Social Token Refresh
In the time that’s passed since the 2020 Social Token Year in Review, what was once a nascent sector has become a hotbed for the industry’s most creative minds to explore the intersection of financial and social capital.
By Cooper Turley - Jul 16, 2021
A Coopah x ForeFront Collab.
Social tokens. Community tokens. Creator coins. DAOs.
The terms you hear every day have evolved into a movement with no signs of slowing down.
In the time that's passed since the 2020 Social Token Year in Review, what was once a nascent sector has become a hotbed for the industry's most creative minds to explore the intersection of financial and social capital.
Social tokens are digital assets backed by the reputation of a brand, individual or community.— Coopahtroopa 🔥_🔥 (@Cooopahtroopa) December 28, 2020
Enjoy this 2020 Year in Review report as we highlight the projects, tools and professionals driving the sector forward.
A @forefront__ x @seedclubhq collab 🔽https://t.co/4RfPQVKkbK
In this refresh, we'll provide a snapshot of what's transpired alongside insights, analysis and predictions for what's to come.
Buckle up - we're going to cover a lot, fast.
Social Token Refresh
Three key themes to recap 2021 in social tokens thus far.
Seasons are a fixed time interval for a community to identify and reward active contributors. It often involves a pre-defined threshold of tokens or social status required to access a Season, and revolves around one core theme.
Credit to Simon de la Rouviere, many social token communities are playing around with the idea of seasons including Friends with Benefits, Forefront, Gitcoin and Bankless DAO.
In March, the social token community underwent its biggest growing pain to date following an exploit of Roll - a social token issuer. Many of the more well known tokens suffered a liquidity crisis when one rogue actor sold ~$5.7M tokens on the open market across communities like FWB, WHALE, and JULIEN. All projects have subsequently recovered, with some - like FWB - issuing a new token to start with a clean slate.
Social token projects secured years of runway to build the infrastructure for a community owned future. Notable raises included Coinvise, Rally, Calaxy and Bitclout. These rounds showed the first signs of funds investing serious capital into social token infrastructure plays.
Social Token 2021 Map
In recent months, social tokens have taken a turn.
The below map depicts new tokens which have joined the fold - broadly categorized by where they live.
Note: the below map is subjective. There are likely tokens which have been left out. This map is meant to represent the most active social tokens today, rather than to highlight every social token in existence.
Home to most notable community tokens today, mainnet tokens are issued everywhere from Roll to Coinvise, with some tokens deploying their own smart contracts. Mainnet tokens benefit from the full composability of its respective protocol - often meaning more tooling around governance, distribution and access.
Many of the most popular community tokens on mainnet have fully transitioned into a DAO - sharing a vast majority of the supply and treasury with their community. While leading the charge on decentralization, mainnet tokens typically tend to be for deep crypto-native communities familiar with web3 tooling.
DAOs are internet communities with a shared cap table and bank account.— Coopahtroopa 🔥_🔥 (@Cooopahtroopa) June 24, 2021
Breaking down the DAO landscape 🔽https://t.co/Nc5j2MwZqf
Home to non-crypto native communities, Rally tokens - known as Creator Coins - are starting to show the first sign of mainstream crossover thanks to influential creators with established audiences and following on platforms like Twitch, TikTok, Spotify and Instagram. Rally is currently a permissioned network operating as a sidechain, giving creators the benefits of fiat onramps and gasless transactions for centralization. Each week, holders of Creator Coins on Rally earn governance tokens, RLY, through the Creator Rewards program.
Delphi Digital recently conducted an economic audit of Rally, proposing new ideas and sharing insights into Rally's bonding curves. I highly recommend reading about their work here.
Rounding out the chart is the contentious sleeper pick - BitClout. While many have mixed thoughts on the ecosystem, BitClout offers a simple onramp to a Creator Economy by connecting a social profile like Twitter or Instagram. Leading creators on BitClout are now driving a number of ecosystem projects to build on top of the protocol, including new features like Diamonds to reward interactions with micro-tips.
Regardless of where you fall on BitClout, it's undeniable there is a growing community. Keep an eye out for tools and platforms to better connect tokenholders and show that BitClout can be about more than just speculation.
Friends with Benefits
Exploring the intersection of culture and crypto, FWB is pioneering what it means to work for a DAO - currently undergoing its third formal Season. After bouncing back from a Roll hack and launching FWB Pro, Friends with Benefits provides a glimpse into what DAO sustainability looks like when it comes to creating a cultural membership to remember.
