Newsletter: Creator Revenue + Forks Are Good

This week we’re covering: Nouns Fork Outcome, Creator Revenue, Capitalism Unchained, And More...

By Forefront - Sep 18, 2023

Happy Monday!!

Welcome to edition 158th edition of the Forefront Newsletter. If you’re new here, we give you a weekly roundup of the best news and insights at the intersection of crypto, culture, and community.

This week we’re covering:

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Week’s Highlight

It's official -- Nouns DAO has completed a successful fork.

472 Nouns (56%) have officially left the original DAO, resulting in a forked treasury of 16,756 ETH ($27.4m). Soon after the fork completed, forked Nouners began to ragequit completely. The current forked treasury sits at 7741.25 ETH, meaning over half of forked Nouners decided to cash out their tokens for their share of the treasury.

Meanwhile, OG Nouners who elected not to fork are calling this "Season 3" of Nouns DAO, an opportunity to lean into the crypto-native nature of the Nouns experiment and really explore what "capturing meme-value" looks like for an internet-native organization. The energy is palpable.

Jacob from ZORA wrote a piece exploring the Nouns Fork through a variety of lenses. His conclusion? Forks are good. 

One key aspect of the Nouns Fork -- in contrast to the Ethereum fork, for example -- is that Nouners had to choose which fork to be a part of. They were not handed "New Nouns" in addition to their originals, but chose whether to be a part of the original DAO or the forked DAO, a major decision given the money on the line.

Additionally, the Nouns art is in the public domain, so there is no traditional IP rights or ownership in the offchain world. This means that both DAOs have as much ownership of the meme as each other, which on paper is none. This hasn't stopped members of the Forked DAO from claiming that their DAO should be the canonical Nouns DAO, and that the ecosystem should embrace them as such.

Jacob's piece touches on some other aspects of the fork including arbitrage, subDAOs, political parties, and more. Definitely worth the read.

Take Note. The Nouns Fork is one of the most exciting developments in crypto today. By no means is the Fork a sign that DAOs are not working. Forks are good, and the Nouns experiment will continue onward stronger and more interesting than ever.

What's Poppin'

Live Moments on Signal Speaking of the Nouns Fork, Forefront used this event to launch a new Signal feature: Live Moments. Now, every "major event" of interest to the Forefront Community will receive a Live Moment on the Signal homepage. Here, holders of curated NFTs relevant to the moment (e.g. Forked Nouns or open "Live Moment" editions) will be able to "collect the moment" and join a live, onchain chat of folks also interested in discussing the moment. In this way, Live Moments are temporary social spaces defined by folks who have expressed interest in a particular event onchain. We'll continue to experiment with this format, stay tuned!

The Evolution of Onchain Creator Revenue Seth Bloomberg of Messari observed that onchain creator revenue has evolved from direct royalties to a variety of new experimental modes, including protocol rewards, mint shares, volume shares, and more. Through this lens, its becoming increasingly clear that NFTs can still act as critical objects in the creator empowerment movement without being focused on royalties -- programmable objects are very flexible. Members of the ecosystem are taking note, with investors like Jesse Walden of Variant putting out a call for new creator revenue models using NFTs. The most exciting experiment with these models, of course, is, simply because "% of trading volume" has never been tried as a creator revenue model before.

Erik Voorhees "Why are we here?" Speech at Permissionless Regardless of your politics, this speech from crypto OG Erik Voorhees will be sure to give you goosebumps. The speech outlines some of the political and social beliefs that necessitated the creation of Bitcoin, and later Ethereum, and why crypto continues to be and important political technology both in the US and abroad. With many folks coming into the ecosystem through non-political avenues, it is a critical reminder of the roots of the crypto political landscape and how that has evolved over time. While those libertarian roots may not align with even the majority of onchain participants today, understanding the past will give us a better grasp on building the future we want to see.

Capitalism Onchained Packy came with a banger this week: "Crypto's ideal state is to make capitalism more effective." The piece outlines why he believes capitalism is good, why it is inevitably evolving, and how crypto plays a critical role in the next evolution. Digital property rights uniquely guaranteed by blockchains have the potential to increase entrepreneurial activity online in the same way physical property rights do offline. Second, crypto can create global free markets based on supply and demand more easily than any other technology or platform to date, even for things that don't exist. This is a must-read piece for anyone building in crypto, especially after listening to Erik's speech, to better understand the various political/economic battles happening behind the technology.

Follow the Users Since launching to mainnet in early August, Base has seen almost 1,200,000 wallets onboard to the chain, and about half a billion dollars in tokens bridged. By mapping each featured mint of Onchain Summer to an onchain action, the Spindl team permissionlessly measured the efficacy of the growth campaign. Spindl data shows that anotherblock and FWB were the biggest drivers of Base adoption. There will clearly be a role for third-party publishers to permissionlessly (and gainfully) onboard new users onchain. Right now however, with the possible exception of quests, the onchain ecosystem has a serious 'publisher problem'. Even projects with marketing budget have little (if any) onchain paid media they can buy to drive growth. This is a fascinating case study in onchain business and attribution.

Mainstream headlines this week…

FTX... again?Judge approves order allowing FTX to resume selling crypto.

Stoner Cats.Stoner Cats founders sued for selling unregistered securities.

Deutsche Bank. DB will begin holding crypto for institutional clients.

Inbox Signal TL;DR

The ninth edition of Inbox Signal just went out to Forefront Members this weekend. Here's a taste of the stories:

Forefront Members get full access to Signal -- our daily curated feed on consumer and creator crypto -- every day. You can become a Forefront Member by minting a 2023 Annual Pass here.

For the Culture

horse runs fast

The information in this newsletter is not intended to constitute legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied upon as such. Any opinions reflected are the opinion of the author(s) of the newsletter only and not necessarily of Forefront. Please DYOR.

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