Unlocking the Token Ownership Economy
This is a guest post featuring David Tomu, co-founder of MintGate (Former DFAME) in a FF exclusive
By David Tomu - Jan 12, 2021
Questions around the legitimacy and value of tokens has been a hot topic since the ICO boom in 2017. Can token backed networks generate long-term revenue or are they just speculative assets that thrive off the greater fool theory?
As the latest wave of protocols try to prove the value of tokens, a new token asset class has generated a new wave of debate. Social tokens have reignited the speculative versus value debate at even the most ardent token bulls.
Social crypto is the broad category of projects that represent social capital in token form. These tokens range from collectibles NFTs to fungible tokens that represent ownership in a community, fanclub or DAO.
In this emerging space, we see tokens being used to raise capital, to incentivize fans or members, and to give stakeholders a voice.
Together token based features enable motivated fans to go from simply consuming content to becoming a part of the whole product creation, promotion and monetization process. Their efforts aligned with the creator and other community members through token-based rewards.
Today, most of the value associated with social tokens is speculative. The question we, and others active in the social tokens space are exploring is, how do we use tokens to generate long term value.
As the social token space grows, our bet is that the value of a token will be directly related to the utility it enables. What can I do with your token? Can I redeem it for goods or services, like I can with dollars? Can I expect a percentage of your total revenue, like dividends when I hold stocks? Does holding your token allow me to provide work that creates value in some other way?
While most social tokens offer very limited utility at this time, for this space to mature, social tokens need infrastructure in order to provide them with instant and user friendly usability.
That's how DFAME started, now rebranded as MintGate, a platform for building tools to empower the creator economy. Our vision is to reinvent value creation by giving creators an easy way to monetize their content with social tokens. We turn any online content into exclusive rewards.
MintGate is a platform designed to make token protecting content easier and accessible to anyone.
We developed our first tool to do exactly that, we call it Token Protected Pages. TPP allows anyone to token gate digital content from anywhere.
This means if someone wants access to your blog, article, design board, video, album, website, or software they need to hold your social token or any other ERC-20, NFT or multi-asset token you specify.
For non-crypto users who wish to token-gate their content, we enable them to create a social token by linking a Twitter account, and award their community by granting members and fans access to their exclusive content.
Another project leading the way in creating a tokenized access to chat rooms as Discord and Telegram, is Collab.Land.
Creators can easily turn content from any platform into exclusive rewards for their communities. There are at least two advantages to this type of content:
Status plays a big role. Non-monetary motivations are another important factor for people's behaviour. They love to be a part of something special. It's the feeling of prestige being recognized for their engagement in a social community, with similar values. Communities like KarmaDAO are a very good example of this.
Scarcity leads to demand. A casual fan will consume all the free content, but an avid fan is who really supports the creator's work. This is the person who can support you now as a creator by owning your token and getting all the benefits of holding it. Within the first month of launch, we saw an increase of 62% in tokens bought so users could access the TPP link shared by creators.
Social tokens have another key benefit for users. They are platform agnostic because they run on the blockchain. This means they work anywhere on the Internet, which frees creators from being restricted to a single platform's monetization scheme. Your token follows you, wherever that may be; not the other way around.
This combined with TPP's token gating ability means you as a creator can continue using all the platforms you love and put a shiny new monetization layer on top. Token holders can continue enjoying what you make, where you make it, without dealing with the technical stuff. They just need to hold your token.
Why spend a token when you can get access to endless possibilities that unlock the benefits of holding that community token.
Social tokens offer real platform freedom for content creators to monetize and market without any restrictions, and by solving the challenge to find market fit and a clear value proposition, we can unlock the full potential of the ownership economy.