Podcast Transcript

Buy My Token, Get My Time

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Mint Season 1 episode 10 features American entrepreneur and author Peter Shankman. He is best known for founding HARO, an online service for journalists to gather feedback from the public. His fight for creating more positive awareness around ADHD has led him down the rabbit hole of monetizing his community through $SHANK coin.

We talk about the launch of his new book and how he’s incentivizing his audience to get access to that book by holding $SHANK tokens. Peter breaks down some tips to future creators who are exploring the path of launching their social token and what he wish he had known before doing going live with $SHANK.

Thank you to Season 1’s NFT sponsors!

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Interested in sponsoring future seasons? Get in touch here!

Adam Levy: Peter, Mr. Shankman. Welcome to the podcast. Thank you for being on how are you?

Peter Shankman: Good to be here, man. I’m doing well. It’s a, you know, another, another week, another day in New York city, which has been a crazy, crazy time for the past. God knows how long, but yeah, we’re doing okay this weekend, you know,

Adam Levy: I know, I know we’ve been locked down, but I see you innovating and pushing the barriers as a creator, which is why I wanted to have you on today, specifically, because you recently launched SHANK token.

Adam Levy: So it will be, we’ll be diving in on that, but before we get more towards the currency side. I’d love to kind of get at your background and tell me a little bit about yourself, or what’s your background?

Peter Shankman: What’s my background. Well, I have a weird one. I started my career, at America online. I founded the newsroom back in 1995 when AOL was the internet.

Peter Shankman: And, did that for a few years, sort of ahead of the game ahead of the time as it were moved back to New York city, Back in 97, I guess, and sort of the first PO one of the first PR firms that catered to boom. , had no idea what I was doing. I was 20 something years old and I was just, you know, figured this might be fun.

Peter Shankman: And we had like a, you know, God. 10 15 clients, a rep, Napster and Juno, and just, it was crazy, crazy times. A lot of fun sold the majority of the agency back in 2001, kept the name, decided to take a year off, booked a flight to Asia. Two weeks in, I booked a flight back home called my mother from the airport.

Peter Shankman: I said, I said, I’m coming home. She goes, why? What happened? This was the year I’m like, you never taught me how to relax. And I slammed on the phone. So came back home consultant for several years. Eventually we ended up creating something called help a reporter out and HARO sort of changed how journalists and sources, found, found each other.

Peter Shankman: It was, sort of, an immediate blow up, in about just under three years. It went from launching to, being acquired by PR news wire. And it was, a pretty crazy time. So that was 2008, 2007 to like 2010, actually got acquired damn 11. Let me at 21, 11 years ago this year, or this, this, this week.

Peter Shankman: Wow. So yeah, it’s crazy how fast that happened, but, no, that’s good stuff. And, so, you know, that was, I sold that company and then, started speaking consulting and still doing mostly that, you know, it’s been a weird, weird year and a half with, with, with COVID, but mostly speaking consulting, traveling around the world, consulting to brands, on both customer experience, customer service, as well as neuro-diversity the concept that, that, different brained

Peter Shankman: individuals are going to be responsible for more and more of the benefits and the, of your company. And as well as, as you know, both from a hiring perspective, as well as a customer’s perspective. So you have to sort of understand the different brains. So add ADHD, autism, spectrum, executive function, things like that.

Peter Shankman: So I’ve written several books. Most on customer service and PR, but my most recent one was called, “Faster Than Normal,” which focuses on, on ADHD as a gift, not a curse. And it’s also the number one podcast on ADHD online called “Faster Than Normal” same name. And, we’ve had everyone from Tony Robbins to Keith Krach of DocuSign, to Seth Godin, to, to, to the band Shinedown, politicians, authors, porn stars, you name it all on this podcast about, talking about how they use their add and ADHD to their advantage.

Peter Shankman: So yeah, it’s a lot of fun. I’m, I’m, I’m very fortunate in having a really good time and.

Adam Levy: Here I am. Here you are. So what was that process like of getting acquired? That was a, that was a three-year type of project company you were building out. And then one of the largest, if not the largest PR companies came in and took you guys up, what was that process like?

Peter Shankman: It was pretty crazy. You know, the company sort of came in out of the. They were our largest advertiser and they were basically like, why aren’t we continuing to advertise from you? Why don’t we just, why don’t we just, buy you shit. Okay. That could, that could work, you know, sort of out of the blue type thing.

Peter Shankman: But, it was, yeah, it worked really well and it became, it became, an incredible experience for me going through it. You know, I always joke, it took about four months. If we didn’t have lawyers that would take about four hours, but, That’s why I have lawyers,

Adam Levy: I guess. There you go. So, so kinda dumping more, down your crypto route because you’re very unique in where, where you’re at right now, because he recently launched $SHANK on rally.

Adam Levy: And many, many people have been talking about doing their own cryptocurrency, but very little have actually kind of followed through. You’ve you’ve been one of the first few to kind of go towards that route. Hence why you’re here today. , and I, I’m curious how long you’ve been dabbling with crypto for?

Peter Shankman: Well, I, yeah, so this is always a fun story. I bought, my first 10 Bitcoin at about $94 a piece and I sold them. $1,004 a piece I’ve since more or less gotten over that. I really haven’t, you know, look, I made money, right. I made what almost 10 grand. So I’m, you know, that’s cool. But yeah, that, that hurt a little bit, but you know, I look, it, it hurts a lot less now seeing, seeing the price of crypto now versus, versus what it was, you know, I guess a month ago, but yeah, I, I am always into interesting things.

Peter Shankman: My whole premise is if it’s something exciting and interesting, It can’t hurt to put a few hundred bucks into it. If you have it and see what happens, what’s the worst thing that happened. It’s like play money, right? It’s the premise that you probably gonna blow that money on something else, blow it on drinks or a night out or whatever, you know, so you blow it here.

Peter Shankman: And, worst case scenario, it has a really nice return. I mean, I sort of buying a white point at five bucks and I get out of it, get out of liquid entirely. There were a couple of hundred, but it was still like what a nice, nice hit. Right. So, you know, the premise is I’m, I think a lot of it comes from ADHD as well.

Peter Shankman: Just the belief that, you know, What the heck, right? There’s, what’s the worst that can happen. Right. And so, so I, I tend to, I tend to live my life on the premise of what’s the worst that can happen, which is ironic, cause I’m a skydiver, but, I do enjoy, you need to stop chewing on this, on the window.

Peter Shankman: I’m not even joking. I will kick you out. I will throw you out of the window. I have a nine month old dog who, has decided that his new fund is chewing on the windows. So this is waffle needs to stop. Stop showing on the windows, but he’s a good boy. , so now here, we’ll go get that. So, yeah, I was, this was a cat guy and then, my last cat passed away and my daughter’s like, I want a dog.

Peter Shankman: I’m like, we’re not getting a dog. And of course, you know, every dad is just the, not getting a dog, went up with the dog. So here we are. But yeah, I mean, I just, I like experimenting. There’s something called earth too. And that I’m playing with right now, which is sort of like, you can, you can. You, can purchase quote unquote, land virtual land above real places.

Peter Shankman: Right? So it’s the earth And so I own the apartment building in which I live. Right. And I own the apartment building, which my parents live a few blocks away in Midtown. And, and, and, you know, it’s gone up 50% in value since I bought it. , of course now I have to figure out how to sell it. Right. And, and, and, and so, you know, I just, I look at these things.

Peter Shankman: I figured that one day. In like 15 years when I’m like, I don’t know, 64 or something, I’ll hire someone to just investigate my entire life and find out where I put all this money in, what, in, what should I put all this money? And, you know, he’ll come back and be like, well, okay, so here’s some money that was, you know, you made somebody on this and then you didn’t.

Peter Shankman: But yeah, there’s a lot of stuff out there. I just figure again, it’s one of those things that you never know. Right. I never, you know, I remember, Right before when Peloton went public, right for lockdown. , I I’ve been a Peloton junkie for years. I love my bike and I’m like, I want to get on this Peloton train that sort of buying Peloton.

Peter Shankman: And just because I know how much it does for me right now, it helps my brain. And of course they were getting older overvalued to this and then COVID hit. Right. And I’m like, when I saw COVID it and I saw, wow, they’re closing Equinox. I can’t go to the gym anymore. I’m going to buy some more Peloton stock.

Peter Shankman: And it’s done very, very well. So it, you know, at the end of the day, for me, it comes down to, is this. , it’s a different, I don’t, I don’t know if it’s the same strategy as most investors. I think if the same strategy is Warren Buffett where he’s like, yeah, I like this. I like this company. I use their product.

Peter Shankman: I’m the same way. I’m like, this is interesting to me. Let’s see what happens. Right.

Adam Levy: So, so when you’re approaching, like what’s the worst thing that can happen, with social tokens is your worst case scenario, cause you kind of use that as your strategy, explaining your thought process, how you approach things; When you were kind of dabbling or getting more down the rabbit hole for quote unquote social tokens, what was that worst case scenario for you?

Peter Shankman: I’m the worst customer for me was okay, this, this, this, this turns out to be ridiculous. , no one buys it and it was, it was, it was fun. I mean, it didn’t cost me a lot of money, right. It wasn’t, you know, rally picked 110, I think influencers, I hate that term with a passion, 110, like creators.

Peter Shankman: We’re going to call them, you know, and gave us these tokens. Right. Go play with them. Talk to your audience about them, help us build this brand. And so to be able to watch it has been really exciting and really sort of fascinating to see how it felt, you know, what are the things that I’m doing that affect that?

Peter Shankman: What are the things that, that Rally is doing that affect that? What are the things that Elon Musk, who won’t shut the fuck up is doing to affect it? You know, all those types of things. So, it’s like, who’s, who’s speaking about what who’s talking about. What, in the meantime, I’m just trying to do what I always do, which is grow my brand and produce great content.

Peter Shankman: And if I can continue to do that, Well, the people who have bought my tokens will probably do a little, well there, you know, which is how I look at it. But again, it’s, it’s, I find that the, the, the, the worst thing that can happen is that people invest in something or get involved in something. And then that’s all they look at and all they think about for the rest of their lives.

Peter Shankman: Right. Which will totally screw you. And, and the key is, you know, I, I learned this lesson when I worked at AOL. If you went to keyword and typed in AOL, it would bring you your stock price, right? The AOL stock price. And this is back when we all had options, pretty hidden nothing, 400 times a day, right.

Peter Shankman: It’s not moving that much. It’s a long-term game, is how I look at it anyway. And so, so I learned that early and so I just, I put it in and my job is not to increase or decrease the value of $SHANK. My job is to continue to create great content and do great deals with companies and get my name out there and improve what I’m doing and, and benefit people.

Peter Shankman: And by default, that will benefit, the $SHANK coin and benefit crypto as a whole and benefit rally as a whole. But, you know, I think too many people look at how can I increase my value, increase your worth increase, or I’m sorry, people say, how much, how can I increase my worth, increase the value of the content you give out?

Peter Shankman: You know, what a lot of people don’t realize, especially about these tokens that are up, you know, the concept of a creator economy, right? People don’t realize that. And I’ve been trying to explain this since day one. I tell this to all my clients where I speak about. Good, consumer, the minds behind the consumer and customer experience, having an audience of any kind is a privilege.

Peter Shankman: It’s not a right. No one has the right to an audience. No one in the world is right to notice. We have the privilege or we have the right to create great content, which hopefully can build us an audience. But yeah. Having an audience is a privilege. You create great content. You continue to earn that privilege.

Peter Shankman: Right? I, my mom was director of performing arts for the city school system in New York city growing up public school. And she always talked about having ha how music education. Was a birthright, not a privilege. This is the exact opposite, right? We don’t have the right to an audience. We have the privilege of creating great content, which will give us that audience.

Peter Shankman: If we screw up and they go away, we lose that audience. And I think more companies need to understand that it’s not about increasing your worth. It’s about creating better value for the people who are helping to drive your economy, help you to drive you. , coin your NFT, your token, whatever it is, right.

Peter Shankman: Create great content, create stuff that people want to see, create stuff that your audience understands that appreciates, and that will help drive everything.

Adam Levy: So when you’re building great content, when you’re building your brand, there still comes the question that people will get lost in the dollar amount.

Adam Levy: Right? A lot of creators might get lost in that. And I think you’re actually, you’re preaching to the choir here one, but you’re, you’re, you’re preaching facts. These tokens should be driven by something more than just a price, right. It’s underlying value is, is the people is the content like you said, but go ahead.

Peter Shankman: I’ll just say, I think that a lot of the value, that people don’t necessarily realize about these tokens, especially the ones on rally for the creator economy is the concept of access I get all the time. Hey, can I pick your brain about something? Hey, can I do the take into that? And I’m usually happy to do it right now.

Peter Shankman: I have this option of, okay. You know, Yes, you can go buy 25 tokens, become a coin holder, right? It’s it’s not that expensive. It’s actually relatively cheap right now. Right. Become a coin holder and let’s see what creates, let’s see what we can do now. You’re now you’re a viable part of this group right now.

Peter Shankman: You are a, you have a, an influence in what happens to my economy. Go get it. So, yeah. When, when someone, I used to talk about this, when I ran HARO I would create or help reporter I’d create, surveys every month and say, Hey, are we doing this the right way? Or should we do it this way? Or move it, change it this way.

Peter Shankman: And, and anyone who replied the more people that replied one way we change it. And then the people who saw the change, oh my God. They listened to what I asked them to do. They became invested in what I was building. Right. Because they helped design it. Whatever it was, right. Whatever change they helped make.

Peter Shankman: It’s, you know, saying that you’re invested in my economy now is actually, it’s funny. Cause it’s true. If you are invested, literally invested, but there’s also the investment that you believe in what I’m creating and you believe in my value. If no one believes in my value, this is all a pointless conversation.

Peter Shankman: Right? Right. You’re wasting your time talking to someone if no one believes in that value. So the premise of being able to create something solid and something good that people see value in is more important to me than the concept of the price of the coin of the price of the token.

Peter Shankman: So if I can create value, and then return that to people by saying, Hey, you have 25 coins, you’re a coin holder, come hang out with me. Right. Come backstage. It’s backstage pass, essentially. Right? You wanna chat about this. You want to go for a workout training for the, for the, for the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii right now, cause I’m really stupid. And, it’s an October and I got like four and a half, five months. Die, but you know, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m training, I’m out there every day. And so, so that, I’m also a single dad who has my kid the maternity time. So that severely limits the time I have to do anything else. Right. So, you want to meet me?

Peter Shankman: You want to chat with me? Great. Meet me outside. We’re going for a run, right. Or we’re going to go for a bike ride, or we’re going to go for a Peloton class and I’ll take you for coffee afterwards. But you know, now you have an easier way to get there, right? Now you can say, Hey, I’m $SHANK holder coil, can I get some time with you?

Peter Shankman: By all means, we’ll figure out a way to do it. And so, it’s, it’s that access level I think is, is super important than not enough people.

Adam Levy: A hundred percent. And that’s what I tell everyone, social tokens, equal access, or at least right now with how people are using them. But that could also work the other way around when you have these token holders that want your time, they want your energy, and they think they’re able to get that now because they hold your tokens.

Adam Levy: It could work both ways, right. It can work really well and you incentivize really good behavior, but then you’re going to have the bad actors. How do you kind of approach those bad actors? What have you thought about that? Has that happened to you already?

Peter Shankman: It hasn’t happened to me yet, but you know what?

Peter Shankman: Here’s how I look at it. I’ve been telling people that they can, they can get to me, they can get . Access to me, since I had any kind of a following right. 2000, 3004. , during that time, maybe I’ve been approached by five people who have less than a positive intentions. That’s five people out of hundreds of thousands that I’ve met, spoken to keynoted for, been on TV in front of, you know, I don’t do Fox TV, Fox news anymore, just cause like I can’t in good conscience, but backed by the thoughts I get the majority of them from there.

Peter Shankman: Right. You know, I’d go on O’Reilly and I’d get. Unbelievable horrible tweets afterwards, but now it’s just like, you know what? I believe the majority, well, here’s a couple of things you didn’t know. The first thing is you have to believe that the majority of people in the world are not out to hurt you.

Peter Shankman: They’re out to better themselves. And that’s a huge distinction because that allows you to take the personal out of all this, right? The premise that, oh, I can’t believe he did that to me. He didn’t do that to you. He did that to benefit himself. To get it happened across you. Right? I just, this morning I was walking, I was walking the dog back from the dog park and, I was, I was crossing the street and I passed some woman who was, I guess, on her phone and didn’t see me.

Peter Shankman: And there’s plenty of rooms, like two feet in between. She’s like, excuse me. I’m like, okay, we have plenty of room. We’re not going to do this. You know? And I just get this New York city, I just kept walking. I said, you are so rude. I’m like, all right. I stopped and I wanted to have this conversation I did, and I just kept moving, kept walking, but I’m like, I want to be like, do you really think that I started my day, I woke up this morning.

Peter Shankman: I’m like, I’m going to find some chick and just mess with it. Like, it’s my life. That boring way. I have nothing else to do. That’s how I’m gonna know it’s a sidewalk in Manhattan. Shit happens. Right. And, and so you have to sort of understand that. And also you have to understand that you can’t control people.

Peter Shankman: All you can do is control your reaction to what people do. Right. And so once you learn that. It’s not always easy, but it’s, it’s a lot easier to, to be able to understand sort of how you can get through things. , without having to, like I said, take them personally or let them drive you crazy. I remember my ex wife and I had a great conversation once we’re still very close friends.

Peter Shankman: She, she came up, she was over one day to get to drop off my daughter. And , oh, I had the worst day and she tells me this one. I lived in Ireland. So that was the, that was what happens again, it just ruined my whole day. I’m like, was it really this terrible day? Or was it 15 minutes that you’ve managed to milk into like 12 hours, you know?

Peter Shankman: And I think only ex-husbands can say that to them. So I was like, you know, that’s, that’s how you, I guess, become an ex husband, but it was the premise that I was 110 where she was like, you know, you’re right. And, and it’s, we just got to let the most, let’s let the shit go. So in terms of bad actors, you know, it hasn’t really affected me, especially not yet on Rally.

Peter Shankman: They’re bad people everywhere, but there are good people everywhere too. And I’m just a believer that there’s more good than that out . There a lot more.

Adam Levy: When you were, when you were kind of putting this token together and rally reached out to you, what were some of the biggest questions or concerns you had for them as a, as a newcomer.

Peter Shankman: Yeah. I mean, my first thought was, okay, they want to give me this token. , do I have to buy a whole bunch of computers and mind this shit? I mean, I didn’t know how any of that was going to work. Right. And so they were really forthcoming and I learned so much so quickly from them, about what to do and how to do it.

Peter Shankman: And that just made life so much easier because I’m like, all right, all I have to do is do what I always do, which is promote my brand, right. Create good content and share that content. And now there’s a new way to do that. And that really sort of made things so much easier, so much. , you just need to think about it.

Adam Levy: So did you like approach a lawyer at all with doing this?

Peter Shankman: No, I did talk to him. I haven’t had dinner with my lawyer and I was mentioning it to him. He’s like, oh, that sounds fun. So it wasn’t really that bad.

Adam Levy: I think it stays fun because it’s coming from the point of view, from a legal, at least standpoint of membership and loyalty points kind of thing. Right. And rewarding, rewarding fans, or incentivizing fans to get, to become greater stakeholders in someone’s quote unquote economy in someone’s self-someone’s, quote unquote, I guess, influence to an extent and providing access, like you said.

Peter Shankman: But I mean, I’m the first person to go in there and say, look, this isn’t financial advice.

Peter Shankman: You know, I’m not, I’m not selling stock here. You know, I. I’m just sharing it and I give away so many; The nice thing about rally. What I love about rally is how easy it is to earn additional rally coins. Right? So every week with the, with the, with the rewards system, they have set up as long as I continue to grow my audience and grow my, my, my, my, coin.

Peter Shankman: I continue to get rewarded with rally, which is that going to convert into more $SHANK, which I can. So I’ve given away thousands of dollars worth of $SHANK coin like a lot. , when I first launched, I remember, giving it to, a bunch of people and it was really cheap and it started blowing up and they came in, was like, holy crap has happened.

Peter Shankman: Look at how much this is what, and I’m like, okay, great. Don’t think about that though. Think about continuing to stay in the, whatever in the margin of the mindset.

Adam Levy: Sure. A common keyword that you kind of see appear in crypto. And, and I’m not sure how familiar I know you’ve been buying Bitcoin early on.

Adam Levy: You sold, you bought lite coin, et cetera, but a common key word in crypto is a governance. So a lot of these tokens that, that people hold at least with more traditional DeFi projects or other crypto projects. That one token equals one voting, right? And if you hold enough tokens, you can actually make quite the impact on the project’s destiny.

Adam Levy: Do you envision    like at some point, integrating more of that point of view into $SHANK where you’re creating your, your, your fans, your audience, they hold $SHANK token, you’re building a greater brand around yourself that continues to grow, continues to prosper, and now they can actually have a say in the future of, of Peter Shankman to an extent.

Adam Levy: Yeah. Do you see that kind of development?

Peter Shankman: Yeah. When I was talking HARO, I used to, I used to ask all the time it’d be so busy right. In HARO that I’d be like, okay, I haven’t eaten. I tweet out what should I have, which I, what kind of foods to have. And other people are like, dude, you trying to be healthy. What are salad?

Peter Shankman: If I could order a pizza. But, I mean, I’m, I’m, I love the concept of, of, of, sorry, ADHD just kicked in. That’s it. Wow. That’s a G six flying really, really low, which I live on 42nd street and eighth avenue. And there’s literally a G six flying really low over, over ninth avenue, which should probably shouldn’t be, but I’m sure it’s fine.

Peter Shankman: Sorry, governance. I think that. I love to listen to people’s advice. I love to get people’s info in terms of what they’re thinking about, where the next thing should be, what should I focus on? , it was a great line from a song. It said, listen to everyone, but be careful whose advice you take. And I’ve always been a believer in that.

Peter Shankman: You know, I, I, I want to learn as much as I can from everyone. Everyone you meet knows something that you don’t, right? And I don’t think enough people remember that. I think that, that, that being able to, learn from other people, by letting, by giving them access to you, you know, one of the biggest problems is that as a society, we don’t listen as well as we should.

Peter Shankman: We tend to, listen to someone else, just so we can get to a spot where they’ve stopped talking so we can start talking about ourselves again. Sure. And I find that, that one of the funny things about ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the hyperactivity part can actually be controlled and I can sit there and listen.

Peter Shankman: And one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is to when I’m on a plane, right. And I travel all the time and I want to play if you’re next to me, If you in the seat next to me, unless you fake your death, I’m gonna know everything about you. By the time we land. You’re that guy I’m like, I’m not the guy talking.

Peter Shankman: I’m the guy who listens. Okay. You’re not going to anything about me. I’m going to listen to everything you have to say. And once in two minutes, you’re gonna start getting comfortable with everything I have to say and be like, oh, well, yeah, I’ll keep talking. This is what a really good listener. I’m not a good listener.

Peter Shankman: I’m listening to you because I want to learn about you. And what wound up happening over years is that I wound up putting that together as a database. I know everyone and reporters started calling me. Hey! Peter, who do you know, I’m doing a story on blah, blah, blah. Who do you know? Oh yeah. I met this guy called he called this guy, how important from that?

Peter Shankman: Right. So I think the ability to listen to an audience is great. And if I, if people are invested enough in me to the point where they think I’m valuable enough to buy coins, and then they want to give me advice or talk to me about something, you know, chances are, that’s a win-win for everyone. I’ll give you another example.

Peter Shankman: I am @petershankman on every single social media platform out there. And the reason I am is because for the past 15 years, with the exception of last year in COVID, both my parents were teachers, when I started doing all this and they’ve since retired, but I asked them to give me some of the children, some of the students, every day or once every three months on a Saturday.

Peter Shankman: And I meet these kids, the ages range, age ranges from like nine to like 21. And I, I. Take over a pizza place in Midtown. And I invite these kids and their parents and the parents would sit in the other sides. They wouldn’t bother the kids and I’d just feed the kids pizza. And I would listen to them for like three hours.

Peter Shankman: And that’s it. I’m just, I’m just here. Just talk amongst yourselves. I’m about to get your phones feel free to, and I’d watch them. And I occasionally what happens that, oh, it’s a new one called Snapchat. Oh, wow. Shit. Write that down. Right. I have, I got my username on every single I was on snap. God in 2014, I don’t remember when it came out.

Peter Shankman: Right. But, but layers of urban now, same thing with TikTok, which was musically before that, you know, all these things that just because I like listening and learning, I remember being on a plane once and I was sitting next to it. It was, it was, it was, I was in the front of the bus. It was me and this older woman and her two daughters were.

Peter Shankman: We’re on the other side, on the other side of the cabin, that was in one and the one was in B and then these kids were in like DNA. And I sit in the mother, like, do you mind if I switch with you so I can ask them questions? I spent five hours learning from these two high school kids about what was important about these graphics.

Peter Shankman: There’s a, I don’t remember the name of it now, but there’s a, there was, an app that the kids really like all this stuff. Right? Who wouldn’t, why wouldn’t you do that? If you’re given the shot, why wouldn’t you take that opportunity?

Adam Levy: I think, I think that’s part of the process of being an early adopter, which kind of correlates to why you’re such an early user for, for all these social tokens and, and whatnot.

Adam Levy: But you, you create a lot of utility for yourself, a lot of value for yourself and others without tokens already. Right. For example, you gave, you gave the perfect example of reporters hitting you up. Who do I reach out to? I’m writing this story and X, Y, and Z. Can you connect me with blah, blah, blah. Right now, do you kind of see yourself adding that level of utility, like you want me to connect you with someone by my token, see yourself, telling reporters that?

Adam Levy: I don’t necessarily doing it that way. No, I still, at the end of the day, because here’s the thing. If you have to force someone to do something, then it’s all about what can you, what can I get out of it?

Adam Levy: And I don’t, I never want to do that. I get stuck at, I give away in about three minutes. I have an email going out automatically that I wrote, this morning. , I send my stuff. , I give away 99.9%, my content for free, because I know that the 0.01% of my content, I still have, you’re gonna buy and you’re gonna spend money on it.

Adam Levy: And so I don’t see that where I ever told reporters, oh, you want to, you know, go, go buy this. That’s not who I am, but rather I would say, Hey, you know, if this has been useful, feel free to grab a few coins, maybe they go up in value or they won’t, but whatever, it’ll give you access to more of this stuff, but you know, you can always call me when you need me.

Adam Levy: So it’s, it’s sort of running that fine line, right? I don’t ever want to be that guy who says, oh, you have to pay me for this or whatever. It’s also the reason that I, that I allow my, allow my assistant to book all my speeches. When it comes down to how much I’m going to charge, I let her do it. Cause I, I would, I I’ve done this before.

Adam Levy: I have way under priced myself because, oh, they seem nice. You know, I, let me cut them a break. They’re not kidding. They’re not cutting anyone a break. Why should I cut them a break? You know, I’m the one people are coming to say, yeah, it’s that, it’s that, it’s that, you know, you gotta learn that. So yeah, I definitely let, I definitely make handle that, but I’m telling you to stop chewing on this stuff, but at the end of the day, again, it really comes down to knowing what the right thing is to do and knowing what benefits my audience.

Adam Levy: Right. And how I can put that too.

Adam Levy: Yeah. So talk to me more about this utility that you envision benefiting your audience. What did you, what, what kind of like access have you planned? Is that still in the works? Like talk to me more about the utility.

Peter Shankman: So I, have a book, called, I have five books, but one of them them’s called “Zombie Loyalist,”

Peter Shankman: And it was a really, really beneficial, people called it like the, the, the customer service Bible. Right. And I wrote it in 2015, the rights got reverted to me in early 2021. And so now, I am going to redo the book and update it for, you know, post COVID customer experience world.

Peter Shankman: But in doing that, anyone who is a coin holder over 30 coins, and I’m going to self publish it this time. It was published by Palgrave and villain last time. But this time is publishing. Anyone owns over 30 coins is getting a copy for free, right? And so that’s, there’s an easy sell, right? Who wouldn’t want that? Right. It’s beneficial.

Peter Shankman: It’ll help you, whatever. So it’s those kinds of things that I, that I, that I imagined.

Adam Levy: So 30 coins right now, that would be, so let’s say your tokens trading at what? Around $4. That’d be like $120 for the book, but it would be a long-term incentive to continue participating in the Peter Shankman community.

Peter Shankman: Plus you’re not, you’re not buying the tokens to get the book you’re buying the tokens for all the other stuff you’re gonna get as well as the book.

Adam Levy: Right. So can you, can you talk to me more about that other stuff? So the book, the book is a beautiful example. I think that’s actually a very unique kind of approach to doing it. What else did you kind of have in mind?

Peter Shankman: What else am I doing? So I’m definitely doing things where, you know, if I’m in your city, let me buy you a cup of coffee, right? If I’m in your city on a, on a keynote and anybody could probably let’s go for a run, let’s work out. , whatever it is, are you in New York?

Peter Shankman: You know, come as my guest to Equinox, let’s work out there, let’s go home. Right? Whatever, you know, and it’s stuff that I would do in a lot of ways for free. Sorry, he’s he found the one squeaky toy, but now it gives him now it gives people a way to, really connect and have a, you know, it’s not just like, oh, if I have the time, it’s like, Hey, you bought this toy.

Peter Shankman: You bought this, this token let’s make this happen.

Adam Levy: I hear you. What, what, what about this? Cause I feel like some listeners will be thinking, okay, they bought the tokens, they got access to the book, they got access to all these perks, but then they sell it once they get it. How do you, how do you control that?

Peter Shankman: If that is what they want to do, you know, by all means they have every right to do it. I don’t necessarily believe that’s going to happen because I believe that it would benefit them to hold on as I bring more stuff to them. Right. As I create more, you know, I I’ve back in the day back when I was running HARO, I would throw events.

Peter Shankman: I remember, I had a friend who did handle PR for Ted’s Montana grill and was one in Midtown. And I would like once a month, I just take it over. And then I put a mesh on a HARO, Hey guys, whoever’s in town, come have a drink on me. Yeah. Right. And we just take it with, so I fully intend to keep doing that in different cities when I’m on the road.

Peter Shankman: Once, once you know, the world is starting to open now again, post COVID. Once that’s once that happens. Yeah. By all means I’ll be in, I’m going to be in, Dubai, in I’m going to be south African, early July and then Dubai in mid-July. But for work, anyone who’s out there wants to hang out. Let’s schedule something, know, grab a couple of tokens and I’ll come on and buy you lunch.

Adam Levy: Nice. Maybe I’ll just have to meet you there and do that myself. When you, when you think, I guess let’s, let’s talk five years from now, 10 years from now, assuming, a lot of creators of this new generation of creators are going to be launching themselves on the public markets, quote, unquote, grading incentives for the audience to get more ingrained and become more intimate with their brand, by creating more intimate and personalized experiences.

Adam Levy: Right now, we kind of determine influence as a society or at least a lot of people through how many followers you have, how many subscribers you have. Do you think people will start determining one’s influence based off what their token price is trading at? For example, this person’s trading at five dollars, but they’re not as good because this person’s token is trading at a hundred dollars, right. Rather than, rather than associating their influence with millions of followers.

Peter Shankman: You that’s a really good question. Problem is is that we were cited in the very short attention span. And so when you give people the opportunity to attach a number to something, It works for them because they don’t necessarily want to do the homework to find more. It’s why for a small period of time, that WebsiteClout was so successful. Remember Clout?.

Peter Shankman: Oh, he’s a 94. He’s a 91. He’s 38. It was a way to, to qualify and quantify. Problem was it wasn’t very accurate, and what the hell did it mean? Right. Really can get a bit of room at the Bellagio. I think that that will always be those people who were always a society that’s going to want to work on numbers.

Peter Shankman: The people I want to hang out with are the people who see past that. I see beyond that who see it. There’s more to that. Definitely.

Adam Levy: So do you think we’re going to get to that black mirror type of situation? Because, because I would have heard that too, right? Because I prefer that too. Obviously you got to find the quality in people, right.

Adam Levy: And if people are just clout chasing or, or token chasing, right, based on value, obviously that’s one type of human being versus another, right? Not categorizing you that obviously, but I’m saying in general, right? Because these social tokens, it’s a social experiment. The closest thing we have to that right now with a public stock market is Bitclout, right?

Adam Levy: Where people are trading other people’s influence based off what they tweet their interactions with each other. And Rally’s kind of like the less aggressive version of that, by, by incentivizing more utility behind these tokens. In general, you’ll be having public markets of people and communities, that are going to be publicly traded.

Peter Shankman: It’s nothing new back in 1988, there’s a website called Hollywood Stock Exchange. Right. Which is the, exactly, literally the exact same thing you could, you could buy it wasn’t real money at the time, but you could buy puts in calls on what actors you thought could be successful. What movies you thought were gonna be successful?

Peter Shankman: It was a huge thing. It was eventually acquired by, I think the internet movie database. So, you know, it’s, it’s one of those things where it, where, where it’s nothing new. I mean, we’ve been putting, we’ve been assigning value to things for years and putting money on things for centuries, you know, Look at it, go back to ancient Rome.

Peter Shankman: People would, would, would have speaking podiums, on the corner where they would talk and they would try to explain their points and Plato and Socrates used to do this all the time or so crates as it were, you see this all the time and, and based on how many people understood him, determined how much bigger he got.

Peter Shankman: Right. And, and, and. The crazy thing is that back then he had actually dumbed down his thoughts. Right. Because if he talked in, in, in traditional philosophical way, no one understand it. But again, that’s the, you know, it’s not, it’s not a surprise and it’s not a coincidence that these guys became hugely famous.

Peter Shankman: Right, right. So that’s nothing new. I think that, that with any luck, this democracy helps democratize that a little more. You know, I remember back when, Back when the verified accounts came out, everyone was clamoring over my God. Everybody got, I need the blue check mark check mark. Right. So I’ve had the blue check mark.

Peter Shankman: I’m pretty sure it’s never gotten me a date, right. I’m pretty sure it’s never gotten me an upgraded car. I don’t know. But you know, I just don’t look at it like that. Again, my job isn’t so much to care about that shit. My job is to get great contacts, to create great content. Right.

Adam Levy: Right. And I only bring that up because it’s fun to speculate.

Adam Levy: It’s fun to kind of, to think about what this may unfold to. , and there is a large group of people that do like, kind of depend on, on influence, based off follower counts, subscriber counts, et cetera, et cetera. And this might just be the next thing that kind of falls in line with that. , but, but, but we’ll see how that plays out.

Adam Levy: Kind of like a final question over here, if, if there’s a new creator, right. And I’ve been coming, whether they be gen Z millennial, what advice can you kind of give them? Like what, what, what is something you wish you would’ve known prior to launching $SHANK?

Peter Shankman: It’s the same thing that I’ve known for years in that things don’t happen overnight. Even the things that look like they happen overnight, take 20 years. Right. Nothing happens overnight.

Peter Shankman: The premise of creating something, work really hard at it and it will come, but it’s not going to be very few overnights. You know, everyone’s like, oh, HARO only took three years. No, HARO took 20 years of me talking to every God damn person next to me on the seat and on the airplane and everywhere where I made their name.

Peter Shankman: Right. I created the name, you know, and then had built this Rolodex. That’s what built Hara. Right? So it didn’t, it took three years to actually start a company to sell it. But that was 17 years in the process. So I think that again, just, you know, things take good things take time.

Adam Levy: You mentioned something about state in the beginning, and then you, you kind of, it

Peter Shankman: Was a different thought I was going to go into, into a long diatribe. It’s not worth it now, just the premise that, that it’s a lot of, a lot of what happens is state of mind, right. Where you are in terms of what you’re building. Oh, I’d love to what’s my coin. Wow. It’s up 33 cents from where it was, you know, my entire portfolio. It’s ridiculous way to think. Right, and, you know, check it every once in a while, but live your life.

Adam Levy: I love it. Peter. You’re the man. Thank you for being on. , and I hope to have you again soon. You’re always welcome and thank you.

Peter Shankman: Good time timing. Stay in touch.

Podcast Transcript

Crowdfunding on Kickstarer vs. Ethereum using Social Tokens

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast


Mint Season 1 episode 9 features Matt Mcdonald who is the lead vocalist and guitarist for The Classic Crime – a rock band formed in Seattle, Washington in 2004. After leaving a record label in 2011, TCC pioneered the use of crowdfunding and other middle-men bypassing tools, continuing to make music, content, and community experiences for supporters a decade later. Their latest experiment with crowdfunding comes in the form of their social token – CRIME, ticker $CRIME. 

On this episode, Matt and I look back on the early days of Kickstarter crowdfunding and how it compares to today’s ICO and IDO models that persist throughout the cryptoverse. We also chat about his frameworks for utility generation, how he’s onboarded his existing fan base to hold his band’s social token, how platforms like Facebook and Instagram help build their audience, but stripped them away from their power to monetize them, and so much more. 

Thank you to Season 1’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise –

2. POAP –

Interested in sponsoring future seasons? Get in touch here!

Adam Levy: We’ll just get right into it Okay? And start with the basics for those who don’t know, you, how’d you get your start in the music industry and kind of where you are today with, with the classic crime?

Matt MacDonald: Sure, well, I joined a band when I was 19, dropped out of art school to pursue that, and we ended up getting signed and, you know, toured the country for several years, you know, played on Warped Tour and summer festivals, and, you know, went out of the country a few times too, and, you know, we had a pretty successful run. But by the end of our tour, our, our record contract, we’d spent about six years on the label. You know, basically, every time we have a record, the label provides the money, and then they recoup the money from the sales of the records, we went through this crazy transition from music being a physical thing that people you know, we would, you know, ship CDs to now being a digital item, and then it, it actually just being a service, like, like streaming. And so it was just this crazy chaotic time to try being in a band really. And so we kind of rode that wave. And by about 2010, we put out our last record on the out on the label. And, and we were, we were off the label, and I decided, you know, I was going to do this thing independently, I was to see if I could, you know, there’s enough tools online, people had started crowdfunding records, and I thought, you know, we’ll give it a shot, we’ll do a Kickstarter. And you know, if this works, we can do more record. And then that’s kind of what I thought was, that would be the end of it. But our fans and supporters showed up big time, you know, we raised over $86,000, which we only asked for about a third of, in a month, and this is in 2011. And, and that kind of kick-started our, you know, no pun intended our independent career, and just making records directly for the people who want a year in advance. So that’s all there is. For us. It’s a way for us to take the time, you know, the six months to write and record an album. And then we print all the packages and the vinyl and the T shirts, everything, we ship that off to everybody. And basically, when the record comes out, we’re no longer recouping once we ship all those packages it’s paid for. And then the royalties are just a stream on top of that, as far as the streaming goes. So it’s been a really cool model to help kind of pioneer and I’ve, you know, run a bunch of Kickstarter for a lot of different bands, normally using social media to promote and, and so that that’s kind of led me into the crypto space and decentralisation because I’m always looking for ways to get behind and around these algorithms that are focused on Well, you know, farming your data and then right and then selling you ads or selling your users or your subscribers ads. And so trying to figure out how to game the system. That’s been my main job for the last decade, in trying to kind of figure out how to access the people who we brought to Facebook, you know, 15 years ago. Do you have a finance background at all? Not finance, no, just marketing. I’m a musician, predominantly. And I became sort of a digital marketer just because I needed to because it was, you know, that’s how I could be fun to my music.

Adam Levy: Crazy. Yeah, you guys, you guys are obviously pretty early in the whole crowdfunding game as well. And crypto is just that natural progression next into crowdfunding. 2.0. I will kind of get behind that the story behind crime your social token, but I was kind of interested about more of your creative process. Like what how would you describe the classic crimes like genre? Where do you guys fit for those who don’t? Don’t know? And what’s that creative process, like when you guys are making music?

Matt MacDonald: I mean, every record is a little bit different. And, you know, I am on one on one hand, you know, when I do these song writing workshops, I’ve done a few of them, where I’ll teach people the very sort of left brained, structured way of step by step process of writing up, you know, like a pop song, like it all follows an order in a structure. And then there’s this other sort of very right brained, chaotic, impulsive part of writing, any making art in any way that that you kind of need to engage with and confront. And so it’s hard to it’s hard to really speak to the part that’s unspeakable, but my process in general is in the last two weeks It’s I actually funded before I’d written anything. And the goal is to bring people alongside into the writing process. But it’s mostly just the start of my process, I can often be just picking up an instrument, or double clicking on the Pro Tools icon on my, on my computer, just doing the first step. And because the process can often be kind of linear, and you just start going down a path and you start chasing a thread of something, you play something like how it sounds, and you just keep playing it and it goes somewhere else. And as long as you’re there to follow that process, you can often get someplace kind of cool. So it’s usually just my processes just to start the process. Taking too much. And then and then hopefully, it takes me somewhere.

Adam Levy: Nice. And how is the classic crimes, genre and style evolved over time? Would you say?

Matt MacDonald: I mean, we were 19 when we started.

Adam Levy: Crazy. That’s so young.

Matt MacDonald: Yeah, so we were just in, you know, just starting college. And, you know, this would have been, you know, the early 2000s 2003. So there was a lot of bands that we kind of like wanted to emulate that were like more in the sort of emo post hard-core punk rock realm. And so we probably sounded a lot like the early 2000s in that regard, as far as like rock and roll goes. And so over the years, we’ve kind of just broadened out into different, mostly stills, it’s still rock music. It’s still melodic, it’s still energetic. But, but you know, implementing different, different genres within the rock umbrella, you know, and some of our stuffs been heavier, darker, and some of us have some of the lighter and poppier and, you know, every record, we try to do something a little bit different. Just because we don’t want to do the same thing over and over. But yeah, I would say rock music very generally, is what we sound like.

Adam Levy: Yeah, no, I, it’s pretty cool. I’m a fan of your stuff. I haven’t been listening to it. I guess, since that early on. I graduated, what college in like, 2019. But I’m a drummer myself, right. Like, I’ve been playing the drums since five years old. Music is like, like, essential to my core, and I fell down the crypto rabbit hole accidentally, which is kind of like my question to you is like, how did you get into crypto, right? Like crypto as, as it seems, at least over the years has been a very financial type of interest, a point of view, right? And now you have yourself and a bunch of other creators kind of tapping into this weird, like grey area of internet funny money, like, how did you get into that?

Matt MacDonald: Well, I mean, I think it’s most it’s not necessarily being a musician, although that’s part of it, I think most of is just being independent. And knowing that, like, so much of what my life has been over the last decade, has been dependent on what centralised corporations decide for me. So like, we were talking about Facebook, like we basically on boarded 85,000 people to Facebook, crazy. And that that’s how many people like their page. And we had this unmitigated access to them up until about 2012 13, when Facebook went public, and decided to start charging pages for access to the people. You know, and naturally, because, you know, to clean up the feeds, and whatever, I mean, everybody was following everything. And so it would have been chaos, if you didn’t have an algorithm that sorted, you know, high value content from stuff that isn’t, but it is, it was sort of under this promise that like, you know, you bring your people here, and then you’re going to be able to connect with them directly. You’re going to bypass middleman and then turns out, no, we’re the middleman. Yeah, and now you have to pay us and, and for a while we did you know, or for a while, we would use whatever, whatever the algorithm was favouring at the time to try to gain the system. Like, you know, they wanted to compete with YouTube. So they were really favouring videos. So we’d do a lot of videos and they wanted to compete with Twitch. And so they’re favouring live stuff, you know. And so we would just do whatever the algorithm would favour for a while. And, but I just hated it. I mean, I hated I hated like, that I had people who wanted to hear from us and what, what projects were working on, and we’re interested in that, but they couldn’t see it. And they couldn’t. It wasn’t a true subscription, you know, and I just hated being sort of extorted for ads. So, I was always looking for like, is there a decentralised way? Is there a way that we can communicate directly with people? I mean, even if it’s less people, you know, like it can be, it doesn’t have to be 85,000 people. I mean, that’s a lot to ask for all at once. But if we had 1000 people, you know, there was all those marketing, you know, podcasts and books about 1000 true fans and all that. And so, I sort of got on that kick like, Well, you know, we’re not really here for the masses anymore. There are people who will support us, as long as they know, we’re doing something, they’ll back it. Why, why can’t we quit sort of nurture and, and gather together a community in a decentralised way. And then, of course, in 2017, there was the big Bitcoin went sort of parabolic. And so, you know, that’s when I sort of I knew about Bitcoin before, but I was like, holy shit, this is something real, you know. And I was, I had a podcast at the time called, don’t feed the trolls. And it was me and my co-host, Nate Henry, and Nate bought, like a whole Bitcoin at like 8500. And rode that to the 20k, or whatever. And so I got in a little after him, but I thought around the top, but then we and then all season followed, and then we were nice. Like, whatever that criminal john McAfee said, we lost harass a few times on him, when we were just learning about it, you know, and so, but the promise was that like, there’s, there’s, there’s this way that you could sort of, you could guarantee digital scarcity, which is something that like my band going through, you know, the physical like, Hey, everyone buys CDs, to now, Hey, everybody buys mp3 is but not everybody. I mean, because you can just send those mp3 to other people, burn them to CDs, and then so it’s like, you can just have one mp3 is a million mp3 is it doesn’t matter, you know, there was no scarcity with digital. And the whole industry felt that the whole Music Industry felt that because the money dried up, and labels couldn’t, you know, promote as much in bands couldn’t do as much without two and a half to two or all the time. So the Id like, kind of what happened this cycle with NF T’s was that really got me thinking about like, Oh, you can make the art that we make, which is purely digital files, scarce, potentially, that we haven’t done that yet. But you could also have an organisation work in a completely decentralised way where there’s not like, one sort of corporate interest running it. Which is kind of the thing that appeals to me about, you know, blockchain in general.

Adam Levy: It’s funny, because your early adoption of Facebook, you guys being an early user, being an early contributor, also being an early like driver for its initial user base, right? You’re telling you brought in 85,000? Fans, right? That’s a lot. That’s a lot.

Matt MacDonald: They might have signed up anyways. But like, when right when we took over our Facebook page, it was about 8500. And like, I personally grew it 10 acts from that got you. Just engaging with people.

Adam Levy: You know, the point of view and the ethos of a lot of these new web three primitive based platforms is that if you help contribute, you also earn, right. And imagine, imagine if Facebook applied that loan, that model early on, it was a pioneer in that and basically rewarded all of its users, which I don’t even think they needed to an extent, right, because I will didn’t people, a lot of what people are doing right now. They’re seeing these web 2.5 platforms, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, how they’re kind of taking advantage of users, right. And now this new kind of wave, this new revolution is, is kind of being birthed from that. Yeah. Right. And I guess no one could have really seen that. That was like the next I guess, transition from Yeah, you’re, you’re a product of the platform, versus now the platforms are going to be after you the product, right? So when you guys are kind of building your fan base, like, at least now that you’re kind of entering more of this crypto space? How are you kind of reimagining growth and reimagining ownership and reimagining? You know, scarcity? Because that was important to you. Like, how are you thinking about that now?

Matt MacDonald: Well, it’s crazy. We didn’t really design. I mean, my way of being in the world is just to go do things and then learn about them as I’m doing them. So I don’t really I have a hard time being theoretical. We get we could have a meeting but like, I have to go do something immediately after that. We can’t talk anymore. Yeah, I figure it out. So doing the currency thing, like I had been watching some, like during quarantine I’ve been watching some streams because I got back into playing StarCraft two, my brother, my brother, brother in law was like, hey, come play StarCraft two with us. And it was seemed like a social thing to do because we were all locked down. So I started playing that again. I was like, Man, this is the best game ever. I mean, it’s crazy. Real-time strategy game, I started watching a lot of streams on twitch and learning how to play. One of the Twitch streamers had had a coin I had also, we toured with a band called Portugal, the man back in the day, they had a token on rally as well. And so I’d kind of, you know, I’d follow I’d seen people come out with their own tokens, and I’m like, What are these tokens, really, about what are people doing. And so I noticed that, like, it was a way to exchange value within a community or it had a discord I had a twitch. But anytime somebody wanted to, you know, tip me bits on Twitch, it was like, you know, 50% of that’s gone, you know, or they want to sub half that money goes to twitch. And so rally seemed to be, like, if you had money in something, it’s a fun little way to pass value around the community that we could tip our mods, or they tip me or I could sell things exclusively in our crime coin. So I signed up, I thought this is going to be like a currency. And, and, and it’s great, because it’s free to transfer once you’re, you know, on the side chain, you can send it around infinitely, and it costs nothing. But, but what ended up happening was people bought in immediately, and then it went like up a lot. And, and then they saw rewards come in for just holding it. So they don’t, they didn’t want to spend it as much, you know, like, so I ended up selling a few things I did like a mystery box where, you know, it’s about $150 worth of stuff, but it was jam packed with vinyl and shirts and lapel pins and tonnes of stuff that’s like exclusive. I ended up making like physical coins that we sold, that were like a, you know, almost two inches in diameter. We made a number of different things, but just as sort of like exclusive perks for people who are holding it. Not even trying to make money off of it just like saying, keep holding it because we get these rewards every week. So I’m starting to transition. Like I thought initially, you know, it’s going to be a currency that we’re all going to use, you know, and that that is a pretty cool you. And, you know, I can see like promo codes for discount tour tickets and stuff using it. So it does work that way. But really, the coolest thing is just to reward people who are holding it. You know, who have sort of like staked ownership in the success of it. And that seems to be like they’re happy to hold it and collect rewards if they’re getting rewards or you know to play poker for I play poker every week with people 10 people using the currency using the currency. Yeah, really? How does that work? Oh, we just have a website and they basically they it’s actually a really good website that some guy made poker now dot info, I believe it’s called or poker. Yeah, something like that. We just send a link in our discord channel that’s like exclusive to bag holders. And we say you can sign up here and there’s like a rally campaign link. It’s like a deep link that basically collects three doll three crime coin for their buy in. And then I can just look at my wall e who’s bought in, I can let him into the game, you know, once they click through the link, and then we’re all basically 10 of us around a table with video and audio, playing a real game of Texas Hold’em. So that’s pretty epic. Yeah, it’s pretty, it’s pretty sweet.

Adam Levy: That’s a new perk. I’ve interviewed a few people so far on for the podcast. And that’s a value out of utility that I haven’t really heard from like using your token. In poker, that’s pretty cool. Like, I feel like that’s like how these creators are winning is that they’re finding unique ways on how to spend their social money, right? And how to how for users to accumulate What else have you kind of approached and have done to incentivize one users to hold you sold physical goods, but I guess like, what, how do you how do you approach that Exactly?

Matt MacDonald: I just am coming up with random stuff. Like I’m talking to people in the discord and like, that’s the thing about I mean, it’s, it’s the spirit of decentralisation is that like, I’m not some Corporation who’s like has a plan to extract money from my customers. I want to give you what you want. So what is it you want? What do you want to do? What could we do that’s fun, that like encourages everybody to either buy, spend or hold or currency? And they come up with ideas and like, you know, the gold challenge coins that we made, we made 100 of them and they’re like, laser numbered. That we call them bag holder. That was our bag holder’s idea. Like they people were like, yeah, I want this. So I basically just go about making whatever they want. Usually, like one thing at a time, as far as that goes. But, yeah, the poker thing. We’re at 13 weeks doing a game a week so far. And that seems to be fun, you know, people come back and there’s like, we have like a leader board of like, Who’s got the overall winnings? So, you know, there’s like a sheet that updates you know that links that you can link to the discord with a command and so there’s like ongoing sort of rivalry stuff and legacy stuff that’s cool. And I just think like, you know, whatever they want in the future as long as we’re all just earning from this thing earning rewards and perks and stuff I’ll just make I’ll just make it because I can because like we together combine our powers to have basically resources to make things essentially I made a seven inch Flexi disc which is which is something you can play on your turntable right out of a song that that I made with the community on Twitch so we Oh, cool, made this like joke song called the Hell yeah. And it was supposed to be like this tough song, tough guy song. And we made it kind of about like the Jimmy like shorts, shorts queen. It was like, it was like, just totally influenced by like, what the viewers were thinking of at the time, like, what’s this about? And we just totally had input, we had group vocals, they’d send their vocals in, and I put that in the song. And then at the end of the day, we pressed the song into this, like little Flexi disc, and I made 20 of them, and sold those in the channel. You know, like signed in hand numbered, like these are really exclusive physical items. Hmm, it’s like, you know, fake digital money, money. Definitely all, you know, put you know, invested in so it’s I just like bringing, it’s almost like song writing to me, and I’ll stop. I’m sorry, I’m going off. But like, it’s like bringing something that’s not there into existence. And so the use of the currency is like a means to birth new physical items. [Broken Audio]

Adam Levy: I think you cut out for a minute. Can you hear me?

