price will 20x to $0.4. And with the Lens culture scene on the rise and with apps like Hey and Orb catching steam, I don't think gaining ground like this is out of the realm of possibility.

Of course, with any memecoin, there's high risk / high reward potential. Their values can surge and sink in short order, 'round and 'round, or fade away. However, most memecoins aren't buoyed by multiple active and passionate user bases, and that's why I think $BONSAI has favorable tailwinds, particularly for the foreseeable future.

Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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