5/13/22 Note to Flipside re: Terra

Dave Balter
3 min readMay 14, 2022

Let’s start with Do.

Do Kwon. ‘He’s legendary.’ A term whose meaning has morphed significantly in a matter of days.

Regardless of how you view the happenings this week. I’m an unabashed Do fan. But for one simple reason: the way he does business. He’s uniquely accepting, in the rarest form of assuming positive intent. If you have an ask, he may build, but he doesn’t resist. He leans in. He lives in a state of yes.

Do, how about you delegate to us $10M worth of $LUNA?


Do, here’s a press quote I need approval on.


Do, can you intro me to Natalie?

[here you go]

Do, we need 600,000 MORE $LUNA delegated.

This I offered to him at a small table in the speaker room at Messari Mainnet in NYC in 2021. We gathered there mere hours after he had been served papers by the SEC as he was gliding off the entryway escalator. I was on a mission to lift our delegation; I’d seen him earlier and loitered near a doorway, where he would unassumingly have to pass — I was a gumshoe on the trail. I sprung at the right moment (doing my best to act casual), taken aback as he smothered me in an enveloping hug, even though I’d only chatted with him a few times.

I made note of what was a ‘tough day’, and he just stared calmly — letting me off the hook by offering, simply, nothing. We made small talk about California, travel, family, everything and nothing. I shifted gears, explaining how Flipside was performing, how Terra protocols were begging us for more.

He listened. He offered a brilliant idea: develop a system to track the behaviors of each address on Terra, so that protocols could engage with the right participant in the right way. It was obvious, only when it was made obvious.

600k $LUNA is what we need, ser.

[what’s your validator #] he says, like I know anything of the sort.

I frantically call Jeff Caron. Validator number, I unconsciously bark.

Caron hustles. He always does.

“Hold on hold on, getting it getting it, almost there,” then Caron hits me with it. And, just as I lean in to repeat it to Do, he interrupts me with a raised hand. [all set, it should be in your wallet], he says, pointing carelessly at his phone as if he’d just doordash’d me a Chipotle Pollo Asado Burrito Bowl.

I once witnessed the electricity of a Do speech in NYC. The room was giddy. Do was surrounded by about 150 $LUNAtics: protocol builders, developers, investors. People stood shoulder-to-shoulder for 45 minutes — ironically, in a semi-circle that could only be compared to a slivered moon. Do was proud. He was glowing. He had people eating out of his hand. He was leading.

Do Kwon in NYC 2021 Photo credit Dave Balter

Flipside was Do’s partner, generally because of “yes”. We were eager to make his affirmation worth his confidence. More than 8,100 analysts joined Terra via Flipside — where they delivered 41,156 submissions and received more than $1.26M in bounties. This will forever be a snapshot of Flipside history, preserved in digital wax. When UST depegged and the blockchain began unfolding 96 hours ago, we showed up — we provided critical insight at a time of complete mayhem. His yes, our complete support. We delivered. We should be proud as hell of that.

Let’s be clear: the Terra story isn’t entirely over. Could it survive? Maybe. I’m a believer it won’t, it will just be the beginning of L1 consolidation in the onslaught of a bear market. Whatever it is, it will never be the same.

And yet, Terra is a story of achievement. It proved thousands of unprovable things during its journey. It created lifelong relationships, an alumni cast together in glory and crisis, in an experience no one will forget.

In the most crypto of ways, the entire ecosystem is already evolving.

Some may leave Web3, but the vast majority will not. Teams are already considering new chains to build on; they’re gm roll-calling in telegram channels; they’re rsvp’ing for events at Permissionless and Consensus; memes are forming; strategies for bags are being deployed.

Crypto, it perseveres.

It is relentless.