Matt MacDonald: Oh, yeah. I’m hearing I’m back.

Adam Levy: Okay. I was going to say, so. What’s the business behind that? Right? You’re creating all this exclusive merch, right? How do you view that as now like an entrepreneur, when you’re creating exclusive discs? Right? Obviously, they cost you something, obviously going to charge your fans a certain amount of the social tokens, right? Do you then you collect them you cash out and pay for those expenses? Or do you see it as like a general expense that you have for the year? How do you how do you kind of budget that? Exactly? And how do you make money from this? Yeah, and I only asked that, because I feel like a lot of people that are considering on doing this, they’re like, okay, but I’m just like people, like, rally or roll, right? All these platforms is just printing value, right? They’re just creating value. Like, how can I actually use this to fund a concert? How can I use this to fund like, what you’re doing mini discs, like, tell me more about that?

Matt MacDonald: Well, you can cash out, I mean, you can bridge out your rally. And so you start you know, rally will start you with a certain amount of creator coins as like a base, you know, you are the main token holder, and then you can distribute those I did a lot of like price matching initially where it’s like, if someone buys 10 coins, I will send them 10 coins, and then go in manually, like do all these transactions which encouraged a lot more people to Alright, well, you know, I get it, you know, I get two twice as many coins for the same price or whatever. And then what happens is the overall price goes up. Initially, it was because the rewards were being paid out to back. So the rally rewards were getting paid out to back crime. And then because this is a you know, decentralised, you know, you vote on proposals type governance token, they voted to, like pay everyone out in rally rewards every week, if you know, if you’re growing as a community. So people started getting these rally rewards directly into their accounts and going Wait a minute, they just sent me free rewards because I bought crime. And they’re like, okay, buy more crime. Keep it going double down? So values created like that for everybody. Which is kind of like the Kickstarter model where it’s like, you get a little bit from everybody, and you can make something big, you know. That’s the crowdfund model, which is we proved we proved that five times, you know, a little bit from everybody and we can make a big nice sounding record that you can get delivered to your door in the form of like, 212 inch vinyl. So like, that’s kind of what I see. This as to it’s like everybody sort of pitching in a little bit. So that I mean, if I needed to, if I needed to press vinyl, and I needed to pay $10,000 to do so I could bridge out part of my supply from rally. You know, swap it into USD coin, send it to Coinbase cash out, and I would have that money in my bank tomorrow. So, I mean, that’s how you make money is everybody going, I want to hold this, and I want the perks from it. And then the number goes up, the rewards come in those rewards you can cash out, and you can print stuff, you can make physical things from them.

Adam Levy: So why did you decide to go with rally versus creating your own altcoin? And what do I mean by that your own traditional ERC 20 that lives on the Ethereum blockchain, because right now, you’re relying on rally to create your own cryptocurrency that underlying values pegged to the rally token, right? And really, your token does well, if rally succeeds, so you’re basing your business on someone else’s success, in a sense, right? Why decide to go through that route, versus launching your own ERC 20. And I only ask that because you have such unique background, where you realised how Facebook and quote unquote, excuse my language, like fuck people over they kind of brought a lot of users a lot of engagement to their platform. And I guess, like, Why not like, because you told me you took a lot from that, right? You’re always trying to game the algorithm. So why go with another platform versus doing a bootstrap in writing your own ERC-20.

Matt MacDonald: Yeah, I think the bootstrap idea was like, initially, I thought, oh, that’d be cool. But then it just, it’s this sense of just a lack of security, you’re out there on, you know, uniswap as an ERC-20 token, that and just whales can just do whatever they want to you, your value is dictated by the completely chaotic free market. Whereas if you band together with other creator, [Broken Audio] who is a little bit more protected from the whims of the market, per se, and is I don’t, I wanted the functionality of a have a platform and a website, that would be adding features that would help my you know, I wouldn’t want to have to develop all these features myself. So and then also what sort of gave me security was rally’s decentralised way of governance. There’s proposals that you can vote on if you hold an amount, you know, my vote has some weight, and I’ve voted on some things. So people have ideas and they propose things to the community and the community actually weighs in and dictates whether or not they collect, they connect their metamask wallet, and they can and that has hold a certain amount of weight based on how many rallies tokens, they’re staking versus how much they have in their wallet. And so everybody votes and so if something was happening, that was against the core spirit of the rally mission at least the community could come together and vote about it which is not the same of with a Facebook for instance.

Adam Levy: Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. I guess like when I talk to creators, I talk to musicians influencers, internet personalities, and they’re debating on how should I approach this right Should I go with a roller rally where technically my success is pegged off the value in the success of someone else? Right also it has it also like not entirely like your currency your network does well based off the supply and demand pressure to right it’s not just them but like, should I peg Should I pick my value based off someone else’s business someone else’s token or peg my value in a more decentralised manner where the tokens that I create now plug into the like let’s say if you did the ERC 20 token right, right tokens your fans could use them for like the greater defi ecosystem right and you could collaborate with like Ave or maker and even maybe even lend out these tokens and create like a cool like finance hub for the crime token and whatnot I don’t know like all this all this shit like the cool thing about it so early right there’s so many different approaches you could take.

Matt MacDonald: And I don’t think we’re stuck with I mean, because rally can turn our coins into ERC 20 so and I think they’ve actually done that for one so far. And they’ve like helped assist to like, you know, to give birth to that. So there’s, there’s options down the line. But one of the things that protects value, I think for our coin holders are is the fact that rally is constantly on boarding new creators. Every creator on boards, they’re their core supporters. So it’s like people are constantly getting introduced to rally. They’re constantly buying creator corn coins, which are taken to ethereum main net and using their money to buy rally from the main net to back the creator coin. So being in crypto through a two and a half year bear market, I’m like, I kind of want to be protected from like going to zero, you know, like, because so many adults go to zero. Yeah. And to me, one of the best ways to protect your old coin from going to zero is to have it backed by an altcoin that is constantly onboarding new buyers. And that’s what rally is doing every time they have a new creator come in that creator brings in 100,000, whatever new buyers have rally, essentially. And now that creates a nice, like price floor for rally that like, it can’t go to zero. Because people are using it, it has the actual use case. And people are using it and people are buying it every week.

Adam Levy: Yeah, no, that makes sense. I hear you. I think it’s definitely an approach to the argument. But I guess Tell me more about your community. Because were they crypto native, what did you see like a hurdle and on them that luck? How to overcome that if there was a hurdle?

Matt MacDonald: Yeah, there. There definitely was a hurdle. I mean, and then and that’s the thing too, about using a platform that has a really friendly UX, and kind of designed to make it seem like any other place on the internet that you would interact with, with a profile, you know, is because so many of the people, like I realised that I go, I go first down the rabbit hole. And so and I’m always saying, Just follow me, it’ll be good. And people are trusting me all the time. But like, but sometimes it’s like a big ask, you know, it’s like, hey, put a bunch of your money into this thing. And I promise it’ll work out. And thankfully it has so far, but like, I think it would, I think it wouldn’t have happened. If it was like purely, you know, x’s and metamask wallet and purely decentralised like, you know, the real raw crypto space, I think they needed an on ramp through a platform. And so many of them have gotten metamask wallets or other types of wallets ERC 20 wants to bridge out to Coinbase wallets or whatever. And they’ve gotten on exchanges now to where they can accept rally coin from different you know, in in swap in the AEF. So they’ve learned all the little things that I that I learned years ago, through just having this little onramp. So that’s why I think it’s a good on ramp. And I think there’s potential to like go other places from it. We I made some NFT’s. I haven’t minted them yet, because I’m still waiting on trying to integrate more of rally’s dev team into what we’re going to do. But we ended up going to open C which is you know, decentralised NFT and minting platform and sales platform, and they didn’t accept rally token, and we got them to accept rally. So actually, our fans can bridge out. They can sell crime bridge out their rally and buy an NF t that is related to our band directly with the without having to swap without having a gas fees or whatever. So yeah. So that and that alone is like education and not like I just think like, I’ve taken them a long way in three months if they can.

Adam Levy: So you’re like an evangelist here, man. You’re doing someone’s work, that’s for sure. How have they responded? I know you mentioned a little bit but tell me more. Like, how many how many of the total, I guess your fan base? Were already crypto native versus not crypto native. And in what did that look like?

Matt MacDonald: Well, it’s funny that most I would say 95 to 97% not crypto native, crazy. It’s just I mean and the thing is too is like I’m 38 now and a lot of our fans are in their 30s like you know, they discovered our band in their teens. When I was in my early 20s you know like so I grew up with you. Yeah, so they grew they grew up with us but like they also have families and stuff now you know, like we don’t want you know, we have a good chunk of people in their 30s and it is a missed that. That boat of like crypto they missed 20 1720 and I almost did I just like randomly stumbled across it. But, but the ones who, who we’ve posted and sent a few things on, like, traditional social media, and the ones who like see that we’re doing it who have picked up on crypto and defy and stuff, and especially this last, this last little bowl cycle, that they’re all they all jumped in immediately. Like I had never seen, you know, it was kind of interesting. It was like tagging that like tapping them in and be like, Hey guys, you know, and they’re and they’re showing up and they’re talking about like staking rally and doing all this stuff and like crazy and getting involved in the community. They’re there. They’re on the rallies, discord, and they’re like, they’re keeping me up to breast on like, all like the new stuff that’s going on with the community. So it’s actually really cool to have some people who are like, they understand it. But they really just came out of the woodwork. They were like, okay, one of my favourite bands and crypto I’m in. And so they stay and started engaging that way. But a lot of other folks are just too scared. And you know, I understand that too. Like, they’re just like, you know what, I’ll back you on Kickstarter. But yeah, I don’t know what this is, you know, I’ve heard a lot, you know, they just heard about Dogecoin. Like, it’s too much to ask, you know, to get it to get involved. So, and that’s fine. We’ll do a lot of things and make a lot of stuff. And I have the feeling will there’ll be a few more cycles for mass adoption. I’m fine with people being slower to it if they need to be.

Adam Levy: Yeah, you know, I think a lot of people don’t realise that, at least in my opinion is like this whole creative economy boom in creators personalities, influencers, musician, whatever you want to call them, they end up tokenizing themselves and bringing in a lot of nice, like the next non-super non-crypto native audience into crypto. And they’re really bridging the next wave of mass adoption here. Like you’ll have the shit coins, you’ll have Elon Musk, beaming and tweeting and driving Mark Cuban emulate manipulation, whatever you want to call it. But these influencers This is like a new form of influencer marketing to an extent to a decentralised network that works for all right, yeah, it’s like it’s, it’s, it’s something really powerful that I don’t think a lot of brands are picking up on yet.

Matt MacDonald: Yeah, well, it’s so [Broken Audio] it really is. Yeah, like, the Kickstarter thing is the best, it’s the closest thing that comes to it, because it’s really just cutting out a middleman and having like, a pure relationship, and the relationship wasn’t just transactional. It’s that like, if you give me the money now that you would spend later, like, I will bring you through the process of making this and you are actually an integral part of it. It’s not just someone else gave me the money for this thing, I built it now I have to sell it to you to pay them back. This transactional thing, it’s more like you’re a part of something with the Creator. And I think that had sort of psychologically a big effect. Like I thought we did our first Kickstarter, there’s no way they’re everyone’s come back. And like, every time it’s been more and more people, um, because it’s such a fun experience to be a part of something as a community and just knowing that we’re all community minded people, it just as human beings, you know, social mammals, it’s just such a powerful thing that I think our culture specifically has gotten away from, with you have the producers and the consumers, and there’s separate sort of this chasm between the two, and there’s one, you know, and there’s this facade of like, marketing that, like, hides the real truth and it’s, it’s, it’s a lot of deceit and deception. I think people are tired of that way of like that sort of Mad Men marketing and, and, you know, the, in between the middlemen between the consumer and the producer. And I think people are really ready to be a part of something. And if you’re, if you have, if you all have a currency, it’s like a, it’s like a digital language that you all speak. That sort of glues your community together, that and its value that you can transfer within each other within the community. And then value that that affords you exclusive things that that are related to the content at the centre of the community. So it’s just, I see it as like a glue.

Adam Levy: Yeah. If you look at your last Kickstarter campaign, okay, the seven full length studio album that you guys pushed out, okay, you had about, I just looked what 1541 backers for a total raise of $91,552. Okay, but I want to focus on the 1541 backers, that crowdfunded nearly 100k. Okay, crazy, first of all, and now if you look at crime, because it’s like it’s crowdfunding 2.0, essentially, right, with a lot more benefits, a lot more twists, right, because you could essentially cry Find your next album using crime to an extent, right. But if you’ll if you look right now, there’s about 307 supporters. Right. I don’t know if that equates to actually holders, is it more than 307 holders? I think I think it is 307 holders, if not the token is currently trading at $13.24. Based off what, uh, 15. I checked like 30 minutes ago, okay. And it’s crazy to see the amount of value that Kickstarter is generating. And I guess my question to you is like, how do you now migrate those people from Kickstarter to now except in crowdfund using crime, so that you don’t have to rely on another middleman taking another cut, right? And they provide the nice UX, they provide the nice experience, right? The onboarding, the credit card, the all that shit, right, that makes it important. Yeah, how do you how do you bring the next wave? So you’re just like, slashing middlemen? And yeah, like, like, thinning it down and leaning it down to the extent where it’s just you write a community? How do you do that now?

Matt MacDonald: Oh, that’s, that’s kind of the dream is that like, I even thought, because I was talking to I was talking to some people who build on top of Bitcoin stack stacks or stack everything was Yeah, stacks. Yeah. Money. Yeah. Yeah. And, and they were like, yeah, you know, some people have these ideas where, you know, people, they, you know, they buy stacks or whatever, and then they and then they stake it and they get Bitcoin rewards. And that’d be one way to crowdfund is that like, you just get people a certain amount of people staking their money, and we get a certain amount of rewards and the rewards or the staking rewards. That pays for the project. And then after a certain point, everybody gets their staked money back. So like, people aren’t even paying for it. And I thought, well, that’s a cool idea to passively back, something that you kind of want to see happen, but like, sure, people in our in our realm really want to, they want to support directly. They want to be they want their money taken from them, they just take my money. Get it back to but like, I just thought that’d be the coolest thing ever. If you could just have a bunch of people, you know, stake a token. And then after a certain amount of time, they received their full amount back. And, and, and the rewards are what pays for the project.

Adam Levy: That would be crazy, right? But now try to explain staking to someone like we take it for granted. Right? We’ve been playing with crypto for some time. But staking like what the hell is staking a token? Like I buy my Starbucks with dollars? Like, how are you? How are you going to now like introduce, you know what I mean? Like how do you explain that? How do you overcome those hurdles?

Matt MacDonald: Yeah, yeah, there’s levels. There’s levels to it. But yeah, my marketing mind goes to Okay, just dumb it down. I mean, to me, marketing is like writing a song. Its like, how can you jam the most information that’s easily palatable into the shortest sentence, you know, right. The least the least amount of words. And so you Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s like interest is what people understand. And when they put their money, they put their money in the savings account, they get interest on it as long as it stays there. And then when they pull their money out, they don’t get interest anymore. So that’s how I would probably do explain staking to somebody. But I think the main thing the main selling point would be like you know how you buy the record? What if you took that money and you just put it there for six months? And then you get it back? And then the record comes to you or the records made? You know just you know just read that’s also weird, right? Like that’s also feels like a Ponzi scheme. Problem with crypto is that it feels like a Ponzi scheme. And it actually functions on some level like a Ponzi scheme. Yeah. But it doesn’t exploit people like upon, like, everyone, it’s a Ponzi scheme in which everyone wins.

Adam Levy: I’m literally like pushing the boundaries of what this can be right now. Yeah. Okay. So tell me more about utility and in the value behind crime what can people do with crime? You gave some examples, but really lay it down like how do you there’s one thing about buying it now what can I get with it? What are you created?

Matt MacDonald: Yeah, so let me just go to my page real quick here. There’s a coin benefits and uses right on our rally page. And it’s a so if you initially one crime was about 35 cents, and so I was like, okay, for Dollar 50. If people hold hot five crime, the bot will let them into this channel bag holders channel on our Discord. And in that channel, I will have the exclusive download to the song that we did on stream that’s not released. And so those are the kind of the two things and then it’s just access to all the limited merge that I sell through that channel. So I’ll put a link on that channel and say, if you guys want a coin, there’s 100 for sale. And, you know, for three crime coin, I’ll send you it, you know, so that it’s mostly just channel access for people who hold five crime or more. If people hold 100 crime or more, they also have another role in our Discord server called moon boss. And they were actually kind of like first in line to get like the highest number of dice that we made and stuff like that. And then it’s just, you know, being aware of like, when the poker games happening, or just being involved in different things like that, like we have exclusive merch for sale. And then the main thing which I put on there recently, which has been everyone’s decided is or has been really good, is earning rally rewards by just simply holding crime. So you know, it’s not about even buying more, it’s just, it’s just holding it to get this this reward system that pays way more than staking for any, you know, way more API than anything else I’ve staked for. So just by holding it, they get rally rewards, which is essentially free tokens. And you know, that that are potentially going up in the future, the more creators we onboard, and the more crypto gets adopted. So everyone feels like an early adopter at this point. And they are, you know, yeah. So they feel like I think all than something.

Adam Levy: Yeah, I think the beauty behind it is that because you’re an early adopter, because the social token wave is so new, because rally is only trading at a certain price. The more this market grows, the more these early adopters really, really win. Right? And I think people are starting to realise that why the hell should I keep my money? And Bank of America where I’m literally earning bread crumbs on $1 not even a half a bread crumb on the dollar? What I could just be supporting Matt McDonald, and in crime, right? A lot of people are like that.

Matt MacDonald: They’re like, Listen, you know, because we went about, we did like a 20x. In the first month. We went from like, 35 to like, $7 because rally went up to over $1 body. And so this is sort of like the tokenomics of it. You know, the price went up, and people were talking about like, Oh, I can finally like buy my new truck. Or I can get like, my, my, I can get my dental work done. I have to get it like a root canal. And it’s like 1200 bucks. And now, I never thought I would buy this, like token for a band that like to get exclusive merch. And now I can do like dental work. I’m like, you’re literally you’re not only producing music, you’re saving people’s teeth. Like Yeah. That’s amazing. And obviously, like, if you have to, if you have a toothache, sell your credit fix that, you know, I you know, I’m not trying to give people the whole, you know, price goes up forever. But at the same time, it’s like, it’s kind of cool to see people use it for actual real life things are not just consuming, you know, entertainment, which is what it was sort of set out to do now. They’re like improving their actual like physical lives with it.

Adam Levy: yeah, but that’s like the sunshine rainbows and roses type of market but then you have rally falling below $1 here and all these fans getting like somewhat fucked, right?

Matt MacDonald: Well, the beautiful thing about it too is once you get in so the dollar numbers, what you’re looking at, when you’re just an eight brain, you’re like, hey, look, it’s this amount, and it’s goes up this amount. But the more you pay attention, the more you realise there’s a ratio of crime, rally per crime. So initially, it was you know, you start out with a ratio of 1.1 rally per crime. So it was it was one rally plus 10% was the price of a crime coin. And eventually, that’s gone up to over 21 rally per crime. So the price of rally may fluctuate, but the value as long as people hold their money in crime, one crime will always be 21 rally. So, you know, rally can go down, and but we’re still earning rally rewards. And as long as we hold, we’re still we still have more rally than you know.

Adam Levy: Sure, you might get like the number of rallies still like association to the number of crime

Matt MacDonald: But the price of rallying the value of those numbers right fluctuates with the health of the market. And the more you interact with this platform and this side chain, the more you realise that this is like, this is something that actually has a lot of future potential. Right, you know, they they’ve taught they plan on getting 10,000 creators, we were in the first 100 Yeah, so like, buying and holding these coins that are worth rally is, it seems like a really smart thing to do is, like you said, as an early adopter, being that the creator economy is just getting going people are just becoming aware of this and more creators are going to be on boarded into the system. And then once that happens, mass adoption, because all the people that follow these creators are going to be aware of cryptocurrency they’re going to be aware of tokenomics and platforms and wallets, and all these things that make them less afraid of it. And so and that’s just good for the good for the whole thing.

Adam Levy: So yeah, when the price goes down, you and your fans in the group chat you guys like have like, you guys like congregate everybody relaxed, like it’s going to be okay, like, we’re going to we’re going to survive this, like, what is it? Like in the group chat?

Matt MacDonald: I mean, initially in discord, yeah. Like, when it went down it, like, plummeted once. And I said, Guys, don’t worry, this is like long term. Rally goes up. A week later was back. And it was more than that, you know. So people, it’s the thing too, it’s like, being in cryptocurrency markets for years, you develop a sort of fixed skin for the volatility. And you develop some patience, because you’re like, Okay, I can’t just me, I’m not a day trader, I’m not a guy that can like trade chop, or swings. I can look at trend lines. And, you know, say, all right, if it hits here, I’m buying. But, but you just learned patience overall. And I think that’s, that’s part of that’s part of adoption is understanding that like, things go up and down, but it doesn’t matter [Broke Voice] in crime is still, you know, it’s still three out of three crime coin for a buy in poker every week. So that’s all you need to know, you know, like you button. Most of them bought a crime coin at like 3540 cents. So it doesn’t matter if it goes down from $13 to $9. They don’t care.

Adam Levy: What a way to make everybody more hard-core, like get them in on the pennies and let them ride the double digits.

Matt MacDonald: Yes.

Adam Levy: I love it. Or I don’t want to take too much of your time. I know we’re coming up to a close. So I have a couple like, final kind of questions to ask you. So first one, I kind of skimmed the surface. He said it’s the dream. When do you imagine yourself like crowdfunding your next album? Like the eighth or the ninth or the 10th? Using crime? What you have a goal for yourself? Do you just like kind of seeing how adoption? Like what’s your thought process?

Matt MacDonald: Yeah, I’m pretty like an in the moment type of guy like, I don’t have like a five year plan. I’m mostly just trying to problem solve, and I get these wild hairs and I just go throw myself at something. So I haven’t like decided that this is the way that I want to go. But I do see it as you know, crowdfunding turned out to be a long term model that I thought was just a one, one stop shop. And it turned out to be a model that people like wanted to, like, they wanted to have multiple iterations of they wanted to be a part of multiple albums for and so if there’s a way that I can integrate that with crime, I think that’d be the coolest thing. Because like, that’s obviously like, what I’ve been working on for the last like, three, four months has been all cryptocurrency related. So if there’s way ways I could sell perks to crowdfund with crime would be [Cross voice]

Adam Levy: Like, like, Imagine being able, like, I’m just thinking out loud, I imagine being able to so you have your Kickstarter page. Right, right. You have the different tiers that people can kind of buy, they can donate if they just want to support. But within those descriptions, you say, yeah, you could you could purchase this, let’s say for $20 with USD, right, you purchase it with crime, you’ll be able to actually get it for $15. Right? Exactly, no, and you incentivize like, is that Do you think you’ll approach it like that? Like, what do you think?

Matt MacDonald: Yeah you could. I mean, the problem is now so many people that backed crime initially insane, which is which is what they’ve already gotten. Like, when I did the when I did the mystery boxes, I put like, I put like $200 worth of merging each one. Sort of like flat rate, USPS medium size shipping boxes, and I put like stuff and vinyl and stuff in it. And like test pressings, like really rare stuff. And I sold like I sold 10 or 20 of them at. But it was like the equivalent of like $150 worth of crime, which was the equivalent of about $15 of initial, like the investment, which was what cost me to ship them, like $14 was crazy. So basically, like the people who backed us in the beginning, paid shipping to get like $200 worth of merge. So like, already, it’s worthwhile for them to even pay more, because they’re using that their money from, you know, their tiny investment to buy to get them a big value in. But if I was to I was to use the crowd fund to try to incentivize people to adopt crime and be a part of our, our creative economy, then I probably would do some sort of discount like that, or like they could get, you know, if there was some sort of way to do promo codes? I don’t know, it’s hard. It’s hard to integrate with centralised platforms, because like they only have so much, you know, API that you can mess with.

Adam Levy: Or you could do this, you can basically say, if you purchase this thing, that’s 4050 bucks, you also get $10 in crime. So now you’re forcing people, now you’re rewarding them for participating, rather than just doing like spend.

Matt MacDonald: Yeah, manually. So basically, they would have to like, sign up for crime if they’re new to it.  And they would have to log in with their twitch account or something rally. And then send me their username or something.  Oh, yeah. I just, yeah. Anyway.

Adam Levy: Not super scalable, not super scalable.

Matt MacDonald: No, but those are the ways that I always look to like, figure it out is like, what can I automate? And  it’s so much of the decentralised cryptocurrency world is so customizable, and so it’s been nice to have, like, I have some people working on stuff that like [Broken voice] or where people can buy stuff just with crime. Which is so cool. And then I’ve got like, I’ve worked with the guy that’s developed it to like, give me a way to like, export their shipping information. So I can import that into, you know, Asian, but like, you know, eventually, it should just be a store that’s like connected through ship stations API. And yeah, customising nature of it all and automating of it is interesting for me.

Adam Levy: Yeah. So, two more questions. You’re obviously an early adopter, you’re I’d even consider like very revolutionary very forward thinking almost as if like a pioneer in in when it came to adopting crypto or when it comes to adopting crypto. And in the music industry, okay. How do you imagine this stuff kind of revolutionising social tokens revolutionising the sector? 510 years from now? Like, do you imagine a world where I mean, I guess it’s leaning more towards that, like a lot more creators, a lot? More musicians will be creating these like more modern day fan clubs. But like, what do you what do you see 5-10 years from now social tokens doing?

Matt MacDonald: Yeah, I see them as the glue that keep the decentralized community together and then the defied space being like the interaction lie the glue that keeps the separate communities together so that you can interact with cross platform. I see the centralization eating everything. Even my brother show me this platform called satellite the other day and people trying to build fully decentralized, customizable, open, free, secure and online.

Adam Levy: Yeah, no, make sense. That’s a very, very positive way to kind of look at the growth of the space, but let me approach it from a different angle really quick. Okay. Right now we’re in an environment place in society where people value influence based off the number of followers you have, okay? Now, we’re kind of transitioning into a world where every creator, or almost every creator is going to have $1 price associated with themselves or the community, right? Do you think? Do you think that that level of influence is going to kind of transition from number of followers to what you’re worth on the screen? For example, Matt McDonald is trading at $13.24. But Justin Bieber is trading at $600 Justin Bieber is more worth more than Matt McDonald. Shane, do you think it’s going to get to that level of like, black marriage type of effect?

Matt MacDonald: You know, Justin Bieber is worth more than me that’s…

Adam Levy:

 It’s an extreme example.

Matt MacDonald: But it’s like, as long as it does, as long as it’s not skewing reality. I mean, his influence, his reach, his record sales, his team, his business, everything he does, is bigger than me. And it might be 60 times bigger, it might actually be 600 times bigger, you know, but like, I don’t like as long as like, as long as it. That having a hierarchy is that big of a deal, as long as like, the little guys at the bottom, like me, are okay to keep making records, which is that that’s all I want to do. And there’s enough 100, 200, 2000 people who support those. I don’t really care. I don’t really care. I think Justin gets.

Adam Levy: A different point of view then. So there’s a gentleman by the name of whaleshark, okay, is an anonymous figure online, maybe you’re familiar with him. He’s a whale. Partway apart shark he does, he does a lot of good for the NFT space, he helps a lot of up and coming artists, he’s made a lot of like, very monumental purchases. And if you look at his big cloud, for example, that’s like around $15,000 right now, okay. And if you look at like, I’m just going to say for the sake of example, Matt McDonald, she probably has a much has more clout growing up and whaleshark was been a character for the last two years, three years. Right now, will people start seeing whaleshark? Much, much more influential and much better than Matt McDonald.

Matt MacDonald: You can be more influential than me if you have a certain amount of money, for sure. Because I don’t have that money. Yeah. But as long as the free market decides, you know, what I’m saying? Like, as long as the market decides, and not some algorithm, yeah, and not somebody’s idea of what should be the hierarchy. Like, to me, it’s like art, yes.  like, you talked about followers and number of followers, I find it that that the value of your social numbers, matters less and less over time, because we know number one, those things can be gamed. And number two people can fall in and out of favour with large groups of people, like, you know, if they’re on Twitch, and they’re playing fortnight for instance, they might get a lot of followers, but then they stopped liking playing fortnight and they want to go back to playing, you know, yeah, something else. They’re, they’re not going to have the same appeal, but they might have still have those fortnight followers, you know, I’m saying, so like, to me, it’s like, there’s, there’s people who have a lot more like, followers and likes and subscribers, who, who have come out with, you know, rally tokens. They just don’t have as many supporters as we have, you know, I’m saying, like, as long as people can speak up, and be like, yeah, I’m a supporter. And I’m not just here for to click Subscribe on YouTube, I’m here to send you $50 I don’t really care if you have 4 million subscribers on whatever social platform if none of them will send you $50 for your content. So as long as the number value represents reality, I’m fine with it.

Adam Levy: Love it. I think that’s a perfect place to end off, man. More power to you bro. Good, shit with all that you’re doing. I wish you all the success and I hope to have you again soon.

Matt MacDonald: Thanks, Adam. Appreciate it man. Thanks for having me.

Adam Levy: Of course.

Podcast Transcript

Here’s The Ultimate Breakdown of the Current DAO Ecosystem

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast


Mint Season 1 episode 8 features Cooper Turley who’s actively shaping the Creator Economy through projects like Audius, Friends with Benefits, and PleasrDAO. He advises Variant as an operator and investor and works with teams on token launches and governance through Fire Eyes DAO.

On this episode, we talk about his recent article mapping out the current DAO ecosystem. With 100s of DAOs in existence, he argues which ones he thinks will outpace the test of time, his point of view on how crypto is revolutionizing the music industry, why he’s betting big on DAOs, and so much more. 

Show links:

DAO Landscape:

How To Launch A Token:

Thank you to Season 1’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise –

2. POAP –

Interested in sponsoring future seasons? Get in touch here!

Adam Levy: Coop, welcome, man. Thanks for being on. How you doing?

Cooper Turley: Hey, man doing well, thank you for having me.

Adam Levy: Of course, bro, of course. Alright, let’s get started. For those who don’t know you, let’s give a quick brief about yourself, what you did before crypto, and kind of where you are now.

Cooper Turley: Yeah, so I’ve been a fan in the music industry for a long time. Prior to crypto, I was super deep into journalism, DJing, touring, all the likes. Graduated with music business degree and then fell down the crypto rabbit hole as a way to sort of make a name for myself in a new industry. So the past five years, I like to say I’ve been building the creator economy, doing a lot of work on the community front, helping creators learn how to leverage technology to their advantage.

Adam Levy:   Awesome. I think a big misconception that people get when they enter crypto is that they have to be technical, and be a developer and know how to build smart contracts. Obviously, people like you and I were more community focused, more front end. What do you see being like your day-to-day role in crypto?

Cooper Turley: Communications at large. I mean, I think that marketing and strategy are really important, you know, relationship building, business development, all of those kind of fall under that umbrella, but basically helping to connect the dots and make sure that people are working on the right thing. So, you know, I’m definitely not technical in nature. But I’ve gotten far enough to the point that I can speak the language well enough to make sure that I’m helping to point people in the right direction and get shit done.

Adam Levy: Yeah. Who got you into crypto? Like, how did you hear about Bitcoin, Ethereum? I know you’re a big ETH head for obvious reasons. Like how did you fall down that rabbit hole? What’s that story?

Cooper Turley: So my music business teacher was teaching a class on the future of music. And in that course, he actually mentioned smart contracts is the way to expedite royalty payments. You know, at that time, it made perfect sense to me, you know, I should be able to send half of a transaction to someone directly with no middleman and it shouldn’t take six months. And so after hearing that, I just kind of dug a little deeper into what he was talking about. I stumbled across a bunch of white papers. And then from there, you know, the rabbit hole kind of opened up and I quickly found myself reading more about it every single day.

Adam Levy:   And it was ETH that you bought first or what was the first one you bought?

Cooper Turley: No, first things I bought were Bitcoin and a bunch of random shit on bit tracks like terrible. Most of them went to zero. You know, there’s definitely a rite of passage in crypto, where when you’re first getting involved, it’s difficult to distinguish between what is valuable and what’s not valuable. It actually wasn’t until about a year or two into my crypto career that I started to really understand, you know, the power that Ethereum had with smart contracts and kind of all the capabilities on top of it, that further led me to kind of building a career on top of that ecosystem that I have today.

Adam Levy:   Gotcha. And the reason I kind of have you here, obviously, you published the fire article, kind of covering the DAO landscape, they got a ton of traction online, a lot of eyeballs. First off, like how much time did you put into that? Because, that’s pretty comprehensive.

Cooper Turley: Yeah, I’d say about 10 to 20 hours. You know, when I go deep on a subject, I really like to look across the whole space, trying to aggregate as many projects as possible, put out a tweet a few days before I published with kind of a VIP, or an MVP version of it, that kind of had a map. And I said, “Hey, if you want to be on this map, now’s your chance”, to try to give everyone the time to get on it so they couldn’t pitch me after. But you know, all things considered, I’ve been working actively in the DAO space for about two to three years at this point as early as some grant styles back in 2018. But the past three to five months, we’ll call it has been I’ve been seeing a lot more traction around this sector in particular. And so I really wanted to aggregate a lot of my learnings and help people understand what I was seeing in the space.

Adam Levy:   Yeah, and I only asked that, because you do a lot of things and everyone’s title for you is, like Cooper comma, a lot of things, right. So you’re managing our RAC’s social token, you’re working at Audius, you’re a part of many organizations in different groups. I feel like the more Discord channels you pop in, the more you see your name involved, right? Whether it be balancer as well. One, how do you find the time to manage everything when there’s a lot of FOMO in crypto, and everybody wants to get their hands on a lot of things and be exposed to a lot of things, how do you manage your time between Audeus, between REC, between these style projects, living life, and just being a human?

Cooper Turley: Yeah. I mean, I like to say I work on whatever excites me. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where my work and my you know, outer life balance are basically the same. Where like, I’m doing social stuff, and it happens to be work-related too. So, time wise, you know, I think I’m just keeping my finger on the pulse trying to make sure I’m aware of what’s going on. And more recently, when I see people with an affinity for the space that are really excited to use the technology, I want to try and carve out time to help them. Because I think those are the use cases where you learn the most about what’s going wrong and where we need to improve as an industry moving forward.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. I think also from the point of view of that many times you can be an active contributor and a passive contributor. How do you kind of not prioritize, because that kind of falls back to that answer, but being a part of so many different organizations, like when you are joining one and you becoming more of an active contributor, what do you find yourself doing? And then, how does that kind of spread across the multiple groups you get involved with?

Cooper Turley: Yeah, it comes in waves. I mean, I like to say that I work on a lot of different sprints at one time. And so for any given project, they’re typically cycles where they’re rolling out a big update, you know, they’re releasing a product, they’re looking to do a big marketing push, and so I try and stay aware of everything that’s happening. And when I see something I can really double down on, I really try and hop in and create as much value as possible. You know, these days, we see a lot of these DAOs forming boards or councils to try and sit on as many of those as possible. And, you know, beyond being a member of a DAO, I really like to try and add value where I can as it makes sense. And just being there, you know, putting in a couple hours a week, it’s really not as much time as you’d think it’s just really the intent and the commitment, always stay active and engaged with what’s going on there.

Adam Levy: Yeah. Do you ever find yourself spread too thin? You know, because you want to get involved with too many things, do you ever come across that? Because I think it’s like a point of fatigue that many people come across on crypto because they’re trying to get involved with different projects. You ever experienced that?

Cooper Turley: I haven’t found it to be the case yet. I mean, luckily, I have a lot of people around me who are fantastic co-workers of mine, I can really trust them with the stuff that I’m working on. And if it gets to a point where I feel like I’m getting too overwhelmed, I’ll make sure to try and delegate that to someone I really trust. So the strength of my network has helped me kind of do all the things that I do. And I really value those relationships helped me get across the finish line for all the stuff that I work on.

Adam Levy:   Yeah, that’s fair, it makes a lot of sense. So the first DAO you joined was a grand style back in 2018. Which one was that?

Cooper Turley: It was called Meta Cartel. So this was basically my first real friend group in the space. You know, up until that point, I was traveling the world, going to crypto conferences, basically by myself in the middle of, you know, Thailand going to some random blockchain conference. And then I started hearing about these things called Ethereum developer conferences, ETH global events, DEF CON, you know, these more premier Ethereum events. And as I got there, I found this group of people really focused on mainstream adoption. They were saying, “Hey, we have a group of us that love the idea of crypto, we think that we’re too technical now. And we want to get beyond that to help expedite mainstream adoption”. To me, that really stuck out and so I just kind of got involved. I met a bunch of people on the DAO, you know, some of the early members were really welcoming to me. People like James Wall, and Alex Mazur, and Peter Pan, really just took me under their wing and kind of got me involved in a group. And, you know, the rest is history from there. But that was the DAO that really set it off for me and really helped guide my career in the right direction.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. You know, that point in time 2018, I remember that really, specifically, because late 70s, early 80s, when I started getting involved, and at the time, you saw a lot of these defi projects that are well and alive right now being built during that dead period during that crypto winter, right? And a lot of people were just really looking for devs to help build out these solutions. And it was hard to find community roles to kind of bootstrap your career for non-technical people. But I guess as time persists, right, people need community members, people need front facing people. And largely part of what DAOs are, right? It’s a lot of these front facing individuals, that either play community roles, right, management roles, mod roles. Talk to me more about that. Like what are you seeing, like the types of roles and the people that are either joining DAOs, forming DAOs, what does that look like to you?

Cooper Turley: Yeah. I use the term operator broadly. You know, on the role of coordination, I think there’s so much to be done in a DAO on any given day that having these lead individuals who are running point on organizing community calls. You know, they’re taking notes that, you know, internal calls, they’re helping to organize different team leads, you know, these people that are kind of just playing point across the community. I’m starting to see more and more some of the first hires every now makes is basically a community manager on steroids. Where it’s not just about being in a chat, and like moderating it, it’s about actually running the show behind the scenes, you know, making sure all the ducks are in a row, making sure that all the game plans in order. And most importantly, keeping everyone abreast to it. You know, there’s so many people across so many sectors in every DAO that a lot of times people don’t know, what a DAO is working on. And so having one person that kind of acts as the touch point, to really organize everything and keep everyone in check, I think is probably one of the most valuable roles that the DAO has to offer today.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. And a lot of these DAOs get started from a group chat, and I know you wrote in your article. At least one ETH, probably even, maybe even less sometimes. Telegram group chat and a bold idea to kind of pursue and when people are thinking DAOs, sometimes we will get confused by buzzwords, right. And especially the people are going to be listening to this, right? These creators, these individuals that either want to make their audience more crypto native form these DAOs. It kind of gets, I guess, confusing, because from a creator’s point of view, let’s talk about from a musician’s point of view. Is it like modern day fan clubs, right? And when you’re building these modern day fan clubs, right now, they’re managed by centralized entities. So when people are thinking about forming these decentralized autonomous organizations, how can they kind of dictate whether they should pursue more of the centralized path and do  what’s known through an LLC model and have a management team that manage fan clubs and manages social profiles, etc, etc., versus decentralizing it and making people a part of it? Like how should people kind of dictate whether that’s right for them?

Cooper Turley: I think it’s a gradual path forward. You know, I think that at the start just getting people to understand the fact that you have a token associated with your project is a really scary thing. And so spending the first three months let’s call it getting people familiar with that topic, saying, “Hey, if you hold these tokens, you’re gonna get a better relationship with me and deeper access into that community”. That’s kind of like be one of it. And then based on how receptive your audience is to that, I think over time you introduce things like voting, you know, like the most important pieces of a DAO that are kind of picked away and just introduced very gradually. And as you kind of keep running that flywheel and your most active members understand that this token is an integral part of your ecosystem, then you can start doing deeper things like treasury management, you know, off chain voting, like, you know, token swaps and whatnot. But for the first, let’s call it three to six months of any creator token’s lifecycle, I don’t think it makes sense to try and hit someone over the head and say, you’re now part of this magic DAO Working Group. You know, you slowly weed them in and give them incentives to keep contributing. And then, before you know it, you’ll just have a DAO right in front of you.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. And I think you’re seeing that right now between rally role and all these random independent ERC 20 tokens that are pegged to either people’s name, brand or reputation, right? You’re seeing a lot of the creators experiment with this route of going public. And they’re trying to create utility, trying to create value to rally in a network effect behind it. And I think we’re starting to see at a point where, okay, you’ve taken yourself “public”, you have your social token, you have anywhere between 70 to 500 people holding it right, you have the Discord channel, what is that process now to make that transition into a DAO? And I only bring that up, because the most common example or the most successful example today is either friends with benefits or whale that come to mind. Right? And whale didn’t start through a DAO format. They started more centralized. And now they’ve transitioned to a DAO. So like, you have your token, you have people holding it, how do you transition into this DAO?

Cooper Turley: It’s a great question. I mean, speaking off the cuff on I think most importantly, is finding contributors that you can trust to run the thing. So going beyond giving people rewards for liking social posts, actually empowering them to have true ownership over the project. So, tasking them with setting up community calls on a regular basis, tasking them with doing competitions to engage your token holders more, you know, things like that, and really building out that core team of let’s call it five to 10 people that you really trust to be the inner circle of the DAO, that seems like v1 to me. And then I think v2 is once you have that inner circle trusted actually putting a substantial amount of money into a pot for people to be able to decide what to do with. You know, I think for most creator tokens, giving away your own tokens fantastic, it’s easiest thing on the table. I challenge everyone that starting a DAO to think about how can you hold assets outside of your own native token. When you start going through that process of either swapping your token for ETH or a stable coin or something like that, and then choosing how to distribute that to your community in the form of paid roles, you know, things start to get really interesting. And that’s where I think the stuff like governance becomes more important to actually make it a reality.

Adam Levy:   So when you’re talking about these assets that people are holding outside of the communities, what else can you kind of give an example to outside of governance, just so people understand.

Cooper Turley: Yeah. So with friends with benefits, we now have four different teams. Each of those teams has a team leads, we have editorial, product, membership, and treasury. Each one of those teams has a team lead that’s receiving USDC on a monthly basis, and some tokens on top of that. You know, there’s a pool of incentives for anyone that wants to join those teams. But you kind of have these organizations that are more formalized in sort of their structure. And then outside of that, we have kind of ad hoc monthly budgets that we post on snapshot for things like events. So in Miami, we threw an IRL event, we booked some DJs, we rented out a venue, doing some stuff at ECC coming up in a couple weeks. And so there are definitely larger decisions to be made with like dollars, basically. And when those come into the picture, I think it’s important to have, you know, governance in place to be able to keep the community informed on what you want to spend it on.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. One thing that I find very interesting about friends with benefits is that you guys had a capital raise well after you guys were established, you proved your concept and the vision that you’re trying to execute. And now, the DAO is very fluid, right? It’s very rich, capital rich. And I feel like at some point now, you guys have your treasury and your grants program, right, from what I’m understanding. And that’s even probably being applied to build products internally that help kind of orchestrate the DAO more efficiently. Like the best thing that comes to mind is, when I was in Miami, I attended the friends with benefit happily a member, so everyone go check it out. But, you know, like, there’s a point where, okay, the club is full, but also how do you authenticate that people are holders? And how can you do that with the people in the front that are permitting people in and out so that you or Trev or more of these core contributors don’t have to be like, okay, you’re in, you’re in, you’re in, you’re kind of thing, right? So these are like, these are projects and products, obviously, that will develop with time and all these things are social experiments. But now that these creators, they’re getting capital right there and they’re getting their fans to pump in switch from USDC to their native token, creating these liquidity pools, etc. At what point I guess once you have your DAO, how do you now kind of manage and portion a segment for your treasury, portion a segment for your grants, etc., etc. Like how do you segment then also for team leads, like how does that work exactly?

Cooper Turley: There’s no right answer here. I mean, I’ll go back to like trusting your core contributors. I think every team has its own unique skill sets and doing everything you can to empower them. You know, the one thing I love about DAO is people pretty much define their own salaries. You know, if someone wants to work for the DAO full time, chances are, they’ll present a proposal saying, “Hey, I want this amount of money to do this amount of work”. And in that situation, you know, whatever the outcome of that is, will happen naturally. You know, I think that we’re all as an industry is trying to figure out standards around that. And so you’re seeing tools to help with this. You know, in the rally ecosystem, I’m a big fan of these guys working on bonfire, it’s basically a tool to create, you know, easier ways to distribute tokens and do fun things with your tokens. On the Ethereum side of things, we have tools like coordinate to distribute tokens to active contributors. And so right now, you know, I think it’s more about earmark a budget, you know, of whatever amount you want to do, and then figure out how to spend that relative to who wants to work on it. So if someone wants to come to the table and run a podcast for you, or if they want to run a newsletter for you, you know, give them some coins, see what they do. It’s not like you’re locked into having to do these things for years on end. The approach we take at friends with benefits is throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. And now over time, as we run a lot of these experiments, we can start to see, you know, really clearly defined working groups come out of that. So like I said, a product team to further build things like that RSVP for IRL events, we’re working very hard on that now, because we saw their problem from our first event that we threw. But we never would have known that was going to happen if we didn’t throw the event in the first place. So you know, just trying to figure out how to really get people activated and mobilized around anything regarding the community, breaking stuff with it, and then putting smart people on the task to solve it. I think it’s a pretty smart way to just kind of go about it and figure out what works every time.

Adam Levy:   But the challenge is, how do you do this in a decentralized manner? Because naturally, with DAOs, you’re not going to have your CEO, your managers, your executives. You can call them team leads, but are people still taking order from people in a decentralized fashion? Like, I think that’s a misconception that people come across. Like, how does a group function without a leader, right?

Cooper Turley: Yeah.

Adam Levy:   How do you guys think about that?

Cooper Turley: That’s a great question. I think that you know, orders kind of naturally form in and of themselves. I think what’s important is that you’re not giving someone like full power to make every decision. And everyone that is in power is aware of the fact that they are part of a wider group. So at FWB, our first hire was Alex Zain. He’s absolutely killing it for us. I would say that he’s been making a lot of the bigger decisions on stuff like events and sort of governance and, you know, moving the ball forward on team lead side of things. And while we all have a say in that, you know, he’s been really mindful of looping people in and kind of making sure that people feel engaged and empowered. And in that situation, I think it’s okay to have a couple of people that have a lot of the shots being called so long as they’re recognizing that they are not a dictator and they need to take into consideration, you know, the thoughts of others when making these decisions.

Adam Levy:   Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Have you seen any, whether it be with FWB or other DAs that you’ve participated in, have you seen examples where kind of the founders come into place, right, they set the vision, they set the mission, they bring in key stakeholders to kind of manage and help out on executing different stuff. And then because it’s a DAO, right, and naturally is decentralized other shareholders that hold a lot of FWB, or whatever DAO token it is, they kind of maybe come more into power than what was intended and start shifting the direction of what that DAO was intentionally intended to do and execute on. Have you seen that? I know that one example that comes to mind more recently is Cane Warwick with Synthetics, right? But have you kind of seen these more with these social communities that are forming or investment communities that are being formed?

Cooper Turley: Not so much with the social communities. I mean, the first example that comes to mind for me here is [unsure word 18:30], the Wi Fi ecosystem, where basically it’s this highly sophisticated defi protocol. Andre Caronia who started it is this famous defi developer. But over time, he sort of phased himself out in favor of this more DAO like structure, you know, and I don’t think that’s been for the better or worse, I think the project’s been operating extremely well. But what it does show is you don’t need the core founder to be making every decision for somebody to move forward. It just requires people to be highly incentivized and aligned to build cool shit.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. Now that makes a lot of sense. I want to bring up your DAO landscape article and kind of run through that for a minute and specifically bring out this is the old one, let’s really quickly find this new one. It’s on via mirror on your profile, right?

Cooper Turley: Yeah. So it’s pretty funny.

Adam Levy: Yeah.

Cooper Turley: The old image I tweeted out, you know, you asked me earlier how much time that I spend on this, you know, my first pass through, I knew that people were gonna roast me because I didn’t write anything in the image. And so I basically put that first tweet out to say, “Hey, this is v1 of this map, I’m going to publish in 48 hours, if you want your project to be named here, this is your shot to do it”. And so obviously, that got some great engagement. I think 300 plus projects commented on it. So I had to kind of siphon it down a bit. But what it showed is that, you know, taking time to get feedback from the community before publishing actually ended up being net positive for this post. And as you’ll see in this new map that you pull up in a second here, it’s really just mind boggling like how many DAOs there are in the ecosystem now, and there’s so many that it’s hard to keep track. You know, Eugene commented on my posts when I was asked her peer review saying, at some point, it’s going to be impossible to track all these because DAOs are basically just LLCs.

Adam Levy: Right.

Cooper Turley: You have a map for all the LLCs in the world because they’re just too many to count. But, you know, luckily, we’re at a stage where it’s early enough now that we can sort of paint a full overview picture of that, and recognize that there are still a lot of opportunities out there for people who want to get involved and create value in the space.

Adam Levy:   Yeah, and actually, let’s pull it out, because the link that I saved was actually a different link. So let’s do this really quick. Let me pull it up. So we’ll go over here share screen. Boom, okay, DAO landscape, okay, so you broke it down very strategically, and very concise and clean, which I love about your writing, every time I come across one of your pieces. Specifically, with this one, it’s like four to five lines, per DAO, explaining what it is, and it’s getting straight to the point, okay? So just to bring up the graphic, I know it kind of like fades out. But the DAO Operating System, Protocol DAOs, Investment DAOs, Grant DAOs, Service DAO, Social DAOs, Collector DAOs, and whatever is below the fold, right here and Media DAOs, right. And all these DAOs serve their own intention, try to solve their own problems, there probably is a lot of overlap. Probably, who knows, it’s hard to keep up with everything, but I’m just seeing with how you categorize them. Okay, I want to go one by one really quick. Give me a quick definition, from DAO Operating Systems, Protocol DAOs, Investment DAOs, so on and so forth. And we’ll kind of dive into all of them individually.

Cooper Turley: Yeah, so I’ll just read off the map here. And maybe you can scroll down throughout. You know, basically, when I was making this article, I wanted to try and differentiate what different DAOs operated under and like a very large bucket. So starting at the top there, DAO Operating Systems, this is a way for you to make a DAO. You know, any of the projects in there help you either form a DAO, start a token, or basically create an operating system. Protocol DAOs are probably the most common ones that you see. That is a DAO for an underlying defi protocol or project that basically governs the way the whole system operates. So you’ll see a lot of huge names on there. You know, I use the term DAO here, because most of these projects have a treasury of let’s say, a billion dollars that’s being allocated across the ecosystem in some way, shape, or form. And token holders have the ability to vote on how that capital is allocated, which makes them really exciting. Investment DAOs are ones that I’ve been a part of in the past year. This is basically people coming together pulling let’s say 1000 ETH, and then deciding how to invest in early stage projects, which has been really fun to kind of parlay token based investments. Grants DAO, we talked about this earlier, some of the first ones I got involved with. Basically, we all have capital we want to see it put to work in a productive way for people that need it. And so people make applications to receive funding and these Grant DAOs allocate them capital to build cool shit in their ecosystem. Service DAOs, you know, I’ve spent a lot of time working through Service DAOs in crypto. This is basically a way for you to provide a valuable service through decentralized manner. I’ll call out that one fire eyes in there that I do a lot of work through for a token and governance design, where we’ll work with teams on an engagement to launch a token, to launch a protocol upgrade, and get paid through an on chain wallet and ether tokens to kind of do what would be considered consulting in a traditional sense, but in a much more involved and hands on manner. Alright, going over to Social DAOs there, I’m going to cut you off and we keep going we’re gonna bang them all out. Social DAOs, you know, after VBC club, the thing I really love about Social DAOs, it’s more about the human nature than it is the financial nature. For a lot of those Protocol DAOs that you see, the KPI is generally protocol fees. So how much is this protocol generating? What’s the revenue? And what’s the profit? You know, while a lot of Social DAOs still have that under the hood, it’s more about what does it mean to be a member of this community? You know, what are the qualities and aspirations that I have by being a part of this DAO, and how do I come together to make friends online and then hopefully, in the future IRL relationships. Collector DAOs mainly around NFT’s. So [unsure word 23:52] DAO is one that I’ve been doing a lot of work through. Basically groups of individuals coming together to collect high value NFT’s, and then commission artists and empower and democratize those pieces over time. And the last one is Media DAOs. So basically, instead of there being a closed entity that’s doing reporting and story writing, and whatnot, we’re now seeing this new chapter where anyone can come and contribute to a media outlet, get paid in tokens for that work and be a lot more open source about the way in which they source stories and the way and they share that to the world.