With one IRL event under its belt, Friends with Benefits is now taking its talents to Paris - setting a precedent for a suite of IRL products to complement one of the fastest growing communities in crypto.
Market Cap: $4.7M
Discord Members: 1714
Token Holders: 2473
Resources are critical to learning. But what happens when you crowdsource that knowledge and share ownership of it with those creating it?
Forefront is a leading curator in the social token community newly backed by the FF token. While still in the early stages, one session in the Forefront Discord will have you begging for more.
Over the coming weeks, Forefront will introduce its first Season - giving contributors onramps to help build the Home for Social Tokens.
Market Cap: $242k
Discord Members: 1513
Token Holders: 1191
Going Bankless is a hell of a lot easier when you've got a family to do it with you. Beyond the leading DeFi media brand Bankless has developed, its now entered the social token conversation with a token - BANK. Contributors are now owning new partnership funnels, developing partnerships with projects like Index Coop and MetaFactory. If you're into DeFi and looking to own the narrative, the Bankless DAO is for you.
Market Cap: $5.2M
Discord Members: 1600
Token Holders: 3320
As an incubator and investor, Seed Club works directly with creators to take their social token from 0 to 1. Along the way, Seed Club itself is maturing as a DAO - hiring contributors, bootstrapping funding and building mainstream onboarding funnels. If you're looking to see what it looks like to start your own Creator Economy, Seed Club is the exact right place for you.
Having just announced its Seed Round (no pun intended) the next few months will likely see Seed Club's native token - CLUB - go from a non-transferable reputation token to something that rivals all the above mentioned social tokens on the market. The time to contribute is now!
1/ We're proud to announce a fundraise of $2M into the DAO treasury to support, build, and help usher in a new era for digital communities.https://t.co/5vRGj4Uc8J— SEED 🌱 CLUB (@seedclubhq) July 15, 2021
Market Cap: SoonTM
Discord Members: 3231
Token Holders: 63
Looking to start your own social token? Here's what all the pros are using today.
- Mirror - Web3 publishing platform to crowdfund creative projects.
- Coordinape - Distribution tool to reward active contributors with tokens through group votes.
- Snapshot - Off-chain voting solution for token-based governance.
- Gnosis Safe - Custody of community treasuries using a multi-sig wallet.
- Parcel // Multisend - Treasury management solution to track and distribute budgets.
- POAP - NFTs tied to specific events to reward attendees and build social graphs.
- Mintgate - Platform to gate content which can only be unlocked by holding certain tokens.
- Bonfire - Creator tools to distribute, analyze and engage community members.
Expect more social token projects to raise working capital through Treasury Diversification proposals. These events allow ecosystem contributors to purchase tokens directly from a community treasury, assuming tokenholders approve of it through governance.
Grants committees, treasury management and acquisitions. Three of the many areas where teams are building products and services to better serve the next generation of social token communities.
Did someone say Wyoming? While there's talk of DAO legislation, expect more standards to emerge around how to launch a social token, and around how to turn that community into a DAO.
Standards around governance are a must. While we're starting to see early signs of templates across DeFi, expect the next wave to paint clear pictures around rewarding active contributors, setting monthly budgets and onboarding formal roles.
[Cooper Turley] - How to Launch a Token
[Li Jin] - The Case for Universal Creator Income
[Alex Masmej] Why Creator Tokens Will Precede Community Tokens
[Patrick Rivera] A Guide to Crypto Tokens
[Dark Star] Creator DAOs - An OS for Participation
[Austin Robey] Ways to Improve Community Ownership
[Joey Debruin] The Audience Grows the Creator
[Packy McCormick] The Cooperation Economy
[Kinjal Shah] When Consumer Meets Crypto
[Mason Nystrom] The Evolution of Content Platforms
[Cooper Turley + Kinjal Shah] The Rise of Micro-Economies
Slowly but surely, social tokens mature by the day.
While we're a long way from meaningful mainstream adoption, niche communities are developing at a significant pace.
What's most notable about each of these respective communities is their willingness to collaborate, coordinate, and win together. It's very common to see members tap into each other's Discord - frequently sharing learnings on townhalls, events and panels.
If you're new to the social token space and looking to get involved, shoot me a DM on Discord @cooaphtroopa#9799 - I'm confident there's a community for you.
Until then, keep building - the whole social token community is right there with you.
With love, -Coopahtroopa