Adam Levy: Boom, there we go. That was the most comprehensive fricking breakdown ever. Alright, so how many projects are on there? I couldn’t count. Do you know?

Cooper Turley: At least 100?

Adam Levy:   Okay, over a 100 projects. And there’s the saying in the startup world where when you make an investment in a startup, nine are going to fail, one is going to succeed. How many of these DAOs do you think are going to be here a year, two years from now?

Cooper Turley: Generously 50% maybe. You know, I think that we’re in a very early experimentation phase where the idea of starting and joining a DAO is more exciting than actually executing upon it. You know, when you look at those Protocol DAOs, I’d say that basically everyone that I listed in that Protocol DAO bucket is going to make it. I think it’s some of the more fringe ones that is unclear whether or not they have long-term sustainability. But what I will say is the fact that they’re becoming so rampant and how fast they’re being spun up. Inevitably that at least a few of them are going to stand out and become like these really monolithic for the DAO space. I think that right now, it’s just a little bit too early to tell which those are and whether or not we actually have the conus, where all of us to make it through a bear market when the money’s not flowing as much as it is right now.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. One of the more I guess, exciting ones that come to my mind, and I’ll bring it up again, are these Investment DAOs, right? And some of them are structured, more decentralized, others have more of a centralized entity supporting them. And decisions are made more decentralized, right? How does that actually work from a legal standpoint if you’re a crowdfunding capital right now and either you’re investing in illegal securities, or you’re investing in, I don’t know, whatever it may be? Like, how is that structure kind of like, put together from a legal point of view? Do you have insight on that?

Cooper Turley: Yeah, so I’ll call out the Lau here, because I think they’ve done the best job of this. The Lau is a LLC registered company here in the US, they’re limited to accredited investors only. And there’s a maximum of 99 members that can participate in that vehicle. And so everything that’s being done there is done as an accredited investor. And that makes us that these investments are compliant under SEC regulations. You know, on the other end of the spectrum, we have things like Duck DAO, which I’ll call out, which is basically like send funds to an address and pull capital together, that works conceptually the same way that the Lau does, but I think there’s a lot less formal process in place around KYC, you know, like AML, these typical investor procedures that we see for more formal investments. And as a result, a lot of the projects get spawned out of those are these kind of random coins that come into the market, you know, they’re definitely far more ad hoc, have like a lot shorter life cycles. And so if I had to break it down, I would say that the more legally compliant a DAO is, typically the longer time horizon those investments are, and typically, the more sophisticated those investors are, then their numbers of those DAOs.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. And in terms of these Grant DAOs, I feel like there’s also a lot of overlap between the Grant DAOs and the Protocol DAOs. And maybe I’m getting confused, because a lot of these Protocol DAOs have grant departments, right? That Department DAOs like sections that kind of make decisions on what to spend the capital on and their DAOs within themselves, right there may be organized, more centralized, per se, but they govern the funds, just like any other DAO would. The one that comes to mind is Ave right now, right? Ave, is going through that process. And if you’re trying to get sponsorship for events, or you’re trying to get any form of capital to build on top of the protocol, or promote the protocol, you have to go through more of the decentralized funnel to get that money. So would you say there’s like overlap between those two as well?

Cooper Turley: Yeah. So every Grant DAO spawns out of the Protocol DAO. The reason that I broke this off is for a lot of the ones that you see that are also in the Protocol DAO section. So Compound, Uniswap Ave, Audeus, as four examples, those have all been spun out of governance. So basically, to pass a proposal in those Protocol DAOs, you need a fuck ton of tokens, need to make a really compelling argument. And it’s really difficult to pass proposal. And so what we’ve been seeing happening in this space is someone will make a proposal to start a Grants DAO, this will basically take money out of the really heavy, essentially, really heavy DAO in the center, and allocate it to a more nimble working group that becomes a Grants DAO. And so in order to apply for a Grants DAO, you don’t need to have a bunch of tokens, you can fill out a form, fill out a Google form, get 1000 tokens here and there for doing some more lightweight work. And it really helps to disintermediate that step between needing super heavy on chain governance to get a really small amount of capital, and instead empower let’s call it five people to oversee a small fund of money and make sure that it gets sent out to the right people in a much more nimble manner.

Adam Levy:   Yeah, that makes sense. Out of all these, what would you say is like your favorite DAO category that you’ve kind of enjoyed either participating in the most, or you’ve seen kind of develop over the course of time? What’s your favorite?

Cooper Turley: Probably Service DAOs. I mean, I’d say Social DAOs are a close second. But for me, my career has been basically predicated off working in a decentralized world. And so seeing the development around Service DAOs, and basically, decentralized working groups coming together to deliver like, really valuable products and service, I think has been extremely exciting. And just based on my recent conversations, we’ve only just begun to see like what DAO servicing looks like. And I think in this next year, we’re gonna see some really, really smart people come to the table on that front.

Adam Levy:   Yeah, I think a lot of DAO service or South server servers, whatever you want to call them, you’re seeing them very, like, human capital intensive. Do you think it’s going to start transitioning into more of a software play down the line? And if it’s already kind of swinging there, what have you seen work? What have you seen not work?

Cooper Turley: I’m not sure if I’d use the word software. I think the most important part about Service DAOs is they need to know how to make on chain proposals. So this is something that’s really complicating to the average person. Basically what you’re doing is you’re going to a Protocol DAO that has a billion of dollars capital in it’s treasury and you’re saying, “Hey, I think I can add value to this protocol. Here’s a proposal for what I want to work on. And here’s how I’m going to rally people around me to support this work and then execute it”. And so you know, right now, the way that Service DAO work is either like hiring as a freelancer, like we’re gonna give you 1000 bucks to write this smart contract, or what I personally like to do more is creating a really creative proposal and going to a community talking out with them, and then having a nice allocation of tokens to go and build, really valuable upgrade to the platform that when executed upon actually makes your work and your compensation more valuable.

Adam Levy:   Can you give me an example of what that looks like? And I only bring that up, because a lot of people are going to be approaching this space. And they need reference as to what’s quality versus not quality. So what does that look like from your point of view? And give us an example of how you’ve kind of done that? And with who?

Cooper Turley: Yeah, so I’ll call out balancers one great example. Me and my friends at Fire Eyes, we did a proposal around governance mining, where we basically say, “Hey, we want people to be incentivized to contribute to the Governance Forum to the Discord, to vote on proposals”. And we mapped out a pretty long proposal on how to get involved and what that could look like. It included allocations of tokens to go to each of those programs and included specifications on how to get those integrated into the communities. And I would say for anyone looking to learn about this, pop into basically any Governance Forum and or snapshot, look at any space for the DAOs mentioned on the map here. And you’ll see an endless list of proposals where people are defining, we want to take x tokens and do y with it. In the middle, there’s this nice formula proposal with a framework on how to basically write that up and get it presented to a community in a very digestible and well-articulated manner.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. I think it’s like critical. There needs to be some type of template that people go off to and reference, I think in the future. Because, you’re just going to be seeing as these communities get bigger and bigger, and like the most random proposals and the most unstructured format…

Cooper Turley: Yeah.

Adam Levy:   just taking up space on these voting platforms. And it’s probably already happening right now to an extent. So, I want to pivot this for a minute, into the creators point of view, okay? And into whether it be the dancer, the artist, the internet personality, the fashion designer, whatever it may be, right? When you’re building these DAOs and you’re trying to empower your fans, your audience to partake in this journey, there’s already a hurdle with getting them more crypto native. And we said that the way to combat that is just give your tokens out for free, okay? And once people are holding it, they’re in their Discord, they’re being integrated into the process, you slowly transition them into the DAO format, and find those key excited individuals, those people that love you to death, that have the Facebook fan pages for you, bring them into place and have them manage and be key holders. But when you’re building these DAOs, and you’re trying to get I guess creators and more of the normie crowd into play, how do they communicate this to their fans? Like how do they tell them, “Guys, you’re managing me now, you’re managing my brand, you guys, because you helped me build it”. Like, how do they communicate that? Because in crypto makes sense, right?

Cooper Turley: Yeah.

Adam Levy: It’s like okay, we play the ownership, economy thesis, etc., etc. But for creators, more normie people, they have a hard time understanding what Bitcoin is, you know?

Cooper Turley: Yeah.

Adam Levy:   Like, how do you position that in the right way?

Cooper Turley: I think it’s the framing that we’re all doing this together. You know, I think for a lot of creators, there’s historically been a very one-sided relationship where a fan is consuming content that you put out, and they’re getting to enjoy that content. But beyond that, they’re not really seeing any of the upside associated with it. So the more that you can show and not tell where it’s less about, we’re all in this together and more about actually showing them if you get, let’s say $100 in from the sale of a T-shirt, and you end up giving that back out to fans in the form of a token. You know, there are things you can do with your tokens and with your ecosystem to very clearly show that this is a community-owned project now. You know, everything that I do is going to be directly valuable to you as well. And over time, you know, it’s my hope that we just open that more and more to five years from now, when I’m getting every dollar in as an artist, it’s going into a community treasury, it’s very clearly allocated who it’s going to. And as that we can all kind of win together rather than the world today, where you have fans, they’re consuming everything but if they want to get involved on like more of a financial or social level, basically the most that they can do is just share your song a bunch of times on Spotify or Discord or Twitter or Instagram or something and hope that you give it a retweet, which in my opinion falls very short of what’s possible.

Adam Levy:   Yeah, no, I 100% and I think we’re seeing very early stages of that. First person that comes to mind is Harrison First. He took himself public, created his own social token, and he incentivized people to earn by basically saying, “I need you guys to scout how many times I said this word in the song and if you get the right number and DM me, I’ll send you tokens”, right? And it’s kind of contributing based off participation. It’s contributing based on action. Another cool example that comes to mind is Ali, who is like a main mainstream Twitch streamer, right, YouTube personality, and she incentivizes participation by putting together these huge events, these gaming events where solely attainable and accessible through Ali coin rewards, or distributed through Ali coin. To buy your way into the event, you got to buy it with Ali coin, right? And now she’s like building an ecosystem around Ali coin. And it’s gotten to the point where and I’m only giving this as an example, because it references a lot of what you preached earlier. Now people have become so ingrained and in tune with what Ali coin can do. Now they’re motivated to start building and using it to their advantage. For example, someone in her DAO is now building a bot right or built a bot that would help streamline communication and processes in the Discord, and they got paid in Ali coin, right?

Cooper Turley: Absolutely.

Adam Levy:   You’re seeing like that early formation. But I still think there’s still like a mountain to climb with getting people in tune with that process. When it comes to practice, right? What does that funnel look like? What have you seen work? For example, people need to start changing the way they communicate their value and their value proposition to their fans. And they need to design their funnels for onboarding them to adopt their cryptocurrency their x token. Are there any examples you can kind of give that our people are doing it right, at least right? Whether it be guys, I’m having this concert, if you buy X amount of tokens, you’ll be integrated blah, blah, you know what I mean? Like…

Cooper Turley: Yeah.

Adam Levy:   what does that funnel look like?

Cooper Turley: Yeah. I mean, I think we’re seeing a common trend that people that stream content in some way, shape, or form, if it’s on Twitch, if it’s a vlog on YouTube, if it’s on Tik Tok, you know, having a high level funnel to make people aware what’s going on, and making a clear call to action to go one level deeper by joining something like a Discord. I think that’s step number one. You know, I love to use Ali as an example, I think that she is a premier creator on Rally, it’s doing this extremely well. And what I’ll call out there is that for the first two months of Ali coin, being in existence, it was very much educational, just saying, “Guys, I have this token now, I’m super new to it, you know, you can buy some if you want, we’re figuring out what to do with it, slowly adding in new access levels, and then over time, you get into a flow”. Whereas other people in your community become more educated, they can do that for you. You know, there’s nothing that I think is worse for a creator to do than go out and just start blanket shilling their token saying buy this, buy this, buy this, but not supporting the reasons why you need to get involved in the first place. And so I encourage creators to really work on what is access in your community look like, you know, what are the relationships that people can build with you and one another by getting involved? And the more concretely you lay those out, I think the more confident you’re going to be in talking about it, and the more success you’re gonna see as a result of that.

Adam Levy:   Yeah, I agree with you. I think starting out very small, being honest and transparent, that you’re new to this and aligning your like insecurities and being empathetic like that to your audience will make it more relatable, and more and more promising that and more exciting, essentially. So when people are kind of launching these tokens, and they transitioning into building a DAO, I think many people get excited by the numbers of seeing a name being publicly traded on a screen and having a certain amount of liquidity and a fully diluted market cap and all these big shiny things attract the people, right? But now, doing it in practice is what kind of gets it going. And I think many people kind of not forget, but maybe don’t even understand what challenges kind of face them. So…

Cooper Turley: Yeah.

Adam Levy:   when you’re starting to build these communities, and you’re in either you’re bootstrapping from nothing, or you’re trying to onboard an existing fan base or audience and make them more crypto native. What does that look like in terms of challenges that people aren’t seeing?

Cooper Turley: Yeah. So I sent you a message in the chat there, I wrote a blog post for forefront on how to launch a token. This is basically you know, the past two years of my life, drastically oversimplified into a five step process on how to launch a token, I think the things that people often overestimate is how easy it is to get people to join, like people buying your token is a pretty hard step. And for you to think that people are just gonna do it naturally is pretty naive. And so instead, I think it’s about how you give people more ownership and power on like a social basis. They feel like they have a part of this project. So that once they’re involved as like a moderator or someone active in the community, you’re giving them tokens doesn’t feel like that heavy of a step because they’re already actively engaged. If you just try and go out and blindly toss these tokens on people, they’re not really going to know what’s happening, they’re not going to know what’s going on. But if you build a deep relationship with your top fans, I think they’re much more susceptible to getting involved. And that’s why I always tell you know, creators to really focus on that top one to 5% of your super fans and try and really educate them, because they’ll end up doing the legwork for the 95% of the other fans that you have. And your most important goal is just kind of seeding that message outwards. You don’t have to keep doing it yourself. So…

Adam Levy: Yeah.

Cooper Turley: I don’t know if you want to take a second to pull this blog post up I’d love to just like highlight very quickly something about…

Adam Levy:   Let’s do it. Let me share my screen. And as I bring it up, the most common or the most relevant example that comes to mind is again with Ali and her having such a broad communities, everyone that enters the Discord now, like she doesn’t really have to do anything. Like the community is “Oh, welcome, we’re so excited to have you. Here’s the steps on how to join. This is how you get started, this is how you buy the coin”, and the community is now educating one another. And she’s slowly starting to see herself kind of like migrate out of that initial leadership-controller position. But let’s bring up this blog post. Alright, super simple to the point go.

Cooper Turley: Yeah, so step one, having a community hub. You know, we talked a lot in this call about Discord, something as simple as having a place for all of your fans to come and hang out. Once you’ve built that out a little bit structurally, that you have different channels and whatnot, start taking note of who’s contributing to that. So your moderators, the people that are policing the channels, the people who are going out and sharing your streams, you know, start keeping track of your super fans they’re adding value, and then find a partner to help kind of empower them. So issuance partners here, these are platforms like Rally or Coin Buys, if you’re not a technical person, which pretty much everyone listening to this, including myself is not there are tools on the table now to help you make a token and a very easy way and give you a template to get started. You know, once you have a token out there, there’s a bunch of tools at your disposal to kind of upgrade and integrate that stack. So things like let’s just say for custody, things like governance, tools like Bonfire and Rally that I mentioned, for token distribution type thing. And once you have that blueprint in place, there’s a reason why I did Step five is Token Distribution instead of step one. You know, I think it’s really important for you to think very hard about what this looks like when you roll it out into the wild. And once you have all these first four steps launched with a token that exists with people you want to give it to and with tools to empower the way you use it, then you go out and do a token distribution and kind of kick start this flywheel. And I think you’ll find people will be really excited to get involved because they noticed that you put so much time and effort into getting that started in the first place.

Adam Levy: I think it’s a great tool set. And it’s coming obviously, from your point of view, you got a lot of experience. So anybody that’s watching the video, take notes, anybody that’s streaming this through audio, come and watch the video and look at this chart, I’ll also put it in the show notes. So back to these challenges for a minute, okay? I think like we agreed that the best way to get people on board and from your audience is just to give the token away. And a lot of creators might not come from the crypto background nor the financial background to even understand like the levels of giving to holding, right? So, how do you kind of mitigate the situation where creators just like just take my token, just take my token, they just start air dropping a bunch of tokens, they only have so much liquidity in their pools, and all these fans just don’t swap out and like bankrupt the community?

Cooper Turley: Yeah.

Adam Levy:   Right? It’s a very plausible scenario. How do they kind of mitigate that death experience?

Cooper Turley: Yeah, I think that it’s very gradually over time. You know, I think it inception being really free about who you’re giving tokens to is probably okay, it’s earlier in the lifecycle, typically, the token is worth less and the marketing exposure of it is more important than kind of the ongoing accumulation. So step one, I think you’re looking for awareness, giving people tokens for something as simple as giving you bits on a twitch stream, giving you a subscription, joining the Discord, you know, things that are really, really obvious in nature, empowering those with really small incentives to kind of start that process. I think that’s v1. And then I think over time, you know, you want to be a lot more calculated about how those tokens go out. So building deeper relationships with people, giving them deeper tasks to work on. I would say the higher quality the project becomes, and the more impactful it is, the more tokens that deserve to be earned as an incentive. And what you’ll see will happen is instead of you going really broad with giving 1000 people one token each, you’re going to start giving one person 1000 tokens. And the more ownership that they have over that project, the more trustworthy you can be with them about knowing that they’re gonna execute on the goals that you’re putting in place and the more valuable stuff that they’re producing for you is going to become.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. Let’s try to think a few years from now and kind of like, speculate on what this future may look like. When do you think we’re gonna start seeing like Migos do a DAO, right? Or Justin Bieber do a DAO, or Taylor Swift do a DAO? All these community-rich individuals who have brands that carry so much weight, when are they going to start decentralizing their communities do you think? Where’s your head at with that?

Cooper Turley: Sooner than you think would be my gut reaction. I’d caveat by saying when do you think they’re going to do it well? I think with that…

Adam Levy:   Yeah.

Cooper Turley: that question is much different, which will take three to five years. You know, what I expect is we’re gonna see a similar wave to NFT’s where every creator in the world knows that launching a token has value. We’re gonna see some sort of nifty gateway like solution, where launching it is as easy as possible, and people are going to fuck it up. You know, we’re going to see huge creators come into the space, launch a token, not really know how to engage with that. Over time, a lot of those guys get weeded out. And what will remain will be these creators that have really active Discord servers, they have really strong relationships with their true fans. And they’re not just in it to kind of make a statement. Like, they genuinely want this to be a part of their project. And so five years from now, like I said earlier, we’re gonna see these community tokens represent true ownership on a project where it’s basically equity and an artist. So if I discover someone early on, there’s a vehicle for me to get involved. There’s [inaudible 45:10] to be gained from it. And I think that once we have the platforms and tools in place for that to happen in a really native way, that’s when crypto is mainstream and it’s no longer a question of when it’s going to happen. It’s something that everyone knows about and is using every single day.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. But, there’s a problem with that, right? Because a lot of these mainstream celebrities, internet personalities, you know, they built their fame off people fan-girling over them, right? And they have a lot of clout. And at least I haven’t seen a lot of these like mainstream individuals kind of come back to these lower level guys, interact with them, hang out with them, build relationships with them. It’s really more like, you have your Instagram following, you have your Twitter following, occasionally you go on live shows and you do tours, you can do like backstage fan meet and greets. Like, it’s very disconnected, right, between the fans I feel like and in the artists itself, would you agree? Like as I’m building this point, would you agree or would you disagree with that?

Cooper Turley: I totally agree with it. I would say that I’m really loving the shift to new like subscriber base models.

Adam Levy: Yeah.

Cooper Turley: So things like Only Fans, I think are a perfect example of this, where creators are starting to realize that getting buy-ins from their top 1% is exponentially more valuable than getting a light from all their followers. And so we’ll slowly start seeing this congregation where every creator is focusing on that core group of fans and they’re going to recognize that the value to be created from engaging and capitalizing with them is far more powerful than just having 10 million Instagram followers, let’s call it.

Adam Levy:   Yeah. I think that’s gonna be one of the biggest hurdles kind of like detaching that barrier, right, and removing that and making the one that they love and adore and kind of see big stars over making them more human, more level headed, you know, so that they can onboard them and make these fan clubs. Like you have Queen, right, although they haven’t really integrated with their fans. But like the Queen community, there’s the movie, there’s like these people dress up as Queen characters, you know, the [inaudible 47:03] together. It’s basically a DAO to an extent without the bandana managing everything. And it lives and outlives itself, right?

Cooper Turley: Yeah.

Adam Levy:   And I think that that’s kind of like the goal that everybody should be playing towards, should be building towards. And DAOs now provide that instrument to do so, right?

Cooper Turley: Yeah. And I think the difference is that there’s now an incentive for an artist to do that. You know, historically, there’s transitive benefits where if you build a super fan community, hopefully they’re going to buy more tickets. But with these tokens, it’s so direct now. You can see that value being capitalized in real time. But I think it’s going to be much more obvious why you need to do this and you’re going to see those benefits right away. As opposed to historically, if you’re a big fan community, there’s a lot of social capital to gain from it, it’s the right thing to do. But that only translates to really merge sales and ticket sales versus now where it’s $10 investment in your token, and you now have 100,000 people around the world holding it and you have a million-dollar small business company just to be able to run and do cool stuff with.

Adam Levy:   I love it man. Coop, you’re a wealth of information. Thanks for being on. It’s a pleasure to have you always. Where can people kind of hear from you, find you, give yourself a quick shout out.

Cooper Turley: The best place to follow me on social is @CoopahTroopa. I’m most active on Twitter. It’s where I spend most of my time online. If you’re looking to go a level deeper than this, then you stay to listen this long shoot me a message on Discord at CoopahTroopa number 9799. Would love to hear what you’re working on and help point you in the right direction for some next steps.

Adam Levy:   Amazing, dude. Thank you.

Cooper Turley: Thank you for having me on man. We’ll talk soon.

Podcast Transcript

Using Social Tokens to Create Gated Audio Libraries with $FIRST

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast


Mint Season 1 episode 7 features American songwriter and producer, Harrison First who produces for other artists in addition to his own solo works through his independent label JNRY FIRST. He is one of Ängie’s best friends and a frequent collaborator. He’s also the creator of $FIRST coin. 

On this episode, we talk about his methodology for creating a token-gated audio library aimed at supporting NFT artists who need quality audio for their drops, his view on how social tokens will take the music industry by storm, how he thinks about the utility of his token, his bet on himself for being an early crypto adopter, and so much more. 

Thank you to Season 1’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise –

2. POAP –

Interested in sponsoring future seasons? Get in touch here!

Adam Levy: Yo, yo, Harrison First: Welcome to the show. How you doing, man?

Harrison First: I’m good man. I’m good.

Adam Levy: I appreciate you being here. Man. I’m excited to deep dive on all the cool things that you’re doing, especially your latest project First, the social token. So why don’t we just get into it? And tell me a little bit about your background? What were you doing before you started tinkering with crypto? What are you doing now? And I guess where do you hope to be?

Harrison First: Yeah, man. So for me, music is always my main focus, still is my main focus. started around like my big push around 2016, 2017 as a solo artist, as Harrison First: produce artists, and yeah, man just been really putting out some really songs that I like really, like, started working out with St. JOHN, Teflon, Sega. And then once that came over to Stockholm, from New York, that’s when I found this artist, Angie, and we’ve been collaborating, and yeah, and now we’re working on our second album together. So and then, if you fast forward to today, or the past year and a half. That’s what I’ve been working on first and first started out as like a social token. That was just pretty much like for fans, fans of my music fans of some of my other artist’s music. So like a fan token. But then as I started to do more research to figure out, you know how to add value to first. That’s when it’s like, I would say a social token with some pretty cool utility behind it. And one of the biggest components is first audio, which is attached to first. And now, it’s just pretty much taken that to like another level and working on more partnerships.

Adam Levy: Nice man, I feel like the more people that I talk with, the more I realise like COVID had a really big impact on people’s creative process and the things that they experimented with. And a lot of people got out of their comfort zone, especially with the rise in crypto, I guess what, what attracted you to the social token space initially? Like? Were you already playing around with Bitcoin and ethereum? Are you just did you just jump right into first? Like, what’s that crypto background like?

Harrison First: I mean, the background, the beginning is pretty scarce, bro. My first introduction was social tokens. And then it was really getting into ethereum. And that was the blockchain that I was pretty much like obsessed about. Just because I thought it was just a super cool world where it was, it wasn’t just like wasn’t just the currency was like worlds, obviously, it’s like a world built on a currency in a blockchain. And then that’s when I start to dive into like, NF T’s. And then broulee, I just started to spend so much time in it, where it started to become 50% of my time. And I was starting to cancel like music sessions, because I was really fun to learn more and get more into it. And that’s really because they can music. Like you could spend a lot of money in music and think that you’re doing something extremely creative in music. But there’s still so many channels that kind of determine, you know, the visibility, even though you do have more control than you do you had before. But it’s just that now, you know, for me, when I look at social tokens, and NFT’s and just this whole space, in general, it feels like you can get more appreciation for innovative ideas. And that’s what I want. That’s pretty much my where my obsession comes from. So you can see, like the immediate, like value and you know, purpose of something that you do, if it is good. And you can also see like the sudden, you know, detractors if something isn’t good enough.

Adam Levy: And you measure that based off, I guess, what people buy and sell and how much they hold and how much they quote unquote invest. How do you how do you measure that?

Harrison First: Yet for me, I look at there’s two things, two things I look at right now. It’s pretty much like my discord community. So the first club, so I always look at, like, you know, how many people are dropping off? How many people Am I getting, you know, to, you know, to be a part of this special community, a community I think is special. And then I also look at something from first audio. So I can see how many people how many new wallets or how many new addresses have connected their wallets to first audio. And with first audio you need to hold 1,000 First in order to have access to a library of music to using your NFT’s. So I can look at that and see you know how many how many people just you know, maybe they’re done with first audio so they want to sell the first or people who’ve just been there from the start man and they just really believe in so I gauge it based off of that and also some social engagement. But when I look at uniswap and whatever, I don’t really gauge that because I don’t use that as a as a gauge point. Because it is I don’t think it’s purposeful. You’re talking about the actual, like the financial number itself. Yeah, like selling and buying, like buying a sewing everyday. I mean, that’ll always go up and down and down and down and down and maybe up up up. Yeah. It’s not really a good point for me to measure, like, my usefulness.

Adam Levy: Sure. Yeah. Do you think your fans feel the same way about that?

Harrison First: The people who were in from the beginning and also the people who kind of like really understand what I’m doing, like what I’m trying to do, it couldn’t it can take a bit, you know, some time because even though it is a social token, I want to look at it as like, as also a platform, like similar to other like really great platforms that I think are great, like, wearable. I think wearable, mostly I see wearable, because I always look at them as like kind of a pivotal point also, well, I like them a lot. Because they do some special, but any platform pretty much that as like a strong community. Those are the people that I’m kind of like expire aspiring to be. So I think some people understand that. And then it’s my job to continue to remind people like, yes, it’s not just a social token, or like, maybe you it’s not something that is short term, it’s more term, it’s more of a long term type of thing I’m trying to do.

Adam Levy: Yeah. How do you actually approach community building? Like, how do you how do you rally people around first, what do you find, I guess, people being attached to or interested in when they initially join the community? Is it primarily you? Is that what you’re trying to build? Is it what I guess what others stand for? That it’s attracted? Like? What do you kind of see, being that major, you know, point of attraction for many people who are in first?

Harrison First: Yeah, I think there’s maybe like two or three different groups, like one group of people. They’re really like, appreciative of like, maybe some innovative ideas, and you know, somebody coming from music and spending so much time within this space. Then obviously, I have people that come in when there’s like these giveaways, and you know, they maybe they get hooked from those giveaways, and then they appreciate it, you know, I share exclusive music, you know, stuff that’s not even out. You know, I share snippets, and I ask for advice on music for my community sometimes, you know, so, I mean, I’ve had people say, like, Nah, this is not good enough, or blah, blah, blah. And I take that into consideration. So almost as if some people are a part of the creation process. And I think there’s a group of people who really appreciate that, like music lovers and innovators. Like, they really love that. So that’s been like one of the pivotal things. And then I have like my champions, you know, people who are there, who, you know, who are there for the, like big games, the way to earn first. Those are like, really big components. And they’re really like my talking piece that people who really, you know, the retweeted the content, the post the content, you know, they’ll try to direct traffic to what we’re doing over at first. Any you have, like day traders that come in, come in and out?

Adam Levy: Yeah. Yeah, I guess you I know, you said the entry point to enter the community is 1000. First, right? Is there some strategic, I guess, conclusion you came to? That you’re like, Alright, 1000 is like the right number, because of X, Y, and Z. And even more. So you were talking about the different layers, right, the different types of community members? Do you kind of like fragment them based off? How many? Or segment them excuse me, based off how many tokens they’re holding? Right? How do you how do you look at that?

Harrison First: Yes, so the entry point to the first community. There, we tried to do something where it was like 300 person you have 1000 person you have access to everything. So that’s like, monthly air drops, you know, giveaways. Just all just access to things that regular people wouldn’t have access to. But then we dropped all of that. And you know, anybody has access to the club on Discord. But it’s, it’s the thing when we set 1000 first is just that, obviously, the more people holding, the better this for the entire community. And the plan is to you know, slowly increase the amount that you need to hold to have access to certain things. But I think when I tried to do that for like, half 1000 versus the entry point for everything, I think I was blocking out people who have potential to be like really big benefactors in the social in first community. But you know, they just didn’t have the means to have 1000 first and after some time, I said, I don’t want to block them access. So, you know, there’s like a general group where anybody can kind of be in the discord community. And yeah, it’s all you know, it’s all good. No, we have like level ups, which are ways to earn first. So you don’t need to hold a certain amount of first to do that. But yeah, we I just thought that 1000 would be like, a good number. It wasn’t really too much like mathematical algorithm. Solid number. Yes, I’ll do 1000.

Adam Levy: I like that, you know, the more the more people I talk to, the more I try to understand what’s their strategy for creating these like access groups, right, and how many tokens they hold, and I and I keep coming to the conclusion that it really depends on what the token is trading yet, right? Because if the token is trading at $1, you’re obviously not going to charge people $1,000 depending on how exclusive the club is, and what you’re offering, right. But on the other hand, right, if I remember correctly, I checked last night, your token was trading about like half a cent, right? So 1000 it’s like a good entry point, right? To get exclusive content to get to hear never before never before heard songs, etc, etc. Right.

Harrison First: I think it’s like four cents. 

Adam Levy: Four cents right now. Okay. Is it four cents? Okay.

Harrison First: It wasn’t. So when we use around 10 cents, you know, but then.

Adam Levy: That’s right. The decimals, man, the decimals, the decimal. Amazing. Okay. So, you know, I caught this tweet.

Harrison First: Last week, too, all time high, we hit 28 cents last week, which is like, really, I started to cut you off. But that was like a big thing for us. Because we were sitting at like, we were sitting at only like three cents for almost an entire year. So last week, we pumped up to 28 cents, which was good.

Adam Levy: What do you think drove that?

Harrison First: Well, right now, we have some people behind the scenes who are really, really, really, really interested in first, like really interested in it. And there’s just some things that are going on currently, right now, that could really take first to the level where I thought I think it should be at because now with what I’m doing is I don’t think it’s extremely new. But I think the way I’m approaching it, and just my care and my love for it now and what I mean, first audio, I haven’t seen anybody do that, I think the certain group of people can see the future value in it. Have the means and our true believers that can take this to some another space?

Adam Levy: So actually, where are you trying to take it? What is that vision, you’re selling them on?  Tell me man give it to me.

Harrison First: I don’t want to be a competitor to or I don’t think we want to be a competitor in the NFT space as you know, as it as an NFT platform, right? So I don’t want to do this whole thing where some of these other platforms are doing within the NFT space where, you know, they’re reaching out to artists. And now you can, the whole focus is to mint songs on there. That’s good. I think that’s cool. I like that. You know, audiences doing something kind of like very innovative as well wearable and super rare. And all of them are doing something really innovative. But where I see it, and we’re absolutely going to take it. And what we’re doing right now with a first partnership with sign art is that we want to focus on like the business to business model as a supplier for some of these NFT platforms. So what you have is like there’s an amazing, there’s a tonne of amazing NFT creators. But a problem is that they want to dab into the space where they can use music and not have any issues with using the music. Some people have, you know, they have friends or maybe they do a little bit of music here and there. And they can put together NF T’s. But you know, other times you can run into some copyright issues, you can just take stuff off of YouTube or something right? In your thing, because obviously there’s going to be licencing issues. So what we’re doing is that so far, I’m the guinea pig and I’m I have with first audio. There is a wall of music all instrumentals produced by me 100%. That is token gated, obviously by mint gate, which is another collaborator of mine that does really well but token gating. And all you need is 1000. First, you have access to the vault, and you can download as much music as possible, and use that and incorporate it into your NF T’s. No, there’s no nothing you just need to hold first. So I was like, yeah, this is cool. You know, some people hear about it via word of mouth. I also advertise it on social media a little bit, even though we can go a little bit harder. But then I said, let me take it a step further. And why not just partner up with some of these platforms that I feel like it could be a win situation where you have you know, you can be able to supply music, or I guess the option of music to the people who use your platform. And then you have me who’s able to produce all that music. So it’s like you, there’s like added value for some of these NFT platforms. So right now, we want to partner up with sign art, which is on, I think waves blockchain. And this is simple as like you hold a certain amount of waves or sign, which is their currency. And now you’ll also have access to that ball. And then, you know, signer will have first audio on their platform. So that, yeah, they’re artists can go and click on, you know, first audio and get directly to all this, this library of music. And then they can yet they can choose to use what they want to use from there.

Adam Levy: That’s super cool. Yeah, I haven’t heard of that model before. I know, I know, a whale has like, their huge vault of art, right, that they constantly audit. But it’s a completely different model, obviously. But when you’re talking about a vault of audio, right, that’s slowly accessible by holding an X amount of tokens. It’s an interesting model. And it’s a very web three type of business model, right? Where instead of so what I’m understanding, you don’t need to pay additional first to download the music. So you could actually hold first download the music and then sell first to you can get out. Right? Or do you have any restrictions as well on that?

Harrison First: If you get out, then you just don’t have access to that that ball anymore?

Adam Levy: Do you lose the copyright ability also, to use the music?

Harrison First: No, this is I mean, this is right now, it’s still really much wild, wild west, you know, obviously, people will take advantage of the system. But people who want to continue to get this updated music and get this updated music, which comes out each week, then they’re going to want to hold first if they’re really trying to be like, create amazing like NF T’s and have access to music for as long as they want.

Adam Levy: The most successful NFT artists that I’ve come across have really done a great job integrating the audio and the visual side. And I don’t think people realise the importance behind that because when they think of NF T’s, they think of why are people just buying this JPEG or this mp4 file, right? They forget that it’s intertwined with an audio layer that really either complements the entire piece within itself, or is the main driver behind what that piece is trying to communicate? Right? So I guess from your point of view, when you have these new artists coming to your vault, quote, unquote, right, is beautiful vault that you created with all these different mp3 files? What if they can’t find something that kind of pertains to the image, the energy, the vibe that they’re trying to, I guess communicate to the end user? Can they reach out to you specifically to do a more personalised collab? How does that work?

Harrison First: Yeah, I mean, right now I work a lot with, I was working a lot with Rory boy Dutch tide crypto saltan. And now recently, there’s going to be is one guy Lux who’s really like blowing up in New York City, like just had a billboard in Times Square. So some people I do this, that’s why I’m also an audio and Mt creator, because I do collabs with people that I think are like that, I think we could benefit from each other. I think my music speaks to their work and their work can speak to my music. Yes, so it’s not everybody, they can see all you can I have a specialised thing for this, just because I wouldn’t have that much time. But if you want something more customised, and maybe we can do like a collaboration together. And I do that with certain artists.

Adam Levy: So if someone wanted to find this vault right now, someone listening NFC artists, where could they go?

Harrison First: They can just go to January backslash first audio.

Adam Levy: Got you and then when they get onto the site, they’ll see like, what like a drop down menu. How does it kind of look like that?

Harrison First: Actually, can I share my screen?

Adam Levy: 18:48 

Yeah, go for it. I think people are going to be listening this through audio are going to have to go check out the YouTube video, but in general, yeah, go for it. I’ll add it to the screen.

Harrison First: So do you see that?

Adam Levy: Yeah.

Harrison First: So one option is to go to January backslash first club. This way you can at least get to see works. And then we have a demonstration video here where it kind of just goes through it. And I’ll fast forward to the…

Adam Levy: Yeah, man, this is very unique. Connect your wallet right.

Harrison First: So now you’re like Scroll down. [Music]

Adam Levy: No, I’ll good. That’s a really interesting concept. So really all it is it’s like a web page with a bunch of different files on it that’s gated using mitigate right from what I understand. And if they have X amount, the 1000 first tokens they can access a library of unique sounds that can complement the art that they’re creating. It’s beautiful.

Harrison First: Exactly.

Adam Levy: Yeah, that makes that makes a lot of sense. Where do you see this kind of growing 2, 3, 4 or 5 years from now? Where do you see this becoming?

Harrison First: Yes. So soon, it will be like a more built up platform once we have more developers involved. I mean, this is, that’s all me right there, just creating this and curating the whole part. But the next part is to have a team of developers who can really build out the website. And instead of having only instrumentals by me, then what we’ll be doing is the application process where every artist can create their merchants store, or producers can create their merchant store. And then they can start getting their music as well on our platform. So that way, now, it’s like a fully functional, like, supply chain for music, you know, in the crypto space. Yeah, where art of war producers have the opportunity to, you know, upload their content and their music for people to use, and for NFT creators, and also these NFT platforms to like, have this crazy library of music that they’ll now be able to offer to their community as well.

Adam Levy: I wonder if, you know, you have like Getty Images you have, you have all these platforms that allow you to download like, I’m blanking on the name. But we use it at work right now. But basically, you, you either pay a subscription per month, you get access to a library, right of different, like Photoshop files, videos, images, for whatever niche, any keywords you’re kind of looking for, right? I wonder if it would make more sense from like the unit economics point of view, and how this kind of plays down the line, because it’s very much an experiment right now, right to see how this would work. But I wonder if this actually becomes a model down the line for how these bigger organisations kind of adjust their models to accommodate more of the web three native communities, right? Because if you think about it, like, from your point of view, right now, you’re letting users access a library of dope stuff that you’ve spent a lot of time and energy on, right, as long as they have 1000 first tokens. Now, the only downside that I see with that is, like you said, is some people may have used the system, right? They may they may leave, they may sell once they download, right? And I wonder if there’s any way to integrate in the copyright laws, quote, unquote, right? Where it says, once you sell your first tokens, actually, you don’t have the right to use the songs anymore, right. So it actually incentivizes people to hold longer, versus, you know, like, you, you limit that option for them even to try to go against the system in a way.

Harrison First: Yeah, that was that was one way I mean, but I feel like it’s just so like, This space is just so wild men who will do whatever they want. Like, that’s the whole point that I want to still keep it like, you know, that whole concept of decentralised and just like, kind of, not too much, not too much emphasis on, like, the rules, you know, like a rules type of thing. But, but, but what I wanted to also do is maybe have something where it’s like, depending on how many fish you hold, you have a limitation on how often you can download per month. So that’s something I’m like, obviously, I cannot do that on my own. I don’t know how to like code that or something. But that’s where it would be like phase two, where we, you know, actually do have the developers that can maybe look into that, where it’s like, if you hold 1000 first, then you can download, you know, once a week, or twice a week to kind of like limit the abuse where I know, some people might want to just, you know, get it for the meantime and then sell. But yeah, I know that’s going to be the main that’s the main issue, like kind of figuring out how to withhold data abuse from people.

Adam Levy: Yeah, you know, it reminds me a lot of a friend. In a project that he put together. His name is Joni Joey ayeni. So shout out to him. He basically worked with pallets from 808 mafia to create 300 beats, which these 300 beats were basically tunes that palace had already created he just never used right. So he’s just trying to find a different way to kind of repurpose them. Tell them what he did, he created three and he had 300 beats that he previously created. And he created NF T’s for every single beat. And from there, he basically told his fans that they had the opportunity to buy and use one of these beats, but the way he did it is he had a lottery mechanism. So basically, people went when they enter the actual platform, right? They, they claim their interest, right? They connect their wallet, whatever they pay the money, or I don’t know exactly how that process went. But the whole point is that the NFT audio that they would get would be randomised. So you wouldn’t know which one of 300 you’d be getting only until after you buy it. Right. So when you bought it, you actually had 100% ownership to it and the copyrights to it, and you could do whatever you want with it. Right? So it’s similar to your model where you have full copyright ownership as long as you hold the X amount of tokens, right. And I think I think they sold anywhere between like, I think about 200k worth of NF T’s within a few hours or in a week, I forgot how long the auction was. But it was just an interesting way to kind of approach copyrights and transfer ownership using a web three primitive, right? Would you ever consider kind of adjusting that model? I guess, beyond holding tokens? Like do you ever envision yourself launching your own NF T’s and kind of piggybacking off similar model like that, like, Where’s your head?

Harrison First: With NFT’s? Yeah, at least empties already. But before? I think, yeah, we’ve, we’ve released NFT’s before. And we’ve like, well, I’ve incorporated it with like, actual releases from, like, from my projects, to be honest with you. So I did like, I think even I mean, what you just mentioned was actually that’s a good idea doing like that lottery thing. I’ve seen that graphic designers do that. But yeah, so but for instance, for like NF T’s like, I think it was two or three months ago, I was doing something like a project before I was called am other project. And that project is like featuring, you know, pretty much black artists speaking about black issues and social injustice and things like that. So for my song that I did with another artist named Molly waters, obviously, we did that same model that, you know, other people have started to, like, jump into where, you know, we released the NFT with the song, but the thing is, with the song is that we did a NFT giveaway, instead of doing just like, you know, trying to come up off of somebody else’s clout and just sell an NF t from our song, I wanted to be like, really just give back to whatever people was following me. And what we did is that all you had to do to you know, enter into this giveaway, is listen to the music. So you had to listen to the music, guess how many times we say outside in this particular song, then post retweet. And what that did was that it triggered the algorithm, Spotify algorithms, and put it the song into more people discover weekly. Because I think it was a, we had like a lot of engagement on just that one Twitter post. And I only have 500 followers on my Harrison, the first audio Twitter page, but for that particular for that particular post, they got like a huge amount of engagement. And the purpose was to, obviously we wanted to reward somebody who was actually listening to the music, you know, actually wanted to go in. And like you have to listen to all three minutes of the song. And I don’t know if you know, like, when it comes to like the algorithms and music and just how it gets playlisted with some of these DSPs it’s the same as YouTube, like when they help you out with like, okay, what’s the click through rate? You know, how long is somebody listened to it? We managed to have people listen to all three minutes of the song. And yeah, and you know, for the opportunity to get that NFT so that that like that’s been some ways where we tried to I’ve tried to be like, innovative with like NFT drops and music. But now I’ve kind of like slowed that down because I’m really trying to focus on the first audio.

Adam Levy: Yeah. How were users able to prove that they listen to the full song?

Harrison First: So the way that they prove it is by guessing how many times we sit outside. Okay. How many times you said we sat outside so if you wanted to have a chance to win, you’re going to you’re going to listen to the entire song. So the song I mean, the song was actually called outside and we see outside probably around 22 times in the song.

Adam Levy: That’s really that’s really creative. That’s like a like a homework kind of thing.

Harrison First: Your homework man. It’s a scavenger hunt. It was a scavenger songs.

Adam Levy: And that’s a really interesting model. I’ve never heard of someone do that. You know, there’s all these like, I hear different companies building out these protocols of like proof of listen right proof of participation. But it’s like you’re doing it like scraped knees type of like, like, like nitty gritty like, like, now you want this NFT you’re going to listen to the song not only are you going to listen to the full song and to tell me how many times we said this one word.

Harrison First: You never know the future of these NF T’s. And maybe we’re maybe where I go or where I don’t go. So you know, you want to make people, you know, work for a giveaway, dude,

Adam Levy: I love it smart. Smart. I love it. I haven’t heard of that before. That’s super cool. You know, I saw you tweet this one thing, that you only publish stuff once you know, they’re ready. Right? You don’t you don’t you don’t publish things, or you don’t try to have stuff, right? Why was it the right time? Like, why did you know it was ready to experiment on this first social token path?

Harrison First: I had a friend like just he kept like harassing me, they’re like, yo, you really need to get into this space, you really use it, you know, have your own social token is it time for like empowerment as an artist and this and that. And I’ve only seen way. But I am a very experimental person. So I think it was like in the 2019. I think it was just I kind of just gave in and it was the right time for me. And even at that time, I saw it as just kind of like a reward system for my fan base and from my other artists, Angie’s fan base strictly as that. And I was like, Okay, this would be a great way to just reward people, it had no value to it, except for the value that people gave to it, you know, yeah, that type of value. And I said, Yeah, just dive in full fledge. And I don’t even really know why I kept sticking with it. But maybe it was also because the pandemic and I had so much like more time like I wasn’t going on, wasn’t doing any shows wasn’t going on any tours. I was just staying in my apartment. Because some of the most of the studios will close at this time, too. So in my apartment, working on music, working on music, work on music, and there’s only so much I can do like one thing. So and that said, this is Yeah, I really had nowhere to go, man. I was just in here trying to make ideas. So I was like, this is perfect, like social tokens is, is I didn’t understand it. I was just like, yeah, in the beginning is kind of like embarrassing what I was doing, but it’s good. I’m happy where it’s at now. Because in the beginning, I think it was like, we were just yeah, like, if you want access to this music, you need to have this amount of first. But then at the same time, my fans didn’t even know how to get first. So then I was just giving it away. So it was kind of a weird system in the beginning. But I was like, let me just keep sticking with it. And people were helping me out and it kind of like came towards that now.

Adam Levy: But yeah, did you did you approach because like you said, these are valueless tokens, humans like to be rewarded for doing stuff. It’s like, like I remember back in elementary school, like teachers would give out like Scratch and sniff stickers, you know, for like, for like a job well done. Right? So it’s a very, it’s a very, like similar thing is like giving a dog a treat for doing a good action. Right. When you when you approached and started, I guess building out the foundation for first. I know you talked about like, how can we reward people, but at what point did first rd audio come into the picture? Was it we have this interesting concept of creating a vault of music? Let’s do a token around it. Or let’s first do a token and see what comes from it.

Harrison First: Yeah, it was a token first, it was a token first. So I just jumped like I just jumped right in first. And then I was like, let’s discover some stuff out from there.

Adam Levy: Yeah. And how do you? How do you think about utility that in value? Do you have a framework that you use? Like is there because a lot of people like I said earlier, like they just launched these tokens, hopefully it picks up traction, there’s a network effect that really grows the token as long as people hold, you know, as a community. But you need to create utility from it. Obviously, you have an amazing use case with this audio vault, right. But how do you how do you approach value and utility creation? I guess from the point of view of other creators are trying to do it like, is there some type of path that you followed? Questions you asked yourself to kind of determine? This is what’s going to derive first value, like how do you how do you approach that?

Harrison First: Yeah, I just got what I’m good at. And I see okay, what value can I add to people’s lives? What community can I like? How can I add value to this specific community? And then you just go from there, but you have to like experiment. First, it was just first with me it was like fan token. Then it got like, really heavy into entities. But a lot of the entities that we recreating it was being sold in eighth, you know, and then I did some in first. So then you kind of just see what works. And I was doing a lot of like waste to earn first and giveaway first. And then you see people know like, well, you’re giving out a lot of first, but there’s no value being brought into it like, are you just giving away first? So and then you actually have to listen to that feedback, you know, stuff like that. So then that was like around, I would say, the end of 2020. I said, Okay, well, what am I good at? And what can I consistently bring to the table to like, really add value to a specific community. So I said, why not the NFT community. And I’m not, I’m not a good graphic artist, I’m really good at audio. So why not add value to people in the NFT community, who don’t know how to create their own audio, but they want audio, they want to enter into the audio and empty space. So the next one, I just kind of like said, this is going to be the top utility. This is going to be the top use case right here. Within the NFT. Space. Yeah, and then, you know, who knows me like, you know, I also have something where people can pay me in first to come DJ at maybe their crypto voxels event or decentraland. So, its things like that, or you could pay me in first to you know, tweet or say something on Instagram. And then you can also use first to, you know, obviously pay for some NF T’s, you know, get purchased NF T’s. But like I said, like the number one use case is first audio. That’s like the number one priority. And it just came from like experimenting, experimenting, not taking anything personal that people were saying to me, and then looking at, like, you know, other communities, obviously, well, wearable sign Art Foundation, and then just seeing like, what are they doing? Well, like they’re doing these, like air drops, they’re doing these things where they give people titles in the community to doing this. And so said, let me adopt some of those things. And then have my little twist to it.

Adam Levy: Yeah. Yeah, I know, we talked about your point of view, like 2,3,4,5 years from now what this could become. But I want you to think about like, for the music industry, as a whole, right, the greater music industry, where obviously audios is essential to the core business. How do you imagine this way? This way of one producing content from the point of view of attaching like files, mp3 files, mp4 files to these like, token based blockchain based products? Right? How do you see that kind of evolving in maybe even maturing the music industry down the line? Because again, your models very, very unique, right? Not a lot of people. I don’t think anybody’s doing it. But I think there’s a lot of power behind it. So yeah, I guess from your point of view, how do you see this kind of, quote unquote revolutionising, right, as people like to say, the music industry years to come?

Harrison First: I think if the music industry, like what they’re trying to do right now, with NFT’s, gets too involved. For me, it wouldn’t be so much fun. But I think this is an opportunity for like artists, independent artists, or artists who are signed to like major labels to kind of just take some power back, and kind of realise the power that things like this have, whether it’s just creating a social token, or using your you know, using your own music that is outside of your label and your publisher, and then putting it into this new space, where it’s like, it’s an undefined thing. Like, there’s a reason why I don’t even, like I’m signed to Sony. And it’s like, such a great area. People are getting their publishers and their labels involved. And some people are not, and I’m somebody who is not getting them a lot because there’s no definitions around this right now. There’s nothing with within this within this. And I feel like once the music industry is get a hold of this and they want to put some rules around it. And now there’s like, you know, NF T’s in my contract now.

Adam Levy: Do they already exist in your contract?

Harrison First: No, no, no, he’s at all but I know some people who you know, they want to they want to be super careful. And I understand that where they’ll go in their mentioned stuff to the publishers and then it gets really complicated. So I think it’s not something for the actual music industry to help them I think it’s for like the actual players like the artists to be able to benefit them and revolutionise what they’re doing. Like this is revolutionary man like, to be honest with you. Like I’m glad I found this space because like, it helps Meet Me personally, you know to be selfish, it helps me mentally because you know, there comes a point where like, you can be working one linear way. And then you start to think like, well, where’s the room to be innovative at? Like, is it like me making something so crazy sonically? And then you started to think, well, nobody’s going to accept that because they want music this certain way. So like with social tokens, and being able to like say, Okay, well, if my music doesn’t fit in this space, maybe the music will fit in this space, the same thing you said with the guy from 808 mafia. He has, he probably has over 1000s of beats, like 1000s of stuff. So it’s like, Okay, if it doesn’t work here, if it doesn’t work in this commercial, if it’s not getting licenced in this movie, why not see, you know, if it can work as an NFT. And if people can benefit from it this way? Why not? So he’s like, people will see it, like people will see the power. Some people are just any kind of short term, like entities or social tokens, where there’s some people can see it, like five years, 10 years down the line. The possibilities, as artists See that?

Adam Levy: Yeah, no, yeah, yeah, for sure. I think just because you brought up the 808 mafia. Comment is, you are right, a lot of these artists probably have like an archive of a lot of like, ideas that they probably thought is stupid. And it’s not mainstream worth but one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? Like, there’s 100%, that saying and value is subjective, right. You never know if your ideas may complement someone else’s idea. So why not just put it out in the marketplace and see what can happen. And more on what they did that I really liked is not only that, they have their randomization where you don’t know which audio file you’re getting out of the 300. But you also have the opportunity to get this golden ticket, where if you win this golden ticket, which is attached to one of the one of 300 files, you get flown out and a full experience expense paid trip to actually hang out with palace and spend a couple of nights with him or a couple days with him in the studio producing and even experimenting with an audio track right. Now, that point of view, right with creating that really like personalised experience. It’s not super scalable. But when you’re talking about it from like, artists to fan relationship, the value in that is valuable. Like you can’t put a price tag on that kind of thing. Like if you’re an aspiring producer, right? If you’re an aspiring NFT artist, and you want to work with other NFT artists like yourself, right? Like, it’s hard to put a value over that level of experience, in my opinion, I don’t know do you think otherwise?

Harrison First: Not definitely. Suppose if I was that age, like if I was a younger producer, I remember when I was like a younger producer, and I would hear on the radio a chance to get a session with Usher or this person. But I’m like, Damn, I’m going to call the radio station, I’m going to try to get a chance to be in a studio. This is my chance. So yeah, it’s totally by value.

Adam Levy: Can you take me more through your process of how you onboard your community? I know one of your key strategies to growth were was giving away tokens for free just take them, enjoy them use them? How did you actually get people to like download their Meta mask? And how did you explain to them gas fees? How did you explain to them a lot of these concepts that maybe you and I we take for granted, because we’ve been playing in the space for some time now. But for the newcomers, it’s such a barrier to entry.

Harrison First: It’s a big barrier to entry. And those were the people that I was targeting in the beginning, like my fan base, like from music. And it was like, very hard. So at the time, it was, I was putting out an album of my artists, Angie. And what we did is like if you want to come to this online, album release party, you just need to have fingers 300 First in your wallet. And some people did you know, at this time, we just had a telegram group. And it was like it was messages kind of like 24 seven? How do I get Ethan? How do I get first? You know, what’s metamask? How about putting it in my wallet. And I would like explain it one by one like, and I think even at that time, it was hard for me to even explain to. But then that’s when I realised like some things are not meant for everybody, right? So I’m not going to try to force people into a space that they’re not super interested in. I’ve introduced it to you. Now if you want to go into it, you can go into it to have access to certain things. But to be honest with you that people who gravitated to what I’m doing there already, I realised I need to make my focus on people who are already in this space. I think probably the past couple of months, people like really got interested in alternative means of like finance, whether it’s like some of these like pumps in the traditional market. And then when they also hear about things like Dogecoin and stuff like that, where like, it’s just like recently now people like people from like traditional parts of music and my fans or just my friends are like, have you heard about this? And then I’ll say, yeah, yeah. And I have my own social token and coin base or is it on coin? Where can I get it? So now it’s become like a thing where people are starting to slowly adopt the whole system more, I’ve had certain people like, I’m like, just download metamask download on Argent, these two are really great. Use this, make sure you have that. And now they’re getting first planted beginning on boarding, I kind of gave up on like, after a couple of weeks. So that gave up trying to explain, explain things to people, because I think they just, they just didn’t get it, they didn’t want to hear it.

Adam Levy: So you’re just like, if you’re not jumping on this waggon it’s going like we’re going if you don’t want to jump on, you’ll get on at some point you might get on like the eighth waggon you know, but…

Harrison First: eighth waggon, you’ll get on but I’ll start to be honest with you to go back on that I give a lot of credit to like the social token community, like there’s been certain groups like in the beginning and still to this day, that like, I keep saying well, because they have been a big supporter, where they’ll just, you know, do an interview with me and say, Hey, you know, come into our, to our Discord. Introduce yourself, we’re going to do like an interview with you talk about your music, and then you get a lot of people in the well community. And the guys over at decentraland just, you know, offer me space to just DJ at. So then you have a lot of people from vcl and Manoj who come through there. So I think it was actually from like, just amazing, like, communities inviting me into their space, when I was new, to give me the opportunity to come speak, you know, and offer some first to people to introduce him to that. That was actually key when you have like a network like that and tapping into those networks. That was that was key for me.

Adam Levy: Yeah, I think Yeah. 100% tapping into other communities on their social token communities, and building a network effect from there. I think it’s super powerful. What, what kind of rewards and perks? Do you plan to kind of experiment more in the future with first right now, of course, you have first audio, right? But like, what are you what are you really excited about? Down the line with enabling using first?

Harrison First: I’m really excited about. What I’m really excited about is these partnerships, to me is really basic. And it’s simple. But when I when I had the first platform, say yes, I was just thinking like, Okay, I got one yes, one platform, we’re still developing the whole bridge. But then it’s like, what if I have 5, 10, 20 different platforms NFTs platforms where it’s just said it has a component of their first audio, and it’s like, wow, you made it that far. So that is something that I’m really excited about. I mean, I’ve experimented on ways on like earning first, which were like, I think, was really innovative. Like, I know, I was the only one going I know this for sure. The first one that I was doing, the only problem was that we weren’t. People weren’t buying as much first as I was giving away. So what I was doing at one point was, I was rewarding people based off of my performance, my streaming performance for my music. So I would look at my streaming numbers on Spotify, a week, per week, and I would do a fraction, I would have broke it down to some algorithm, and then I will reward my community based off of my performance. So for that week, let’s say I did 100,000 streams on Spotify for the week, what I would do is do some type of algorithm and usually it would break down to around 40,000 First that I was giving away for the week. And in my discord, there’s about maybe 500 or 600 people in it at that time. So then based off of the role that you had determined how much first you would get from it, but it was like, it was kind of like telling people like giving people like thanks, even though like my community, they wouldn’t really affect the streaming numbers at that time. But it was more sort of a thing where I was just I don’t I don’t really know how it’s beneficial for me. And I don’t know how it was beneficial for me, but I thought it was just a cool way to say like, okay, so if I do good, you do good, that type of thing. If I stream well, you guys get rewarded first. And then now we also have like first TV. I don’t know if you saw that. No, tell me about that. Yeah, it’s a 24 seven. Broadcasting Station is pretty much ran through another partnership that I work with omnisphere where we just stay pretty much allow me to be able to run on Twitch 24. Seven, and in his streams directly into my crypto voxels house, as well as my website. And it’s just a 24, seven feet of DJs sets for myself, interviews for myself. Advertising some NFT’s. Yeah. And it’s just Yeah, 24/7 people can go with streaming toy. And what happens is that you can stream for free. But you can also if you’re 1000, first holder, you can stream and you get rewarded at the end of the month from a pool of 5,000 First. So what are the top 10 streamers of the content are they get rewarded first base off of that?

Adam Levy: Interesting, interesting, you know, there’s, there’s this question where, like, I’ll give you an example from the conference world. Okay. So the company that that I worked for, that I’m at right now. You know, we scatter, we try to find the best speakers to come speak at these events, these glow these either in person events, or these virtual events we put together. And for example, like a head honcho would be like, for example, jack Dorsey in the crypto world to bring him as a keynote. But he doesn’t do speaking engagements, right, unless you’re like, within his circle. And he recently did one at the Bitcoin conference that was in Miami, right? So the point that I’m getting at is when you’re very scarce, and very limited with your time, when you give yourself out there and you put yourself out there, people see that as valuable versus a lot of these other speakers that we bring to our conferences, and they continuously speak every single conference, and people know them, they’ve already heard from them. So my point being is like, do you ever think you’re diluting? I guess, not your Rarity, per se, but your, your access to someone when you give them this 24 seven content. And they maybe they maybe they don’t feel like, Oh, he’s giving us too much. And we’re not paying enough kind of thing. So the value is missing, you know what I mean? Like the value is misaligned, when you over give and undertake you know what I mean? Do you ever feel like that? Because right now, like you’re doing a great I really feel like you’re giving you’re giving a giving, just consumed just joined, come be a part of it. There’s a lot to be to be proud of, when the future comes, and we build this thing to be a monster, right? But even now, like 24, seven, live our content, right? You have the discourse, you have your music you have you doing even like special giveaways with yourself like, Do you ever feel like you’re diluting your time to an extent and making yourself? Not less valuable, but more available to people?

Harrison First: Yeah, yeah. I mean, there are some things like when it comes to like earning first I have to cut back, especially from the streaming like being rewarded with streaming. So I think that that is one point. But also, I mean, with today, I don’t know, if you, if you look just on all social media platforms. It’s really like out of sight out of mind. And if you’re not tripping up the algorithm, just how we think the algorithm and not being tripped, and there’s like constant engagement and your move to the back of the line. So there can be people like a jack Dorsey or Travis Scott, a Drake, who are Kendrick Lamar, who can disappear for two, three years not released one album, Tyler, the creator, not released an album or the weekend. And then when they come out of nowhere, it’s a special thing, like, and they all do that model. You know, you got Jaden Smith, or whoever their whole Instagram is blank, their whole social media is blank for like a year or two. And then they come out of nowhere, and you miss them and you and you miss that feeling of them. And it’s like such a rare thing. But when you’re at it, like an infant stage, and I was still saying I’m at an infant stage, you need to do everything possible to gain people’s attention. And then you can go and disappear later, they’re going to miss you. After a while. They’re going to be like, he was always engaged. He was always here. He was always here. And now the people will start saying, where’s Harrison First: or Where’s first? Why you know this and that. And then the moment you appear in your pop up, that excitement will bubble up again. And then you do it again. And then you can have more space in between. But I don’t even know if that. I don’t even know if that model works because with crypto, it feels like it moves fast. Like you know, every two weeks every three weeks. There’s something new. There’s a new regulation or there’s a new artists or there’s just this new way of doing things. There’s no there’s no longer NF T’s there’s this thing called GBS and everybody wants to get on the GBS. So it’s like that part. I’m still like, unsure about like, I know, music and celebrity like celebrity culture. And I’m thinking maybe that model will work within the social token space where I give, give, give, give, give, you know, in regards to just being visible, to grow the thing bigger, and then I can disappear later or Yeah, I don’t know. But I think that’s the model that I was looking at right now. It’s just, you know, be visible, be more active, continue to be active. And then, once it’s time, didn’t really take more time out and then have other things in place and maybe not be so much in people’s faces.

Adam Levy: Do you think big artists like the weekend? Like Travis, Scott, Tyler, the creator, do you think that they would succeed in doing their own social token communities? And I’ll give you a reason why I bring this up. Because, unlike you, you’re very heavily invested in the day to day of this community, right? A lot of these other like, let’s disappear for six months, a year, two years and come back type of artists that have built that level of fame. I don’t know. I personally don’t know how involved they are right. But I assume that they have so many other things going on, that it’d be hard to nurture community very personally the same way you do. Do you think that’s like the only model to be successful on social tokens? Or do you think there’s other ways to do it? Beyond being so heavily invested like you are?

Harrison First: Yeah, there’s, there’s, there’s way better ways to doing it. Like if it’s literally me and one other person, when it comes to managing everything. So if I do take the time out to build the team, such as well, we’re well has all these amazing, like, moderators, and admins, you know, to cater to all time zones. And then well, shark can come in when he what needs to come in. That’s the ideal model for me. But people like Travis Scott weekend, Justin Bieber, a little Yachty, soldier, boy, they won’t be able to succeed in social tokens because it is only a fan token for them. And I think they only see it as maybe the fan token or as a cash grab. Just because you have to look at social tokens almost as if like a YouTuber model or a blogger model. Or influencer model. Really, somebody has to be simulated in the community constantly, right? And there has to be things in place for them. So all of those people have really had some nice cash grabs, but it’s, they’re not successful in it, because they’re not really active in it.

Adam Levy: Yeah, now that that makes a lot of sense. I’d imagine that the more success, the more fame, the more you reach that level of status. And we keep referencing the music industry for the sake of the conversation. But I think it also applies in, in sports and film, in acting, etc, etc, right? It’s harder, because everybody wants a piece of your time, especially with these fan clubs. And like the key to staying focused and staying disciplined many say is just say no, right? So now you’re trying to create a community around yourself and the brain that you built. Yet, it requires a lot of your time and requires a lot of your attention. And I think its one thing that a lot of artists may miss in the future, because like you said, there’ll be attracted to the dollar price and what it could do and the concept of having a publicly traded asset, crypto, whatever you want to call it, right, is interesting to a lot of people. And I guess this brings me to my final question, because I want to be respectful of your time is, you know, the more people down the line, I envision this where there’ll be millions of everyday creators, even like famous individuals who will be tokenizing themselves in their communities, right? If we really look down the line, do you think we’ll reach a point of view or time where? Well, where right now we determine society determines influenced by the number of followers you have, right? And they determine your worth. And a lot of people like they have a lot of their self-confidence based off what their images online, do you think we’ll be transitioning into a world where that number of followers will actually now be associated with the publicly traded number that people are buying and selling us? So for example, Justin Bieber is trading at $100. Right? Per token per beep. Okay. And Taylor Swift is trading at? I don’t know, $40. Right. So Justin Bieber is worth more than Taylor Swift or vice versa. Right. Do you think we’re approaching that type of type of world?

Harrison First: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I think the world is always going to be number-driven, and it’s always going to be cloud-driven. It’s always vanity-driven. And, like, I understand that and I know that that’s actually one reason why I’m just like, keep sticking with it because I feel like the same way with NF T’s and everybody’s attention, you know, went to NFTs and went to even just you know, crypto and storage to introduce a lot of people to crypto recently. I think that’s going to happen with social tokens. So like Justin Bieber can hit $100 within the first two days, probably, and probably stay at $100. But for me, it probably would have to be like over the course of five to six years, right? I’m glad I got into it right now, because maybe in five to six years, I’m at 100. And I’ll be at the same level as Justin Bieber, who gets 102 days and people who was Harrison First: and why was he so? But and I think people like you and other like, whales, and people who like just a smart business people, they won’t only look at the price don’t really look at like, what is the token do? What’s the utility behind it? What’s the actual value behind it? And that’s what I always like to focus on.

Adam Levy: Yeah, how do you think we prevent people from speculating and being more involved in the community? Right? So for example, I’d assume like down the line, probably 90 to 95% of people will actually be like trading the token, and like that tend to that five to 10% will actually be a part of first part of beeps, whatever, whatever, whatever community. And we’ll leave, we’ll leave off with this, what do you think would be the best way to kind of incentivize people to not trade and to actually become members of the community?

Harrison First: I think there’s a bunch of ways but I’m think like to come to my mind right now. And you know, one way you have to treat it, obviously, like as a traditional, I think maybe it’s like a traditional stock. And you have dividends and you have incentives like on the financial side, where people can almost look at it as like a like a part of their maybe make a retirement plan or like a long term investment, everything that they can no cash out on in a couple years, or just something that’s like a steady stock in their mind, and reward based off of that with dividends and options and things of that nature. And then the second way, I think is just having like really strong utility and catering to your niche like your community, or your fan base.

Adam Levy: I love it, man. You’re an ocean of knowledge and insight. I appreciate you being on Best of luck to the first community. I really do hope to have you on again. Soon in. I’ll be watching your community and watching it grow. So more power to you, brother.

Harrison First: Thanks Adam Thanks for having me.

Podcast Transcript

Why Web 2.5 Platforms Are Prime For Disruption

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast


Mint Season 1 episode 6 features Jeremiah Owyang; an advisor to, an active angel investor, and is well recognized by both the tech and media industry for his grounded approach to deriving insights through rigorous research. He’s also the creator of the social token $JOW has achieved dominant placement on the social token charts. 

On this episode, we talk about his early insights into watching the rise of Facebook, Instagram, and other web 2.5 platforms and why they’re prime for disruption, how he became successful at building social communities, why he’s so bullish on social tokens, his views on the future societal implications of creator coins, his approach for thinking about utility frameworks for creator coins, and so much more. 

Thank you to Season 1’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise –

2. POAP –

Interested in sponsoring future seasons? Get in touch here!

Adam Levy: So why don’t we just get right into it? Tell me a little bit about your background, your story? And how kind of you got involved in the space?

Jeremiah Owyang: Yeah, so I was very early on in the social media space. You know, before it was called social media. It was just called business blogging. And I launched my blog way early in the market. And I helped companies, I had a whole industry. So social community was always a thing. That was so cool to me. I’ve always I was an industry analyst at Forrester covering social computing. And then I launched a number of firms and companies and now I’m in continue to be in Silicon Valley. So I even started a secular holiday called Community Manager Appreciation Day, which happens every third Monday of January. And that’s been going on for 11 years. So community’s always been a key part of what I’ve been doing and new technology. So thinking about people in tech, is what brought me to this social token space. So Hello, I’m coming to you from the tiny Airstream studios in my backyard.

Adam Levy: Amazing in, as you know, you being such, I guess, a forefront with adopting social currencies, and also kind of getting the greater crypto world in more mainstream world to adopt them as well. You’re obviously seeing communities are evolving, right? You having such a deep experience building communities? Now we’re shifting communities into more web three type of native model. Can you talk a little bit more about that? And what are like those major differences that you see from traditional communities? And now there’s shift being more kind of, quote unquote, web three native?

Jeremiah Owyang: Well, I mean, the whole if you go back to when web two emerged, it’s the exact same talking points that we heard and here’s what happens is the distributed players that enabled the communities, they ended up becoming the giant one percenters. Like, you know, at one point, the people creating Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, they were upstart, though they were rebels. They were anarchists. They’re like, let’s bring down the system. Let’s stop big media. Let’s stop press releases, let’s stop advertising. Let’s break it. Let’s bring the power to the people. And then they became billionaires. And then it started all over again. And I saw that same thing, by the way, in the next market, the collaborative sharing gig economy, where they all said let’s share everybody share everything, share the homes, share the car, share your time, those companies became giant behemoths as well. So that pattern repeats over and over, will it repeat with defy and web 3.0? And crypto? Probably, if history tells you anything, it’s going to happen again. So I’m actually a little concerned that we’ll see the same things like a lot of the rhetoric after the Bitcoin conference, and we heard you know, smash, you know, Wall Street, and you can see my work is, is trying to stop it. And New York’s not friendly to crypto is compared to Miami or San Francisco. Yeah, I hear it now. But Fast Forward seven years from now, I’m not sure.

Adam Levy: Yeah, it’d be interesting to see how it plays out. I mean, you see the development from web 1.0 being read only, and that transitioning and being eaten alive by web 2.0, where you create social networks and social communities. And now we’re like, kind of like a 2.5. Or we’re slowly transitioning into more of this ownership type of model, but still living on these more centralised platforms. I’d be curious, like, how that kind of comes into play on the more aggressive side, like you said, when it gets to the point where people are preaching these ethos is of like, decentralisation of ownership, community, blah, blah, blah, you’ll still have those players that I guess will take it to the next level in the extreme and kind of dilute that value, no.

Jeremiah Owyang:  Two things will happen. So one is a 1%, or a big platform will emerge from the crowd, and they themselves will become a big platform. You know, any big exchange, for example, or any, anybody who owns a significant of crypto can influence and push people around? Right? There’s a lot of criticisms of Elon Musk of being such a person right now. Sure. And the second thing is there’s nothing stopping from those big companies, whether they be big tech, or big Wall Street or big bank from moving into this market, whether it be acquisition or launching the other the other stuff. Yes, yes, they’re slow. I get it, totally get it. But right now, you can’t find a single media company or traditional Hollywood company that doesn’t incorporate social media into their core business strategy, right. I mean, there’s, in fact, there in many cases that the primary revenue generators for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and beyond, they’re the same industry at this point. So it’s important to separate the rhetoric of rebellion talk versus integration.

Adam Levy: Yeah, no, definitely. It’s crazy because we’re so early into this stuff, and you’re still in that like lovey dovey phase kind of thing where people are talking about the community, the ownership and you haven’t gotten necessarily to the rebellion. Aside just yet, where you have these big platforms taking over and taking control of these, quote unquote creator coins that are destined to be more in the control of the Creator. Yeah. But you see it the other way around, you see platforms taking control of creator coins, while giving creators the tools and flexibility to utilise them. What do you what do you kind of see out playing here?

Jeremiah Owyang: So this is the goal that we need to do is enable creators to have the power to run their own economies. And, and so I’ve known the rally founder Kevin Chu for over 10 years, I was on his prior board. And he is a successful entrepreneur, his name, you know, he’s a philanthropist. His name is on the building at UC Berkeley. So he’s a trusted person in the community. And so that’s important because there’s other projects, you know, in the market, that you just don’t even know who created them. So the trust aspect is critical. And right now, many creators are beholden to the large social networks, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, and at a whim that algorithms could change, and you could lose your audience. Or if you even signal they are in clubhouse, for example, as another one, people are unsure on how to navigate. And if you even suggest that you’re going to go off to another platform, they could, they could actually start to shadow ban you and you might lose your audience. Or if you if you try to bring your own new types of monetization, and it’s not approved by them that could create strife as well. So in many cases, these creators are beholden. In fact, I mean, Mark Zuckerberg, today, during the apple keynote, was putting out messages on Facebook, like how they’re going to enable all of their tools to be free for creators in order to compete with Apple and at a lower cost. So we see them on messaging. But in history, they’ve never paid creators in the past. So it’s really not there. So lo and behold, we are now at the social token space. And, and I really love that idea of social token, because social is my background, right? Because I was one of the first tech analysts in the social networking space, over 10 years ago. Yeah, so all of this makes a lot of sense to me, giving the power over to the individuals and letting them and basically, the vision is this enables creators to turn their communities into economies, that’s the way I see it, turning your community or enabling your community to be an economy. So and that’s a very powerful thing. And the key thing is that it needs to enable the creators to work from platform to platform, you should be able to have those relationships with your fans, regardless of what platform you use. Today, it’s Twitch, maybe its sub stack. Tomorrow, is YouTube a third day, I’m on stream yard right now, right? You know, where am I going to be? It doesn’t matter, my relationships, my social graph, my economics should go with me as I create content.

Adam Levy: But that’s the trick how because all these platforms are going to have to find a way to integrate these social tokens very seamlessly into the interactions of their platforms, right? Like, how would stream yard like, how would they do that? Because their infrastructure is built differently? Sure. How do you take a more web three type of, I guess, infrastructure implemented seamlessly into more of a web to native infrastructure?

Jeremiah Owyang: Yeah, so there’s a term that we’ve been using called coin gate, just like there’s pay gate. So you could have a coin gated private stream yard or only the recordings of YouTube, you know, in for premium, maybe you maybe you put the short version of an interview, like the five minute version up on YouTube, so you have marketing buzz, and also, and then for those that want to see the whole 60 minute interview, they have to own the coin, and you can do an API call to the rally website, and then grant them access to different sites. For example, we’ve done this with third party developers in clubhouse rooms, we actually were able to use paid is third party developers that built that, and then then they could go to a private clubhouse room. Also a common use cases, we have discord channels for creators, and the discord. It uses a coin bot robot and it checks to see you have X amount of j owl coin, that’s my coin, J owl like j Wow, from Jersey shores. And but the most famous use cases Portugal, the man which is a music artists group, and they have their own private Discord. And you have to own 10 PTM coins and you can access this premium content. And so that’s a common thing that we do. And we’re experimenting to use it for premium newsletters, premium podcasts, or behind the scenes. Even with the show, you can integrate it like whoever owns the coin and you can do an API call. They can ask the first questions or they get shoutouts. Or if they donate coin during this live show. It could show it could you say John Doe has donated coin to us right now and really trying to make the conversation happen. So that’s the way you can make it premium.

Adam Levy: Let’s dissect that for a minute because you brought up two points. You talked about bringing in creating like access type of content where you have to pay to kind of consume, but then there’s also that conversation where people don’t want to create barriers to entry per se, and they rather reward people for participating. Where is that fine line? Right? How do you how do you kind of separate the two?

Jeremiah Owyang: Right? Well, first the mind-set is it’s really not always about creator and fan, we’re one community. And you hear artists like the really progressive artists saying things like this, like bt says things Imogen Heap like, you know, we’re a collaborative In fact, the best creators are collaborating with their fans, because they tell them what to what they like, what they don’t like, you know, I mean, it is a collaboration. And that is something that technology always enables us to do. So with that mind-set, what we encourage the creators at rally to do is to first reward and give away their coin to their best fans when they launch. And it’s a very simple mechanism, you can do it, you can send coin, and we ask them to actually fill out the rally ID, the users, the fans. And then once we have the rally ID, excuse me, we can send them I can send them the J l coin, or the Portugal the man coin, or whatever coin it is. And this helps to create the currency circulating within the community. And so that’s the very first thing. We’re also working on some features where we can reward our fans for sharing our content. So there’s features where if somebody tweets out, this is an account, this is a feature that exists. Third party developers build everything, by the way the third party developers can apply for the rally tokens as a development fund. Hmm. Real quick factoid 71% of rally, the economy is owned by the creators, communities and developers. Wow. 29% is owned by the team and investors and advisors. Hmm. So it is, it is not fully a DAO yet. But it’s we’re headed that way. But we do want a central team because it helps us to on board many creators who are not crypto native.

Adam Levy: Sure. I mean, if you look at like more traditional defy projects, like maker DAO, for example, they started off sure decentralised, or DAO point of view, but they had the foundation, that centralised figure that helped build and on board institutional money, retail money, education, etc, make them a dominant player. And now they’re working on transitioning and handing over the keys to the community, I think it’s a very that enter type of strategy. That’s so.

Jeremiah Owyang: So going back to the relationship creators, you want to give the coin to your community and you want to let them earn it, you know, those that are your super fans, like, like, give it to them. And then what craters do is they create up what we call campaigns. And you could turn in the coin that you have either purchased from the creator or earned or traded other crypto by bridging in and use that coin for whatever campaigns for example, I have campaigns for I have a decent Twitter following for my business audience and, and people have been purchasing paid tweets and I’ll tweet out their product or their show or whatever it is, of course, I have editorial approval, it’s got to be a fit, right? I’m not going to push out anything I don’t believe in personally, more people want my time. So there’s other ways. And we have creators that just use it as the coin gate, for example, we talked about creators that just have private rooms in clubhouse or in or in Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups, or slack or discord, where you can do that as well. But the one thing that is unique about rally is there’s a dividend that is provided to coin holders, and this is called rally rewards. And there’s been a significant amount of money. So some of the creators that have very successful communities, I have the stats here right from the core team. They are driving 100,000 US dollars in rewards to the coin holders in their community, per week. Crazy per week. And so basically what happens is when people purchase the coin, the value of the coin goes up. And so there’s a dividend that’s released. There’s a formula that figures it out if is the current week in in coin activations higher than the last for rolling weeks. If so, then it kicks out a rally rewards every Saturday to the coin holders, who’s a coin holder? Anybody who earned the coin, bought the coin and of course the creator owns a significant but not always the majority, the successful coins, the community owns more of their coin, right? So in a way, it’s like a shared rewards. It’s a shared outcome. It’s aligned outcomes when the creator and the community are working together. And that’s really what I love about the project.

Adam Levy: So there’s actually a lot to unfold right there. So the first thing is an insane stat 100k per week being rewarded in dividends to people who are holding these creator tokens as a thank you as support. But what can they do with that 100k? Can they cash out can go to you can they go to uniswap? Can they exchange for usdc and put them in their bank account and spend that to pay rent? They can do that?

Jeremiah Owyang: Yes. So the rally Yes, they are yes, so the rally rewards up, except there’s some states were challenging. For example, New York. Okay. But that’s, that’s, that’s New York. So I’m in California. So what happens is I get my rally rewards, and I’m looking at them now. And my coin has issued around 10 to 15,000 US dollars’ worth of rally token to the coin holders. I own 43% of my own coin. Do I need to back up on the math? No. Okay. So I own 43% of my own coins. So it means over 50% of my fans have purchased the coin. So I’m not only benefiting many other people are benefiting from these rally rewards. And the rewards are issued out in these percentages in that way. And so what happens is you receive the rally tokens in your in your portfolio on the rally account, and then you could bridge out. Of course, there’s some states that where there’s limitations on that. And of course, you can bridge to your blockchain, crypto wallet.

Adam Levy: Got you. And if people are kind of like debating or creators are debating, I guess whether or not to do a more traditional way like an ERC 20 way where they meant a token on aetherium. Or they do it on a layer two like polygon, okay, to mitigate transaction fees, they create an eath X, they create an eath token pair, right. And that that kind of drives the value versus going through rally and leveraging the rally token as the underlying value for their token plus the supply and demand pressure from their friends to right. That’s how understanding how it works. So it’s not just pegged to rally. It’s also dependent on the supply and demand pressure. Right or more of the demand pressure at least.

Jeremiah Owyang: Perhaps I don’t have all the answers. So rally is a theory in Project ERC 20. So, but my I’m not a blockchain expert. Okay. So I can’t go much deeper than that. But I can connect you to the team. But what do you mean by the supply chain pressures?

Adam Levy: So a lot of like, the way these bonding curves work is that they appreciate the value based off supply pressure or demand pressures and the more people that buy into it, the higher the price, and that’s kind of how it sounds like with rally, right?

Jeremiah Owyang: That is true, right? It’s true. But there’s no, quote penalty. If you don’t, you know, it’s and creators do not have to purchase the coin, it’s by the way, it is there’s only been around 140 coins that have launched 134. So it’s invite only there’s a very strict review process. Like we’re looking for the right types of creators that have certain criteria, I can tell you about that later. So and they don’t pay money to join. So it’s not like they’re penalise but then you know, they’re just not. I mean, you want to incorporate this in your, as a creator, what you’re already doing. So it should aid you in what you’re doing. It’s not like you need to go out and, quote, pimp your coin, that’s really not the point of this.

Adam Levy: Sure, sure. No, I hear you know, I only asked that because, you know people are diving more and more into this crater economy, they’re realising that these web 2.0, 2.5 platforms are great at building audiences, but they suck at monetizing them. And they’re reverting more to these creator coins to try to create more access and incentives to motivate their audience to create a more intimate type of collective type of experience with their fans. And it’s super easy to go on rally and to launch a token. But there’s other options too, right? Maybe when a creator is thinking, should I go and launch my own ERC 20 token, a standard aetherium token? Right. So like, what when you explain these things to artists, how do you guide them through the shop process?

Jeremiah Owyang: So for many creators and artists and digital artists and podcasters and, you know, clubhouse folks, this literally is the first time they ever touch crypto, right? Literally like we’re this is me. And then of course there are fans even less likely to have ever touched crypto, right. Okay, maybe a few of them. We know that they purchase coins on Coin base. Right? Very traditional credit card like they many of them actually never even had a wallet. Right? So in many ways, this is the mainstream, you know, if you when you go to the rally website and create your own ID, you’ll see that it’s very simple to use. It’s a very simple UI, and there’s clear icons, and there’s like, you know, navs and it’s simple to use, it’s very different than using a wallet and you don’t see, you know, large you know, dexa has numbers and there’s no, there’s no gas fees to worry about. And you don’t need to worry about Do you have enough aetherium to cover transaction and what happened? You know, it all of that is stripped out. So it’s just simple for creators and their fancy use. Now, of course, the defy zealots like, well, everything should be complete, just distributed in your point of view. But for my auntie and my uncle, you know, and for you know, people that are not going to be crypto native. You’re going to miss that complete shocker, right, but I believe the stats are less than 10% of Americans own crypto. So when we’re dealing with craters, you have to make this accessible for mass market.

Adam Levy: Yeah, no, I hear you. And I think that’s a that’s a powerful selling point, because you’re right. These creators and I and I, and I think about this a lot, because like crater coins are a new era of influencer marketing, like they’re onboarding this new era of users, right, that otherwise maybe wouldn’t have actually tampered with crypto, they wouldn’t have even thought about using cryptocurrencies. So any platform that’s actually willing and able to engage these creators and onboard their onboard their audience, they have a lot of responsibility on their hand with making the process as seamless as clear and as cut as possible. And I think we’re where we’re at right now with aetherium, salonica, zilliqa, all these other like, layer one, layer two solutions. They haven’t really kind of like, done an amazing job with justifying that user journey. And onboarding people obviously, like, think about the NFT space, when you’re trying to mint an NFT on open sea, there’s an initiation transaction just to interact with the smart contract. And depending on the gas fees, you could be paying anywhere between $1 to like 800. And that’s without even minting just interact with a smart contract to kind of unlock your wallet with the network. So you’re right, the onboarding journey sucks. And I think that’s where rally does a really, really good job in in kind of showing creators that, hey, you can do this. And we’ve actually made it really easy as well.

Jeremiah Owyang: In a sidechain. That’s right. Yeah. And NFT’s are going to be launching on rally next month as well. So and that’ll all happen without gas fees. So we’re trying to make it a simple way for creators to manage an economy in that way.

Adam Levy: Yeah, let’s try to think like three, four years down the line, assuming all this crypto stuff gets easier, right? Assuming you don’t need more of like centralised platforms to help onboard crypto right comes easier to download a meta mask it comes it becomes easier to transfer eath from Coin base to your meta mask interact with smart contracts, that whole user flow becomes much easier. And creators start to realise Wait a minute, there’s actually power in doing in a decentralised way like these defy Maxis kind of for each right? How does that kind of play into rowdies timeline? How are you guys thinking about that?

Jeremiah Owyang: Well, I am not building the timeline that is for the rally team as an advantage.

Adam Levy: So I guess from your point of view?

Jeremiah Owyang: From my point of view, yeah, we shouldn’t ever say crypto, it should be completely in the background. So take, for example, 15 years ago, in the social media space, there was a new technology that was going to change everything. And it did it was called RSS, for those that don’t know, is a syndication protocol that enabled it at that time for people to simply subscribe to blogs or podcasts and then get updates in something called a feed reader. By the way, we don’t do any of that stuff now, because it happens seamlessly in the background, on your Facebook newsfeed in iTunes on your YouTube. Like we don’t have to deal Oh, you have to actually grab and SUBSCRIBE and find the RSS code and subscribe to it. And then add that to your feed is like crazy. Yeah, but it’s the exact same thing like right, like you take a feed reader that’s the same as a wallet today, like you take an RSS feed, that’s the same as you know, your hash code for you’re trying to get your coin, like all of those things are very similar. And that was done in a very decentralised way back then, because the files could have been stored on third party servers or on your own desktop or whatever is very different. So what I’m saying is, and from years from now, we should not ever even have to say crypto, we just say the jeremiad coin we can transact all those things can happen seamlessly in the background. Like if there’s a trusted relationship between me and my fan, and I say this is available for x coin, or you’re a premium member it should happen seamlessly wherever I go on the web. And I think that’s where we’re going to head.

Adam Levy: Yeah, it’s funny because when you’re when you’re comparing that example to where we are right now, you’re right, everything should happen seamlessly underneath the surface, nobody should be able to tell what’s going on right but when you’re when you’re using wallets right now you have that conversation of should this be a custodial wallet or a noncustodial wallet? Should users be able to have the option to own the keys to which their tokens are sitting on rather than leveraging like the seamless onboard experience when you open a new account and they just create a new Wallet for you off the bat because you don’t need to think twice about that stuff? Right? Like it’d be interesting to see how that kind of like plays down the line. Exactly with that example.

Jeremiah Owyang: And I understand and appreciate the defy movement and I understand why it exists and I’m and I’m for the crowd, but let’s not let’s not forget that Goldman Sachs fidelity and Schwab They’re headed this way they’re going to incorporate cryptos in their own wallets, like the main powers are going to incorporate it both ways, just as we saw Google and the big companies incorporate RSS. So I see this pendulum swing from decentralised to centralised, back and forth and back and forth. And that is the nature of the web of tech. So yeah, it’ll be fun. Yeah, it’ll

Adam Levy: Be really fun to see. So, you know, one of the biggest, I guess, questions when people launch their coins, they Okay, I launched my coin. It’s publicly trading, anybody can buy it. But what’s next? What’s the utility? How do I create value with it? How do you kind of approached that?

Jeremiah Owyang: Right, and every creator is different. So the way that I use it already mentioned, I’m using it to integrate with my Twitter interactions, trying to purchase my quote, reach or influence. I also use it people ask me for, Hey, can you look at this, you know, can you advise me on this, I don’t have a great way to do that. I’d have to set up a big contract or do it for free. Now I do with the $JOW coins, they purchase the coin, they donate it to me, it’s done. So simple. So easy on both parties. And I’ve done this and helped a number of start-ups. Sometimes I’ve Oh, I didn’t, I had a big brand huge brand. One of the big tech companies in Silicon Valley, they hired me, as a creator to facilitate experiences in clubhouse when it was red hot in q1 2021. And I hosted a couple of shows. But one of the keys to success in clubhouse is having the right people on stage that trigger notifications to bring people right. So I took a third of the budget, and I hired create clubhouse influencers and I tip them using my own Jay l coin. Smart and they love that because it wasn’t enough money where we wanted to do like formal contracts. But it was like a tip to them. And some of them already have their own coin. So we so basically, it was like it literally was the creator economy on top of the clubhouse platform. But we don’t need to access the clubhouse API is happening in a very ephemeral way. So there’s a few examples of how I’m using it. And of course, we’re getting ready for NFT’s.

Adam Levy: That’s powerful. That’s really powerful. And that’s something that hasn’t been able to be done until now. And you can integrate these tipping processes mechanisms. Well, at least you should be able to do it with any platform that kind of goes back to what you’re saying in the beginning, that these social tokens need to be integrated across everything, right? Every single platform that creator is going to be touching, there needs to be some easy integrations, to connect those tokens to connect those wallets and facilitate those transactions.

Jeremiah Owyang: And it’s not just tipping, right? Because people say, well, why don’t you just use cash app or PayPal or Venmo? Yeah, you could. But the difference when I give somebody my coin is I’m building a long term relationship. Because every Saturday, they get a piece of that rally reward from my coin, and therefore they want to promote it. They were literally bonded, like, in a way. And many of those creators, they purchase my coin, I purchase their coin. And because we’re part of the rally network, we’d like if the whole rally network goes up, the value of all of our coins goes up. So we actually are cross collaborating as creators as well. So that’s, and we have our own back channel, we have our own calls. We have our own zoom sessions once a month, like we have our own thing going on. Again, it’s getting pretty powerful. This network. I wanted to share some other examples as well, if I could, yeah, please. Okay, so these are some other creators, as well. There’s a famous DJ named ill mind. And he will do custom beats for you if you purchase his coin. And he also uses it and other ways as well. There’s another DJ called jaws. And people are saying, hey, can you please include my track into your mix? And he gets asset all the time. So he says, you know what, you got to buy my coin, the BTS coin, and he created a voting page. And if you own the coin, you can vote up the songs. So he’s using it as a way for crowd curation. So there’s, those are just there’s so many ways we can use it. I mean, its programmable money, right? It’s software. Like it’s not just like me giving you know, $1, like you know, like fiat currency.

Adam Levy: That’s something cash up can’t do. That’s not Venmo can do.

Jeremiah Owyang: That’s exactly right. And Patreon can do yeah. And the point system on Reddit or whatever, like, like, literally, there’s an API, and we can use it to validate user or validate how many tokens to the owner, we can use it to gate, you know, there’s many ways to use it as actual software.

Adam Levy: Powerful, that is powerful. So when you’re thinking about creating utility, is there a framework that you use to generate this value to gamify incentives? Like what how do you approach that yourself? And what could you kind of tell other creators when they’re trying to think of that?

Jeremiah Owyang: So what we’ve tried to do is so every creator is different so that the Twitch streamers who I haven’t talked about enough, because I’m not from that world, sure. They use it to host games and actual contests, and you purchase their coin to buy into it and then you get rewards from like the alley. Strawser coin, Allie coin, for example. So they use it in their world for things they’re already doing. So the first thing we do is we tell creators, what are you already doing? And how can you integrate it? And secondly, what is something that people are asking you for all the time, but you just don’t get paid for it, it could be a small thing. Let’s use that with your corn and monetize it. And the third thing we say is this, what is some remnant value? Perhaps its photos that didn’t make it into your book, maybe it’s B roll from a YouTube video. Maybe it’s recording from a concert of the actual music artists that they just happen to click play, I’m sorry, record on the iPad on stage. And people are saying I want that recording, but they don’t know how to distribute it in the right way. So that remnant value from the Creator, you can put that up in a coin gated Discord server or whatever, and make that happen. So do what you’re already doing. Don’t make more work for yourself. Anytime anybody’s asking you for something extra. That’s a little something, ask for some tipping or coin. And three, find that remnant value. And coin gainer.

Adam Levy: Fascinating. Yeah, so cool. I’m so curious how creative these individuals are going to get when it comes to tokenizing, their value and incentives that they provide. And I guess more about this, because you brought up a really cool example from the social audio space with clubhouse particularly, how do you imagine social tokens being integrated on there even more like beyond which you talking about.

Jeremiah Owyang: So using paid Club owners can create private rooms already, so we can expect and that’s a feature that clubhouse is going to do natively, but people will use a credit card to swipe. But we could do that in other ways, in different layers. So that’s one example. Also, you could prioritise you get on stage, there’s, there’s always this request to get on the stage or be the speaker. And that could be on Twitter spaces, right? It could be on your podcast, frankly, well, whoever is the top coin holder, you proven you’re a top fan, or who’s the longest term coin holder, right, you could see who’s been the longest fan. Or you could tip in order to say I want to speak so you can integrate it for engagement. And then thirdly, you can reward your top fans. For example, let’s say somebody wanted to transcribe, you know, one of the videos and put it into quick, you know, Cliff Notes, a short version, give them a piece of the coin, like tip them out. But then you take that that bit and you sell it on substack using your coin. Like there’s so many ways you can do this. Like, there’s just like no limit, like so many business models can emerge. I just can’t begin to tell you like we have this playbook. It’s like hundreds of slides of options.

Adam Levy: I love how excited you are about it. It’s so good. It’s so real. I love it. I love it. But again, so are there. Are you guys taking it? Or is rally? I guess from your point of view? Are they taking it upon themselves to create those tools to enable more utility? Or is that something that’s going to kind of be on boarded or independent from another third party company kind of thing? You know, or is it all going to be within you imagine it being all within the ecosystem of rally?

Jeremiah Owyang: Yeah, so it’s actually just you know, it is a community. It truly is. So that there’s a rally forums, there’s a rally discord, and we’re talking, there’s zoom calls called the community calls where we’re all discussing all different parties. So there’s the Rally Team. There’s the craters, there’s third party developers, and then the fans. And we’re all talking and saying what do we want. In fact, the creators, we have our own canny board where you can submit ideas and we vote them up. And there’s a team that reviews those as well. I’m, I have my hand in both camps. I’m an advisor to rally and I’m also creator. So I’m dealing with all that in and very involved with the project in that way. The rally has been hiring a number of really amazing folks from Patreon, and YouTube and Spotify and Kickstarter, like it is really a class a team that knows how to work with creators, and creatives. And they’re going to help put together roadmap as well as on board, folks. So to answer your question, it is a collective. And what the way things are done is the Rally Team listens to what is being done. And they put forth a proposal to the community. And then we in that proposal is put up on snapshot, and we connect our wallets. And if you own rally tokens, you can vote. And so we are voting for how the rally tokens will be distributed and who will do it and there’s an active discussion like for me to be an advisor I had to submit and do a video and then the community had to approve that I would be an advisor.

Adam Levy: Wow. So he when it came to onboarding and hiring internally.

Jeremiah Owyang: For this role, for an advisor that was done but for the core roles. That’s It’s not being done because often those people work out really great a platform. So we don’t want that to be.

Adam Levy: Yeah, no, for sure. You talked a little bit about these business models and I want to pull up a tweet that kind of it was what was announced yesterday, okay? It came from an individual called Khan land force again, whether this number is true or not. Okay, let’s just let’s just hypothesise for a minute and enter entertain the tweet, okay? Starbucks customers have something like $1.4 billion in balances and their Starbucks app at any given time, we give them a billion and a half a billion and a half dollar loan, no interest and only asked for back when we want them to buy some 90% margin coffee from them. Right. And these are points, essentially, that are sitting on gift cards, right? Or on the Starbucks app there are just sitting there, right? And a way to kind of incentivize users to come back. Isn’t this the perfect type of model for a social token or community token or brand token? In a sense, where if this was all done on chain, for example, Starbucks would release some form of stable social coin. Okay, that can then be natively integrated across aetherium, or the web three ecosystem. Yep. And you can earn interest on your yields like, wouldn’t this be the perfect type of place to interact and experiment with? What do you think about that?

Jeremiah Owyang: Absolutely. So to me that like the first player to do this would be like Tesla, for example, it makes sense that they could do this, for sure. So in this case, I am familiar with loyalty programmes, I did some projects in that in that space. And the big brands, they love it as loyalty, but also in the book, sometimes they’re listed as liabilities, too, because if they’re not used, so big companies really struggle with this. But let’s just entertain the thought of using a brand token. It can, in fact, one of the top Home Improvement retailer, the executives were reaching to me like couldn’t could we use this? And they weren’t sure. And in general, they’re going to struggle because they’re worried it’s going to conflict with their stock token on NASDAQ, or New York Stock Exchange. I don’t see it happening for a while. But yes, a social token could be done for a brand. But I would also extend it to let’s just say, I think Tesla is the good example. Okay, because you can use it to actually look for provenance of parts like is that third party like karma? Or battery that you’re buying? Is it really from a Tesla approved vendor and work? And did it come from a blood mine? Well, let’s go all the way back to like, where did the actual parts come from? And you know, is it been ethically sourced. So that’s one great way to use blockchain. But secondly, Tesla’s Great example, because as you generate power from your roof of your, your, your solar, or you’re using charging stations, you could use a Tesla coin to for the whole ecosystem to track that. And that’s a form of building loyalty. So I think that’s a wasting yeah, we can make that happen. Yes, but for Starbucks, I think it’s possible, I just highly suspect they wouldn’t really put it on chain, they would just call it like the mermaid coin and just leave it on app. And it’s on their, their Amazon servers only, to be honest.

Adam Levy: That’d be so big. I just I like to think that far in advance, because if we’re tokenizing, everything, that’s like the narrative, everything is going to be tokenized. Right? And you’re thinking about like loyalty and membership rewards and your team fan clubs. You’re trying to build like a more modern day fan club here. Right? And that extends beyond creators that starts affecting big brands, big companies. And it’s funny that you brought up that example, that it’s a public company that was interested in experimenting with social tokens, but they weren’t sure how it would fluctuate with their public stock.

Jeremiah Owyang: No, they were worried to be in conflict,

Adam Levy: It would be in conflict, okay, in terms of like, what should people buy and invest in or?

Jeremiah Owyang:  They couldn’t launch. This is a big retailer, huge retailer. There’s several of them in every city. They’re like, well, I can’t launch my own brand coin, because I’m listing my own coin on NASDAQ. So it would confuse the market. They’re just worried about the Fed. And sec. It’s just like, you don’t know where to start and stop with that.

Adam Levy: Yeah, that’s like ripple, like, throwing out rumours that they’re going to take ripple public, but they still have XRP. That’s kind of publicly traded. Right? And how, how would that kind of work? And what would be the structure behind that? But anyways, different discussion for a different time.

Jeremiah Owyang: I think we could revisit that discussion next summer. And there might be some teeth to sink into that. But it’s too early. Yeah, I’m definitely thinking about that. Its like, how could that happen?

Adam Levy: Yeah, I want to bring up another point. And it’s I touched upon it with Starbucks for a minute. Yeah. So a lot of these tokens, they’re there. They fluctuate, right? They they’re variable. And from an investor point of view, they can be deemed as a great investment. If they believe in a creator. They want to help bootstrap liquidity. They want to support them. And on the audience side, they enable access, reward and payment to an extent right that’s right. But really the way I see it right now, social tokens because it could either be classified like as a security or as a loyalty, rewards and memberships type of token. And please correct me if I’m wrong, would it be wise and I haven’t seen anybody do this, would it be wise to issue tokens crater tokens as stable coins rather than assets that fluctuate? And the only reason I bring that up is because if you’re creating systems where you want to incentivize people and reward people, right, or you want to create access or gated kind of content, and you’re telling users to buy an asset that fluctuates, I’m thinking of this from the point of view that fans audiences, someone’s going to lose at some point, right? Don’t you think like someone’s going to lose when they’re buying a speculative asset? Or I don’t even want to call it asset, let’s say a speculative token, because I don’t know what to classified as per se, but they’re buying something that fluctuates up and down, based off the market’s health, right? What would it be wise to kind of approach the use case dependent? Would it be wise to approach it maybe from a stable coin point of view?

Jeremiah Owyang: I think that’s a great idea. I think that could be done. That that’s, that’s a really interesting idea. But I think you need a large enough economy and like, what would you base it off? Are you going to base it off USD?

Adam Levy: Exactly. So you create a pool on uniswap. That’s like the native token, and usdc, right, and you peg that tokens value to one of one. And they can use those tokens as a form of like, like, that’s where Starbucks could actually do a point system, right? That they can leverage those assets like from this tweet, they can leverage all these points that are being stacked up in the in the wallet as a way to kind of generate a new form of economy. So let’s say they have $1.4 billion, nobody’s using that they can lend that money out to pools on Ave or compound an interest off of it. And when users are ready to spend it, for example, they can process those transactions or kind of work out the kinks between you know what I mean? I’m thinking out loud here.

Jeremiah Owyang: And I’m sure it would be discussed, should a mermaid coin be pegged off the Starbucks price. Then as he goes, there you go. That would be another thing. Just real quick point on your earlier question on that, though, rally is a utility token, right? Because you’re usually guessing so yeah, to be clear, it is not a speculative investment.

Adam Levy: That’s right. I’m talking about in general, right. Yeah, in general from for the crater coins in general, because you’re seeing like big cloud, right. And you’re seeing those types of assets with steep bonding curve, and them appreciating value depreciating based off the demand pressure. But in general, right, like, at some point, you also think you want you want, you want to be able to like if you could crowdfund in early musician’s career, and that musician could kind of reward his early backers with on chain revenue, right? And you’d be able to track that, you know, I’m like, I’m thinking about this from like, different kind of point of views here.

Jeremiah Owyang: So my general take, Adam, is that the instability and is all part of the innovation curve and the early innovation curve and I think it’s okay, like, right now, only the early adopters are jumping in and like cool with it, and, and the folks that are joined in rally, they are folks that are have adopted digital first, like in every wave, I know, their background, I’ve recruited many of them. So I know they’re totally comfortable with that. And as the mainstream comes, in general, most In my opinion, most of these cryptos and broader though the whole space will start to stabilise right, as we have large institutions, financial institutions, and the ones I mentioned earlier moving in plus the Fed regulating. Alright, so I think its okay for fluctuations to happen. Yes, I know, we just hit a crypto winter this last month, you know, it had hurt us all who have our own wallets. And but I think we know that’s the risk that’s going to happen as early adopter. And that’s the way that you innovate is during those cycles. So, in my opinion, I think this just comes with that. Like, for example, that really social networking space, there was over 2030 different social networks that were doing micro messaging, only one really, one Twitter, right. And so you want to see what is best of breed. And so there was a high degree of fluctuation. So to me, I’m okay with it. It’s part of the game. Interesting. Its part of the innovation cycle. Yeah. And that high flux that happens, like within a few months in traditional industries takes 10 to 20 years. So it helps us to innovate faster.

Adam Levy: Yeah. And I guess what you’re building here is a network effect. Because the more you the more hodler is, quote, unquote, I guess the higher the price will go right, the more FOMO it’s going to create for other people to join in and kind of access those incentives and, and those gated content parks that people might build for themselves in their communities. Right. So I think, I think there’s value there. 100%. But you know what I’m thinking about this from I’m thinking about this from like, a black mirror point of view. Okay, let’s get like, let’s get super creative here.

Jeremiah Owyang: Let’s do it.

Adam Levy: Let’s do it. Okay, so it’s 2030 right now, okay. Everything is tokenized. Okay, people are tokenize their audiences and their communities are not the currencies, but their communities are tokenized their audiences can bind to them. Everybody is publicly trading on the markets, right? And yours is trading, which I checked earlier like about a couple hours ago at what $7.73. Let’s say Miley Cyrus has one that’s trading at $150 Justin Bieber has one at 200, etc. Right now we determine influence based off or a lot of society at least I don’t want to put everyone into shell but a lot of people in society determine influence based off their social their follower account, right? Oh, this person has 10 million followers are insanely influential. I think we’ll start shifting that narrative where people’s value will be determined based off what they’re publicly traded on the market.

Jeremiah Owyang: They’re interdependent numbers, for sure. Because the influence helps you to get more sponsors and an audience so they’re absolutely going to be intertwined. There’s no doubt in my mind.

Adam Levy: Yeah. But do you think that the dollar amount will have more influence over the follower count?

Jeremiah Owyang: I mean, but this? I think there’ll be aligned, I think there’ll be parallel. So I don’t think I don’t think one will be greater, I think you’ll see both numbers and know both numbers. And they’ll be intertwined. But none of this is new. We’ve always had, you know, different ways to I mean, one point is to own the most clamshell necklaces, or who had the most round size things in front of our homes. And no, you can’t you don’t have enough room in front of you on by the guys over there. I mean, even at the Bitcoin conference last week, if there’s the we’ll pass one BTC to get I mean, this this level of privilege, we will find a new number. For social media, we would use something else so sure, yeah, I think so. But in, in this case, this number represents your engaged community that believes in the creator’s ability, that’s a good point of view. That’s a great point of view. And it could be a more valuable metric than just followers, which we know people buy followers to. So if you’re going to buy social tokens, you’re actually using some type of quid. You’re using some currency, whether it’s US dollars, or eath, or BTC, to purchase it. So there’s actual perhaps even a more truer sense of value than just followers.

Adam Levy: Don’t know not to that’s a great point. That I’ve never heard someone bring that point up. That’s a great, that’s a very unique point. Yeah. Nobody’s brought this discussion to me. You brought it up, together. I love it. I love it. I love it. All. Right. I have a final question for you. Okay. At this at the time of this chat right now. JOW is trading at about $7.73. What is what does that price mean to you? If anything?

Jeremiah Owyang: To me? The dollar amount? Yeah, I mean, that’s great. I mean, I can tell you, I mean, that’s cool. That’s great.

Adam Levy: It’s a great number, by the way compared to like, if you the roster of like the 100 plus creators, right? It’s like it’s doing really, really well.

Jeremiah Owyang: We want everybody to do well, it’s not just about me, Bringing I’m onboarding my horse, so, or so did show with you. So the way that it works is, so there’s like a market cap of my whole coin economy. And so I own 43% I own over 50, so each creator issued 50,000 tokens. So I have 50,000 plus more, can I purchase on my own, times that $7 that’s how much the market cap is of that coin, plus the rally rewards and then plus people going to interact with me and use my token for the different creator things that I do or influenced or things that I do. So I mean, yeah, it’s great. But it only works if the whole rally network goes up if I’m pegged off the rally token the $JOW coin, but that is the main token of the sidechain. So if that is at a low price, it doesn’t matter what my coin is worth. So we want to collaboratively get all creators to be you know, kicking butt.

Adam Levy: Amazing. I think that’s an amazing spot to end off Jeremiah.

Jeremiah Owyang: [Cross talk] end on that I want to make sure I send you my coin a number of my coins to use Thank you. And I want to make sure you have it because we’re now bonded. We’re part of the same [Cross voice]

Adam Levy: Love that. I appreciate that. Thank you, man. You’ve been awesome your pool of knowledge. And it’s been a privilege to talk to you. Thank you for being on.

Jeremiah Owyang: Thank you for having me. Looking forward to hearing more. Bye

Podcast Transcript

Social Tokens Are Defining A New Era of Fashion

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast


Mint Season 1 episode 5 features WhaleShark, a social entrepreneur and investor with a focus on disrupting the status quo, whose work is widely known for the successful $WHALE community. He’s a prolific advocate of NFTs, social tokens, DAOs and much more with an impressive track record of managing three different social token communities.

On this episode, WhaleShark and I discuss his latest project  Elite also known as the ticker $1337, his vision for creating digital clothing dedicated to gaming communities, or as he likes to call it, meta-wear, his takeaways from starting the most successful social token project, WHALE, his views on the future societal implications of creator coins, and so much more.

Thank you to Season 1’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise –

2. POAP –

Interested in sponsoring future seasons? Get in touch here!

Adam Levy: How are you feeling, man?

WhaleShark: Adam, I’m doing great. And thank you so much for inviting me again, I had so much fun with you the last time I was in a podcast with you it was utterly amazing and truly an honor to be back this time again.

Adam Levy: You’re the man, man, you’re making so much noise on Twitter, especially over these last few months with this whole NFT boom. And during that you also had the time somehow to launch a brand new, I guess product project. And we’ll be talking a little bit more about it E1337 tailored towards the gaming space. But before we get into that, which is why I have you here. For those who don’t know you. Can you give me a brief background about yourself? What were you doing I guess before NFTs before crypto before the metaverse and where are you now?

WhaleShark: Sure thing, thank you for allowing me to introduce myself. So I go by the pseudonym WhaleShark. And I’ve been in the blockchain industry for about nine years now. While my claim to fame humbly saying is NFT’s I’d actually been invested in blockchain since 2012. Prior to that, I had actually been in the brand and marketing industry for roughly about 15 years, where I cut my fee professionally. But eventually I got enamoured by the concept of Bitcoin was buying, it was buying half a month salary worth of Bitcoin every month from 2012, all the way to 2015. I ended up loving ethereum and the narrative of it being the world’s computer. And I eventually took all of my Bitcoin and started investing in ethereum instead, that has actually been extremely timely and nice for me. And what I ended up doing is actually extending that, that, that that reach into investing into some several very prominent and successful blockchain companies that we see in the space today, while at the same time allowing me to expand into NFT’s in 2019, and eventually establishing the world’s largest social token whale in 2020. So it’s really been quite the ride. And Adam, you pointed out, you know, somehow, somehow, some way, I found a tiny bit of time in 2019, 2020. To start this new brand is once again, it’s E1337. We usually pronounce it as elite. So elite, which is a traditional hacker form, or hacker writing style, and eventually launched a social token for that this year. So extremely thrilled to be have been doing this. But it’s been a very, very busy few years.

Adam Levy: You know, I remember the first time I interacted with you was in Justin blouse NFT room for his iconic drop that made headwinds and kind of defined a lot of this momentum that we saw the following months afterwards. And I remember, there was something different about one when you enter the room, you were you were still a non, but there was a bidding war between you and I forgot, I think it might have been egg or eight and I forgot who it was exactly. And at the same time you were joining the clubhouse and sharing your energy and sharing your spirit. And ever since then, I’ve been following your journey really, really closely. And to see this new eye new project elite kind of pop out during that whole entire wave really struck my attention because like you said, you already built a really powerful community through whale through NF T’s. And now you’re approaching the gaming industry. Right? So there’s a there’s a lot to unfold over here. But I want to hear more again, how did you get into crypto? I know you started buying Bitcoin you converted into ethereum. But what was that aha moment for you. I know, you’ll mention that obviously, ethereum being this global computer, but tell me more a little bit about that.

WhaleShark: So during the course of my professional career, I’ve worked in many, many cities and countries throughout the world, I was literally moving every two to three years. Now, one of the biggest challenges that one encounters, when you’re moving into different countries into different jurisdictions, is the banking industry. Right? So you know, not revealing too much about my age here. But I come from an age where it takes, you know, three to five days to do an international bank transfer. And that is still very much the case today. I mean, it has sped up, you know, I have been able to send money from Asia to the US, you know, within two days, but back then it was three to five days at the shortest. When I did read about Bitcoin, all of a sudden, I discovered that this single project, the single technology, it alleviated a lot of the challenges that I faced as a globalist and as someone who wanted to truly own my money rather than having the banks hold it for me. So, you know, initially my entry into bitcoin was purely from a financial and economic interest point of view. But then after that, I saw again the decentralised nature of it. The fact that you know, alternative blockchains to Bitcoin could be used with smart contracts to programme the flow of money, the conditions of money, and it truly, you know, really envelope, the economic nerd within me to drag me down that rabbit hole. So you know, even back then, when I was buying Bitcoin, I think I first entered at about $500. And all of a sudden you saw a tank all the way to 200 250 for a couple of years, I really never lost faith in that technology, because there was really nothing around there that could truly replaced what Bitcoin was bringing to the entire space. Now, given that, we know that every single blockchain has its limitations. And while for a couple of years, I was able to send Bitcoin within a couple of minutes, there eventually came a time where there are so many transactions and the lack of scalability resulted in me having to wait You know, one day one and a half days, sometimes for transactions to go through. It was that point in time where I, you know, I understood the narrative of Bitcoin, as, you know, money 2.0 which is very different from the positioning where it’s gold 2.0 right now. But, you know, looking into ethereum, all of a sudden, I was able to do transactions in the seconds or in the minutes as well. So and then on top of that, you had the bonus of it, being able to also be smart, contract, programmable, you had smart money all of a sudden, so, you know, that really enamoured me as well. And I’ve always kept an open mind to the best technology. I’m very much you know, you have Bitcoin maximalist you have ethereum maximalist I’m sure you have Dogecoin maximalist now, I’m very much a use case maximalist. So I’ll give everything a try once or twice. And, you know, mainly I’m looking for fantastic use case and a seamless experience with that technology.

Adam Levy: I think that’s part of being one a good investor, part of being an early adopters that you have to be a maxi in certain areas, and you have to be willing to try and listen to what’s going on, and what’s picking up traction and tinker with it and test it for yourself. So, so more power to you would that and I, and I guess like a perfect transition, how does that kind of tie into elite with what you’re doing right now?

WhaleShark: Got you. So I started elite, actually, as a brand prior to my involvement in nfps. Or I would say probably about the same time. So the birth of elite came by the fact that I was doing a lot of macro-economic analysis and looking at different industries. You know, simply outing myself out as a little bit of a business nerd here. But you know, looking for that next opportunity. After looking at everything that was available in the market, you know, you saw that eSports was gaining a significant amount of traction and continues to gain a significant amount of traction in the market today. Now, given that, as I was watching eSports, delving into eSports, researching eSports you know, I was really looking at some of the apparel that people were wearing. And you know, it was a little bit disturbing to me, because online, if you were to buy eSports apparel, you were literally looking at apparel with dropship quality, so it’s basically a factory who created a cheap t shirt, they’re going to charge you $20 for stamping a logo on it right stamping a logo on the front stamping a logo on the back, bam, all of a sudden you have eSports apparel. The issue is though when you look at sports in general, right, you got you got Baymax like, you know, Lulu lemon for yoga. So for yoga, you have yoga pants for basketball, you have basketball jerseys for football, you have football jerseys. The question came to my mind was, what is a uniform for a eSports enthusiast or a professional gamer? Right? And is it just a simple hoodie? Or is it just a simple t shirt? That’s not a great quality and something just stamped on it? So that really started the fire burning within my brain to really figure out you know, is there a better way to do this? So what I started in 2019, with a team out of Korea, because again, Seoul is the mecca of Esports, is we actually had the team go to the largest and most popular cyber cafes and gaming cafes in the entire city, and actually run a poll from all of the people within there, you know, what did they not like about their Esports apparel? Or what did they wish that their apparel was, so they would be better suited to their hobby. And, you know, that’s when we created came up with the idea. At the same time, my involvement with blockchain was, you know, ramping up with my involvement in NFTs. So you know, it was very, it was a very natural progression to say, hey, how can I use NFTs and merge that with the apparel, the apparel set we were launching after that, and we can talk about this a little bit more detail later on. But after that, given the success of social tokens, and my firm belief that social tokens are going to be the next big thing after NF T’s is how do I take that other piece now? And how do I put it as a part of this amazing project. So that’s really, you know, a short story about how elite was created, and how today we not only have the most customised and high quality eSports apparel, but we also have NFP is that prove the authenticity of those apparel, as well as a social token that is used to drive not only the community, but is the only type of currency that we accept to be able to purchase this apparel.

Adam Levy: That’s big, that’s really big. And it’s big, because, you know, you hear a lot of projects launching, and you hear people just a bunch of software developers getting together, either forking some code, and just copying and pasting and changing the interface and rebranding a little bit. But you actually went to the extent of actually interviewing gamers were these gamers and so were they already crypto native.

 WhaleShark: So we actually developed the brand purely from gaming enthusiasts. So some of them might have been crypto native. But the main thing from a physical product perspective that we were looking to do was how do we create the best quality and the most convenient style of apparel for people who are interested in gaming multiple hours a day. And they came back with a lot of amazing input. And that has flowed into the material into the design into the way that we silkscreen, a lot of the designs onto the hoodies itself. And Adam, one of the most amazing things about this is when you look at the blockchain apparel space today, the hardest part of that many people have been unable to conquer yet is the physical supply chain, right? Because they’re so focused on the blockchain aspects of it, they haven’t been able to master the physical supply chain. But because this product was born out of traditional apparel creation, our physical our physical apparel supply chain, from manufacture, from design, to manufacturing, to ordering to warehousing to shipment, is actually world class as well. So I think we tackled the harder parts first. And really, given our interest and experience in blockchain, adding on the blockchain elements was relatively more simple.

Adam Levy: When you were creating and designing this blockchain apparel, and you were in the early phases, I guess, of designing because you were saying how it was already a brand before it became a more crypto native brand, the way I’m understanding it. Why? Why were NF T’s and social tokens like the thing to do with it? Why was that the natural next step, the natural progression, like what is it about NF T’s and social tokens that that gave you that aha moment? You’re like, wait a minute, why don’t we integrate the two? Why don’t we track everything and merge the digital with the physical? What why was that the way to go?

WhaleShark: So I think, I guess one of the main reasons that the main reasons that drove that was predominantly my passion for blockchain as a whole. You know, a tidbit that people don’t know is while we started off as a traditional apparel brand, the diamond that you see on the elite logo is actually called the blockchain diamond. And it’s not something that we advertise quite a bit because again, we were mainly focused on the larger gaming market who may or may not have an interest in the blockchain. But if you look at our logo, it’s basically a diamond with blocks that make up the intricacies of that design, which is actually the blockchain diamond. But I guess the other main reason is, I mean, number one, NF T’s, you know, while we look at nfps, as a way to manage to truly manage and own digital assets, right? You know, one of the other places that it will be used in the future, and not really used as much as it should be right now, is a point of authenticity, right? So I believe that in the future, you are going to see Gucci or mez, Chanel, all of these major luxury brands use some form of NF T’s tied to the physical good to be able to vouch for their authenticity. Now, you know, given that I’m always, you know, I’m not so interested in the money, right, which sounds a little bit weird, but I’m always interested in doing something that is right, and doing something that is ahead of its time. Right. So given that, I mean, given that this brand was just launching, I think it was really a no brainer to say hey, why don’t we future proof this and we use NF T’s as a methodology to really authenticate any single physical piece that came in. And you know, we’ve expanded right, so we started off with physical goods. We use nfps for our digital wearables now. So you know, partnering up with NFT studios who are an amazing designer and technology player within the space. There are some fantastic things that we Do with digital wearables from an NFT perspective, or elite, in terms of social tokens, again, not focusing on the money, but really doing things that are really truly disruptive and innovative. I had never seen a physical apparel brand, and were physical and digital now. But I had never seen an apparel brand, say, you know, alright, I’m not going to accept cash, I’m not going to accept Fiat, I’m not going to accept if or any of the mainstream currencies. What I’m going to do now is, the only way that you can purchase these physical or digital wearables is only by using the native digital social currency called lead, to be able to purchase these items. Now, you know, again, I’m, I think, from our previous conversation, and this conversation you seen, I’m a little bit of an economics nerd, right. So what would happen if you had a business model that didn’t really rely on the purchase and sale or on the purchase and production of products itself, but was more reliant on the tokenomics of a social token that drove that project, right. So all of a sudden, you’re creating more of a community versus a transactional ecosystem, to be able to buy and trade products. So that was really the impetus for me to do that.

Adam Levy: You know, the category of gaming, when you look back to the initial adoption of NFT’s, the first example or one of the earliest examples, at least you can think of is obviously crypto kitties a game, right. And social tokens, I guess, crypto in general has naturally aligned with the gaming industry to begin with, as a use case of adoption. Considering all the activities online, it’s all digital. So I feel like it’s that natural progression that led to that adoption, and the fact that you’re going and you’re taking a digital currency that you’ve created that’s solely for your community that you’ve I guess, community ownership in and it’s a collective type of environment, and applying that to the gaming industry, right. I feel like that’s just the natural next step and where things are going to be heading next and more, more to your point that people in companies like Gucci are going to start investing and their online wearables. I think you’re already seeing an early example of this. And I want to pull up it’s actually a tweet from Alexis ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, and he basically tweets he talks about a Gucci bag on Roblox resold for free, 350,000 roebucks or roughly 4.1k. Okay, $4,115, the same purse in real life costs $3,400. So a digital version of a Gucci bag sold for more online than it did in person. And I think that fact, it shocks a lot of people. And remember, like he continues to tweet, he’s like, remember, this Roblox purse is not an NF t though. It has no value use transferability outside of the Roblox world, yet, it’s worth more than the physical one, watch this space. And I think, like the fact that Roblox is taking that, and they’re doing it on a very micro scale, and you’re already integrating with social tokens, right? You’re adding the traceability element, you’re allowing players to own a digital version of what they own in the physical world. That’s powerful. That’s powerful.

WhaleShark: Thank you, my friend. And I fully agree with Alexis, I mean, Jesus. I mean, when I mean, there’s several, there’s several dynamics that we’re looking at here, right? I mean, the first dynamic that we’re looking at is, you know, again, purely digital goods. And Adam, I mean, if we were to look three or four years ago, and if we were doing this, I would probably have to fly out to where you are, so that we could get the quality of resolution and streaming that we have right now. Right, right. And four years ago, people would say, Hey, I’m spending eight hours a day on zoom, talking to my co-workers talking to my team. I think that would have been unpatentable, right? Similarly, so what does this mean? I mean, moving into the future, you know, we all of us keep talking about the metaverse, where we are right now, there is really restrictions, right? Because again, I can see your head, I can see you speaking, but you know, it’s very difficult for me to see you move within a 3d space. And you know, this podcast might be 1000 times more exciting, if people were able to look at us in a 3d world and then be able to look from any angle that they wanted, while we were moving our entire body. Right? So you know, I think when you look at the metaverse as a whole and it’s coming, right I mean zoom didn’t really gain popularity until this unfortunate Corona Coronavirus crisis. But you know, given that the next step for meetings the next step for interactions, the next step for podcasts, might very well happen in the metaverse where that interaction becomes so much deeper than where we’re looking at right now from a 2d perspective. And given that if you exist in the metaverse, you’re going to want to have digital apparel, you’re going to want to have it you’re going to want to have a digital Gucci bag and you know, a digital Chanel watch and you know, maybe a digital, you know, Crockett and Jones pair of shoes. So I think it’s there. Once again, it’s going to take time, but I’ve always been very interested in being a first player so that I can learn as much as I can.

Adam Levy: Yeah, so tell me, tell me a bit about more of what you can buy on the site, what apparel are you selling? What does that look like?

WhaleShark: Got you. So for the time being, we have launched and manufactured, you know, several sets of physical where they are highly limited. So what we’re looking at is three hoodies, two t shirts and two baseball caps. We manufacture them on a very limited basis, simply because, again, we want to protect the scarcity of what we’re developing what we branched out to, besides physical wear in May. So in earlier last month, was we actually branched out into digital wearables. So we started manufacturing, not only the equivalent of the physical wearables, but we tried to understand Hey, now you have a metaverse, what happens if we design things that were suited for the metaverse because again, you don’t want to go into you might want to sometimes, but people might not want to go into the metaverse and wear a very simply designed hoodie, right, it might look nice, but you know, some people just want to just want to bling out, right. So they want to have animations, they want to have these crazy designs that you would not be able to have on a physical wearable. So that’s what we actually did from the digital perspective. And I guess one of the main things that we believe in is ensuring that we have a constant flow of new designs. So for us, again, it’s really a labour of love. So the team is actually launching designs every single month. And we’re going to get to the point where, you know, I don’t want to drop too much, too many too many, too many things that we’re doing, but you know, dude, you know, wearables, where the design is actually a video, right? Where literally, you have you know, moving patterns and moving artwork, on the wearables themselves that you’ll be able to go into the metaverse of where. So that’s really where what we’re looking at. And once again, it’s still very exploratory. We’re learning a lot as we move forward. But it’s been a hell lot of fun.

Adam Levy: You know, I want to share my screen for a minute and actually pull up the site for those watching on YouTube. And just to get an idea of what it looks like, right? So right, I’m on the physical side of things, you have different hoodies. And as you can see, they’re all you can only purchase it in the native currency. And as of right now, last time I checked the currency is that like $1.27. So do the math per hoodie per hat per t shirt. And I think it’s actually pretty, pretty cool. But you also have the shop digital side, where you’re allowing people to buy these virtual hoodies, which you’re actually charging more for, right? Can you can you explain more behind that? Why? Why do you put a stronger emphasis on the digital wearables versus the physical wearables?

WhaleShark: So we believe that the majority of our core market are going to be metaverse based. And given that, what we wanted to do is number one, ensure that you know, people who are able to purchase our digital wearables are truly fans of the community. Right. So I think that’s the first perspective. The second perspective is that and that’s a perfect fit, you can actually see a 3d rotation. Oh, cool. I was talking about how do you create, you know, wearables that are very different from what you could ever wear in real life. This is a perfect example of [Cross voice]

Adam Levy: Dude, Imagine being able to buy this physically and wearing this around as you go to the grocery store.

WhaleShark: Exactly. I mean, I would love to do it. But again, there’s some things that you can only do in the metaverse. Right.

Adam Levy: Right. Right.

WhaleShark: So I guess I guess the main other reason why we did it was because we really protected the scarcity of all of these items and the physical, the physical items, again, they have a very large amount of, they have a relatively larger amount of production size than these digital wearables. We want to keep things fresh, and we want to keep things coming in. So basically, what we’re going to do is we are going to be limiting the number of digital wearables actually go up onto the site. But at the same time, again, making sure that we’re protecting, we’re protecting that price level and protecting that scarcity of those digital variables.

Adam Levy: Sure, sure. And you talked a little bit about on the physical side that integrates, I guess, with tracking and verifying, through your supply chain. Can you talk a little bit more about that? And what that looks like? Because I know there’s there was such situations, I used to live in Switzerland. And I used to attend these like Bitcoin or crypto conferences in crypto Valley and Sue. And I remember meeting one start up over there that was basically doing that with sneakers. Right? Not the not the digital side, but more of the physical side. Can you talk a little bit more about how that works?

WhaleShark: So we’re actually still at a very rudimentary level. So the level that we are at right now is that, you know, once again, if and this is if the purchaser of a physical item is willing to share their IP address, what we do have is we have a mechanism whereby a corresponding art NFT, actually, and it’s actually on the website as well, but an art NFT is sent to that corresponding address. And again, what happens is that in that NFT, they have not only a beautiful piece of crypto art, and we worked with an artist called Daniel Ignacio, who was very awesome about creating the cyberpunk inspired art pieces. And basically, what it has it has all of the details where you can see, you know, again, you know, which item was it? Where was it from, and you know, the date of minting and stuff like that. Now, what we are exploring at the moment is ways to actually tie the physical to the digital piece. And we are evaluating, you know, several options here. I mean, it could be simple as printing a QR code, where, you know, again, the, the QR code would directly go towards that NFT. Or it could be as complex as actually inserting an NFC chip into these digital wearables itself. Right. So I think that would be the more advanced stage that we’re looking right.

Adam Levy: Right. Oh, and you actually, you can’t see what I’m looking at. Hold on. I wanted to go, I just clicked on open see, let me let me share my screen again. Because I basically what I did, I clicked on the buy now, right? And it took me to open see. So just so users can see what that looks like. Right now. I’m on the open market. And when I was on the digital side of the site, I clicked on that awesome 3d rotation for the, the cyberpunk. And this is actually how you buy the digital version. And then I’m guessing it would integrate to the appropriate platforms that you can actually use where and show off these, I guess, digital clothings, right, these digital, this digital textile. So in my understanding that correct?

WhaleShark: Yes, exactly. And you’re going to appreciate this, because, you know, again, we were talking before, you’re really interested in the social token space, right? One of the things that we’re going to be able to do very soon, is for a single digital wearable, we’re actually going to be able to partner with other social token communities, do a collaboration on a design, and have people pay in or have people buy those wearables in a percentage of a certain social token and a percentage of another social token. So let me put it this way. So let’s talk about I guess, let’s talk about f web, right? I mean, they’re probably one of the larger social token communities and outside of whale and outside of elite, you know, if there was an F web, hoody design, right, what we’d be able to do in the mechanism is say, Alright, so the price of this to the price of this f web elite colab is going to be 50 FWP plus 50. Elite, right, and that transaction will be able to go that way. So that, you know, again, that vouching or that fandom is not only represented by the digital item itself, it’s also being represented by the transaction.

Adam Levy: Wow, that’s so next level. That’s, that’s so cool. So that is so cool. And like, that’s like the like you’re talking about building like online communities, and problems and in groups that are united by 1000s, to millions. And it only makes sense, you know, when you when you think about, like how we’ve progressed, and especially over the last year, and you’re betting on a micro trend, macro trend, that we’re only going to get progressively more digital and more digital, and people are going to be investing more into their digital profiles and their identities and the things that they do online. And it just makes sense that this is like the next step kind of thing. From my point of view, people might think we’re crazy right now, like, people are never going to be spending 1000s of dollars for a digital Gucci bag that they can’t touch or for a digital t shirt that they can’t touch. Because you can’t touch it. There’s no value, but value is subjective. And people forget that. And when you’re joining, you know when you’re when you’re involved in the whale community when you’re involved in the FWP community, and soon to be in these other creator communities that are tokenizing themselves. It makes sense that this is like this is the next, I guess next step in that direction.

WhaleShark: Adam, I agree with you and I think I can take that again. From a historic standpoint, and from behind the scenes standpoint, if I look at a historic standpoint, even my family was telling me that I was crazy buying Bitcoin in 25, right? I remember talking to my dad, and he said, you know, this isn’t going to fly, this isn’t going to work. And you know, I just got off the phone with him earlier this evening. And all he could talk to me about was the ethereum and how ethereum is going to rule the world, right, from a historical standpoint, it’s always a risk, right there is there was very much the risk that Bitcoin would never take off. But again, you know, it’s looking at that risk to reward ratio. From a behind the scenes standpoint, Adam, I can tell you that, you know, every single brand is looking at how they can leverage nfps, whether that is from a pure digital play, or whether that’s from a physical to digital play, I was very fortunate enough to be hosted by one of the world’s leading luxury brand luxury brand magazines. That’s actually based out of China in Europe, I would say about a month ago. And it really was a seminar where, you know, I had the pleasure to, to share the stage with one of the founders of artefacts, right, so RGFT, who are again, an amazing group who are really pioneering the space, the number of questions that came through from brand managers, and product developers from any of the high end brands that you can think of was so large, that we weren’t able to complete the entire session in one, one to one and a half hours. So I think its coming, right. But again, very fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time, with the right amount of expertise.

Adam Levy: I love it. I think that’s so funny. And you’re going to see a lot of those people who’ve been in the traditional textile business and the traditional brand development business, I believe Usher, like you said, and, and the space is only going to get bigger, and there’s only going to be even more questions. And you guys are definitely pioneering that. I want you to tell me more about the deep core visions that the very like the deep, deep, deep core visions that you’re trying to make a reality with elite, as the crypto metaverse and eSports sector kind of evolve. And I’m talking more about from the point of view of applying certain use cases, or perhaps the tech and the products aren’t really readily available to make them a reality, like what does that look like to you?

WhaleShark: Got you. So I think it’s on several points. Right. So I think the first point is that, you know, I can take it from an economic standpoint, right. So, you know, my vision, you know, in terms of building companies is how do you disrupt the traditional flow of, you know, of buying and selling, and rather, you know, allocated towards community growth, right. So while you have seen us been able to create a social token, a second social token, right, besides whale, and that social token, or again, it’s in the top five in the entire world, and at some point was that it was in that was, was the second only to well, but you know, is it possible to build a platform whereby, you know, the growth of a company, the financial sustainability of a company, is really based on the community, and based on token price, rather than, you know, the rather than the inflows and outflows of cash and Fiat. Right. So I think that’s a major economic experiment that we’re doing there. Now, given that again, you know, the reason why, you know, we can’t take it mass market at the moment, is because a lot of those technologies they’re not. They’re not, they’re not everyday consumer friendly, right? Yeah. So the only way that you can purchase lead right now, or you can sell lead is through is through uniswap. Again, the common person on the street is going to look at uniswap. And after that, learn about metamask and say, what do I do? Right? At the same time, if, you know, even if I launched it on any of the major exchanges, you know, how, how do you have that seamless? That seamless integration, right? If because they would have to buy it on the exchange, then they would have to take it out of the exchange, they’d have to put it in their meta mask. And then after that, they have to do it again. Right. So I think what needs to be done from that perspective is, you know, really just being able to allow the everyday man, so our technology that needs to allow the everyday man to acquire these social tokens and use them as easily, as you know, sending money through a bank. Right. And, you know, I don’t think we’re that far off. A lot of people are innovating within that payment space today. And, you know, one of the, I guess, one of the easier, I guess, bandages that has been done is, you know, being the ability to use credit card credit card converts to social token, social token pays, right. So I think you have that, but again, I think it’s a band aid, right? So there needs to be a more fluid way to be able to do that. The second part of technology is something actually that you brought up earlier today is How do you really integrate that traceability? You know, for the product itself. Now, when we spoke about it earlier on, we really spoke about, you know, how do you make sure that the authenticity of the item is there? I’m really interested in saying, how do I make sure that I can trace every single stage of the supply chain and inventory, right, all the way to the point that it reaches the consumer? Again, a question that is being tackled by multiple companies today, no one has been able to answer it in a truly mature manner. But I would love to be able to say, alright, here, here’s your elite hoodie. Here’s the blockchain tracking, or here’s the zipper track all the way from, you know, South Korea, here’s all the material trace from wherever, here’s the factory where it was made, and it was actually traced to, again, a lot of our stuff is handmade as well. So this was traced to seamstress or seamster. Number 46. From a quality assurance perspective, it was checked three times quality assurance, agent number 2, quality assurance Agent number 46, quality assurance, Agent number 52. And then after it got on this truck, and it went to this warehouse, and then it got sent out by this pack by this person. And then it got into your hands, right.

Adam Levy: Boom.

WhaleShark: I think if anyone ever did was able to take that sort of a technology into a very mature level, you’re looking at full scale disruption on the transparency of supply chain in general. Right. So I think that’s probably a second point that I would be looking at. And I guess the third point that I’d be looking at mainly looks towards the digital wearables themselves. And don’t get me wrong, I love crypto voxels. I love sandbox. I love decentraland. But you know, again, I think a lot of those platforms and maybe platforms in the future to come, you know, how do you create, again, that seamless interaction between the user and focus on user experience versus the just viewed versus interaction with the blockchain, right? And that the metaverse that’s able to do that is going to win. And then after that, we’ll see the proliferation of digital wearables. So those are probably the three points.

Adam Levy: That first of all, let’s backtrack for a minute that was like to the T. And it just shows how, how experienced you are in the in the textile space and the e commerce space and the entire, I guess, that entire industry. So and I remember those types of conversations when I was living in Switzerland and crypto Valley, quote, unquote, sube being the Pioneer that it is for innovating and being an early adopter of regulation and this technology, they were still having those conversations three years ago, right? Yep. And to show you that, that still isn’t a problem that solved yet shows you how early we are. So if anybody listening to this solves that problem, or is working on that problem, hit us up and let us know. Because I think whale shark, you’re the prime use case for making it a reality and developing a case study from that, actually. And yeah, it’d be exciting to see how that kind of plays out.

WhaleShark: Adam, absolutely. And honestly, I did dabble in it a tiny bit. So you know, I did take a look at it before, it is just a very, very complex thing. Because again, when you look at it, and I think even the extended use case of applying supply chain, blockchain based supply chain tracking all the way to agricultural goods, that I mean, it has the ability to change everything. Imagine being able to pick up a tomato, or tomato, sorry, tomato, tomato, at your, at your, at your grocery store, being able to scan a QR code, understand not only exactly what was the geographical, I guess, the geographical flow of that single tomato, but also understanding under what soil weather and other conditions. It was, it was being it was it was being grown in, right? Again, the blockchain has infinite number of use cases that can bring humanity together and make society so much more better as a whole. And you know, I’m just amazed every single day by looking at all of the amount of innovators and entrepreneurs in the space that are leveraging that technology to do so.

Adam Levy: And that, again, is another big macro. Their consumers care about where their food comes from. Consumers care about where their clothing comes from, where the fabric comes from. Consumers care about where their diamonds come from, right? They care about where a lot of the products that they use, what’s the source and what does that look like. And many times companies even leverage that as a marketing tactic to show their level of transparency to show their level of sustainability and the fact that they can even present that with data. Or soon be able to do that, is interesting. It’s really interesting to see how that plays out.

WhaleShark: Dude idea just popped in my head dude again, yes, Adam Levy podcast extraordinaire – if you if he was wearing an elite hoodie and a hoodie used to belong to Adam Levy, and it was by an NFP because the NFP moved through his wallet, again, that hoodie could be worth significantly more than what someone originally purchased it for right boom, supply chain and movement of products is just such a prime use case for blockchain. I just can’t wait to see all of those developments in the upcoming years.

Adam Levy: I love it, man. We’re thinking so in the future, and those types of conversations stimulate and stimulate me, I want to talk more about the user experience like you drop the utility. What can people actually do with elite token beyond just using it to purchase clothing? What does that look like right now? And as a follow up, what do you think that whale kind of like evolve to in the future?

WhaleShark: Got you. So I think we always produce digital and physical wearables as a very basic use case, right? There are so many different things that you can do with social tokens. And we’ve implemented quite a bit of them at elite. So I would say that the first thing that you can do with elite with lead tokens is within the discord which again, it grew faster beyond my imagination, I think we’re probably 3500 to 4000 members. And a lot of that growth has come over the last one to two, one to two months. You know, you can actually use those tokens to participate in some of the play to earn games that we have a moderator team, and they play amazing blockchain games like axes infinity, they play Blanco’s block party, they play golf and chain, they play crypto motor stat, and many other games. And we’re actually also going to be partnering with other blockchain companies, blockchain gaming companies in the space where people can actually use and hold lead so that they can participate in those events. The second thing that they can do is again, everyone loves a good airdrop, I love a good holder. So what I tend to do is, again, with that lead and how much you hold in your metamask account, basically, we have a bot that actually monitors all of the different addresses. And we’re able to give airdrops to the largest holders of lead, because at the end of the day, what we’re looking to do is we’re looking to create a community and not, you know, again, no, no disrespect to traders, but we’re looking to create a community, right, so you can actually more earn more lead by holding lead. The third thing that you can do with lead is we’ve actually set up a doubt. And again, we are still waiting for the advent on chain daos, whereby it’s very plug and play seamless and easy to use. But for the time being, you know, we have a full on voting mechanism, whereby people who hold lead, gain Dao voting roles, and what they’re able to do is they’re able to vote on the events that we hold, they able to vote on the designs that we’re going to do, they’re going to be able to vote on the upgrading of the NF T’s or the digital wearables, which is another interesting perspective from an IPS. And the fourth thing that they’re able to do is they’re also going to be able to vote on all of our future production. So again, one of the biggest issues that apparel manufacturers face is, I don’t know how much of a certain design and of how much of a certain size that I need to manufacture, right, by actually having the community vote on things and actually having the community be able to stake their lead beforehand. So almost like a pre-buy process. You know, there’s absolutely no wastage in the supply chain, because I know exactly how much of each design is going to go through. And I also know exactly how much of each size we need to produce, right. So again, it’s much easier on the environment as well.

Adam Levy: Fascinating. I, you know, a lot of people launch tokens whale shark, and they launch them to launch them. And they create, like liquidity pools or yield farming, and all these random like economic incentives, which more power to them, obviously, it’s a way to, I guess, bootstrap liquidity, get more people involved. But the real power, like you said, is delivering real utility that extends beyond the blockchain, right? Building a community around something incentivizing long term holding, versus those traders that will try to speculate on the community, and pump and dump the price beyond your control. And the fact like the way you’ve kind of thought about, I guess, rewarding users and getting them to contribute is very unique within itself. And I wanted to ask you, is there a framework that you use to kind of create these value chains to create this utility? Like, how do you think about utility and how even more so for the creators that are listening? How should they be thinking about when they want to launch their token and build a community around it? How should they be thinking about utility? The value that comes once people have holding the token?

WhaleShark: Got you. That’s a fascinating and amazing question, Adam. So I think there are several things that one needs to consider before launching a social token. The reason why you see, you know, many of the long term stairs on the top list of social token stay there is simply because we have managed to be able to acquire the expertise in multiple fields on multiple fields of discipline, right? A lot of people enter the social token space, assuming that as long as they do some basic token omics, you know, the thing is going to fly. But what people don’t really understand is that, number one, social tokens are really a long term effort and community building, you got to be there, no matter whether it’s 15 cents, or $15, or $150, right, you need to be there day in and day out, you know, grinding with the community, because at the end of day, that’s just what it’s all about, right? It’s about community engagement, and having the community support that token. But given that there are several areas of discipline that one needs to acquire, to be able to effectively manage the social token, you’re looking at. I mean, marketing, obviously, a no brainer, marketing, branding, community building and management. But the two that I guess, I’ve been able to bring to the table, I have, again, I have a fantastic team on both whale and elite. But the two that I Excel a little bit better on would be economics and game theory, right? Because from an economic perspective, you do need to have a decent grasp of monetary policy or monetary theory, right? To understand, you know, how scars should this token be? What should the distribution be? Where should that distribution go? Right? So I think that’s the first and fundamental step in terms of, you know, what is the what is the macro tokenomics of the token that you’re trying to create, right. And again, you need to leave yourself a enough runway, depending on how you’re launching the token, you need to be able to leave yourself enough runway so that you can continue to support the community without losing all of the tokens, right? So, you know, an aspect that could be very appealing to a Creator is saying, alright, um, I’m only going to keep 20%. And I’m going to give the I’m going to sell the other 80% away, what do you have left in hand to be able to incentivize your community after that, right? So really, I think from a macro perspective, you can look at that. And then from a game theory perspective, I mean, game theory has always been extremely intriguing. For me, its number one, what sort of behaviour Do you want to drive through your buyer community, right, in their interactions with the token? And number two, you know, what sort of events will really drive that behaviour that you’re looking for? Right? So again, I mean, the most fundamental basics, and again, it wasn’t basic when I started liquidity meaning right, because I liquidity mine, I hold, therefore I earn more, and therefore, I’m going to continue to liquidity mine more, right. But again, if the social token doesn’t hold value, because your community engagement is low, then people say, why am I liquidity mining at 10 cents for right? So I think it is a mash. And really a structure in terms of understanding here are, here’s the framework here. So firstly, here is the behaviour that I want to drive, right? Here’s the framework of events that are going to drive this behaviour. And here is the interaction between each style of event that leads to in my case, long term holding, rather than trading. Right. It’s All about that. Yeah.

Adam Levy: Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. I mean, you have a wealth of experience, obviously doing whale. Now applying it to a new the second project, the second iteration into elite. What would you say are, I guess, those main learning points that you took away from launching whale, when designing and building it, and kind of like bringing it to market? Like what was there anything you wish you knew you would have known prior to launching your first project whale, and now apply that to elite?

WhaleShark: Amazing question again, my friend. So I would say the first thing is that team is everything, right? Like many others who launched into the social token space before and continue to launch into social token space, community management, community event execution, and fostering community engagement is harder than one can imagine. Right? So you see, sometimes people launch a project with maybe two or three people, assuming that they can actually get the community engaged on a day to day basis. I was very fortunate at wale because again, those community members and those community leaders came on very, very quickly. But one of the things I realised very, you know, very early on before starting elite was that I needed to create a separate team that would able that would be able to sacrifice their time and their energies to making sure that we were building an amazing community. Right. So I mean, the team I lead is wonderful. They’re mainly focused on driving those events down there. But I mean, the main thing, probably that I learned is that team is everything. And you can never underestimate those resources. The issue with social tokens and social token communities is that, you know, again, if the founder is the only one who is supposed to be driving that engagement, the founder is not going to be available 12 to 24 hours a day to sit down at their computer, and make sure everybody enjoys it. Right. I guess the second thing that I learned, you know, and again, it relates to people I think, you know, as you look at all businesses in life, eventually all these to the people in the teams is that I wish when I started whale, I had a much more mature HR structure in place. And I know that when I say HR structure, probably the decentralised committee is going to create.

Adam Levy: [Inaudible]

WhaleShark: No HR, no finance. But in all honesty, people are people, right? I mean, while we are all in the decentralised space, the incentivization, the encouragement, you know, the management of people is not something that a robot can do. And sometimes, again, when you look at a lot of the companies and organisations that are coming into decentralised space, they’re saying, Hey, robot 3.0, you know, we don’t need to have KPIs, we don’t need to have HR monitoring processes, we don’t need to have, you know, annual reviews. And what you see is that those projects just fall apart, simply because, you know, again, there’s no guiding structure and process in place, for people to understand what they should be doing right, on a day to day basis. So, you know, we realised this very early on at whale. And what I did was I hired an implemented, you know, an HR expert from my previous endeavours and brought her into whale as well as into elite, again, to make sure that everyone is not only productive, but they’re also enjoying what they’re doing. And they’re focusing on enjoying what they’re doing. So I think the second lesson really was about that. And you know, just being able to, well, just being able to make sure that everyone had a very relatively structured environment so that they could do what they needed to do effectively. And I guess, again, the third thing that that was, you know, that I learned from whale is that, you know, again, relates to people, not everything that needs to be done manually, right? When you’re looking at building a community on discord, you got a gazillion different bots that you can use. What Bo did very well for elite was I just took the same boss structure that we had on whale implemented it on elite, and we were good to go. Whereas it took probably two to three months to exactly understand what bot structure we needed that whale before I could do it there. So yeah, I think it all at the end of the day, it all pertains to people, it all pertains to team, it all pertains to workflow, because managing a social token is significantly more challenging than most people might think.

Adam Levy: That’s golden. And I think I think I think those three points tend to get overlooked, especially in a Dao circumstance, because Da are naturally decentralised organisations as their as their abbreviation kind of suggests. But when you’re building something that’s decentralised, you still need to have accountability. And people are used to having centralised forms of authority, kind of guiding them and leading them. And I think, you approaching it from the point of view of trying to find at least well, one, there’s you as that quote, unquote, leader and that visionary that’s setting the path for everyone to build on and to work on. But also bringing in an external person, someone in HR, that makes sure that the environment that the vibes, that people feel like they’re building something that they’re excited about, is very critical that I feel like a lot of projects may overlook, and might see this thing as a cash grab rather than just actually investing in the value that extends and unlocks with these tokens that extends beyond token price that extends beyond crypto. And I think you can take those three points to the bank, that’s awesome.

WhaleShark: While we are in a decentralised environment, while we are in the decentralised, you know, age of decentralisation. At the same time, you know people who are people who are participating in decentralisation are still people. Right? Yeah. So I think that’s why people are so important. And that’s also why we also need to have the structure to bring out the best in people.

Adam Levy: Yeah, sure. I we’re coming close to an end. So I want to I want to leave you with, with a final thought. You know, there’s, there’s this I’m thinking about social tokens, the creator economy, people tokenizing their communities, brands tokenizing their communities. And I’m thinking, and this might be extreme, but I’m asking this to everyone. Okay, I feel like we’re leaning somewhat towards a black mirror effect to an extent. And what I mean by that is, you’re going to have people brands and personalities, influencers kind of publicly traded on the markets on the crypto markets. And right now, as a society, we tend a lot of people I don’t want to I don’t want to bucket everyone but a lot of people tend to, I guess determine influenced by the follower count of someone, right. And they didn’t determine their thought leadership based off their social media value, and, and all that all that around it. But now we’re approaching a world where people are going to be basically publicly traded and associated with a price. This person’s worth $1, this person’s worth $2, is communities worth $100? Blah, blah, blah, right? Do you think we’re kind of pivoting towards that, that world where we’re having like a, quote unquote, human stock market community market?

WhaleShark: And whenever you see my mouth open like this, again, it means I’m smiling from ear to ear, because you’re asking the exact you’re asking the right question. So I think it’s difficult, right? So, you know, when you look at when you look at the social token economy, and when you look at influencers, I mean, let me split this off into two different things, right. So the way I think that the social token space is going to grow, is that everybody and their grandmother, very similar to NF T’s right, everybody in the grandmother was either buying NF T’s or selling NF T’s, you’re going to see everybody and their grandmother create their own social token relatively soon, right? Because it’s just so easy to do. However, what you’re also going to see is that they underestimated the five points that I brought up just now branding, marketing, community building economics and, and game theory, and then really understand, oh, what have I gotten myself into. And then after that, you know, just desert that community all together. And you’ll see that token collapse, right. So what I think in the short term that short to mid-term, what you’re going to see is you’re going to see a wide proliferation of social tokens. And then after that people who either number one, you know, didn’t succeed to the extent that they wanted, or number two, they underestimated the amount of resource and effort that it took to close down their social token. But at the same time, I believe what we’re going to see is we are going to see umbrella social tokens springing up. And people are going to start using multi-use social tokens that they’re affiliated with, rather than their own specific social token. So let me give you an example. For example, you know, you could have, you know, three different elites or celebrities who all belong to a particular genre, from month one to month, 12, what you’re going to see is those three individual celebrities, it create and use their own social token, what you’ll what they’ll find out, though, is that it’s too resource intensive, because you know, I’m a celebrity because I need to act because I need to sing. And instead, they’re going to group together, and they’re going to create their own group social token, while also recruiting, you know, people of their friends or whatever, into that same social tokens. So you’ll see, you know, five to 10, celebrities use that same social token, because it is it embodies the values that you know, they embody themselves, right. And that’s your talk, probably looking at the mid to longer term, the most concerning thing to me about social tokens, and even more, so personal tokens, right? Because, again, we’ve seen it with big clouds, and I’m an avid fan of big cloud, right? I’m an avid fan of big cloud, and, you know, shout out to all of my followers as well as coin holders there. But one of the biggest concerns for me, because I’ve been through the same process myself is, do I determine my self-worth based on my token value? And how does that affect my mental health? Right, right. Um, you know, when I first started, well, I know I started at 1520 cents, and then after that, you saw it extended to $3. Then after I saw it, dip all the way back down to 80 cents. Does that mean my self-worth increased by 200%? In a month, and then if that drop if I, you know, 60% next month, and now well, is that $12 worth increased by 2000, 3000%? Last year, it’s very easy to take it very personally, right. My social token price went down, People hate me. My social token went up the entire world. And Adam, you can see it with likes and follows today, right? Maybe, you know what happens when you take that into monetary value And what will the psychological ramifications be on people who are unable to dissociate themselves or their real true self-worth with their commercial value of their personal tokens? I think if it’s not managed appropriately, it could have severe ramifications on the psychological behaviour of youth today, right?

Adam Levy:  Yeah, yeah. And that just proves that the market for mental health is just getting bigger and bigger. And stronger as we continue to denominate people’s worth by numbers, follower count, publicly traded number for their asset for their token for the utility token, etc., etc. You know, the situation that the scenario that comes to mind, like, let’s say it’s 2030, right now, and people have their Google Glasses or their Snapchat Spectacles, and that has a lot of AR functionality, you know, people are wearing them walking down the street, all these micro interfaces kind of appear and through the lens, and they appear in front of you, you look at someone, their profile pops up, you’re able to see how many followers they have, what their tokens trading at, or they eat, where they ate last where their last Yelp review was, and you’re basically able to build like a profile of someone on the go. And that number kind of being a core a core factor in that, on whether that reality is going to come true, who knows. But it’s something I like to think about, as I see the growth of social tokens kind of progress and become stronger in the use case for them to empower creators, and take control of their audience. Beyond these web 2.5, platforms like Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc. I think there’s something there. There’s, there’s, there’s that powerful narrative there. And with every single new thing, there’s always its pros and cons. And if you’ve done a good enough job with kind of separating your value from your social media account, right, this is just like the next the next step towards it. In my in my opinion, I could be wrong, but what you’re doing, you’re incentivizing long-term holders, you’re incentivizing. And you mentioned that right. In the very beginning or mid-conversation, you said we want to avoid the traders, right. We want to avoid the speculators. We want to incentivize people who are holding elite to come be a part of the community, there’s actually something over here that you might enjoy. So yeah, something to think about.

WhaleShark: Absolutely. And I can’t wait till we get to that to that world, where again, I would love to Don a pair of Apple glasses and you know, be able to see all the amazing accomplishments that other people have done. But again, to your point, to your point, I mean, people do need to dissociate themselves, I guess, from their social media, I guess social media likes and follows. And now, right, their market value, right. So it’s no longer a company market value, yeah, their market value from the true value. And, you know, hopefully, you know, you know, people will come to understand that, again, it’s just a fluctuation in the market. And, again, I’ve never dissed traders before, I think, again, every single project needs to have holders and traders, there are two sides of the same coin, because you need to have the hold. But you also have to need to have the liquidity. So both things are there. But again, I can’t wait to see all of the amazing things that are going to be built on blockchain. As well as you know how that integrates within society as a whole.

Adam Levy: Amazing man. I feel like we can continue this conversation for hours. But obviously, I want to be respectful of your time. Well, shark more power to you man, more power to your communities, to your projects. I love seeing what you’re doing and I hope to have you on again soon.

WhaleShark: Thank you so much, Adam. It is by far one of my favorite times to be able to sit down with you in this podcast room. I always find that you asked some of the most amazing questions, my friend, and thank you I would be more than happy to come on anytime you invite me.

Adam Levy: I love it man and we’ll talk soon. Thank you.

WhaleShark: Thank you.

Podcast Transcript

Bomani X on Using Clubhouse To Build Crypto Communities

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast


Mint Season 1 episode 4 features Bomani X, a Black guitarist, singer-songwriter, and celebrity digital strategist who has worked with Jill Scott, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Wyclef, and more. He’s also the founder of Lit.Spins and was selected as Clubhouses’ icon for the longest time.

More recently, he’s known for his social token $BOO and in this episode, we talk about how social tokens will revolutionize the music industry, his vision for $BOO, how he’s created a utility for token holders by playing games on Clubhouse, and much more.

Thank you to Season 1’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise –

2. POAP –

Interested in sponsoring future seasons? Get in touch here!

Adam Levy: I appreciate you being on, what are you playing right now?

Bomani X: Uh, yeah, I’m playing this PRS Silver Sky, John Mayer’s addition guitar and yeah, it’s picked this up about probably exactly around this time last year.

Adam Levy: Really? There you go.

Bomani X: So it’s been a cool ride [Inaudible]

Adam Levy: Nice dude I see you I see all over the place on clubhouse on YouTube on Spotify on SoundCloud. I see you working with different people. So I’m excited to have you on it’s really a pleasure I’ve been wanting to do and have you on for some time. And as I’m building more of the show out, I figured what better way to start it off than with Bomani himself Bomani X. And you have quite the story getting started. And I mean, recently you caught headwinds being the clubhouse icon. And I feel like that was a wild ride within itself that we’ll kind of, we’ll kind of dive deeper into but I want to kind of start with your background. Tell me a little bit more about you. Where are you from originally how you got into music, like your upbringing and all that?

Bomani X: Um, yeah, so like, you know, born in New York, you know, kind of raised in like a, you know, predominantly like Nation of Islam household with a lot of like, strong emphasis on like, education, you know, like community values. You know, entrepreneurship. And in growing up, I’ve always kind of been just like, kind of, like tech aligned, you know, and just, like, interested in like, technology and computers and, and nerd culture, and stuff like that. It wasn’t particularly until, like, high school. Like, when I started to really get interested in music. My dad had like, x the, my little sister, like, you know, do you want to pick up an instrument? Do you want to play music, like you know, of creativity has always been something that’s being innovated and create creative has always been something that my core so you know, my dad kind of, like, recognised that it was like, do you want to play an instrument? Originally, I chose the drums.

Adam Levy: That’s what I’m talking about man, drummers all the way bro drummers all the way.

Bomani X: And my, my little sister picked up a guitar. But very quickly, I started just naturally gravitating towards, her guitar, and that as an instrument that kind of like, just like fit my vibe, you know, just being able to just chill and you know, watch TV and play and be creative and just like, on my own terms, as opposed to like, some of the value and restrictions that drummers have to deal with. But yeah, that’s kind of like my first introduction to music, you know, then like, I went to college, I went to Howard University, met like my best friend, and bandmate, like, the first day of school, and what did you study there? I was originally a bio major ended up like switching and getting my degree in philosophy. But yeah, just like music and like, some of the experiences were just like, the beauty of like collaboration and connecting with like bandmates, and music and like how much of a role that was playing in my life and like, early, you know, college, like late high school like that, kind of like shaped like, that being like a major part of like my future and like, always, creating some sort of like techno musical bridge was kind of the goal. Because of that.

Adam Levy: It’s funny, because I am also a drummer, I’ve been playing since five years old ever since I can remember. And when I got started, I actually started the exact opposite, you started playing the drums and transitioned out, my dad didn’t want to get a drum set at home. He’s like, that’s the last thing I’m going to do. And he actually tried to get me on the piano on the guitar. And a bunch of other things before, he said, Alright, whatever, I’ll just get you a kit. And from there, it’s been history and there’s nothing like music, there’s nothing like connecting with other people and, and collaborating on a tool. And that just then rolls out into a full song in a jam session in a solo session. There’s nothing more empowering than that. But it’s funny because how you transition into philosophy, right? Or psychology was philosophy, right? Which has a lot of psychological components. I mean, to some extent, but I guess how is that kind of led you to where you’re at right now?

Bomani X: I think I mean originally like even like being a bio major and Like wanting to go to med school, like I’ve always been, like, a, you know, I mean plan, I was like, hey, I want to be a brain surgeon. For some reason, like, you know, I’ve always been interested in like people, you know, thoughts and ideas and just like how things work even just on like the technical level, like always playing around with computers and, and building computers and stuff like that. Um, so when, when the bio major thing didn’t really work and finding philosophy like, I don’t know, just like just like guitar, like, I just realised it was like a calling, you know, like, like, I like understanding things and just like thinking about things like very deeply. And that’s just how my natural personality is, um, in terms of like, how that related to like, what I do now, like, a lot of especially like, my, my natural day job is like digital marketing digital strategy, like, how do you take the systems and like, that involve people and like, like, see the world through those lenses and stuff like that. So like, that’s kind of how I like I approach my music that’s kind of just approach like, community as our approach like, my job just like, understanding things and understanding people and connecting with real values and ideals. And yeah, I just like resonated with that a lot as a philosophy major. And that kind of stuck with me today, how I approach things now.

Adam Levy: I mean, you totally play the part too. I mean, I’ve jumped into clubhouse sessions, your whole entire look from the sunglasses to the hair, it’s such a vibe within itself. And it’s a lot of the reason why I wanted to have you on this on the show because one I got I got exposure to you through cup clubhouse Initially, I remember, you’re you help a lot of people on there, you tend to jump in a lot of rooms and with that comes with notifications to your followers, and then they jump in and builds an audience and whatnot. So you’re very big proponent on building communities and helping others build their communities. And I think one really cool way that you do that is obviously through music. And partly why have you here today to talk about boo coin, right? And just a disclaimer, no ways to shill boo coin or to buy bitcoin? It’s more to tell the story behind that. And I’m actually really curious, because you have, were you ever tampering with crypto trading Bitcoin or anything like that? Or did you just kind of fall into the lap of social tokens somehow.

Bomani X: I’ve been, like, I’ve known about the crypto space for a while, you know, whether it’s like trading and dabbling with dad, or like, you know, these different platforms, and apps that were that were coming up very early days. And even just like, knowing what NF T’s was, like, for a really long time, but, um, so I, I’ve known about that, where I mean, like I said, like, I’ve always been someone who’s tech aligned, and like, how do you how does technology or these like, emerging trends like push for a greater sense of creativity and connection. So I’ve always had that like, as my ethos in pretty much what I do. I’m not particularly until like, clubhouse and like, you know, getting more like, comfortable using my voice comfortable. Like, I’m applying a lot of these skill sets for myself and my own brand. And like, actually just, you know, being authentically me, where I then I started to realise all these cool ideas and all these things that like, I’ve always valued like, now I can start like applying for myself, and, and leveraging opportunity that I’ve been gifted to just do things in a way that I’ve always liked doing, and like comfortably doing it. So like, even when I was approached from like, the Rally Team, and like setting up a coin. I was like, yeah, like, why not? Like, why not experiment?

Adam Levy: I got it.

Bomani X: Like, does that mean more money in my pocket? I mean, maybe it does, maybe does it. So yeah, so like, even just the concept of like, setting up social token and boo, boo coin. At time, it just felt like a no brainer. Like, why not try it out? You know, what can come from it?

Adam Levy: Yeah. So you touched up on a really a point that I actually wanted to ask you, so let’s just dive that this dive into that. So the big macro trends, okay, that you kind of see social tokens playing a role in what have you seen that like, makes it a perfect opportunity for creators to launch their own tokens one take themselves public, quote, unquote, in build token based communities, what are those big macro trends that you that you saw come into play?

Bomani X: a few So, one, you know, like, one of the biggest lessons on a creative level and personal level that I’ve, that I’ve got from clubhouse was that like, you know, one because of the pandemic and like, you know, like, connection and collaboration, that’s, you know, everybody had to view that on a different lens. I mean, that’s, that’s obvious, and we’ve already gone through that. Um, but what about clubhouse what I’ve learned is that a lot of people’s voices are different in that type in the particularly like a social audio environment where like, it’s not like the typical, like, content mass that you put up on like, clubhouse and, and I mean, I’m sorry, put up on like Instagram, Twitter, tik tok, and I’m one of the Mac macro trends, I realised that like, digital identity is like becoming more and more of a theme as like, your identity and content, like, become go to more of like, authentic, genuine place. Um, and you know, especially with like, this sense of, like, truly digital ownership like, like curating, like digital land, like what that looks like, or just like what I was seeing happening and like the avatar space, I’m like, there’s this whole like, push towards like really owning your digital identity. Whether you avatars what to do wearables whether to do like audio. Um, and so when you’re and so with that trend, I realise like, you know, with owning your, your land or identity, like where it is, like, your economics that that come in, and then what I was seeing happening and like the entity space, not just as like a transfer of value for like, sales and stuff like that, but like people are using NF T’s is like a identifier badge. Like holders of these tokens mean that like you are identified as a part of this community, or you can be identified to get access to this experience. And as I was initially introduced to, like, rally, and then like seeing some of the stuff I saw, like, some big role communities like whale and friends with benefits. Um, I started seeing social tokens as like that bridge point where like, you have like, you have your content funnel, which is like, your social media platform, and you know, you have your identity, which is like what’s happening like in the metaverse, and wearables and avatars, and then you have like, NF T’s, which is like, the sale of that content value, but then like, it’s all like funnelled through, like social tokens, which both can be used as, like, you know, whether it’s like tipping or monetization, or like how people can support creators and crowdfund and crowd encourage things. But also, like, you holding this coin represents, like you’re part of x. And like how you build that out? Could be like, really powerful when you connect all those different dots together.

Adam Levy: Yeah, for sure. And just to dive deeper on that, so how do you more or less distinguish an NFt from a social token? Because a lot of people that are newcomers, for example, and maybe they haven’t even heard about social tokens just yet, and how that’s going to impact the creators and influencers of the world and musicians, whatever. How do you distinguish that because you can fractionalize ownership of an NFT? Right? So why would someone want to buy a token versus let’s say, like a membership badge that’s represented as an NFt?

Bomani X: I think, one, you know, in and like you said, very, like, some people can blurred the lines, like what that means right now. I think, like on a technical level, and like a functional level, like NFTs are more so used as like a higher value exchange, or at least how are you being used right now, where it’s like, here’s a particular artwork or a particular piece that I’m like, you know, that’s supposed to be aligned to like my super fans or collectors or like different things that, you know, people in my community get access to, I think social tokens are like, like, I think because I like smaller, not smaller than that, but like they’re perceived as like, currency in a way where like, it’s not just identify bad like, you could just tip somebody by buying their coffee. Or like even holders of your coin can use that as a currency for other things in your community. I think because it blurs both lines that like, I would rather like have social tokens be like the form of currency and identifiers. And like entities be like the assets that gives the coin more value.

Adam Levy: Yeah, it’s interesting, because there’s a lot of more experimentation to do to kind of really distinguish them, from apples to oranges kind of kind of thing, right. And I think that’s part of being an early adopter is creating those paths of experimentation, and leveraging the social tokens as one form of, of ownership of commerce of community and leveraging NFT’s as another form of ownership, commerce and community, right? And all that those bring together. But when you when you first kind of when you got approached by the Rally Team, and they told you, you can take in create a token of yourself, or you like, confused in the beginning, you’re like, what is that? What does that mean exactly? Like, were you sceptical at all? Did you? Did you think like, one of the legal implications, like what was going through your head?

Bomani X: Yeah, I wasn’t particularly sceptical on like, figuring out, like, on a technical level, what it meant, or like, how it could work. More so sceptical, and like, yeah, like, there were some, like, legal implications that I was, like, worried about where it’s like, you know, there’s, there’s an aspect of like, the coin represents value in you not represents like the value of like, like, it can going up and down, like, you know, like, on a financial level. So like, figuring out like, what’s the best like, phrasing and education that needs to happen? Or even just like things like, I have to, like, naturally, say or not say to protect myself? Like, yeah, Bitcoin is going up? Or, you know, yeah, yeah, you can’t say shit like that. And, like, where and, but I think the cool part of it, where it really forces you to really connect with what the value you determine is for your community, where they’re like this coin can be redeemed for this experience are these coin can be used for this, as opposed to like this arbitrary coin. Because then that’s, I think that’s what like, differentiates it from just like a crowdfunding campaign, where like, people could just pay you to fund the stuff you’re doing as opposed of like, I’m buying into something that can be redeemed for the things your Creator chooses to put out. And as the community accepts those different things that they can use their coin for. It like creates, I just say more Exchange. I don’t know what it is.

Adam Levy: I hear you. And I think like, I see you trying to create more utility behind it, too. I know you tweeted out the discord channel for boo holders. What other kind of activities are you creating and experiences? Are you creating around that? And as a follow up question, how do you really approach that when you’re creating these initiatives that revolve around a token?

Bomani X: Yeah, one, you know, the, the discord thing was part of the plan. Not necessarily because I like needed a Discord. But I think the discord in the coin was solving a pain point of like, where how my creativity was showing on clubhouse where, like, you know, it’s very, like, real time, you know, like, information only happens in rooms. So like, just having a platform. I’m just having a platform where, like, information can be shared and spread. And stored. But, but it could also be gated, um, I think that was like, one of the things I was trying to figure out was like, how do you really Kate create, like a gated community with social coins? Because like, yeah, you can have like gated content on like, Patreon or only fans or whatever the platform, you know, but like, the one thing that I was like, had to figure out was like, Okay, now that I have this coin out, I have people that are buying a coin, like how do I best identify who those peoples are. So like solving that first was like the discord and having and having a gated and there’s some tools that’s being built out to have gated clubhouse rooms for coin holders as well. But that was like the first thing.

Adam Levy: Is that already in the works? How does that work? They’re integrating with clubhouse and integrating the Social tokens or how does that work?

Bomani X:  It’s more of a like a and I haven’t fully tested it out but I’ve seen so many creators do this more so like, like a bridge where like, this private room gets made. And only holders of the coin get.

Adam Levy: The link is dropped in the chat. Exactly. Okay. Got you. Cuz so there’s no there’s no formal integration, right? And I think that’s where that that’s where like the winner is right? Where all these platforms start integrating tools that allow creators to utilise their currencies in a way to create gated experiences, right? if Snapchat were to create a feature where you could link your coin and only certain people so you don’t have to worry about people then going you are doing subscriptions to get access to your private snap, you can just say an approach it like collab Lana’s doing it right. And in connecting your Meta mask and seeing all if you have the threshold, you can see my snaps, or if you have the threshold, you can join my clubhouse room automatically. And I think I hope that’s where these platforms are going to be transitioning to, as more and more creators kind of create these tokens. And they realise that Wait a minute, I just created an asset, right? That’s kind of viewed as a loyalty membership type of token. And I’m really bounded to the platforms that really allow me to experiment with this token discord, being one of them, and all the tools and open source projects that you can build on top of that, right. I’d be interested to see how that kind of rolls out, I wonder how long it’s going to take till you see more of these, like mainstream platforms hop on board, like Pay Pal is for example, with Bitcoin and Venmo now with buying and selling crypto, so it’d be interesting,

Bomani X: I think the one thing that I’ve realised even more and more just being I will identify greater as a creator is like, you know, these type of integrations always come last. And like, sometimes, like, it really takes some of the innovation and experimenting that people are doing to really flesh out the use cases first, so that these platforms like okay, that that that model does work. I mean, even with just like the example of like monetization on clubhouse, like, you know, like there’s been, there’s been plenty of people, even on the platform didn’t have direct monetization, but there’s been plenty of people that have been making money on apps, it’s just, you know, with experimenting with cash app or experimenting with creating their own funnel.

Adam Levy: Right now, it’s a very manual process, there’s no way to streamline it. And I think that’s like, that’s the Golden Apple right there.

Bomani X: But I do think that it’s a tricky balance, because like, I think, I think and Nish, like that, like quick integrations can cause like, somewhat of a flooding where like, like, proper use cases don’t get developed. Because it’s so easy, you know, like, and, and, and not to not necessarily bringing this up. But like, that’s kind of my opinions of like big clout, in a sense where it is, you know, an ideal world connecting social to currency, you know, seems like what the future is, but like, that quick integration very early on is showing like some of the natural issues that happens when people use social currency or shells or tokens within their community hasn’t really been solved yet. And then when you flood it with like, a quick integration early on, like you see some of the pros and cons of that. So I think there’s a balance in the economy of just like, how platforms connect with what creators are innovating with.

Adam Levy: Yeah, sure. I think it’s, it’s funny, you bring up big clock, because I wanted to bring that up with you later. But that was an amazing social experiment. And amazing Black Mirror type of social experiment that many, many I’ve been told that question its execution and how it kind of went to launch. But regardless, the idea the concept is more or less kind of like what these other social tokens are kind of leaning on, like the ones that are being launched on rally or roll, right, it really is like a public stock market, quote, unquote, for people and brands that extend beyond the New York Stock Exchange and in Wall Street, etc. And you’re right, I think they did go more than of the extreme route, I think, was actually pretty smart because it showed people what was what was possible and what the vision is, as a whole. And I think it sparked the conversations that were needed to have around what social tokens are and couldn’t become down the line. So I applaud their founders for making that leap. And, honestly, best of luck to them, but I think there’s a market for both right. I think there’s a market for those that don’t necessarily want to treat it with such aggressive bonding curves like Bitcoin did, and the supply and the Demand pressure that kind of are attached to the price appreciation, right? Whereas rallies is pegged more to the underlying token itself, as well as the supply and demand pressure that the creator creates for their token on the memberships. And it’s crazy me, I talk to people about social tokens, and I tell them, think of them as a way where when you swipe your credit card, you gain points that you can exchange for discounted hotels for airline miles. Imagine you can do that now referencing someone’s brand and their influence that they built. And I think it’s a complete game changer. So more in that utility. Do you imagine a world where your community 2, 3, 4 maybe in the next year, depending on how fast the social tokens actually pick up and people start referencing early adopters as examples, and their prices appreciate if they appreciate it? Okay. Do you imagine yourself doing like, for example, and I’m like, going far-fetched right now. Okay. Let’s say you have, I don’t know, 10,000, 20,000 people holding your token, the price is in the triple digits, right? Assuming you can get to that point. Do you see yourself doing collabs with more mainstream brands, like Gibson, for example, right? Or I don’t know, if there are some guitar brands out there. And the ones that you’re holding right now, right? Like, you know what I mean, like doing a collab of commerce, where you tell them that, oh, wait a minute, I have a tonne of people holding my tokens, these are actual tokens that you can swap for any other currency in the market. Why not do exclusive drops and collapse? Do you see yourself doing that with these companies? Or how are you kind of approaching this down the line?

Bomani X: Yeah, no, I definitely envision that I mean like, even just on like, a small scale of like, you know, like with some of these entities, plans that I have, or certain things I plan where like you said like, it becomes not necessarily a bonus but like a feature of like the coin and the coin community and like, and you know, how connecting with, you know, major brands of like, hey, there’s a huge pool of, of money and liquidity and my personal community, as opposed and, and, and that being able to be like fact checked in, you know, on track, which I think is insane, insane. Yeah, different, which is a different conversation that happens with like, from the brand creator level where they expect, you know, their fan base to show your pride towards a product, but they don’t really know, like, what the full like value is, and social coins can kind of be like, that representation, like, Oh, no, like, I have X amount of holders, you know, these holders have X amount of things that they can use, because, you know, that’s what it’s for. And here’s an experience that we can collaborate our partner with. That, you know, Alliance, and I think direct convergence will, will be can be, it’ll be done easier in that regard. As opposed of like, you know, you’re just promoting to your fan base that may or may not decide to use their real dollars on something, you know.

Adam Levy: Yeah. Yeah. So, what have been some of like, the major hurdles, if any, for getting more of your fan base more of your audience in tune with boo?

Bomani X: Um, I think some of the natural hurdles are some of the hurdles that like just exist in crypto, there’s still like an education factor, like, and what is it? You know, like, what can I use it for, like, you know, there’s still like a huge financial implication that comes with crypto currency in general, where, like, people buy into tokens for the expectations that it’s an investment to, you know, make money for so like, some of those same pretences exists in the social token space, whereas, like, buying boots, I guess, Tina, um, so we can go up in value. Um, so I think I think some of the hurdles is just like education. Like not fully even identifying like, what the value that I want to like put out yet so right now it’s, it’s I feel like a lot of the social token community it’s perceived as just like crowdfunding as opposed to like a fully fleshed out crater economy yet. Um, and, and at least particularly with rally right now, just a proper, like, funnel to identify who the community is still, like, you know, like, there’s still a lot of these manual hacks and innovations that I got to make it work, but that’s some of this stuff so far. Yeah, I

Adam Levy: I think its part of the process. We’re getting to crypto like you said, in general, understanding what cryptocurrencies are, what they mean how they work, why there’s something online that you created out of thin air all of a sudden have $1 value to it. I think and like, at some point, people are going to cross that hurdle, right. And I think influencers actually going to be a major part with educating these, these mainstream adopters like NF T’s were for bringing in this next wave of culture art, music, dance, photography, etc, into the digital world of web three. And indeed, it’d be interesting to see how it pans out. Kind of down the line what I’ve been the reaction so far, have you gotten mixed feelings? Behind launching? Boo, one of your audience? Have they criticised you have they applauded you? What has been the consensus?

Bomani X: Um, I haven’t got any, any major criticisms, and mostly, like, applauding whether or not people understand it fully, mostly applauding like a, you know, Bomani’s innovating or testing out? Yeah. And, and, and proving that like, you know, these types of risks, you know, are working. You know, and, and being one of the first clubhouse creators to make the coin and you know, and it still, you know, being a good thing that I’m glad I did, yeah, yeah. I think some of the feedback is mostly, or at least the number one question that I get is like, Okay, what am I using this for, again? And whether or not like I portrayed as, like, hey, you know, it’s just like, a form as like tipping or like monetization, or just expressing in the ways that people are used to right now. Until like, oh, yeah, like, come into discord and play poker with a coin, you know, and use that as a currency or like, so, you know, some of these experiences that I do, like, I’m starting to make them a little bit more private. And, yeah, you know, these, what the coins can get access to. Um, so mostly just like, Can confused is the biggest and common critique about it, but I haven’t seen any real like hate about the social health insurance yet.

Adam Levy: I don’t think people understand it well enough to even form a full opinion and to see the drawbacks in the positives, the pros and the cons. But so you being super, super active on clubhouse, being one of the leading voices for the black community and bringing in more culture more sold onto the platform, right, and then launching this token, early April. There’s a lot of things that happened during the pandemic for you, I feel like that probably would have never kind of imagined how have you used boo? In the context of clubhouse? Are you rewarding listeners for being in the room? Have you experimented with that? Are you thinking about that?

Bomani X: I one way, you know, like, I think the one of the benefits of social tokens because like never before, where, like, that form of like, fan to creator engagement, especially when, like, when a fan pays for something like that value exchange, it’s like kind of a one off thing. You know, like, you know, with social tokens, like you buy a coin whether or not you redeem it now or later like there’s always that like paired relationship. So, you know, one thing I’ve been doing is like, I probably have given like, a lot a lot of money to people probably like, probably like, with not as much strictness as I probably should, because like I still view it as like magic internet money, but like, I’d probably give it like at least like hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Adam Levy: Oh, hundreds of 1000s or hundreds to 2000s

Bomani X: Hundreds of two thousands.

Adam Levy: I was like damn bro you’re printing money gee.

Bomani X: Jess so like as like a reward like hey, like you’ve been with me on this clubhouse journey for a while like I have this coin I don’t really know what I’m doing with it fully yet but like, let me give this to you as like because eventually like I’m going to create a system where they’re giving the coin back or like using the coin to get something so like it’s kind of like I think social tokens can be used as like a collateral to be honest also like if I gave you like $100 in Bitcoin and there’s nothing you can spend it on right now but like I’m kind of you’re kind of like putting something in collateral like hey, come back to this community when you’re able to use the coin and whether you cash it out. I’m not obviously that’s on you and even if you did, I wouldn’t really matter but like I the one thing I also like about rally is that like the reward system is really well for holders of the coin. So I’m getting paid back with rally token. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, so the percentage of coins you hold, you get access to that reward pool that goes out every week. Um, so that’s kind of how I’ve been using it right now and clubhouse is like, Hey, I got boot coin like if you want some just hit me up, I’ll send you some. You know, now I got the discord. And I’m playing a lot of games on clubhouse that use the coin as like, the reward or the tool.

Adam Levy: That’s super cool. What goes down in the discord? Or what have you been doing so far? Or is that exclusive for boo holders? Because you got to do so? I guess a sneak peek to incentivize more people to join the community.

Bomani X: Yeah, so there’s it is gated there is like one or two general channels. Which you could see a lot of just random chats and activities that go on the gate is like really low. It’s like two, two coins right now and I haven’t set up like you came in and like just wanted some, you know, just send it to you in a discord channels right now. Nice. Um, yeah, right now, it’s just like, being used as like, a lot of like, people in clubhouse like finally being able to like group chat and group texts of people. So like, creating that value for my community, which is like a pain point for a lot of people in clubs anyway, where like, we only get to talk to people when we’re in the room or on stage. So like, discord right now has kind of been a place where people just building even greater friendships. And that’s kind of like the value added I’m having for it right now. Like a lot of people like my rooms and my vibes and the people I connect with. So like, come to the discord to like, you know?

Adam Levy: Yeah, I think that’s the beauty behind this. Because there’s so many different social platforms from YouTube to your subscribers, Instagram, you have your followers and on Twitter, you have your follower’s clubhouse, you have your followers, Facebook, you have different groups that might represent your songs, and your musics and everything that you spit out. But there’s no real coherent, coherent way to bring everyone together, and through a funnel of direct communication. And do so where you actually you can do it from the point of view of incentivizing these, the most hard-core fans to actually have a financial stake in the in the future of what you’re trying to build in you, as a performer, the credibility that you’ve built for yourself, there’s no real way to do that. Other than with social tokens, really, people are just engaging with you with likes, follow subscribes, views, very surface level type of interactions. And I think you’re thinking about this right? Because you’re actually saying, Wait a minute, I have a great following on clubhouse I have a great following on Instagram on Twitter, I’m starting to produce content, I’m doing more live shows and posting them on YouTube. People are going to grow hopefully going to grow fan of me, I got to kind of reward them and show them how they can engage with me beyond these platforms. And I think you’re on the money with that. I really think you’re on the money with that.

Bomani X: And I think like I think the one thing that the social tokens do like it allows you to like financially bet on yourself more and what I mean by that like you know, like I’ve gotten plenty of like cash apps and yeah, but like imagine like all of that was like boot coin very early on like with doing the same amount of work of building your community with building out you know, this audience in this in this funnel like a lot of money would have been worth way more than that it was then then it is.

Adam Levy: I think it just get like don’t get me just take just get Bitcoin Yeah.

Bomani X: Even on the fan level, like the value of what they gave to you is worth more with the coin.

Adam Levy: Yeah, think about that. Like don’t just give me your money go you can give me your money but do it in the form of a currency because then I’ll be able to give you even more right like it’s such a like psychological flip instead of just [unintelligible] someone just buy my currency because I have so many new cool things you can unlock just by having that so

Bomani X: Yeah, interesting. And that money you gave out maybe worth less because now you got rewards or things like now you have more money to yeah for yourself and you still got the same value for in terms of like what you initially wanted to get to me or go to a creator so like I think I mean now granted like you said, there’s that level of fluctuation where obviously like coins go up, not everything always goes up. So it’s more of a long game. And I think you have to also be mindful of that, that you know, when things go down, you know, still grind part of it and part of its value.

Adam Levy: How do you how do you disassociate your self-worth, from your currency worth? I feel like it’s A big problem because right now with how society works are a lot of these, I’m not going to put everyone in a mode, okay? But the more followers you have, the more influential you are right? The more awareness you’re able to create and power quote, unquote, and people associate you to your fame. Stuff. One, one, what you’ve done, okay, but two, how many followers you got? Right? Amongst other things, okay. But social media followers are like a big player in that. And it’s, it’s fucked with a lot of people. It’s like, on one hand, people are very happy on social media, and producing content, people are associating them based off of their numbers and their fame and what they’re portraying online, do you think it’s ever going to ever going to shift that people are going to be like, Nah, this person’s worth, like, $20, this other person’s worth $100 they’re not worth the same kind of thing. This person has more followers in this person, he’s more influence, you know, what I mean? Like, are people going to, like start entering into this black mirror type of type of situation?

Bomani X: I do think so a bit. Well, I don’t think it will be that extreme. But I do think like, you know, going back to like, the, like, big clout, you know, experimentation, like, that kind of opened the veil of like, that is actually a very, you know, strong possibility of like, even creators start shifting, like, what’s valuable to them, where it’s not followers, but it’s like, you know, my coin value in, and then, you know, because there’s a natural gamification that occurs in crypto, like people will, you know, exploit that or manipulate that or just like, recognise that, like, Oh, yeah, this creator is worth this much. So maybe that’s means he’s worth more than an investment. But, granted, that already happens in social media, where, you know, there’s already a higher level of perception of like people that are verified or with high follow ships, that they provide more value, because now, I think we, as a community already recognise that, that that’s not always the case, like, perception is not always true. And you have to really be ingrained in that community that really find out what that value is for you. But the fact that is paired with money, like, it makes it a little bit more tricky. So I think that’s something that I’m even like, being mindful of that, like, let me look out for potential red flags. And like, you know, people that are holding my coin, are they really in it for like, the coin value going up? So they can like, you know, sell? Are they in it for, like, what it’s going to be used for? And yeah, I think you have to still look at, like some of the negative implications that are happening in some of these emerging tech trends. Because just on a philosophical level, like, it’s always going to be deeper on a day to what it looks like.

Adam Levy: You know, it’s crazy, because I feel like the majority of token holders might look at it from the point of view of an investor and speculating on the person and the brand as a form of investment, right? Rather than you engaging with your audience of people that believe in you love, your content, your music, all that you produce, and engage with you on a more intimate experiential level. Right? And I’d even argue, to some extent, and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, is, I think, like 90% of the token holders might be more on the investment side. To some extent, I think you can’t control that, right? Because there’s no real way like, if you send people their tokens, how do you actually force them to come back and engage in your experiences, right? If anything, it’ll just be sitting in their metamask or wherever it’s sitting there web three wallet. And it’ll be appreciating depreciating in value as the rest of the market does to an extent. But how do you actually create an environment where you motivate your audience to partake more in the intimate experiences that you’re creating for them as stakeholders as token holders, rather, as speculators? How do you how do you kind of think about that?

Bomani X: Yeah, I think that’s something that a lot of people have and, you know, in this conversation is what I feel like is equally happening in like, NFT space where there’s a lot of like conflating between, like is this a collectible as a part of like me, just enjoying this experience that this creator gave me or is this an investment and I’m thinking about as a collector and like, I want to flip it in the future or something like that. And, and, you know, I, I think you know, same with social toxins like there’s a lot of people that just know the game and are buying it as an or as an investment of you, which I still think that is important aspect of it because like I think as a creator and what the social tokens grant is like, a form of like crowdfunding or crowd investment. Um, and you know, that’s needed in you know, are creators where they can feel like they can raise capital to do the stuff that they want to do. Um, so I think there’s a level of like investing in a person, which is okay. But investing for the sake of like, market manipulation like that can get, you know, that could be dangerous. And yeah, I think for me what I’ve been doing is everyone who are trying to do like everyone who has had do have my coin, like, if there isn’t already a one to one relationship or connection that I have, like, how can I like facilitate that? Where like, at the end of the day, like I know, everybody, or at least they’re in a system where I can get to know everybody on a on a level that will have them value me more so than just the coin itself?

Adam Levy: Yeah, if only there was a way to send direct notifications for people who are holding your tokens and send the messages in, like, funnel them in a way where Yeah, you can communicate with them if they enter the discord. But if they’re just token holders, and they’re not in the discord, either, because one they might not know there is a discord or two. They either received it from someone not knowing what they really received, right, if there was a way to really communicate with them.

Bomani X: So someone gay, and I do agree with this, someone, someone did give me a good counterpoint where like, some of the inherent benefits of crypto is like that level of anonymity. Sure, where like, even with, you know, some of these like fractionalized entities, like, there’s some, sometimes it’s just like a wallet address, like you don’t really even know who bought your stuff. And being able to like, do this little second layer of community building is kind of hard when you don’t really know so but I do think that’s important to maintain because it’s crypto, but it’s a balance, I think, by giving people this space to support from a distance. Yeah. But also giving a space for people to opt in to the community. That you’re building.

Adam Levy: Yeah, yeah, it’s interesting, how did you kind of determine the price in which the token went out? I feel like it’s a lot of question. It’s a common question people have, when they look at these cryptocurrencies, like, where the hell does the value come from.

Bomani X: So to be honest, I’m with rally. Because it’s because one, you know, they, they give you a certain amount of coins as, as you’re starting off, and because those coins are, are backed by the rally token, there wasn’t necessarily a level like liquidity that I had to put into, like, create a certain value. So to be honest, when I when I, the first day, you know, my coin launch, you know, it already had like, a value, you know, it was like 40 cents, something like that. I think with like, roll, like, because, you know, like, there’s like, X amount of coins, and you need to add liquidity to it to, like, give it that type of value. Like it’s different on the rally community. Um, and what seems like a less complicated process for me to figure out. So I think that’s why I appreciated like, that aspect of rally where like, the value was kind of like, set and then like, as more coins get created and existence like that increases the value as like rally token goes up, that also plays into the increase Valley, you know, supply and demand. So like they have their own little algorithm that works.

Adam Levy: Yeah, well, a lot of these tokens end up creating pools on uniswap, or these decentralised exchanges, majority of the time, or what I’ve seen they’re really pegged to aetherium is value, right? So when aetherium goes down, if you’re creating like if we’re talking in terms of whale right now, right there, there’s a whale eath pool, right? And the tokens peg essentially to it’s for its price, right? So when eath goes down, similar to rallies, like economics, right, except rally has a rally coin. Aetherium is aetherium. And I think one thing when creators are kind of going through this process, they’ll come across that path, where should I go and take a left and go more towards the raw creation, like whale did and create an actual token that lives on aetherium? Or do I take the right path and kind of rely on a platform that feels it’s not centralised, but it feels like that the performance of the token is dependent on the success of rally and the platform rally to an extent right and it’s kind of like building a business on top of another business. Like if you’re like you’re a digital strategist, like leveraging eecom right and in creating an e commerce brand, leveraging Facebook, but Facebook goes down for example, you’re fucked to an extent right? So like, how have you kind of approached that? How did you decide to go I mean, I know they kind of approached you you’re like, probably just engage in the conversation and say, let’s just do it? Right. Yeah. But I guess like down the line from what you’ve learned, by going through this process? How would you kind of approach creators and tell them? This is like my rule of thumb now, whether you should be going like the whale route and doing like an eighth type of pool or the rally route and going for the, towards rally coin?

Bomani X: Um, yeah, that’s a good question. Um, because I mean, originally, like, you know, when rally approached me, like, I think I was, like, aware, a bit of like, whale and that web, but also then like, fully know, like, that there were two different platforms of how it works. Um, I think for me, I would personally repeat that process of going with Braley and like, kind of just having like, a, cause rallies kind of like main company protocol is like, you know, to create these creator coin economies for different creators. So like, that’s what their coin is backed by, and that’s the work that they’re doing. So kind of also somewhat believing in that, you know, company, and that product gives me a little bit more like self-assurance to like, test out what I’m doing. With that little bit of a safety net, I think with like, by creating your coin, and then like, deciding, like, he said, like, if you want to add liquidity, and you know, and, and, and, you know, put it on a uni swap or something like that. I think a lot of people have that knowledge and understanding of that. But if you don’t, I think it would be a bit more of a benefit to go more centralised, just so you can learn more like if you’re if you’re not familiar with the space, it just may seem super complicated with like, figuring out all the complicated nuances [Inaudible].

Adam Levy: Yeah. But then I guess one thing just add to that is craters might feel like, wait a minute, I only got one shot, I can only take myself quote unquote, public once is that necessarily true? Like you won’t create another boo coin, per se, you might create, like, a coin that might be in relation to a guitar brand that you’re trying to create? I don’t know, I’m thinking out loud here. Right. But you won’t necessarily create a boo coin, if it doesn’t really work out on rally, you won’t? Would you go and start a new one? Is that what you’re kind of saying?

Bomani X: I mean, I think rally is. And I don’t speak fully for that roadmap, but I think they’re developing an aspect where, you know, creators can decide to take it off that like, rally, like, main net, and like, and, you know, add your own liquidity and stuff to it. So you, you know, have a little bit way more control in your own, you know, of your own social token. And that regards, um, you know, and then maybe just add to, you know, be able to add to other platforms and stuff. Sure. I’m sure that’s the route that they’re also going have had decided that as the route I’m going to take, when, you know, when presented with that, I don’t know yet. I think there’s still a level of like that side, I need to get educated more on a bit. And build out a stronger infrastructure for that. But yeah, no, it’s all a process. Yeah, for sure. For sure. If you think if you have that level of understanding about the infrastructure that would require to be successful, or even just test it out. I mean, I think both options work, you know, both options have resources to learn from.

Adam Levy: Yeah, I want to dive deep into, like, your vision for yourself and the community you’re trying to build, specifically, because I think its perfect time, and we scheduled this interview, and this morning, you tweeted something actually, very, very deep, I’m going to read it out loud and just share with the audience. So since my grandma passed, I was waiting for the day, she would show up in my dreams she did last night, I needed that confirmation for what I’ve planned in the next three months. What do you got planned in the next three months? What are we what can we expect from you? And how does that kind of relate to, to boot if it does relate in any way?

Bomani X: it relates in the sense that like, you know, I said early, like, you know, like, I lived in California, and the, the actual main reason why I came back to DC was to, you know, help take care of my grandma. Um, and, and in that own journey, of being here with her and on a personal level growth and, and then, you know, like, finding clubhouse and, you know, the grove wood all that on a, on an emotional personal level and being here, you know, and taking care of her throughout that whole time. Um, you know, my grandma passed away, like, a week or so ago. And, you know, in that moment, you know, just kind of gave me some sort of like, comfortable ability, in a sense that, like, I was able to do all of this stuff, while like land Locked in playing like a nurturing role. Um, you know, breaking new heights on a personal level that I’ve, like, never really imagined at this time period. And, you know, being an app icon, building a community, like being more comfortable in my creative pursuits, and innovating, experimenting, and like, kind of having her be here, through all of that. And, you know, now that, you know, she’s, she’s not here anymore, like, like, What is that like, next level of like, true, true freedom of expression looks like. And with, you know, you know, the pandemic and like stuff opening back up, like, there’s a lot of like, plans and experimentation that now involve the real world that now I would feel like, for the first time in a while, like, I have access to, you know, whether that’s all these things I’m testing out, and like, taking it to the next level now, with just that confirmation that I really can. And yeah, some of the things I have planned in the next three months, like I’m dropping this, like, really big NFT project, kind of also telling my years my story about clubhouse, like, because I would have been on a platform for a year in July. So like, I’m doing a drop, really telling that whole thing in a cool way. And there’s some like physical experiments that I want to do integrating like my coin in my community and creating this sort of like physical metaverse bridge. I got some like, really cool plans. On clubhouse. So yeah, like, I feel like, you know, when I when I tweeted that he kind of gave me like that just little added confirmation that like, you know, now’s the time. I felt like I was limited before, but like, now I don’t feel like that now. And like, I’m ready and excited for what’s to come.

Adam Levy: Yeah, she sounded like an amazing person. And thank you for sharing that. That’s, it’s very deep. It’s not easy to talk about. So thanks for sharing that. And I’m excited for your launch. I think it’s a big milestone for you. And like I said in the beginning, I don’t think nobody has nobody would have imagined the roller coaster that you could have been on over the last year. And who could have imagined what happened? What could have had happened, I guess, because of COVID. And all that all that that bring in. So sending all the positive energy and all the positive vibes your way, I hope, hope it goes well. It’d be interesting to see how that kind of plays in if you require the NFT purchasers to hold booth coins as a way to incentivize them. I’d be curious to see how that rolls out. I’m going to be keeping an eye out. And just to transition because the music industry has finally woken up to crypto, right. One of one of I guess, the main proponents being Blau, right. I know. Also, Jesse Walden had a start-up back in 2017, a variant fund he talks about the ownership economy. And that project got acquired by Spotify. So Spotify has been in the loop with blockchain tech for some time, I’m sure Apple Music. But I don’t think they really woken up to social tokens yet they might have heard about it’s probably conversations are happening in their meeting rooms. I would I would assume but none other artists per se I have seen personally, maybe I missed something. But I haven’t seen anyone launch their own token from the major publisher site. How do you how do you imagine these social tokens kind of revolutionising as people like to say, the music industry? Because you’re, I’m assuming you’re an independent artist, right? Yeah. Okay, you’re not signed to anyone. And I feel like those who are assigned to the Universal Music groups of the world, the Sony’s of the world, they’ll want a big cut of these creator coins. You know, it would only make sense, but I feel like the role of what crypto and web three brings is kind of reversing that ownership cycle. If anything, if you were to get picked up by publisher, you’d probably tell the publisher you guys have to buy bitcoins and stake your wealth. Invest in me like how do you imagine I’m like, I’m thinking out loud here. Right? How do you how do you imagine these social tokens kind of impacting the music industry as a whole?

Bomani X: I think there’s one aspect where like, tokens, you know, social tokens or even just the competition has happened in NFT’s and ownerships, like there’s a level of like, owning the, the value exchange or value, you know, flow between like an artist and their fan base and with like, so tokens like instead of, instead of, Putting out an album and having to go through like the chain of commands of like streams and, and getting pay-outs from these other industry like you can literally just kind of control that on your own, which I think, you know, can be appealing to, to the to labels where, you know, you can, you know, flow artists career or stuff like that through the token itself. And I think also on the flip side like there is like a natural level of like, governance that exists with like these token communities where like if a large stake of the token is owned by the label, like, that kind of also can dictate, like, where the community goes and stuff like that, because like, the value is in control of not just a creator, it’s control of, you know, what the Creator is signed to. Or for large whale, Porsche at Port bought a portion of my coin, like, technically, where I want the value to go is not kind of no longer in my hands. Um, so I can see I can see, like, label deals being formatted that way by like, like, this coin Treasury is like, or this coin value is own, by either the creator or the label, or the fans. And like how that plays into like, where has played into, like, music creation, or like music exchange, or just like, who owns what. And I think social tokens can kind of create that model, and I don’t have a full like, fleshed out thought process about.

Adam Levy: I think I think that’s again, that’s part of being an early adopter, you don’t know where this stuff is going. You’re taking it day at a time. And experimenting as more opportunities more ideas kind of come to mind. I think its part of the process. I it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out for the music industry. And what that means for artists like Imagine being able to buy a Taylor Swift coin before she was Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber coin before he was Justin Bieber, etc, right. And the music labels having a stake in that to some extent, while giving the artists that I guess that creativity to explore their own songs, their own music, their own performances, whatever, but still having that financial upside, buying those tokens. And imagine if people could buy the Justin Bieber token before Justin Bieber was Justin Bieber, like, that’d be that’d be crazy. That’d be crazy. It’d be a whole different world, like, creation of wealth, creation of value. And the value that I don’t know, I’m like, I’m so hype behind this stuff. You know, there’s so many opportunities here.

Bomani X: No, I agree. I think I think the dangerous part that whether or not like the labels are thinking about it, or like, the community is thinking about, like, like, cash grabs do exists. For sure. And, and, and sometimes, like when celebrities or like major people get into these types of conversations, or utilise these texts, like most of the times, I get viewed as cash grabs, where like, a main, like a popular celebrity may have pure intentions to like, truly utilise the tech in a way that’s like really innovative and standout and valuable. But like, does that mean that I’ve been with some of these NF t drops are like, they think they go well, or the secondary value of it, like completely drops or tanks. And, and I’ve seen some of that a little bit. And like some of the rally coins I get on board or where they it’s a lot more fluctuation for them as opposed like for me, where like the fluctuation of hasn’t really been that hasn’t been that crazy. Yeah, yeah. So, um, I think that’s something to think about. And the common trend about like, when big players get into the space, they never really look at, like, the smaller medium players as like,

Adam Levy: A threat.

Bomani X: Just like learn from. I got the space. But I think it’d be really cool to have more adoption when bigger players get in, because then that helps people like us, like, prove what we’ve been doing for a while.

Adam Levy: Yeah. I’m excited. One because I know to some degree makes a lot of sense for both markets from the investment side and from the audience side. And me being a musician, and all the drummers that I grew up adoring and loving and mimicking and learning from and the artists and going through all these lives. Performances, I wish. I just wish there was a way to engage with these people beyond. Like this Patreon, there’s only fans or stuff like that each for its own different category of what they specialise in. But I think this is finally the real way to invest, and do so in a way that extends beyond your thumb movements of liking and viewing, right. And if I believe in an artist, and I have my post notifications on, I’m listening to every single song that they push. And I believe in this person so much that I talk about them to everyone. Yeah, why not give those people an opportunity to help build that person, financially to an extent and do so in a way where they can unlock more intimate experiences with that person as well. So I think it’s interesting how this kind of like, roll out over the next coming years, I think we’re going to see a lot more mainstream artists and performers and creators launched their tokens at a rate that it’s going to kind of like, snowball the way NF T’s did. And, yeah, we’ll see. We’ll see what happens. I guess a final question for your two final questions is, I asked you this a little bit earlier, and we kind of touched upon it, but advice for new creators getting into this area and experimenting, what are some points you can show?

Bomani X: Advice, I think, you know, like, first, like, even though like, you know, it was crypto, and whether or not you’re familiar or not familiar, like, just kind of think about it in like terms of like, as you’re used to, like, like, if it’s just monetization, like, you know, people have a social tokens, it’s just a system where people can just pay use tipping, and you kind of just have something where, like, them tipping you this way, or buying your coin can just be exchanged for like, what your picture. Your services are, um, I think a common misperception a little bit is that when people like buy your coin, like that essentially means that they’re giving you that money. They’re not necessarily giving you money until like, they give you the coins that they bought.

Adam Levy: But just to clarify, they are appreciating, they’re contributing to the appreciation of value. It’s a network effect type of thing.

Bomani X: Yes.

Adam Levy: Right. Okay, cool.

Bomani X: Yes, that part is true. Um, so I think, like, education is important. Like, so whether you, you know, take your time to just get educated about what exactly you’re doing or want to do, and how you educate your community is how you build and sustain, like, a strong like, an economy. But yeah, I think just have fun with it. Like, like, at the end of the day, like, I think, Well, I think it is innovative to experiment. I also think its like, not that deep, you know, just so just, you know, just try it out. You know, get your own coin if, if, if people like it. I think I think people can have a lot of like really cool fun, just saying that they got their own crypto coins, they aren’t like they’re creating their own economy, they’re creating more control of the channels. Instead of just relying on like, a pay-out from cash app, or a pay-out from only fans or a payout from Patreon, when you can create how you want people to pay you how you want to, like, give them the value that they want, and create a community around it. I think. I think the token is inherently a community tool. And that’s something that is missed on like a lot of these platforms, like and that’s something that’s amiss with money in general. So it’s really cool to just experiment with.

Adam Levy: Yeah. And final question. Where can we find you or can we learn more about you should give us give us the plugs, shout yourself out.

Bomani X: Yeah, definitely my main like, source of like communication is definitely clubhouse right now. So definitely follow me on clubhouse like, check out the Discord. I need to find a place where the link is more easy. If you hit me up anywhere, you know you’ll get the discord link. If you want some Bitcoin, just DM me anywhere. Yeah, and coming poker nights you know poker night so fun.

Adam Levy: Oh, yeah. What is that? You never tell us about that. You spill the beans a little bit. Give us give us a rundown. Is that in the discord?

Bomani X: Yeah. So like one of the other things that I’ve been doing recently with just like the clubhouse Discord. Connection is like game nights in the house like how we can use clubhouse it’s just like the audio stream. I mean some of them would you know discord kind of is in general. So taking that same model to clubhouse and so we just like play poker in clubhouse rooms people listen and the prizes are you know in Bitcoin.

Adam Levy: wait a minute so are there are you actually like is there a visual side to it or it’s only audio I mean I’m one in the audience can listen through the audio but the players they have to see what they’re trading right?

Bomani X:  Oh there’s like a, like a second screen app or second app where like.

Adam Levy:  Got you. All right.

Bomani X: There’s also like, using apps where people can watch

Adam Levy: Got you.

Bomani X: I’m trying to build out like games that are where the in game currency is boo coin and developing that next. So we can actually play with the coin

Adam Levy: Distribution, distribution, distribution. Nice man.

Bomani X: Well, yeah, that’s pretty much it.

Adam Levy: Amazing dude. You’ve been awesome. Bomani X. Go check him out guys. Awesome human being awesome creator. Appreciate you man. Thank you for being on.

Bomani X: Appreciate you, man.

Podcast Transcript

Why Web3 Creator Tools & Platforms Must Build Towards Decentralization

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast

Mint Season 1 episode 3 features Jenil Thakker, CEO and Founder of Coinvise, who focuses on helping creators launch personal or community-owned social tokens on Ethereum. Coinvise is also Season 1’s sponsor and is helping make this podcast a reality. 

On this episode, Jenil and I discuss how to improve the UX/UI around minting, his mission for Coinvise on it becoming a decentralized Reddit for communities and creators, how to get started in web3 as a creator, how do you keep people in your community contributing long term, utility and value frameworks, why creator platforms must stay decentralized, and much more. 

Thank you to Season 1’s NFT sponsors!

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Adam Levy: So let’s just get right into it. Give me a quick brief about yourself, your upbringing, how you got into crypto and kind of what you’re building right now.

Jenil Thakker: Sure. So I’m based out of India. I started like after I finished high school I moved, and I [Inaudible] And during that time, I really wanted to pursue a PhD in crypto economics. And so in my sophomore year, I applied for a research assistantship, but almost every professor in the CS department, and one of the professor’s got back to me, and we started working on ethereum. And that’s sort of how I got like accustomed to the space and got to learn more about it. So I started doing research. And we’ve worked on something called token reward protocol, which was later adopted by a company called zero chain, and we presented it at icnc 2019 at CES, and we worked on a few other protocols and mining pool security. Then, as we progress further, I really wanted to work on consensus protocol. So we messed around with dad for a little bit and sort of for fun just created our own. And as we move forward, after I graduated, I work again for zero chain. I was one of the early hires and they were sort of building a decentralised AWS, I worked briefly with them and a company called Luxo, which is working on digital fashion and tokenizing them. And they had a really interesting concept called the reversible Ico. And at the time, Icos were like no one as much as a scam, and I really wanted to work on making them better. So I got to work with Fabiana augustiner and got to learn about like, how he created the ERC 20 token standard, and what they were trying to build for consumer and social. That’s sort of where I got the inspiration for working in this space. And I think at the time, Roland rowdy were two platforms that were really deep involved in social tokens. But my idea was that if I want to build crypto and scale it to the next billion people I want to build for both a social network. And the main reason for that is like even after the quarantine, if you see the barrier to entry to create on the internet is starting to get lower or every year. And I think we’re only getting more lazier and just trying to be more on the internet, then do more conventional jobs. So keeping that in mind, I think it’s important that we migrate those people and give them an avenue for at least creators on the internet. I think the definition gets looser and looser, but just building a platform for them and see like how crypto can be beneficial for them. And that sort of the grain of time, we started building climbers, but in about November 2020. We started out as more like we’re all hackers and developers. So we were about four people. And we shipped out an initial version where anybody could create a token, it was all for free. Even today, it’s for free. And you could airdrop it to anyone on social media on just any platform really at the time. The idea was that we want to make interactions so simple that even grandma in Iowa can do it for you simply create a token. So that was fun. In about two weeks, we shipped it out. Today, the idea is that we’re trying to look more like a decentralised Reddit for communities and creators. And the train of thought is the same that we want to build these communities but aligned incentives and tokens are a great way to start that. And I think tokens and even NF T’s are some concepts that are easily digestible when you’re working with social networks. So that’s how we’re starting out. And eventually we’ll branch into 1000 critter dolls, which we can talk about later. But that’s sort of coin wise today and Rob running today on ethereum and polygon.

Adam Levy: Yeah, and so like you said the barrier to entry to become a creator is very low. People on tik tok are becoming influencers and gaining on hundreds of 1000s to millions of followers really, really quick. Right? All the attention is slowly shifting over there for millennials and Gen Z. But what is it about? Creators that like prompted you to go into this because it’s a very unique problem to get into, right? There’s defy, there’s daos there’s all these different moving parts within crypto. Why creators?

Jenil Thakker: Right? So I think creators are probably one of the more people that have like adopted technology as a form of work. And the whole idea there was like, when you date back to Instagram or YouTube, like having those microtransactions when you’re doing a live stream or something. The idea there was that How about we merge work and social together? Right. And the idea that fascinated me was like our definition of what a creator is, is maybe limited to like someone doing streams on YouTube or being an influencer on one of these, like, Instagram or Tiktok platforms. But it’s much more than that. If you have a bit of community if you have like a set of people that share the same idea as you and if you’re continuously creating value for them. I think that’s when you could also be like, labelled as a creator. And I think at some point, everybody’s going to be a creator. We just don’t see that as it yet but I think those are the people that are much more willing to adopt crypto and trying to navigate base to like monetizing, and finding new ways to like, level up every single time. So I think that was like the community that I really wanted to work with.

Adam Levy: yeah, a lot of people that get into crypto early on, you’re referencing how you kind of got started in college, working all these different projects, trying to get involved. I too, also started in school, and I think it’s a lot of people shit on going to school, but I think it’s a lot of work. Early ideas get spread, and experimentation gets done on a very intimate level with other students. And I think you guys come at a unique time where we are seeing these new social platforms come in and about, and people are, like I said, becoming influencers left and right, building their own communities. But they primarily live on these web 2.5 platforms, right. A lot of influencers. They’re building their audience across Instagram, tik tok, Snapchat all these platforms, but how do you monetize them? Right? And I guess that’s where kind of like coin bias comes into the picture creating in tokenizing. Community. So tell me more about coin vies? The vision behind that, how did that idea kind of come about? And where are you seeing the market that prompted that type of birth?

Jenil Thakker: I know. Sure. So I’ll probably give an example. Like my mobile personal example that I got really fascinated by was like, I’ll take back to college, when I used to, like, believe it or not, I used to pay my bills, like rent and food to get coin and get really, for I enjoyed gitcoin, because you could just write code, solve issues, or do any kind of work there that like fits your skill set, you can just browse through like an infinite scroll of like, all these issues, or, you know, things that fit your palette, and then you work on them. On GitHub, you put your code, someone verifies that, and you get paid directly in your Meta mask. And I survived to college to that. So I think that was like, What idea Dan was like, What if we could bring that experience to like, creators, and we could create like a social platform where monetization could look like that where funds are instantly no metamask. So the idea there was that we don’t want to just feel tools, but we want to create an experience around that where we can make those interactions simple. And monetizing shouldn’t be as difficult and really like when you look at that two platforms to take huge cuts, like how do we eliminate, eliminate that and keep it like a transparent process between them and their community? So I think that was something exciting. But even more so than monetizing, like how do you keep these followers or like your community long term and align them long term? How do you keep them consistently contributing value long term? So I think those are problems that were very interesting for me to solve. And I think Bitcoin was one of the earliest examples that did add that value to me. So coin wise, I mean, the idea there was that we want to make those interactions once a token is minted, let’s say, Adam, you have an idea and you create a Dao and you create a token around it. How do you interact around those tokens? How do you create, let’s say, a reward where your community can earn by contributing some value, and you can in turn, get some more coordination and engagement for your own like and grow it over time. So I think those interactions are really like something that I love.

Adam Levy: So let’s talk more about these interactions. Because when people are talking about utility, it’s really based off those level of interactions, right, from what I’m understanding. So when you’re talking about creating value, starting a Dao decentralised, autonomous organisation, for a problem that someone’s trying to solve a community, whatever it may be, how do you guys empower creators with utility with developing at least more utility?

Jenil Thakker: Right? So there’s two aspects of it, I think, more short term that if you look at it, there’s this sort of loyalty points approach where a lot of these utility are earning and spending, right. And we’ve seen like plenty of use cases there, and plenty of platforms building great products around that sort of use case. And the second approach is sort of ownership. And the whole idea of crypto like in my head, when I started out, or my professor always used to tell me that a crypto isn’t about money. It’s about decentralising power. How do you how do you decentralise power from one entity to like many people, and I think tokens is a form of ownership and seeing more examples, there is much more of a novel idea and useful idea long term. So and I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you’re part of, you know, like a music group, and a music creator creates an album and they do an NFT drum. If you have some form of ownership in a fraction of that NFT and you get royalties in perpetuity when that energy gets, you know successful, then you’re sort of sort of aligned that that success because you’ve invested in that. So I think those kinds of ownership mechanisms are very interesting to explore more into, but more short term, we’re going to see more like VR and fun use cases where you’ll see Okay, do this to earn x do that to earn x or spend it to like get an early access to this or tokenized access. I think those are some use cases. After dinner, I’d say more primitive and early.

Adam Levy: Yeah, you know, one example that comes to mind just because you’re referencing music is, you know, there’s all these like Sound Cloud artists that just throw shit online. And they hope to get some streams and listens and build an audience. And what if there was a way to kind of prove your early contribution as an as a fan, by getting some form of participation and ft for saying I was one I was within the first 1000 listeners of this album? So imagine you could do that with any mainstream artists that’s big today, when they’re just getting started and play that ego card. So is that is that kind of like the utility that you’re talking about, like creating proof of, of not necessarily ownership behind that, but proof of participation, proof of engagement? Is that what you’re referring to?

Jenil Thakker: Right, so I think, every single interaction that, you know, you can map up on the internet, it has a value to it. And when you when you bring in tokens, and you you’re essentially giving that sort of value, and giving it more sort of significance and making it more profound. So in this specific example, let’s say a music artist does an album and as an NFT and gives like fractional shares to people, early adopters of that NFT or like early adopters of LIKE, SHARE owners or whoever contributed early on, they could split the revenue long term, and everybody gets like a transparent equal proportion of that NFT or like, make that situation reverse where people pull in some kind of, you know, eat as a collateral and do it on a bonding curve, where long term as in when it gets more successful, the price of it increases and ultimately benefits the community as a whole. Which again, falls under the umbrella of like how to build positive sum game mechanisms. So I think those kinds of use cases we’ll see propagate like long term.

Adam Levy: so a lot of the main use cases that I see at the moment from social token communities is these discord channels, and using tools like collab land, and now you guys have something that you pushed out through coin buys, right, that competes with collab land to an extent that allows for communities to create essentially tokenized communities and kind of like, stake your time, your financial assets, beyond likes, clicks, subscribes and shares to be more ingrained in, in a more intimate setting. But those are like the main use cases I see right now. Like you can’t really reward people and automate the process for necessarily, let’s say, listening to this podcast episode, right? Like, like let’s pay, get contributed for listening or get contribute contributed for liking and proving that someone like, where does that kind of come into play? And you guys trying to tackle those problems too?

Jenil Thakker: Right. So I think, well, first of all, like, I think club Lang, like build a great product. And the whole point of like, just different products in the space is like more towards eliminating competition than bringing competition. So I think that a lot of these tools, like more long term are going to be ended up working together in some way, shape, or form than competing against. But I think, let’s say if we’re doing like something like a podcast or a stream, and how do you like sort of put value towards it, like more broadly speaking, and I think tokenized podcasts or tokenized, audio rooms, or any form of like, interaction that we have is doable, like entities are pretty restricted at this point to artwork and digital collectibles. But really, what NFC stands for is uniquely verifiable information. And I emphasise on the verifiability part, because let’s if we’re doing this podcast, and this is a form of content that you meant it, or it’s happening on chain, and there’s a copy of it, that other people can verify that at this given time, this NFT or this podcast to cuase. You could have you could pre programme it like programmatically distribute shares or programmatically distribute ownership of this entity to people. And then as in when you make revenue on this specific, assuming in this particular case, you’re making revenue in crypto. So since a lot of this is programmatic, as in when you make that revenue in crypto, it’s automatically distributed to the people who initially contributed. And again, this is verifiable. So anybody can see an on chain that okay, this podcast is full of content was minted as an NFT. So I think the whole point is like, in about two spaces, you cannot really verify that you cannot really put in value to that. But with crypto you can there’s a source of truth that you can point to Okay, this happened.

Adam Levy: Yeah. So from more of these like web 2.0 2.5 platforms, do you see them integrating social tokens and NF T’s somehow into the infrastructure? And because they already built mass audiences and mass adoption, like Instagram first comes to mind like, right or Tik Tok? Do you imagine these platforms integrating these web 3.0 tools to empower the creators?

Jenil Thakker: I don’t think so. I think it’s going to start off like much more in the sense that either they peg it to their own currency, or maybe start with eat, or something more mainstream that can cater to a larger audience. But I think that structure we’re already seeing through microtransactions on every single platform, even I think they’re all doing the theatrical right now. But it’s only a matter of times, they’re going to pop it as crypto gets more mainstream, and everybody starts to use it. So I think that’s, that’s going to happen, but it’s just going to take, I can’t put a timeline to it, but it’s just going to take a while to get there. I think more short term, what I see is that web two and red three platforms are going to have to work together, then separately.

Adam Levy: Yeah, it’s funny, because now I read a rumour that Instagram is working on launching their own NFT platform to some extent, or integrating it somehow, I don’t know the full details. But that comes shortly after a bunch of these new NFT platforms saying they’re the Instagram killer, quote, unquote, you know, yeah. So once social tokens see more mass adoption and validation, I’m sure those conversations are probably going to take place if they’re not already happening right now. But if a creator that’s listening right now, okay, whether they be a tik tok creator, YouTube creator, whatever they may be on any platform, how do they actually get started? Like, where? Where do they start looking for if they want to take their communities, quote, unquote, public or build tokens around them, and create better incentivization structures? To keep their audiences engaged? How do you get started?

Jenil Thakker: Sure. So I think the easiest step to do is you can create like, either a discord or telegram server, I think a lot of these communities start there, you can create an you can just sign into coin lives by just connecting your wallet and you can create a token pretty easily, you can create it on a bonding curve, or you can create it on a fixed supply. MDF instructions on what that looks like by creating a token is really simple to find wise. And if you want to build incentives around those tokens, like creating rewards bounties, or doing tokenized, access, or even do NFT as ownership, I think those kinds of tools are comes integrated with that. And I think on top of that, if they want to extend that sort of community, they could even create a Dao and create a treasury by like getting started with the little wallet that they can share with their core team. And I think dollhouse doll house is also a great place to create a Dao if you’re looking to create a Dao and sort of extended more onto battery. There’s a service called snapshot where you can do governance and do proposals, which is quite interesting. So you can slowly start to migrate all of these activities. But I think the first step could be really simple. Create a discord create an idea have some people join in. And once you do have people join in, you can just go to coin wise and quickly create a token, and start messing around with incentives like you know, Senator reward, like, hey, join my Discord server for 50 tokens, or like, hey, join this event, and aren’t 25 tokens sort of scale, like coordination, collaboration between these people. And once that’s fun, you can sort of extend it to ownership, which is, which is also amazing.

Adam Levy: So let’s break this down. So come up with an idea, find a group of people, or at least more than one person, or at least two people that are excited about it, put them in a discord, go to coin buys, launch a token, create some form of formal documentation, like a one sheet or have a white paper explaining the problem you’re trying to solve. And then essentially, mint tokens, create a snapshot. So you can write proposals and vote on those proposals on the direction of the goal of the group. And then slowly get more people to join. That’s what I’m kind of hearing from you.

Jenil Thakker: Yeah, slowly get more people to join. I think one of the things that I tell everybody is like have a clear use case of what your community looks like, and how you plan on like, leveraging these tools to grow your community rather than reverse engineering it, like doing a token first and then reverse engineering, engineering somehow to like, make it work. I think the right way to do it is first figure out the use case, see how that token can leverage you can leverage that token to like scale collaboration, because that’s what it does. It skills engagement. Because when you have incentives for people to join, or people to do anything for a community, and you have incentive to do that for them, I think that’s like a mutually beneficial game, but like, decide what that incentives and that could be as simple as, join our discord to like earn 50 tokens, or a contribution on our GitHub on the source code. And if you do it correctly, earn 100 tokens. I think those kinds of use cases, define it could be really helpful and then see, like, how that could help and then have like proposals, and see how as a community, you can make decisions on snapshot. And once that’s done, then you can slowly transition into it. Now,

Adam Levy: What are the more unique use cases you’ve seen kind of executed with social tokens? Daos. And all the buzzwords we kind of mentioned, but mainly for like social tokens. What are the more unique use cases you’ve seen being implemented?

Jenil Thakker: Sure. So as of today, we’ve seen obviously at wb where initially they started pulling sort of these tokens that created a community where they could get access to a lot of these premium subscriptions. I think that was a pretty unique use case. One of the other use cases that forefront up unfortunately, here, there’s sort of an even global coin research, whether they’re sort of trying to crowdsource content and like, promote this idea of data mining, or decentralised journalism, where if you’re good at writing, if you do good research and analysis in the space, you can write an article for them, and you can earn X amount of FF or GCR tokens. I think that was also a really interesting use case. Because after that, we saw a lot of people sort of started writing on that platform, and they started making more and more content. So it’s not just one creator creating content, its multiple creators at that point. And as a collective, they’re creating content instead of just one person. So that was a really novel use case using those tokens. Then there were events. A lot of people were doing token gated events, but I’m actually more interested in not limiting access, but increasing access, right? How do you have more people attend these events and collaborate so you can earn tokens by attending those events? So I think those are some use cases that we see primitively, but I’m more interested to see like how we could use NF T’s as fractional ownership, or tokens as a means of ownership. You could not I mean, at some point, you could even give salaries or stipends to your people and just have all of these activities on chain.

Adam Levy: So just jumping back into global coin research and forefront. Okay, so global coin research is one that your name dropped when we were having private conversations on how they’re kind of using social tokens but more in the form of a security. If I’m understanding correctly to redistribute profits back to its contributors, is that what you were you were referencing?

Jenil Thakker: So it was it wasn’t way too well, they weren’t doing an intro to security, I think they were doing it in phases, where the initial phase was that if you write on their platform, you can earn X amount of these tokens, then they pull liquidity, so the token is worth something. Again, the token doesn’t have to be worth something, it could be purely utility, as long as it does hold some value in it. But in that, in that particular case, they did pull liquidity and the token at some value. So whoever the contributor was, can instantly swap it against swap if they wanted to. So I think that was their phase one. I think the phase two is more like community on where ownership of GCR is getting more and more decentralised.

Adam Levy: Think about it for many users are becoming so powerful, you know, if there’s all these communities, incentivizing users attention in collaboration, the user can start getting greedy with who they give their attention and collaborations to an extent, like every community is paying them with tokens, rewarding them, that they could easily cash out or swap or depending on whatever that contracts aren’t, right. But if users keep getting paid and incentivized and rewarded for participating in the communities that they love, do you think that these users like now I’m like really thinking right, because obviously, this is not happening right now, it’s the other way around, where platforms are using users, users are going to be using platforms, I feel like it’s like an entire shift that’s happening, you think it’s getting, we’re going to get to a point where users are going to get super stingy with their time and their resources on, on who they contribute to and in, and so on, and so forth. You know what I mean?

Jenil Thakker: Right, and again, we’re going back to this idea of like, bringing social with work together, right, and you’re doing sort of this gig economy where you’re just tipped in these tokens, and you have like an entire portfolio of these either like valuable coins or invaluable coins that may or may not be worth something. So you’re going to start to see like, Okay, how do I segregate my time and use my skillset wisely to optimise for, you know, just like doing the most amount of participation for the things that I value the most. And I think that that’s the distinction between a like web two, or like the attention economy, and three, which is sort of the ownership economy. And wildlife, these sort of gig economy are like, getting paid in crypto, a lot of these tokens are like primitive use cases, I think more long term approach is going to be like something like what good coin did when I was a good coin user, and you could go claim on their website, if you were a user for a good point for a while. And you could use that sort of ownership, more so than participating on what the direction of that community is going to be. And based on your stake, that sort of, you know, direction matters. And you can sort of have that sort of say in where this project goes. So I think that’s going to be much more fun long term. So if you’re doing a lot of like attention to like, maybe communities that don’t matter to you. I think that wouldn’t be as valuable but we’re going to start to see more time management there.

Adam Levy: Yeah. Every day I hear more and more and more people betting on this greater vision, where the greater economy coincides with web 3.0. How does that kind of look like at Coin base? How are you guys thinking about this? I know you guys are building tools and resources to empower these creators, but like, what, what’s the vision beyond that?

Jenil Thakker: So we want to space where we can sort of also give the sort of idea of this discoverability. So one of the things that Instagram or just about two partners weren’t able to give is that if I’m not Adam Levy fan, I’m not interacting. But you know, other fans that are out there, I’m not interacting with other like, let’s say creators that are out there, like there’s no communication between an Adam Levy fan and let’s say, a Ted Cruz fan. What we’re sort of also providing is that we’re building a social experience where you just browse through a lot of these doubts, or create our communities and see what they’re up to and see, you know, if you can join them, and by joining those styles, or community if you can add value to them. And ultimately, what we want to see is like, let’s say I, as a user, I have some form of ownership and multiple doubts, and doubts really act as communities or like start-ups. So having that sort of ownership and just scrolling through coin licensee, let me see, like what f wb is up to let me see what GCR is up to and just scroll to like, what they’re putting out as, let’s say rewards or incentives. It’s great to explore those. So that’s worked for me. And it’s a social experience, because I get to be a part of these communities intimately and have ownership in that. So it’s starting out with social tokens, NF T’s. But my, the one thing that I say to everyone is going to look like a social network for daps, where people don’t know it yet. But when you do a token, and when you do an NF T and when you move slowly to unchained activities, you’re really acting as a doll. So ultimately, as a community as a whole, we want to get to a place where we can get out of other smaller dolls. So that’s the grand vision of coin wise, where we can build like a social experience where you can explore all of these styles and be a part of them. If you if you have an idea yourself quickly create a token someone tell have some interactions and incentives built around it, manager Treasury, and sort of building experience where, you know, we march this idea of social network?

Adam Levy: Yeah. And what when I hear people talking about web 3.0, and it’s merged with the creator economy, a lot of people tend to have conversations around the creators themselves, they don’t really talk about the platforms and their users per se, to, to an extent. I mean, there’s, there’s talks about that, but I’m kind of coming to you from the point of view right now that users are building such data rich profiles of themselves on the block chain, by participating in all these different vows in these communities. And these organisations, that companies like Facebook, I imagine, might even be incentivizing users to use that data by paying them with their own native token to an extent, you know what I’m saying here, like I’m participating in this music Dao, but I’m also participating in this food Dao. I’m also participating in these organisations, these communities. And based off what the tokens that I hold, based off the interactions that I’ve had these you’re essentially able to build, even though it’s anonymous, you’re able to build a profile of what this quote unquote, individual looks like that then platforms and companies can leverage for their own, I guess, benefit, right? And at the same time, use that data and incentivize users to allow them to use that data, like are these conversations you’re seeing people have right now? Or is that just too far too far advanced and thinking?

Jenil Thakker: Yeah, I think in terms of like privacy, and having that sort of user data, a lot of the whole idea of like, sort of pseudo anonymity is that I don’t know Adam Levine, all I know is Adam, eat online. And whatever you portray your identity on, let’s say, a social network that runs on web three to coin wise, Showtime or any other social network, I see that persona of you. Now that may or may not represent what’s what the real view is, in the real world, I don’t even know what Adam really looks like, I don’t even know what that person is. And even if that data is, you know, sort of an accurate representation of what you are as a person, or how you work, what your persona or your digital identity that you’ve created, where the only thing I know, is ethereum address, and we sort of understand bytes and bits of these people. I think that’s much more interesting to me. And I think that’s the purest form of like, you know, privacy where you just disclose information that is required, enough to like communicate with other people, but not enough for someone to manipulate you.

Adam Levy: You know, I’m thinking about this more from the perspective now. I’m a musician myself, I have been playing the drums for however long I can remember. And before I got into crypto, all I’ve been doing was music. And now that I’m seeing more of these artists get into the picture. That’s what really excites me and joining more DAOs that surround around that surround the musicians, the artists that I love most like I can’t wait till I don’t know Tame Impala releases a Dao and I could participate and contribute somehow and earn Paula tokens, you know, and but even from that point of view, if and I don’t know why I chose Tame Impala, right, but let’s say Tame Impala has a Dao, there’s a bunch of uses in that Dao, assuming those users also participate in other DAOs. And other organisations to Impala could start leveraging that data to create more intimate experiences and cross collaborate with other dals. To create one big hole, juicy community kind of thing. Overlaps with a bunch of different interests. It’s so interesting how this will kind of play out. So let me let me ask you this, why, why is tokenizing more of like an emerging critical element for these individuals and communities? Like I’m hearing more and more people talk about we got to tokenize the world and every single element of the world needs to be tokenized. Why is that such like a prevailing factor, I guess, from a macro perspective of what’s happening in the world.

Jenil Thakker: Again, I mean, we attribute a lot of value to money, I think. And tokens are a way of representing value. So let’s say you’re forming and to have someone that takes attendance in [Inaudible], and they reach out to you and that you guys want to gel together and create a token. I think the token somehow represents a value. And I think that’s what we’ve been attributed to, like, if you date back to history, we started out with shells, there was barter system, and money sort of evolved into what we have today. But that’s sort of how we sort of structure. Even people socially, like even in the social hierarchy, we, we sort of see people inferior or superior. And that’s how we associate power to, I think tokenizing, what really done that three is a decentralised is power in the sense that you sort of have control over your own economic structure instead of US dollar, where, let’s say 25% of the total supply was minted in the last six months, you have no control over that you have no control over how those markets are regulated. Whereas if you do a token, you can sort of have access or have control over how you’re regulated create that economic structure that fits best on what your community’s future lies instead of like treating the entire world as one just community or having these like smaller silos that can have like a token that serves that specific purpose. And then they could use claret something like coin buys, where a lot of these vowels can have inner communication and overlap where people can discover and that sort of communication layer is built on top of it. But that’s just how I see why tokenization has been an emerging trend, apart from just like, gimmicky use cases that we’ve seen, for sure.

Adam Levy: So I know you guys are working on a doubt project right now a DAOs product through Coinbase. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

Jenil Thakker: Right, so it’s less of a product or more the idea that we want point mice to act like a doll. And we want to build an ecosystem where a lot of these dials are just a social network for 1000 Simply put, on like a decentralised Reddit where we’re not really a centralised team building this, we want an entire community that we’ve built to have access over and have a lot of these dials have some form of stake in what we’re building. And vice versa. We want to work with a lot of these dads that are created on coin wise, and sort of continue to add value to them. So I think long term, what we’re trying to see is coin by starting to turn as a DAOs, which is what a lot of these companies that were forming today in crypto are going to act as launch our own token, and leverage that token to incentivize more collaboration, but a lot of the sales. So that’s the idea of Bitcoin lies and like I said, ultimately, NF T’s and social tokens have too much attention. I think they do hold like value. And they’re sort of heart of what a Dao is. But ultimately, you want to be at a place where you make that interaction so seamless, that you can create a summon, a Dao, create a token and have these interactions done seamlessly. So the learning curve on getting into battery is really short.

Adam Levy: Yeah, makes a lot of sense. And I’m thinking this more from the perspective of Okay, so let’s say in the grand scheme of things, I don’t know, let’s say we have, give me an example of a top crater that like you guys want to work with or that you’re working with right now.

Jenil Thakker: I’ll give you an example of someone right now. So forefront is one of our really like favourite dials that just sort of built out and is one of our successful interactions or more in terms of NFT. We’ve worked with a comedian called Mark Normand, who did their nit, but I think forefront is one of the DAOs that are doing curation. So the first step was again tools. Then the second step was like web three networks. The third step was probably dals. But there’s another layer where there’s a lot Seems like Yep, or forefront that are doing curation and talking about a lot of this next layer or next generation of like tokenization, or read through protocols. And I think that’s one of our favourite creators because we try to invest in creators that are upcoming, then someone who’s already established. People are concentrating, and sort of have potential in future and forefront is one of them that we truly see and, you know, work with is Does that answer your question?

Adam Levy: So yeah, so if Justin Bieber came to you right now and said, I want to start a doubt for his for his him and his audience. So that would be a less attractive type of individual to work with, you guys want to work with more of these premature type of creators and build and grow with them.

Jenil Thakker: I mean, it’s not the Justin Bieber wouldn’t be the ideal user, what we’re trying to do is, the whole point of like, leveraging crypto is to uplift and open access to Brian Weiss did not have access to. It’s like, we’d love to have Justin Bieber. But how do we create value for Justin Bieber, like Justin Bieber himself is, has quite a strong community. And I think that would translate very well on chain. But I think it’s much more fun to work with creators that are up and coming and sort of uplift them and see how crypto can get them from zero to one really quickly, rather than like, getting taken down by Instagram, taking huge cuts defeated by the algorithm, none of that.

Adam Levy: So let’s play on this a little bit more, because I think there’s a distinction between a premature creator and an already established creator. And I think a misconception is that to have a successful social token Tao, you have to have some type of following. I don’t think that’s necessarily true right? Now, but these creators that are established that have millions of followers, they’re also to some extent a prime opportunity, because they’re more web 2.0 2.5, native rather than 3.0. Native, right. And it’s more of empowering when these tools like it, could you see that as a value is it within itself rather than looking? You know, because like, a lot of people are talking about mass adoption, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? All these buzzwords that, and energy that a lot of is just conversations, but there’s a lack of education, a lack of tools and resources to make it easier to onboard a non-crypto user and make them more crypto native. And I think I think that’s a lot more of the opportunity is to like the network effect that can come with that with adopting a new platform, and educating an existing fan base of millions, right on how to become more crypto. I think there’s a lot of value in that you don’t think so?

Jenil Thakker: Yeah, 100%. And I think from that perspective, just looking at it, I think that’s also like a really interesting way of looking at it in the sense that if let’s say you have a pre-established creator, I think that would create much more network effects. And we’ve been sort of pushing in both of those directions. I think it’s been fun working with someone who’s either a celebrity and has a huge audience, or someone who’s up and coming and then seeing them flourish and be successful. I think it’s it. I mean, we do put a lot of emphasis on followers. But I think what’s more important is how you engage with them, and how you build a community around. And if you do have that, I think then you can create a lot of more network effects than you would otherwise if it’s just like a following where it’s just one direction of value, like it should really be bi directional. And crypto enables that. So how do we solve a problem for Justin Bieber in this community? Right? And we’re all friends, when you see these craters on stage, they say that I am who I am, because of my fans, yeah, and, and deep down, they also know that without those fans, they’d be nothing. So 100%, I do think that this could be really useful like in just like specific terms of claim lies, it could be useful to this established creators, but also like, from a just grand scheme of things. Looking at it from a higher level, I think it’s, we’ll see a lot more like I think UFC did a token recently on socios. And we’ve already seen, like, a lot of these bigger companies, or individuals or celebrities do their own token, and launch them and have successful interactions around them. I think that’s going to create a lot of, you know, early days of YouTube back in 2008 2008 2009. It was like that, like, there were a few people creating and then that caused those network effects tend to everybody to be a YouTuber.

Adam Levy: But now everybody wants to be a YouTuber, and YouTube is screwing their creators and freaking taken away majority of their, of their payments in their, in whatever that comes with that. But yeah, crazy. And I think that’s like, that’s the problem that social tokens are trying to solve to an extent is creating better monetization schemes for these creators that are getting basically fucked by these platforms while they’re building an amazing audience. And those platforms have provided them with tools to gain those followers and those fans, they do a shitty job with helping them monetize them. And I think that’s, that’s the beauty behind what we’re about to experience. But let me I brought this up earlier. The misconceptions Behind social tokens, because all this stuff is super fresh and quite frankly, very overwhelming to someone who may not be as crypto native, what have you seen some of the misconceptions being around social tokens? And I guess people like wanting to get started, like, what are some that you’ve seen?

Jenil Thakker: You know, a speculation, making it all about prices. I think when you see it, you see things like tokens, when the core aspect of it is either, you know, to scale collaboration and coordination and sort of represent ownership, and you sort of sort of map that to financial value and try to speculate on it. I think that’s something that, you know, gets skewed down the line. And not, I mean, not to mention, a lot of these communities down the line aren’t going to be their own sort of cities or silos, or even billion dollar like dolls. And that’s awesome. But I just think that just looking at it from like this monitor mess lens of just price and discovery. I think that’s something that is a misconception, I think it’s much more than we’ve seen a lot of good implementation of vows, that don’t actually have a value at all, like they don’t have a US dollar value, or they’re not sort of created a pair with ease, they’re just different token and the value is that it creates scarcity or some kind of thing that you know, it filters out. So that’s a huge misconception that I’d like to solve. And the second is that mean coins and check coins, I think that’s been sort of the narrative in the past few months. And yes, we’re going to see a lot of those should coins and mean coins being made. But I think that’s not the whole picture, though. Like people, whenever you talk about social tokens, people generally attribute it to meme coins or ship coins. But as we see more like successful dolls, or tokens being created and interactions around them, that narrative is going to change. But I think the biggest misconception is it maps to this. And that’s not the whole picture. So I probably say those are the two things that focus too much.

Adam Levy: Let’s dive deeper into the first one really quick, because I think that’s what attracts users in the beginning, because they see a number on the screen that fluctuates, that’s tied to their brand, and their community. But how does a tokens value get, I guess, issued in place that launch? Like why did why do some tokens trade at 20 cents or two cents a token rather, our others trade at like $1 to $2 $3? At the Genesis like we’re where does that come from? How do people determine that? Because I’m sure that’s a lot of like, one of the major questions these people are like thinking about like, are you just creating value out of thin air?

Jenil Thakker: Right. So typically, what, what happens is when you do create a token, to give it some kind of value, you can go to something like uniswap, or kurtzweil, if you’re on a different chain, or banker or balancer or any sort of automated market maker where you can see it, but some capital. And that sort of capital determines the value of a token, if it’s mentioned on a bonding curve, we can start bonding curve itself acts as its own automated market maker. So if you pull some liquidity, and create a pair of with each, or put it as collateral that creates some seed value of that token itself. And then going forward from that, how uniswap prices, its tokens, based on like the supply and demand of that token itself, how its traded long term, the value of it gets determined, and that sort of makes the difference of it being at $1, or $10. And it’s not necessarily that the token creator has to list the token on one of these exchanges and start trading it. Anybody can do it for that matter. And they can list a token and seed it, but some capital, and that capital also like you decide if you want to, you know, put 0.1 eat for 110 eat or whatever, that’s capitalism create a pair. But generally, if you want to seed it, but some value, you can do it on uniswap, which is probably one of the most use platforms today. Where you can put some kind of eat and create a pair of it’s a particular ERC 20 token or a social token. And that means something called liquidity tokens. And again, going back to investing, you can also have a piece and LPs get point 3% of every transaction if they’re, they’ve like invested in the liquidity pool initially. So there’s some incentive there. But that’s sort of automated market makers work. That’s what gives value.

Adam Levy: Got you. So when people are creating or when creators are initially building and strategizing the launch of their token, what kind of factors do you guys use to guide these individuals who, let’s say are brand new to the space to determine their launch based off a bonding curve, or more of a traditional linear curve.

Jenil Thakker: So there’s so on coin rise, there’s typically two options. Like starting from the beginning, you when you create a token, you could either created as a scarce asset on a fixed supply, which is 10 million tokens, which is, which is pretty conventional. And then on a bonding curve, which is something that we were trying to recommend and more than universal. When you’re sort of trying to act up the Dow in perpetuity, you don’t want to really cap those. We add more liquidity and bins at the time. And then even when you do have that bonding curve done, you can like change the slope and adjusted over time, which is really cool. If you think about it. So that’s, that’s an idea that we just introduced very recently. But to answer your question,

Adam Levy: can you repeat that last part, it cut out for a minute, you said, so when you’re when you’re let’s say, You’re minting a 10 million tokens you were talking about.

Jenil Thakker: So either you can do it on a fixed supply, which Okay, are or something that we recommend highly to most people that we work with, which we recently introduced was a bonding curve, where you can sort of adjust. So the way when it comes to like put simply work is that as the distribution grows, or as the token is distributed more the price of it increases over time. And you define the function in that. So you can sort of define the function in a way where it goes linearly or in a sigmoid function or logarithmic mickley. So I think that’s going to be much more interesting, because then you can create the token that fits much more like your use case than just having one size fits all. Like so far, we’ve seen only like fixed supply use cases where just as 10 million tokens, I think it’s going to be really interesting when people start minting tokens on a bonding curve. And the way it works is that when you do have a bonding curve, you can select how much capital you want to seed it with. So let’s say you can do 0.18, and then you can mint those tokens, and that’s going to seed it with some value, which sort of acts as its own automated market maker. And then going forward, you can adjust it. So now it’s not growing linearly, you can do it in a sigmoid function, which is really cool, because that really fits with like specific use cases.

Adam Levy: Yeah, there’s so many. And this is why I feel like it’s such a great opportunity for creators and for individuals, communities to jump on board and to tokenize their communities. But while the tools in the process, you guys make it super easy, you just go on coin vines, you can mint tokens instantly. Right? It’s still a lot of process and thinking and strategizing on how to utilise that token. What the dynamic and I guess the economics behind that token should be and yeah, it’s interesting to see how this will kind of play out down the line.

Jenil Thakker: Yeah, I think I mean, one of the things that it does is like its lower lowers the barrier of entry. And like one of the things that as a team and coin wise, we’re trying to do is like, create more discovery for a lot of the successful creators that created their tokens. So if you’re someone who is maybe clueless about how you want to do this process, or it seems intimidating at first, you can just explore a lot of these people that created their own token and see how they’re using it and how they’re utilizing it. You can just its pretty transparent, you can just scroll through a list of rewards or explore to people that created their own token and just explore for like, really fun beer or useful use cases. And I think the second thing was that how do you get that initial like, so some of the normal ideas that were either setting up rewards or bounties, but the second was, again, ownership. And to get to a point where you can do all of that I think crowdfunding or investment in public goods was something that we’re trying to push for. And I think that’s something that we’re trying to bring to coin buys in the next few weeks, is that we want to be able to have these communities crowdfund easily from their community, either for straight staking or NFT, fractionalization. And I think that’s a really novel concept that plays into this idea of you can either invest into the community that you find it successful, and going forward, you can get paid either in royalties in perpetuity, or you can earn like, or you can like, essentially own a percentage of it. So I think I think crowdfunding is going to help a lot of these creators get started, and get those funds to, you know, Kickstarter, career bears, and that too, that’s something that’s very difficult to do, like, how do you get funded? How do you raise funds from institutional VCs?

Adam Levy: Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. I’m excited to see how this kind of plays out and the level of experimentation between bonding curves and token supplies and I’d be curious to see like, how are these how more of these mainstream creators individuals communities, however, however, we want to call that effect, there are so many terms, utilize this to empower their fans and power their audience, and do so in a way where on one end of the spectrum, because there are two users to this, right, there are the investors who are going to be speculating on the token price and trading these creator communities, right. And then there are the fans who are actually going to be buying into this stuff and leveraging its utility for what it has to offer, right? And while a lot of creators are treating this from the membership loyalty rewards point of view of access, right? On the other side, you have the people who are going to be basically trading these people like, like a human stock market, a community stock market to an extent, right. I’m like thinking Black Mirror right now. Okay. Is it ethical? Is it ethical? Like you can’t ditch that point of view of experimenting with social tokens and all that stuff, right? Do you think that’s ethical? How do you think people will kind of respond to that [Inaudible]?

Jenil Thakker: So just coming to the point in terms of investing, it’s either you can you can bet on institutions, or you can bet on bet on individuals. And I’d rather bet on someone like, let’s say, let’s say Elon Musk, right? For an example, just out of the blue, I’m just picking one name. And what if I could just bet on like, whatever this guy does, and I think a great example of that, is Alex master page. When he did his token, people were just betting on his career and his success going forward. And they get they got, like, basically a say, and what he’s going to do next. And that was like a really fun experiment, which was like more like a human Ico. And I think that taught like, it seems dystopian, but it’s not really as dystopian because we’ve seen a lot of people do it. And like I said, in the beginning, a lot of these days are individuals act like companies, where they have people helping them, they have like, they’re creating some value on the internet. And what they’re really are, is they’re acting like start-ups or companies that in their very early stages, and it’s completely okay to have their own token and sort of, you know, regulated as long as it’s done properly, as long as it’s done in a way where you can create positive some games, like one of the misconceptions that have been trying to solve is that it’s one of the use cases or utility that I’ve seen that shouldn’t be promoted as much as gated access. Like it’s, it’s not really about getting access, it’s about opening access, like it should be the reverse where you didn’t pay to attend an event as I can already do that for Fiat. But with crypto, I should get paid to attend an event. And there’s, there’s a great service called kickback that already does that. And if you don’t attend one, it sort of splits the revenue by all the people who attended actually, which is really cool. So I think a lot of those kinds of like use cases or utility that we’re going to see unclaimed lies are going to be really interesting to see going forward. But I don’t think that’s where dystopian that individuals are going to act like companies or start-ups, or even Daos.

Adam Levy: So you think that all these token-based discord channels, they’re actually doing it wrong? To an extent depending on the use case, depending on the use case, obviously, fragile benefits a unique community. But like, if musicians actors?

Jenil Thakker: go ahead and been doing it wrong, but it’s not really like, like, you could do the same thing with Fiat or like, like, how are you using crypto to create like a positive-sum game are mutually beneficial a game? Right? Like the core idea of Rick remember how to both parties win? Like how does everyone sort of getting transparent, truthfully, like equal access and freedom, right? And if you’re sort of getting access, you can already do that, by the way, with only fans and like other like similar platforms where it’s not really hard to do, like we’ve seen subscription models, like, what they really are is just filter mechanisms, and that what gated access is, so it’s not really a wrong approach. It’s just not a unique approach that are like you’re not just using crypto to leverage something even more powerful. So I think using crypto to increase access, or increased collaboration is what I’m interested in. And while we still provide that sort of feature, but I think I’m more interested in seeing that over getting access.

Adam Levy: Interesting. Yeah, that’s a good perspective to have. Because a lot of these communities that I’ve seen come into play, they have their discord channels, and I keep referencing discord because it’s the more plausible use case that I’ve kind of seen come to life. And they limit interaction and create exclusivity and FOMO by creating these token gated experiences, and I think if you’re trying to create a new type of fan base, and target your more hard-core fans, where you can provide them a financial stake in what you’re doing, I think both can exist. And in a creator’s community, I think there can be the token gated experience, and I think there could be the very open and loose and flexible type of Thank you for coming here as an airdrop type of experience.

Jenil Thakker: Yeah, it’s, it’s like what you’re looking for. Are you looking? Let’s say I have to give like a specific example. I look into your community, like how are you incentivizing collaboration, right? Like how are you like making that engagement goes from, like, 100 people doing something for you and you’re doing something for them to 1000 people working together. Do gaining access to the best way to get to 1000 people now are using is the best way to get 1000 people. And let’s look be specifically Adam has a really novel idea that helps a lot of people, how does he get to 1000 people faster getting access or increasing. So I think we’re going to see a lot of that in one click coexist. And we’re going to like really successful interactions like f wb. And it’s always nice to see those. But I think like six months from now, we’re going to see like, a lot more like, investment in public goods, kind of like novel ideas, bear sort of opens up access, and everything is transparent, no, FOMO get in right away, and, you know, come join us.

Adam Levy: But then if it’s easy to join, and it’s there is no FOMO, then will people want it? Because if everyone can get it, and there’s no exclusivity to it, there’s no quote unquote, scarcity. Will it make it appealing for people? And now we’re just talking general sense, right? We’re talking strategy. You know what I mean?

Jenil Thakker: Right? So I think, so we can talk about FOMO, FOMO can be like, you can still do far more and keep it relatively open. So let’s say I join a community, and it was like fairly easy to join, like, there was no barrier to access, right? Like, there was no like, you need to have X amount of tokens in your wallet to join this committee. Like none of that I joined it pretty easily. I think there could be FOMO on interaction, like, and I keep going back to good coin is because Good point, the way it works is that like, like, let’s say I could do a volunteer or reward for doing kind of some work, I can apply for it. And then multiple people can apply for it. And only one of them gets selected. Whoever is the best skilled at Sure. So you could still have FOMO but FOMO on interaction FOMO not unlike access.

Adam Levy: Yeah, makes a lot of sense. Okay, final question. Okay. So, I want to talk to you about the stages of the internet’s development. Okay. So we had web 1.0, which was very read only type of experience that transition and gotten eaten alive by web 2.0. And now we got really beautiful interfaces, we were able to create online communities social interactions, we had these web 2.5 platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc., etc. And now we’re transitioning into web 3.0. Okay, because it’s building on top of the primitives of web 2.5. What do you think is going to one, eat web 3.0 alive, just like web 2.0, 1.0. Right. And then what might be its downfall, if any?

Jenil Thakker: I think so just taking a more philosophical approach or the IQ to destroy the board decreases by a point every year. And what retreat does is democratises access, but it also democratises disruption. So when everybody has equal power, or somewhat of a power or stake, it makes it easy to destroy it. So I think it’s sort of like a double edged sword when something is so powerful, and I think when you when you democrat democratising this, I think disruption is also like one thing that and we’ve already seen it, like if you’ve seen a lot of these exploits, where a lot of these protocols are been exploited programmatically by a lot of these hackers, that have figured out some more vulnerability where they either like, you know, sort of explored a protocol or even have more centralised access to it in the sense that they somehow find a way to get more stake into the game or more skin in the game, and make it more like a centralised game and sort of a decentralised game. I think those are some pitfalls that were taken down. But ultimately, I’m optimistic that, you know, the space or like that three years overall is going to survive, because just going back to like the genesis of crypto by some time fault tolerance, where you assume that a set of people are going to act irrationally. And, but there’s going to be more people and based on the mechanisms that we build, if we can incentivize good behaviour or bad behaviour. And what my professor likes to always say is you want to create a mechanism there. Make it more profitable to be a good actor than a bad actor. So I think overall, like long term, I’m more optimistic, but as soon as we design like the right incentives, like Adam is more incentivized to perform like a good actor, because that’s more profitable, then become a bad actor, because then you gain nothing from that. I think that’s like good design. And if as long as we design those kinds of protocols, really secure, I think we have a great future.

Adam Levy: It’s a good way to end off Jenil you’re the man, thank you for being on. You’re so sharp and so insightful. I really hope to have you on again, Thanks for being here.

Jenil Thakker: Really appreciate it, brother.

Podcast Transcript

Using Social Tokens To Unlock Creator Merch, Music & More with JVCKJ of $PSTL

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast


Mint Season 1 episode 2 features Jack Johnson, whose artist name is JVCKJ. He’s widely known as one-half of the multi-platinum pop duo Jack & Jack. He’s a creative force who earned a billion-plus streams, achieved multi-platinum records, and countless sold-out tours. He’s also the founder of PSTL aka Pastel coin – a gateway to building his vision for his creator economy. 

In this episode, we talk about his journey as an early internet personality on the once-popular social media platform Vine, his new single Money Memories, his vision for his personal token, why he’s so big on crypto, how $PSTL coin is empowering his fans, and towards the end, we start having a live brainstorming session on how we can create further utility behind $PSTL token.

Adam Levy: Jack, welcome man. Welcome to the show. Thanks for being on.

JVCKJ: That’s good Adam. Thanks for having me brother. Really appreciate it.

Adam Levy: Of course, man. How you feeling?

JVCKJ: Feeling good, man. It’s a beautiful day all right now top of the week, you know ready to get the week going? Got a lot of stuff in the works. So you know it’s summer’s here. It feels fantastic.

Adam Levy: Dude, we got a lot to cover. I know you got a lot of things coming up. You have a fire new single out called money memories. You have a new clothing line that’s about to come out called pstl. And even more so which is kind of like why you’re here you launched your own social token on cryptocurrency with the abbreviation of pstl tickers, PSTL. And, like, you’re very, I guess earlier, this space, one of many, I guess one of a few creators, at least that have kind of experimenting with this new space, that has really been a lot more for like, defy like decentralised finance, more traditional investment. And now you’re one of the few people who’s actually taking it and making it more creative and building communities around it. And I’m excited to have you on. So let’s just dive into Okay, I want to start with the basics. Tell me a little bit how you kind of got your start as a popular personality online. And then how that kind of transitioned into the music scene.

JVCKJ: Yeah, so me and my buddy Jacqueline ski, I think it was probably around junior year, summer, going into senior year, the app mine was a massive, you know, sensation at the time, eve3ryone and their mom was on there, you know, just consuming these six and a half second looping clips. And me and G were just very consistent. We made a lot of, you know, comedic sketches, a lot of, you know, music covers, and really, every single day would be uploading in some sort of facet. And it was crazy, you know, it just sort of exploded over the course of the next couple years. And we’re still in Omaha, Nebraska, actually, at this time. And we linked up with some local producers who saw some of our covers on there, they really wanted to get us in the studio making actual tracks. And so we ended up making our first four or five records we released just out there to our fans, you know, fully independently with our buddies, Travis and Turner Eakins, there were also two local kids who just reached out to us and it was great, we got a great response, it allowed us to, you know, come out to LA and link with bigger producers and just start to really kind of get our toes in the water in any way possible. And so, you know, we noticed once we got out here, the quality of the music is kept increasing. And now it’s at a point where we feel like the music is really is really caught up if not exceeded, you know, our following, which was, you know, it was a little difficult at first to be taken seriously with the stigma around us being like all these fine kids, you know, these social media kids, but at the end of the day, any artists you see coming into the forefront of the limelight these days, I think, has some sort of stake in social media and a lot of their a lot of their growth, especially now more than ever is due to social media due to eclipse going on due to something happening that, you know, put them into the ether space and just everybody can do their shit. That’s what’s so amazing about social media. And so I think over time, you know, with enough big records with enough like, you know, late night performances of worship performances, I think we really started breaking that stigma and showing people we were real artists. And so, yeah, now we’re sort of detaching from the hip, just trying to be a little less co-dependent on one another because you know, there’s so there’s certain things jeez into that I’m not into certain things I’m into that he’s not into. And musically, we thought it would be a good opportunity for us to really showcase what we can do as individuals as opposed to having to compromise in a sense on every record, you know, between his singing my rapping or whatever it may be. It’s been a very exciting The first single of my, my project, my jack j projects came out about I think, September last year, and so it’s been almost a year, probably eight to nine months, since we’ve kind of been on these independent journeys. But it’s been awesome man, you know, it’s been quite a journey. And it’s really, I think everything I’m a big believer in the butterfly effect. Everything that’s happened is has led me to this point, you know, sitting here talking to you. So it’s been a wild journey. It’s been very exciting.

Adam Levy: I love it, man. I’m curious though, cuz you have a very unique creative process. I remember I was on Vine just like everyone else. I remember seeing you and jack and jack. And alongside like the Nash Greer’s of the world that Cameron Dallas’s that whole, that whole crew that original like high pass you guys like we’re the oh geez. Right? Dude, high key that shoots high key, but I’m curious more about your creative process, because I know you’re not very big on genres. Right? So how do you how do you approach and decide, I guess what you’re going to spend your creative energy on?

JVCKJ: Yeah, that’s a good question. Um, I like to thank my favourite artists personally, are the artists who kind of, I think time and time again showcase their versatility don’t get stuck on the same sound in terms of music for sure. Don’t get stuck on the same sound and can kind of get outside of the box of what people want to put them in, you know, and can always change that box can always expand the edges in a sense. And so to me, like every record, I think the consistency between them when I put out music is, is my tone is like, you know, the way I sound, but I like I like having some slower record some more A B record some records where I’m purely singing some records where I’m purely rapping. To me, it’s about showcasing what you can do. Across the spectrum, you know, because then there’s going to be a record that could potentially hook in anybody from any, from any genre. It’s like, let’s say somebody loves r&b music, you know, I have some slower, you know, just guitar centric, like, records that. So the whole, the whole goal for me is sort of to cover the soundscape with my music, while still being consistent in terms of my tone in terms of my vocal delivery. Um, and yeah, I think I think I just want to be ever changing, ever evolving. I think that’s what any artist should aspire to be. Because, you know, the times of music are always changing, you know, people’s tastes are changing month by month, you know, it’s a quick, it’s a quick change, you know, out of nowhere, this punk rock kind of vibe came out, right? UK is in the youngbloods. And so it’s interesting, I’m just watching the landscape change in attempting to change with it, and also, more importantly, attempting to be on the forefront of the change, and be the one who spurs the change, you know? Yeah. Yeah, that’s, that’s kind of what I would say, my, my process is like, it can, it can start off with any given thing, it can be a beat, it can be a lyric, just like a creative bar that I have in my head that I want to base an entire song around. But um, in terms of the actual music, I always, the key thing for me is to showcase my versatility from record to record for sure.

Adam Levy: Yeah. And I like I scoped out your Insta page. And I think I was even a follower of yours, I might have been doing vine, or however the way their algorithm worked. But I remember also the creative process and kind of creating these videos and his content. And tying it to the music is also unique within itself. And that also, I feel like ties into your inspiration for launching your token, right? So how does that kind of like, kind of like melt together, like for the process of creating these really dope, unique videos that really play on comedy, right? You’re trying to create good energy, make people happy? And then also tag along this really sick music? And now you’re doing this token? Like, how does that kind of all synergize together?

JVCKJ: Yeah, it’s really kind of cool how it came about. So um, we ended up we had a conversation with the guys over at yellowheart, which they, they kind of onboard of the Creator coins, the creator coin, I guess, establishment on the rally network, which is really cool. What there’s about 130 creaters on there right now, I think I was probably one of the first like 60 or 70, I got in there pretty early. And essentially what we wanted to do was create this ecosystem within my PSTL World Within the jack j world where the people who really like our true supporters of me can get early access to things and can be incentivized to be coin holders in the past Dell coin. And so essentially, what’s what we’ve done with it is anytime we release a new single a new video, or we just want to do something exclusive for the fans, I know you mentioned we have the streetwear line coming out soon. So I’ll get to that in a second. But what we’d like to do is have some early access for anybody who’s a coin holder or PSTL coin holder. And so one of our biggest utilities is we have a subsection of my PSTL discord, where its coin hold its coin holder exclusive. And so if you are a coin holder, you get verified within that subsection of the discord. The night let’s say before I release a song all go on there with a group of people depending on how many are in there, I think it’s limited to like 25 people per subsection chat room in terms of the video calls. And so some nights if there’s 100 coin holders you want to be in there, I’ll do four separate rooms back to back to back and back. And all essentially preview them the song, let them cut their cameras on, get their first takes on it. It’s just a way for us to be more intimate with the people who really support us as creators. And, and it’s awesome because I think it a helps the coin in general you know, incentivizes people to buy the coin and, and to hold on to the coin More importantly, because we’re in this day and age where people are just looking for the quick flip. So you know, they’re, they’re doing all these mean coins and shit coins that just like, you know, they’re looking just a fucking excuse my language just to catch that I can just you know, cash out and it’s, it’s kind of a, it’s kind of like the anti-approach we’re trying to take, you know, we want this coin to be something that’s has longevity and it’s been great, you know, outside of like the actual increase that the coins value has had since release, I think the utility just becomes more and more fruitful with each release. And with each thing we’re doing and so over the streetwear line, we’re going to have an exclusivity period. Um, whether it’s a weekend or a full week, we haven’t quite gotten to the to the details of it, but we want to make sure your coin holders have first access to buy stuff before it sells out before um, before the general public has access to. If you’re a coin holder, we’re going to have a way to verify you through our Shopify website and make it so if you purchase you, you a have a chance to get more PSTL one. And you know, if you’re one of the early purchasers who has passed Oakland already you have a chance to get more PSTL Quinn and on top of that nobody can buy it when you buy it so you have everything and so whether it’s music, music videos streetwear any way that we can incentivize people to hold on to the coin and be a coin holder on the better and so yeah, it’s been great the growth in the community has been absolutely stunning. I’m starting to see people who like may not even know who I am just like you know putting money into the coin because they’ve seen its growth and seen the hype around it and it’s been awesome. You know, it’s been Very cool way to kind of create our own economy and his world right? And also utilise this this new this newfound cutting edge crypto space that you know not many people have tapped into yet so.

Adam Levy: Yeah, no, there’s so much to unpack there because you just talked about the utility behind the token, your inspiration behind you again, now, you’re actually building a community around and you’re able to basically centralise your more hard-core fans in a way and incentivize them and create more unique and intimate experiences for them. And also rewarding them along the way for the contribution and it’s a lot of what I kind of want to kind of dive deeper into, but how long have you been in crypto for? Like, what what’s the story behind that? How did you like, how’d you get into it? Because everyone has like, their unique story behind getting into the space?

JVCKJ: Of course, I was like, a very menial coin holder. And, you know, I had I had a little theory, I’m a little Bitcoin like, for, you know, the past couple years, I’m never really paid it, like too much mine, I was like, okay, like, I have friends who are telling me to go all in on this shit. And then I also have friends, like, my traditional Portfolio Manager, who’s back in Omaha, Nebraska, where I’m from, he’s always been, like, the biggest like naysayer against like, you know, like, he doesn’t trust crypto, because he works in a more traditional sense. And so it was kind of like, in my mind, I’m like, okay, I don’t know, if I’m fully sold on it yet. Um, and then I think really, within the last year, after seeing just the way that crypto has been moving in the belief of the people really just rising day by day, in the fact that I really think this could be the new currency, you know, across the world, whatever it may be, I think, whether every country has their own crypto, whether every, there’s something very interesting there because A is decentralised, which is very cool. You know, it doesn’t fluctuate based off of, you know, the price of the dollar or anything, it’s based, what I noticed is a lot of it is based off of the belief of the people, which I think is kind of the case with a lot of more traditional stocks in that sense. But yeah, the more the more hype, you can generate around something, which, what I’ve noticed is like, something I’m good at is generating hype, whether it be around a record, or around a video or a piece of content. Um, that’s sort of like how I started my career, you know, is just creating these viral moments and creating these, uh, these impactful clips in whatever medium they may, you know, come from, right. So with crypto, it felt like it was at this point where we see all these new coins coming out week by week, and it’s hard to know which ones to trust. So creating my own coin with an actual utility behind, it seemed like something really interesting. And that’s something that could really, just keep my fan base locked in and make them and make them double down on my coin, which, you know, I already believe in as you know, creator, but when you’re getting early access to stuff, and you’re and so I guess back to your question, How did my crypto journey start, um, honestly, through a lot of just like, a friends kind of like putting me on the game and, you know, learning me the process. And yeah, I feel like I didn’t really have too much of a grasp of it up until I made my Creator coin and realise, you know, how it was minted and, and started actually, you know, converting actual coins to one another through, you know, whether it be uniswap or metamask. And like, actually, like, creating my own profiles, and all these things, and learning the ins and outs, you know, I had to sit down for a few hours to figure out how to even do my first like, you know, metamask transference. So, it definitely was a process, but I think it was something that I had to be forced to learn to do via my own creator coin. And now I feel like I have a much better grasp on the space like definitely nowhere near an expert, you know, like, I, I’m probably like, you know, in the kindergarten phase in terms of crypto, whereas most people I think, are probably in you know, nursery school. So at least I have a little a little edge up on some people, but it’s been really exciting, man. And I think, you know, I’m looking to get way more into it. And then upcoming years, it’s just like a future for sure.

Adam Levy: No, you’re like, for sure the future, right, the fact that you’re already messing with uniswap you’re opening a metamask you’re transferring token from one point to another point. I guess my next question is why end up going with rally versus creating like your own, I guess eath based token and what do I mean by that right? Rally has a really easy way to onboard creators, mint tokens, like you said, but then you also experienced yourself like the other half of messing with uniswap opening up a Meta mask. Like why go through the rally route versus I guess the more traditional ERC-20 token or the traditional eath token you know.

JVCKJ: That’s a good question because you know, in order to like transfer any of these creator coins from rally you have to have like some grasp of, you know, how to go from, it was definitely a process because rally actually does this thing called the rewards programme where it incentivizes people who hold coins. And every week based on how, how many people are buying the coin, how much money is going into the coin, if you’re a coin holder based on whatever percentage of the entire pot that you own, you will get incentivized with more rally coins right? Every single week that you can a put back into the creator coin to keep supporting them more so or you know, you can cash them out. And so in order if you if you do want to cash out the rally coins, you have to I noticed you have to create a few other profiles on using these different applications. And so um, I think Rarely, I really liked the, just the look of the website, it was very clean. Um, and they, they seemed like they were the most interested in what I had to offer, you know, they really, they really took time to like, Listen to my vision, and everybody on the team like really, really thought that what I had to offer was something very interesting and something that we could incentivize. And so, um, yeah, it felt like science. Yeah, a partner who actually had more of a grasp and like me just trying to create my own ERC 20 token, you know, shot in the dark type shit. It seemed like they had a great platform and a great team that already could, you know, help me fill in the missing pieces that I didn’t quite understand yet at the time.

Adam Levy: Yeah, no, it makes a lot of sense. Obviously, these platforms that make it very easy for people to kind of get on boarded. And on the other end, they provide cool tools for their audiences to kind of create accounts and to use this tokens and whatnot. So when you were kind of pitching them your vision, what was that? Exactly? What were your goals behind doing something like this?

JVCKJ: Yeah, so um, to give you a little backstory on PSTL, in general, the whole brand is based off just, you know, I want to push the people who support me and people who may not even know me, and who just like happen to cross the brand in the internet space, wherever they may see it. Um, it’s an acronym, actually, it stands for progression always starts through experiencing life. And so to me, like the PSTL colours, like this, for example, like this PSTL pink, there’s sort of like the intermediary colour, the progressive state of any given colour, you know, let’s say like, just pure white is like 0% saturation. And then a full vivid like, thick, you know, pink, like a hot pink, is 100% saturation. This is sort of like in that 30 to 75th percentile in terms of saturation. So I like to view it as the progressive state of any given colours. So the colour waves, the branding, behind everything, the logo, it’s all in PSTL tones, which to me represent growth they represent, you know, you’re trying to push yourself every day, it’s our goal as humans to try and saturate our, our palette of life day by day, and try to get it as vivid as possible. But at the end of the day, there’s always room for improvement. So we are all PSTLs, we’re all ongoing works. And that’s sort of the whole mantra, and just theme behind PSTL. Um, and so I think that really caught their attention, because it seems like a seems like something that youth really need right now to you know, I mean, I think anybody needs it in general, but obviously, like, you know, with my fan base, and the people that I’m targeting more, so I’m in the mediums that I’m on, I’m definitely targeting the youth in my generation and generation beneath me, I think we live in this world where it’s so easy to fall into this funk of this, you know, I’m being a slave to technology, and just, and just like, you know, letting, letting your priorities and your goals go to the wayside, because there’s all this content, you can just consume. And I’ve even been in periods of my life where, like, you know, I, I feel like, I’m just wasting time and just like scrolling through content on my phone, and I’m like, What did I just do? You know, and so, the goal is, and of course, like, this is where, you know, I made my money and, you know, made my name was through this content. So like, I’m not knocking, content consumption and content creating, it’s just about finding a healthy balance and making sure you’re prioritising your goals over anything else, you know, especially in this day and age where it’s super easy to let yourself get side-tracked with all this stuff to consume all these video games, all these all these, all these content platforms. And yeah, the whole the whole theme behind that. And the whole pitch I had in talking to yellowheart. And rally was sort of just along those lines and just giving you my vision, and I think they were really interested in they, they helped to kind of find ways and give us some initial ideas on how we could utilise the coin and make it more incentive based for the for the real supporters in the real fans. But yeah, that’s like that’s the whole message behind the brand. And it’s something I’m really, really passionate about. And, you know, I have I have a grand goal for it, you know, PSTL records, I want to have, you know, the PSTL, I want to have my PSTL studios where each room in the studio is a different PSTL colour theme based on whatever mood you’re in that day. And it’s this is just the infancy of the vision, you know, the first half year nine months of division, and so I’m really excited to see what’s to come. But yeah, I think rally was really receptive to what I was what I was kind of putting out there. I think

Adam Levy: I think the beauty behind like using these platforms, now you have tik tok, and you get consumed by this, like limitless feed. And it’s one thing to create this content, but it’s also another thing to kind of create content with a unique message that aligns a group of people under a mission under values under morals, right, and then funnelling them into a more, I guess, widely accepted community where they can meet other like-minded people with that, and I think that’s what these social tokens do, right? They allow people to, to kind of one collect something that many other people who are like minded get to collect as well and to put them in an environment where they get interact and hang out in exchange messages, laughter whatever it is that they want to exchange with each other because now they have a financial stake in the brand right now they have a financial stake in what they’re doing. And it’s interesting to see how that’s kind of played out. What have you seen be the reactions from your from your community? Are they loving it? Were they sceptical? Well, tell me about that?

JVCKJ: Sure. Sure. I mean, a lot of my fans, you know, I’m around my age or younger, you know, a few older not too many, you know, but uh, at the end of the day, I think a lot of them kind of came in a little weary when I when I was when I announced the coin Especially with all these coins being promoted, which this is like, I feel like the polar opposite of all these. You see people putting up stories like in like all these influencers putting up stories and get this coin and it’s really only beneficial to them because, you know, they’re getting paid out in that coin and then they’re probably cashing out and you know, like, just pretty much cashing out on their fans, which is, I don’t know, it’s very sneaky to me. And so do it really quick.

Adam Levy: That’s what Kim Kardashian is literally doing, she posted something on her story with this like shit coin, and she’s like, they just burned half of their supply, you should go buy into it kind of thing.

JVCKJ:  Yeah. And then she like once it once it rises, you know, she’s probably just cashing out selling. And it’s interesting to me, because I have a few buddies who like I really trust in the crypto space. And I did one coin promotion. Um, and, you know, I really felt like I can trust them. And like, this coin was like, something that’s really going to come to fruition it had, it had a good, um, I think it had like a pretty good like, philanthropic, like utility behind it, I forget exactly what it was. But they’re like, trust me, man, trust me, like, I promise you and all your fans can make a lot of money off this. And, and so I promoted it. And it the coin was like, essentially non-existent within a few days, like it got rug pulled or whatever happened. And I just, I felt like an asshole. You know, I was like, if any of my fans did buy this, you know, hopefully didn’t put too much money into it. But like, that’s when I realised, you know, like, and then I start seeing all these stories from all my influencer friends. And I’m just sitting here like, Oh my god, you guys are just like playing, playing your fans for fools. And so even now I get, like, at least five or six messages every week, from friends of mine, like, do you want to promote this in exchange for some coin, or you want to promote this? And I’m just like, I just, I started, I got my own coin. Why would I especially that I’m like, you’re going to have my own coin to promote, and, you know, try to cultivate this kind of culture around? Why would I? Why would I be putting my time and energy into these coins that, you know, time and time again, have shown that they just don’t hold up? And they really have no merit.  And, and so, Wait, what was your original question that we did get a little side-tracked on.

Adam Levy: No, it’s just like, I guess, the community’s feedback behind doing something like this and you sharing that? Initially, you were kind of dabbling into crypto testing out the waters, you know, but now it’s different, because now you have something that unites people internally within your community. Right? Totally. And like in like, I guess, because of those rock pools, right, because of those weird experiences that people have a lot of my assumptions when now creators launch their own tokens is like, Oh, here we go. Another one, right. And even more, so now. They’re attaching their name to it. Right, like, so I but I guess you’re telling me that your audience actually really, they f**ks with it. Like, they liked it. They enjoyed it.

JVCKJ: Yeah, I think once they did their research, and the great thing about rally is they have you know, an FAQ section where like, if you don’t know what’s going on, in terms of like, you know, the creator coin space. Um, it’s a super simple like, two, three page read through that just answers all of your questions. And like, I think once I let my fans to that, that FAQ section on the website, and they actually did some research for themselves, because I would never tell anyone to invest without actually doing research yourself. You know, I can tell you, from my personal perspective, I believe in myself, so I believe in the coin, and I believe, you know, it’s going to stay on the rise for years to come. And there’s really no, no, no ceiling to it in my mind. Um, but of course, I want everyone to do their own research. And, you know, always tread lightly, and make sure make sure you trust what you’re doing. Right? Well, I think once fans actually like, got a grasp of what was going on. And, um, it’s interesting because like, I’m not like, the, the whole point of this is like not to, like, make people a tonne of money, which could be you know, a side thing, you know, that you can make money off of this, the coin has already risen, like, you know, 1000s of percentiles, which is like, besides the fact but I think once they saw my coin was actually rising in value. And on top of that, they were getting early access to everything, everything just kind of, I’m hitting from all angles. I think the fans really started to believe and, you know, the actual broader crypto network started to believe in PSTL coin, I saw people just like, just putting on unreal amounts of money into it. And I’m like, I don’t there’s no way I know this person who just put 10 grand into my coin. I don’t that’s one of my fans, you know what I’m saying? So, I don’t know, it’s interesting to see how like the broader crypto community has taken a liking to it. And on top of that, how my fans have really just, you know, gotten a lot of value out of it. I think.

Adam Levy: Yeah. Did you have any concerns or like questions? Or were you scared about anything prior to launching pstl, the token?

JVCKJ:  it’s a good question. I was pretty, I was pretty confident in what we were doing just because we had had many like, you know, previous conversations with everybody on the team and everybody who was behind it. Um, and, yeah, no, I feel like I was I was prepared, and I was ready, and I had to grasp what was going on. You know, I think if you would have asked me like, two months before I launch the coin, and like, it was just laid out to me, I probably would have been like, I don’t know if this is a good idea. I am, like literally, like, you know, two months prior, I really had such minimal crypto knowledge and so, um, yeah, I think I think all the conversations leading up and really kind of, you know, suppressed any fears I may have had, and I felt like I was very confident especially seeing the other people on their network, you know, big Twitch streamers Big Band, like, I think their first person was Portugal, the man the band Portugal demand and their coins at like 45 bucks right now like, type shit. It’s crazy. Yeah. And I was seeing all these creators on their growing their coins growing their kind of crypto expertise and their, I guess legitimacy in that in that sense. And it was very interesting to me because, you know, I’m, I’m all about what’s next. And this seemed like, the creator coin seems like what’s next? And since I’ve been on there, you know, they’ve doubled the amount of creators in the last like four or five months. And that’s only going to, you know, triple quadruple, you know, exponentially. Yeah. Oh, yeah, I think I think all my fears were definitely, you know, kind of off to the wayside by the time we were ready for launch.

Adam Levy: Yeah, I think the most interesting part about this is, especially from your stories that you have such a grand following, you have such a unique audience, a lot of projects that launch in the crypto space, they typically start with nothing and build their way up to follow it right, you kind of take it from the other way around, you have your millions of followers, you have your passionate members in your in your community in your audience. And now you’re giving them a new means to kind of interact and engage with you on a more intimate level. And I think like, like you said, like the on boarding process is kind of difficult, but it sounds like the way you approached it referencing documentation. Were you were you doing any like guides or yourself or like Instagram lives or like, any form of content creation on your own and to kind of educate people. 

JVCKJ:  In terms of release?

Adam Levy:  Yeah.

JVCKJ: So essentially, the day we released it, I made like a minute long, kind of paraphrased version of like, where you can get the coin what it’s going to be used for, um, and we actually gave away a lot of free coins the first day, anybody who signed up, I think we had up to 200 people, and I think we filled out 200 slots within the hour. But, um, we said upon my announcement video, I’m like, Alright, first 100 people to sign up, we’re giving you 10 free PSTL coins. And this is when the coin was still at, like 40 cents. Like, you know, like, right when I hit the market and, and, you know, to those people, like even some of my friends, it’s funny, because like, I would tell them, I’m like, make a rally account, and I will send you some coin. And, you know, this is when the coin was at 40 cents. And like, when I started hitting like, eight bucks, they start hitting me back up, like I was like, I was like, Okay, now you just didn’t trust me. Hmm. But like, regardless, none of it’s about like the actual, you know, price point of the coin. To me, it’s about the utility of it at the end of the day. Yeah, so we did do like sort of like an onboarding video and told people how to get the coin, how to get free coin that first day if they wanted it. And it was good. I think it kind of eased some people’s nerves because like, if I just tweeted out a link, like, Yo go to my Creator coin, or like, you know, when people were all doing that BitClout thing, whatever that well, I don’t know. Like, what even was that? Was that like a?

Adam Levy: That was a really, really good social experiment. That was that got a lot of criticism for its execution because the criticism came in because people were allowed to send in their Bitcoin and swap it for bit cloud. Yeah. But they weren’t able to take out their Bitcoin, right? I don’t know where it’s at today. I haven’t used it since I remember when it came out that that weekend, there was a lot of talk about it. I was like, what do you mean Coin base ventures is behind it. The Winklevoss twins are behind it. A lot of these big known VCs that only back like unicorns and like top projects are back in the social experiment. All it is Dude, it’s just like a human stock market. Right? And your price is heavily fluctuated based off a very strict bonding curve, which basically means the more people that buy into it, the higher the price goes I like the larger the network effect the higher the price but it’s like steep right like that’s why you have Elon musk trading at like $80,000 or at least that’s what it was when I remember it. And all they did they just took like the top I guess top influencers on Twitter and tokenize them on their behalf and there’s a lot of like ethical ship behind it whatever but what it did do it allowed people to think about the space more critically and open conversations that otherwise weren’t happening right so I’ll give him that it showed people the potential that wait a minute like I can I can take my brand in my influence and attach a value number to it and wait a minute now I can also empower my fans with that like shit like there’s something here.

JVCKJ: They had like a feed almost like a Twitter like feed going to where the social media in a sense to you know.

Adam Levy: Yeah, it was like a decentralised Twitter that’s what it was.

JVCKJ: Honestly, I think I think if they made that interface like not look like it was made in like, you know, Microsoft Word just like normal asphalt, like it just looked like I think that’s what threw a lot of people off was just like how I guess not clean it really looked kind of looked like it was typed out in a note or something. But regardless Yeah, it was interesting because I noticed like a lot of these creators were on there but like they weren’t on there but their names were on there. So I was like, everyone’s like claim your profile claim your profile your coins already at this much or something. And then all my friends who haven’t claimed my profile I tweeted out tweeted out, I think so they could, you know, get the returns on, you know, the initial spike. But it was very interesting. Yeah. So but I guess outside of that, I was like, you know, all these people trying to get me to post these, these meme coins and, you know, these BitClouts, and I would just rather focus on something that I know as utility within my world. And I know I have a team of, you know, around that I can actually talk to this hands on that can answer any questions that I may have, you know, especially with me being in my infancy of my mike, a crypto mine, you know.

Adam Levy: No, it’s cool because like, now you have jack, you have all these people hitting you up to do all these promos and shit, right? And like, obviously, they get people’s stuff out to your audience. It has an effect. But I think about this space and correct me if I’m wrong, because you have a lot more experience in the influencer marketing side that, like, if someone wants to promote something with you right now, what didn’t you basically tell them, You want me to push your skincare product, you want me to push XYZ, buy 100,000 tokens and hold on to them. Be a core contributor, be a core member of my community, you believe in me, my audience you want to sell to them? If I can buy 100k worth of tokens, you know.

JVCKJ:  Really interesting. Bring that up, dude. Wow.

Adam Levy:  Right, so like, now you’re like reimagining what social influencer, marketing can be right? And now you’re creating…

JVCKJ:  In cash or like, or wiring me. You know, like, how many grand for a story post, say, Okay, I want you to put that how many grand directly into PSTL. Right? And now you do a brand deal. Entire community?

Adam Levy:  Yes.

JVCKJ:  And show me that you actually believe me as a person as opposed you just want my following. You know, that’s interesting. I think I need to start coming to some of these brands.

Adam Levy:  I’m telling you doing what you could do. Now, imagine, imagine you approach it from this point of view, you buy 100k tokens, because now you’re basically telling them like, okay, and I’m thinking out loud here, like we’re getting like creative session here. Alright. You get you get to the point of view, like they have a skincare product, whatever, let’s just use skincare for whatever reason, okay? jack, I want you to promote this product, you Tom by $50,000 with the tokens, and you do the post, you do the Instagram story, whatever you do the discord post, and then they’re like, now I can sell it now I can dump. So what you got to do, you got to be like, No, I’m locking you into a contract, you can only sell once you buy in every so often. But if you hold we can do more collabs together, right? We can do more engagements together. And now you’re building my community with me?

JVCKJ:  No, totally. Because that is the one kind of like fear that comes into my head. I’m like, you know, if these companies because right when they buy 50,000, the price rally fluctuates almost immediately. Like, if you refer if you like is all I’ll get weekly rewards. And I’ll put them back into PSTL the majority of every single time, it’s actually interesting, I want to talk to you about, we’re doing this really cool thing with the music where I’ll put about like 50 to 70% of my weekly rewards. So for anybody who doesn’t know what weekly rewards are, in terms of the rally network, they um, based on how active your coin is, that week, they will pump rally back into the community. So I think our biggest week, it was about I think like $35,000 with a rally that was pumped back into community. So based on how much of a percentage of the entire coin pot that you hold on you get it you get that back into your profile in terms of rally, so let’s say you own 1% of that 35,000 you know, you get 350 rally back into your back into your account that week, which is you know, depending what the price of rally is, can be 300 bucks can be you know, 450 bucks, right and I tell all my friends who get their weekly rewards that I’ve given coins to them, I just put it straight back into PSTL so we can keep this community growing and that’s what I try to tell my family to do. Um, so it incentivizes you as a coin holder but what’s really cool is we actually have set aside like a certain chunk of these rally rewards and with me being an independent artist um you know, we have expenses we got to pay for the street wear line up front for music videos, it’s all coming out of my pocket, you know, in some videos can that we’ve done a cab been upwards of like, you know, 10 to 12 grand and so what’s great about this is me being a majority coin holder Um, I’ll get a decent chunk of these rewards every week and we’ve been using that sort of as like our label budget in a sense so we’ve almost turned PSTL coin into like the label budget for the content that the fans who own PSTL coin get early access to its this kind of like this this awesome cycle that is allowing us to make the best content possible and incentivizing the fans to see that content early if they are coin holders themselves and you know, get exclusive access and whatever facet and so it’s this really interesting I don’t know if he’s even doing this.

Adam Levy:  Dude, you’re literally like you’re defining what it is to be a creator economy. Like it’s a buzzword that people like to plug and play and frickin talk about but that’s legit like a crater economy. That’s a lot of what kind of social tokens aim to do the fact that like, you can launch a token right? You can freak in go public quote, unquote, what’s the value? How are you creating circulation? Right? How are you incentivizing people to buy and spend right and create a flow of money? It’s, it’s great, I think and that’s why like, the whole impetus of this show is like to kind of cover these stories and to kind of share these unique ways that people are making businesses of themselves and their brands that extend beyond web to primitive Right, I think you’re on the cusp, you’re literally doing it.

JVCKJ:  Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s exciting, you know, it’s I feel like it’s, we’re on the forefront of something that a lot of creators could be using to their advantage very soon musicians, artists, really anybody in any sort of medium across the creative space. It’s Yeah, I want to kind of like, you know, almost be the guinea pig, the blueprint, and just like we’re trying this thing out, and it’s seeming to go really well. And it’s seeming to be the self-sustaining economy that we’re making. And it’s cool, you know, hopefully, we can eliminate the need for all these major labels to be swindling artists and you know, just taking kind of just taking control of their careers and absolutely, making a mockery of them in time. And not actually, you know, they’re, they’re in debt to them, as opposed to being in debt to them. Why not, you know, self-sustain your own economy, if you ask, you have a network of people who believe in you like this is this could be a way in the future to do it.

Adam Levy: I love it. Dude, I love it. Let me let me ask you, your community. How did you even know they wanted something like this?

JVCKJ: I don’t think I don’t think they knew they wanted something like this until it…

Adam Levy: Oh, so you’re just like, fuck it. Let’s just experiment here. Let’s just try something new.

JVCKJ: Yeah, I will say though I did always want to, like I was utilising my Twitch, which is cool. We actually have PSTL coin integrated into my twitch profile and your cool tip in PSTL coin, you can send it other people have via Twitch, it was kind of really, really cool integration. But I was getting fans early access to stuff on my streams. Um, and to me, I was like, what’s a better way to do this, instead of just giving everybody just like free open access, like, what’s a way to, like, you know, make it a little more exclusive. Instead of, you can just tune into my twitch for free, obviously, and just and watch this shit early. Um, it kind of eliminated like the appeal of like, Oh, I feel like I’m getting this and no one else is, you know. Um, and so as opposed to doing that, this coin seemed like the perfect way to do it, this this kind of marketplace and networks, you make the perfect place to do it. Because it really provided exclusivity to the people who wanted to take the time and learn about my coin and actually get my coin purchase my coin. And so that’s how I know people are actually, um, you know, somebody who’s really supportive of me if they’re, if they’re actually, you know, going out of their way to learn something that might be very foreign to them at first, you know? And so, yeah, that’s sort of how that all came about. Um, but yeah, I really didn’t know how they’re going to react. I just knew I wanted a better way to give fans exclusive content and, you know, just a way a way to get stuff early. And, yeah, we’re still we’re still trying to think of other ways that we can utilise the coin to you know, I feel like we’re just skimming the surface at this point with early access. Because early access, like that’s very easy, like it’s kind of the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about how to utilise creator coin. Yeah, but we’re trying to think more so about how we can get the fans involved. You know, we want to do something where we have our coin holders vote on let’s say, we have two music video treatments for the same song. And we only give access to the coin holders to view these two PDF treatments of the two documents and they vote on which music video we’re making, you know, or like stuff that makes them more invested in in the whole PSTL world and everything that we’re creating, you know.

Adam Levy: Golden dude, I think that’s like that’s the key right there. Like how do you create I guess more of this like Dao model right? Like where this this buzzword for those who don’t know, it’s like a term that’s roaming crypto Twitter, a lot of new projects are experimenting it basically decentralising ownership decentralising governance, putting the power into the hands of the people are making should happen, right. And giving them one a financial incentive. And I guess also, like, a creative incentive and like a non-equity own, like, stake kind of thing, right. And I think that’s, that’s, that’s definitely where it’s kind of, like, push it towards.

JVCKJ:  like, allow them to make decisions without like, necessarily, like owning any part of like, you know, me, but like, they still have, like, I guess, creative equity in a way where, like, they can help curate and make these decisions and help you know, like, whatever the vision is that the fans and like the real diehards, want to see is the one that we create based off of, you know, whichever way they vote on, let’s say, these two things. And yeah, there’s a million other things you’ve been talking about. Um, but yeah, we’re trying to figure out in the, in the upcoming months, how to really just find more utility for the coin and integrate it more and more so every, every single month and [Inaudible]

Adam Levy:  No, dude, its super exciting, because right now, okay, and I don’t I don’t want to show price. But I think its important factor of the PSTL community, and just kind of like talking about what that price means to you. Okay, so, right now, PSTL is currently trading at what, four $4.32 when I was drafting these questions, I that’s what the prices could have changed as around 303 supporters. What does that dollar number mean to you? Because when you started, I think I saw like back February 17. Like that’s when the token launched, I went all the way back to the history. And it’s done really, like relatively well. And if you were an old early holder, you’d have reaped a lot of those benefits of growing with the PSTL community. But what is that? What is that value mean to you as an individual as a creator, because I only bring this up and think about it because you’re tying a financial value to your name, right. So what does that mean to you?

JVCKJ:  Well, to me, the value is More, I guess symbolic than it is just like directly monetary, you know, like me being the majority coin holder of the coin, you know, I would never no matter what price PSTL gets to, I’m never going to sell my PSTL, because that’s just that takes the PSTL price. It’s just, that’s something I would never do. And so, um, to me like, it’s nothing I’m looking to make money off of, um, it’s more so it’s more so a symbolic value of like, how there are these people that are that are believing in me and like I think if they see the price go up, um, it’s sort of motivates them as a fan of mine. They’re like, okay, there’s something happening here. You know, what he’s doing with this, is on the increase, and it’s pretty crazy man like, yeah, I think we were at like, eight $8 something before like the big different crypto in general. Because I know, I know, if I’m not mistaken, rally is backed by the Ethereum network, and there’s a certain amount of rally embedded into each creator coin. Um, and so when you’re actually minted, like on the blog, they’re all like actual minted crypto’s they’re not like these, these weird third party, you know, like, really legitimate cryptos. So I think I think what the price really symbolises to me is just the growth of PSTL on the belief in PSTL and, and I think when other people see that price go up, you know, I think they, they’re more motivated to go harder for me as a fan to you know, as a supporter.

Adam Levy: Yeah, well, what happens jack, when the price goes down? How does your audience kind of reply to that and react? Do they react? Or is it more of like, you’re just in it, you’re part of the ride? Like, when you’re a part of a community, there’s always ups and downs, you know?

JVCKJ:  Yeah. And I’ve prefaced that to them a million times, like God wants you to buy this coin in hopes of, you know, just making a tonne of money, which, if they did cash out at this point, in, they got an early they have made a tonne of money, but like, that’s, like, I want you guys to hold on your coins, when you get your weekly rewards, put it back into PSTL, or you can use that as, like, let’s say, someone literally put in $10 in the infancy when was that 40 cents. Now it’s at $4. You know, they’re $10 is now $100. And then every week, they’re probably getting, you know, 20 or 30 bucks in rally. So like they’ve, they’ve already made their money back essentially, like rally incentives. But outside of that, it’s, I always preach to them, you know, we’re in this for the long run, we’re in this the whole this isn’t for any of us to make money. It’s for all of us to you know, grow, grow something special and curate a culture around this coin, you know, more so than just like, oh, quick money, grab quick money grab, like, Okay, I’m going to cash out this week, like, yeah, yeah, it’s easy. And it fluctuates. It can fluctuate very rapidly to you know, it’s the crypto, it can be half tomorrow, it could be quadruple tomorrow. It’s like, there’s really no talent.

Adam Levy: I think you’re, I think you’re on the dollar. And I think you’ll have both sides where, and we’ll get into this a little bit later. But you’ll have both sides where you have your fans love you. Everything that you do the content, you produce the music that you make, they love that about you. And then you’re also going to have the side of this speculators and traders who they see your social clout, right. And they want to trade that they see the PR, the good and bad PR that comes out on you. And you’re going to try to make trading decisions based off that. So I think, with this market, you’ll have both of those parties. But we’ll get into that later. Okay, I want to, I want to talk more about the value, okay? Because, again, anybody can create a coin, but the value comes from the utility that attaches to that token, the community that rides that’s a ride and die community around that token, right? How do you how do you approach the creative value and the utility behind your token? Like, is there some type of framework that you use, you kind of just look at what other people have? Or what you have coming up in the pipeline and ask, okay, how can I create unique experiences for my token holders, before more of these passive fans kind of get active to access to it, like how do you how do you approach that?

JVCKJ: Yeah, so I think the first step is we sort of scope out what’s on the near horizon, um, in terms of like releases in terms of projects coming out in whatever facet and then and then we sit down me my manager and the people I rally and we and we haven’t even added the craziest things we haven’t even added there’s like a utility like page on each crater coins like page and we haven’t actually added any specific like, things on there yet. Because usually, like, it’s something that I’ll announce on my ancillary social medias, I’m leading up to a release, like okay, coin holders Be ready, like we’re going to, we’re going to be doing something special for you. Um, but yeah, so basically, it all starts with us kind of scoping out what’s on the near horizon. And then let’s say we got a signal coming out in two weeks. Okay, how are we going to utilise the coin for that and we have a video coming out two weeks after that, how we can use the coin for that whether that’s them getting a say as like, oh, what little Easter egg Do you want to put in this video, you know, coin holders vote or, or you just being able to see the video before anybody else wants to see the video live on YouTube. Um, we sort of dissect it on a project a project basis, and we only use it for about, I think four or five things thus far. A couple songs, couple videos. Um, but yeah, it’s definitely a stretch, but that’s just kind of, you know, thinking about how we get creative and how, and that’s why I really want to start stepping out of just the Early Access kind of wave that we’re in.

Adam Levy: like one thing that I see that’s perfect for you just again, thinking out loud and brainstorming like a meet and greet, right, like an in person meet and greet that solely Dedicated to if you have 100 jack tokens, you know, and or if I’m doing a show in a concert 1000 like, if you’re holding 1000 tokens, I have reserved five spots for people for people to come backstage, right and raffle those like, even though it’s access, right, but it’s also like, extends beyond the digital world, the real world.

JVCKJ: Yeah. And we were even thinking with some shows potentially on the horizon some deals possibly on the table for some live shows, which is just so exciting now that, you know, this pandemic seems to be just on the taper, which is just amazing. I’ve been itching so badly to get back out there. But something where, you know, if you’re a coin holder, you can scan something at the at the merch shop, or the, I guess you could call the merch shop at the show, and you get a nice little fat discount of your coin holder, you know, or what, whatever we can do that can actually take away from just the digital early access component and, and you can actually get stuff in real life, we actually had this idea to this one, this one is really cool, which I think we’re going to do, we’re thinking of 3d printing, actual physical PSTL coins, um, and then shipping them to like a diehard fan and each of the major markets around the world. And then we have them hide it somewhere. And we haven’t had it somewhere, take a photo, and then like, send us the photo. And then we do this, essentially a scavenger hunt this PSTL scavenger hunt campaign around the major markets all across the world. Um, you know, we’re thinking maybe we do like just the 10, the 10 biggest markets in the world, and we hide the coin. And then we do this Twitter campaign where we send the photo out where like, the coin is in it, but like, you don’t know where it is, but it’s somewhere within the realm of that photo in that city. And so then, like, we have these people scrambling from city to city trying to find the coin, and if they find the coin, they get like, let’s say 500 PSTL coins, like just on the house, you know what I’m saying? Like just for my sheer I just send them to you. Fucking powerful. Just stuff that can make people who like aren’t even a fan of me or even know my stuff, I think could see this on Twitter, because Twitter is just such a like, you know, things can just blow up massively. And if we do it the right way people can see this on Twitter. And you know, check the price point of the coin. Oh, it’s at $5 Oh, 500. That’s 2500 bucks. If I go get that right now, you know, and the one thing we have to figure out is how do we make it so like, whoever finds it doesn’t just sell it? That’s why you know, we do want to keep it like kind of, I would I would appreciate like a die hard finding it and I think in the most cases they would you know, somebody who really is a fan of me would probably end up being the one who finds it. Um, but yeah, the one the one kind of like hygiene, there’s like avoiding the person who just finds it and instantly cashes out the PSTL off the price. A little bit. Um, but yeah, there’s we want to do more interesting, like you said, real life integrations that expand outside of the digital world because I mean, man, it’s, there’s a million ways to promote this that aren’t via the Internet.

Adam Levy: Check this out. Now that like concerts are coming back to life, you being a dope ass performer, though best musician, probably going to be doing more music festivals and shit LED screens everywhere your fans are in the crowd, you can put up QR codes and reward them for coming and checking out your set. And you airdrop them and you reward them tokens, right? For being there physically for spending money on a ticket and coming to watch you taking the time out of the day. Thank you. Here’s 100 tokens.

JVCKJ:  That’s actually a genius idea, man. Think about that.

Adam Levy: That’s powerful.

JVCKJ: Hey, Jonathan, I know you’re watching this make sure.

Adam Levy: Yeah, dude, this is this is like, you know, a lot of people, so much fun. A lot of people get lost in the token price. But there’s so many cool things that you can do in in communities and incentives and rewards you can build around this stuff that it just takes, you just got to know your community, got to know what they want, what they love doing what they love about you. And now reward them for participating, rewarding them for streaming, reward them for tweeting, reward them for doing all this shit for being active members of community. And I guess that kind of comes into play where, you know, you’re trying to bridge out of the access, there’s a whole another category of rewards, right, just for participating. And you’re seeing a lot of people do the gated discords. Right. But now you’re starting to see that shift more is like, okay, like, I don’t want people just to feel like they’re spending and they’re spending, they’re spending and they’re spending like, how can I give? Yeah, let me get back. And I think that’s totally like, like, I could see that come to light 100% I’m like thinking out loud here. But I could come to life.

JVCKJ: You have a lot of great ideas on this stuff, like stuff that I really have not even thought about until you brought it up. But it’s exciting because yeah, it’s I’d never want people to feel like you know, they have to spend money to support me. So I want them to always be away if you don’t have money on hand. You know, if you’re dead broke, and you’re just like a struggling college student, but you like who I am in the message I bring and just everything around my brand. I want there to be a way that you can still, you know, gain for me not just through my content, but you know, like a way that I can possibly put some money in your pocket. Who knows, you know, if you it can be something as simple as you know, I’ll pick three random winners who tweet out the hashtag in my new music video to win you know, 50 PSTL coins and then like, any way that I can, you know, find a way to give back to the people who have been supporting me and actually put me in this position. Undeniably, the better.

Adam Levy: Here’s another idea now that you’re bringing that up like a lot of projects in crypto, a lot of projects in crypto that have billions of dollars under management. They’ve now started these Dao grants, basically, token holders get to vote on where the money that’s in the Treasury that’s actually dedicated to funding community initiatives, how that’s spent in empowering the community. Imagine there was a jack Treasury, right? Where you had you had some type of forum where your fans can fill out and they basically say, like, why am a jack fan how long I’ve been a fan for, I don’t necessarily have the financial means to get access into this network, maybe there’s a grant that you that you have going that you can actually airdrop people just to get into that initial barrier of the discord channel, at least, you know, you know, and like, like doing it a very charitable way that shows that dude, I’m so for this community, if you don’t have the money, just share with me why you love being a part of it, I’ll fucking I’ll make you a part of it,

JVCKJ:  We’ll get you in there. I’ll expedite this lunch. Yeah, totally. And that’s really like, where we want to go with it, though. Like the whole Treasury thing. We’re like, there’s this pot of, it could even be like with the rally rewards that that I have, personally, like, we can make that like an open pot. And the fans can decide what we do with that. Because at the end of the day, that’s just like, essentially, our labour budget, and we want to make the content that the fans want to see, you know, we want to make stuff the fans want to see we don’t want to just in sometimes, you know, I want to make executive decisions. I’m like, I think this needs something in the people might not even know they want it yet. But like, once they see it come to life, you know, based off like what I see in my head, I know they’re going to be appreciative of it. But there can definitely be something where we’re like, we set a good chunk of all this aside, and this is the money for the fans to literally get together and decide what they want to do with it. We could even have moderators within you know, the discord. That’s, that’s a talking about what to do with this Treasury pot, the people with access, and they can create votes, they can create, um, you know, essentially, they come up, I don’t even have to be in there, you know, they can. And then they’re like, Alright, we got something for you. We designated $5,000 of this to creating, um, you know, we want sweat shorts for your next…

Adam Levy: Whatever may be like anything that they’re excited about, just empower them and create a community for them to share and get excited about it with others.

JVCKJ: Totally, man. It’s awesome. Because like, it’s, we’ve only been doing this for, I think about four months since our coin came on the market came on the rally network and, and so it’s crazy how like, it’s just it still feels like we’ve been doing it for so long. Just because like there’s something going on with it every day. I feel like whether it’s just like, you know, us having a call with the people there or what’s next and how we can use the coin next. It feels like it’s been we’ve been doing this forever, even though it’s really in reality only been like four months since PSTL coin has been on the rally network. And so yeah, man, there’s just so much so much potential for it to grow and so much, so many just cool things we can do with it. And it’s it really excites me even just thinking about it right now.

Adam Levy: Yeah, no, I hear you, man, I hear you so much shit going on. All right, I only got a few more questions for you. I want to be respectful of your time. All right. So I guess, look, you’re obviously categorised as like an early pioneer in social tokens. You’re an early adopter, your fans are early adopters. Okay, you obviously that you understand the vision behind where this could be? What do you imagine the future of social tokens kind of looking like and evolving over the next five to 10 years?

JVCKJ: That’s a great question. That’s a really good question. I see, I see the majority of creators having some sort of whether they call it a token, wherever they end up calling it something that like, lives in this space, that that, like, I see everybody having their own economy, in some sense, within the crypto world, you know what I’m saying? And, and I think people are going to realise if you aren’t doing that, like in five years from now, it’s almost going to be like shooting yourself in the foot. You know, it’s hard to tell just because, like, the way the landscape is ever changing, just like so, so rapidly, but based off what I’m doing, you know, I think, I think it’s like, if you have a tattoo and fan base, and you’re not utilising something in the space, um, it seems kind of like, you know, almost idiotic to me. And I don’t want to like, you know, people obviously, there’s still very few in the world and we’re not quite there yet. But, um, even being one of the early adopters of the critical ones in the rally network, it’s like I based off what I’ve seen in the benefit I’ve gotten from it my fans have gotten from it, it seems like a no brainer to me, I think the majority of creators will and should have some sort of coin some sort of currency that keeps their fans culturally locked in together and, you know, gives them like a space to help them out, you know, and receive back and give back and it’s, it’s sort of like an I scratch your back, you scratch mine community, which is what I think a lot of these artists are missing. You know, they’re, they’re kind of separated behind this barrier of like, you know, a lot of people aren’t even into social media and don’t even interact with their fans too much. And people still love their art. But this is a way that I feel like people can feel like they’re, they’re on board with you without necessarily having the get a like on your, like, you know, have to have to get a response from the commenter there was still a way that like, they feel like they can be fully involved in your process. Without um, you know, if you’re not a social media person, and that gives you anxiety and you don’t want to be responding to messages all day. You know, I love it. Responding to my fans, but a lot of people don’t. A lot of people just aren’t that into that. And I totally get it. It’s not for everybody. Um, but this is a way that I feel like they can still feel fully involved in your creative process and what you’re doing, and feel like they’re actually making decisions alongside with you, as opposed just waiting, as opposed to just waiting for your decisions to be made, and then see what happens, you know, so yeah, 10 years, we’re going to see a lot more, I think majority of artists will have some sort of currency within their world and the brands are trying to create, you know.

Adam Levy: Yeah, I love that. All right, final question. So, are you familiar with black mirror?

JVCKJ: Very familiar, Yeah.

Adam Levy:  Okay. So, you know, like, it’s coming to a point where, and I asked everybody this question, I always end up with this question, okay. It gets to a point where you’re, you’re approaching a world that everybody’s going to have, or at least a lot of these influencers, creators, musicians are going to have $1 tag associated with their price with their personality with their character, right. And right now, a lot of people in society, we I think we can both agree, kind of argue your value, argue your sense of worth, based off how many followers you have, right, your influence, essentially, do you think we’re going to end up shifting to a world where you’ll still have your follower account, but what people put a preface more on is what you’re trading at, for example, jack is trading at $30. But Justin Bieber’s trading at $100, you know, more jack is trading at $100 in JB was trading at $25. Is jack more valuable than Justin Bieber?

JVCKJ:  That’s super interesting. It kind of reminds me of that, that specific episode where everyone has like their star ranking. And like, you know, you remember that episode where like, you have like your societal star ranking, and like, you don’t have access to certain things in society. Like you can’t even go to the grocery store. If your star ranking is like a three, much more much darker. You know, this is a more like, I guess, like a beneficial flip on it. But I think that it really is crazy. Like right now in this day and age, people are so caught up in their followers, it’s rare to find somebody who doesn’t even have social media A and then B, I feel like kids will literally be ostracised because they just don’t have enough followers, like in school and shit. And it’s very sad, it’s like, people put a lot of value on what you’re doing in front of the scenes and not behind the scenes. And I think I think that’s got to change eventually, you know, people are going to realise some of the most successful people, like, have no followers and are just sitting here behind the scenes and the utility, like their token or their value, like you’re saying, $25, $30, whatever it may be, can be high based on what they do behind the scenes. And I think that’s what’s great about these coins is, is my buddy Joey, he actually, he works with this company called give power and they’re coming, they’re coming out this coin called thirst coin, or the thirst, the thirst token. And it’s like 20% of all proceeds are going to be going to donating clean water and getting clean water to people in Africa and, and setting up systems and, and so I think the people who are doing more like philanthropic stuff, and not just generating following a buzz on the internet, um, I think should have a chance and should have the ability even if they don’t have a following to have their value be just the same as a beaver is you know, and so, hopefully, hopefully we don’t live in this follower driven world where I’ve been, you know, trying to not even focus on like, growing like, of course I want to grow followers and like it’s great because that’s like how I started and that’s like, you know, where my fans come from, but like I’m just I’m just trying to get a lot more hands on with my actual business behind the scenes and set myself up for you know, behind the scenes success as opposed to just on screen success because I love I love being hands on with all my phone calls. I’m I told my manager Jonathan I’m like, I want to be on every phone call. I don’t want you know, just to have stuff be done for me without me knowing what’s going on. And I think the people who are who are proactive in that sense and not just in terms of growing followers and making content a lot of the people with the most followers make Loki the worst content in my personal opinion, like literally regurgitated bullshit that just like anybody can make and they’re just catering to like this kind of Brittany’s audience and I don’t think those people’s value should be as high as the ones who you know work in the shadows and might have like, you know, let’s say 100,000 followers but like every one of those people really appreciate their artistic merit and appreciates what they bring to the table as opposed to just you know, making the most umbrella general content that the relatable stuff Yeah, so I think I think hopefully we get to a world where I’m where and Bieber is not even one of them because he makes great content and he has a great following right well those are no I only I only bring him up obviously because you definitely bring him up in that sense yeah, I think I think the people who are just as important society behind the scenes on should you know have a similar price point in terms of this this hypothetical price on people’s [Inaudible].

Adam Levy: like cuz like this shits like creating a public like, in a sense from how people understand markets, like a human stock market to an extent right a brand, a creator, a community stock market, essentially, and to see, like, just like you open your Robin Hood app and you see Apple, Microsoft, Tesla etc. Now you’re going to be seeing jack, you’re going to be seeing this person, this brand, this community.

JVCKJ: Headed man, for sure. And I think like, of course, if you have a following, there’ll be it’ll be much easier to utilise that. But I think what people fail to realise is, there’s so much more to having influence than just followers, you know, you can, you can literally not even be on social media and be one of the most influential people in the world. And I think that’s, you know, they think the only way for me to have you know, stronghold over an audience is to have a mass following. And that’s just, I don’t think that’s the case, you know, people are going to realise that real life matters just as much, I think we’re kind of going to have this correct this correcting and deciding, we’re like, followers have become the pinnacle, and the most important thing, all the brands are reaching out to the people with the biggest followers, and, you know, trying to get them on board, because that’s literally what runs the social space right now. And really, like the real world space right now, you just saw Logan, Paul box, Floyd Mayweather, because of how much he brings to the table in terms of his following, but I think we’re going to get to a point where, like, the anti-almost plays in more so than the, oh, you need to have followers. And I think there’s going to be this whole movement of people who are like, okay, you can have influence without having followers. And this is how you do it and, you know, work hard behind the scenes. And you don’t have to have everything fully overexposed on social media. And yeah, I would like to see the world to get more of more in balance in that sense. And hopefully, like those two people’s price points, who have the same amount of influence, but a very different following. They should be the same, you know, when that day does come.

Adam Levy: Its funny bring up first of all, I think that’s a great point of view. And I think I think you’re right, there’s a lot of people behind the scenes that don’t even have social followings that have done very, very, very well for themselves, and people have no idea who they are. And that also plays on the fact that like, people tend to be very anonymous online, especially on Twitter. Yeah, you have all these anonymous characters, etc. But the fact that you brought up Logan, Paul Mayweather right now just to entertain this thought, like I was at the fight, I was in Miami for the fight. Really, really? Yeah, really fun fight. It was the same week as a Bitcoin conference. So we said whatever we’ll go. But imagine if Logan Paul and Floyd Mayweather had their own tokens, right. And they like if they’re playing on the sports betting game like they are, they’re already trickling in that territory. You have barstool sports and all these other prediction markets kind of making bets on who will win. Will he walk out with Jake Paul, what song well, he played, imagine you can start making these bets in their native tokens. Because right now, all these bets, Logan, Paul and Floyd Mayweather, they don’t see any of that, right. But if they’re if they’re making bets in their native tokens, and they’re staking their tokens, or making bets accordingly, making decisions and assumption assumptions based on what’s going to happen using their native token using their social currency, you’ve introduced a whole new game.

JVCKJ:  That’s crazy, because then essentially, you could like, I mean, let’s say all let’s say Logan won that fight. Yeah, he has a token, all his fans bet his token. However much if they when they get double, let’s say, or whatever the line was, let’s say.

Adam Levy: You know, he tells him this. He’s like, if I win, I’m throwing a party that only token holders can get into.

JVCKJ:  Wow, that’s crazy.

Adam Levy: And now there’s a huge purchase that demands the price goes up like crazy, right? And now he’s doing a priority with all of his, like stakeholders, and they’re celebrating popping champagne doing their thing. And they’re all equally invested equally, quote unquote, right, but they’re all invested.

JVCKJ:  It wasn’t as low as when it was there win.

Adam Levy: Exactly, that’s crazy.

JVCKJ:  Yeah, cuz I wonder like, you can’t, like, I have like about 130,000 coin volume, like on my on my, like, that’s my cap. Yeah, that can be that can fluctuate based off, you know, people are putting money into everyone, right? Like, if there if there becomes a system where you can bet your own, or you can bet crypto, you can bet your own creator token. I wonder will there be a way like that? Will that market cap instantly double like or let’s say, you know, I have like 40,000 of my tokens, like and I bet 40,000 of my tokens like does that introduce a new 40,000 on the market that are in my pocket and like anybody else who bet two doubles their shit two or like I wonder how that would work because that would make the caps go…

Adam Levy: So think about it like this. Look, I don’t know I don’t know how rallies like tokenomic works. But a lot of these other ERC 20 tokens I get launched and published on aetherium main net or on layer twos like Matic whatever they structure there tokenomics from all the ones that I’ve seen, that don’t rely on role or rally these centralised platforms with a limited supply 10 million tokens. Yeah, never going to be more okay. And based off of that, you can make your speculations you can fractionalize one token into a half a token etc. You can make your beds based off that right so the supply cap would be hit the top right and people would just kind of like the more demand pressure there is the higher the price kind of goes right. The bigger the network effect, the higher the price swings. And if they’re if you’re like trying to play more on the Logan, Paul Mayweather thing, and he basically launches his token. He says that if I when I knock him out whenever there’s a party for all my token holders, there is a cap of 10,000 people you need. To have at least 10 tokens, so he makes a supply very low, but for a high volume of people, right, or I don’t know, maybe I’m not even thinking about this, right, this should so early, like,

JVCKJ:  That’s what I’m saying. It’s interesting. There’s definitely going to be a way though, where you can, like, you know, I think you’ll be able to start legitimately betting your cryptos I’m sure there already is a way we you can bet your cryptos on sports betting and shit. But I’m really interested to see how it plays out, especially when all these creators have their own, have their own tokens, they’re not promoting some other persons who are going to have their own tokens, you know, it’s crazy, there’s a million there’s a million opportunities to grow and just, you know, change the space and, you know, based off all the events that are occurring, there’s really no telling where it’s going to go but I’m excited for the future man. And it’s cool to kind of be in on this this creator this creator token vibe, in its infancy, you know, while still growing and it’s Yeah, I think we’re going to see a lot more people hop on board very, very soon.

Adam Levy: So I love it, man, more power to you. Good shit. Thank you so much for being on. I hope to have you on again soon. Once it’s more developed, you have more people and more and more and more.

JVCKJ:  Kind of implement some of these things for sure.

Adam Levy: Let’s do it. 

JVCKJ:  It’s definitely the longest like, you know, crypto conversation I’ve had and I feel like you know, you brought a lot of great ideas to the table that Jonathan, I hope you’re writing those down.

Adam Levy:  Take it man do your thing. Do your thing.

JVCKJ: I’m always and I hope to be in touch soon, brother.

Adam Levy: You got it, man.

JVCKJ: All right, Adam.

Podcast Transcript

How We Onboarded Our Audience Into Crypto with Allie Mcpherson and Mason Geysir

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast


Mint Season 1 episode 1 features Allie Mcpherson and Mason Geysir – the duo behind $ALLIE coin. Allie Mcpherson is a popular gaming streamer making headwinds across YouTube and Twitch where she primarily streams card games like Hearthstone & MTGA. Mason Geysir is the backend behind $ALLIE coin – he helps manage the day-to-day or ALLIE’s brand and all that Allie coin entails. Together, they are a powerhouse. 

The three of us discuss Allie and Mason’s upbringing, their motivation behind $ALLIE coin, the biggest challenges with starting their coin, how she’s created utility and value for token holders through gaming tournaments, and much more.

Thank you to Season 1’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise –

2. POAP –

Interested in sponsoring future seasons? Get in touch here!

Adam Levy: Allie and Mason, welcome to the podcast. How you doing?

Allie Macpherson: We’re doing well. Thank you for having us.

Mason Geyser: Yeah. Thanks for having us.

Adam Levy: Yeah, of course. I’m very excited to have you on you’re actually the first streamer that I’m having on the show. So first of its kind, unique story. And let’s just jump into it. Okay. Both of you guys. What a pleasure to have each of you even though we’re talking about Allie, obviously, there’s a team behind Allie right, Mason from what I understood, you’re very hands on, you’re very in that process of building and managing, right. And now he’s very much on the front end. And in doing all the beautiful things that come in the front, right. That’s how I understood it based off what Allie was telling me, right? Is that the dynamic?

Mason Geyser: Yeah, it’s funny that you said front end because I always say like Allie’s, the front end, and on the back end. Yeah. I’m like, behind the scenes doing managerial stuff. And Allie is just like, the face of everything and has the personality.

Allie Macpherson: I [Inaudible] very into cryptocurrency, obviously. But Mason’s definitely more on the technical expertise. So the two of us together, we make a really good team. And that’s come about through Allie point.

Adam Levy: Give me a quick background both on yourselves right. So Allie for you. How did you get started becoming a twitch streamer, right, and just a streamer in general, and more of that gaming personality in the following that you’ve gotten? How did you kind of get started with that path?

Allie Macpherson: Yeah, absolutely. Well, that’s a good example of how ingrained you know Mason has been to every step of the process, because it was actually Mason and his friends that introduced me to this game called Hearthstone. So it’s a card game. It’s the card game version of World of Warcraft, if you’re familiar with Blizzard, and Wow, so I started playing Hearthstone, in 2014. And then Mason and his friend said, Hey, you, you should stream and I was like, Well, I don’t even know what streaming and Twitch is. So, you know, I always liked the idea of entertaining people and doing something a little unconventional. So I graduated college in December of 2015. And my first stream was February 1 2016. And then the rest is kind of history. After that I just kept on going. And now here we are five years later.

Mason Geyser: [Cross voice] off like in the in the first six months of her streaming, I think like she was like, I’m going to give it a go for six months and see where we’re at. She did it full time. And yeah, things just really took off.

Allie Macpherson: Yeah.

Adam Levy: What do you think attributed to that take off? Like, what do you think people resonated the most with?

Allie Macpherson: Honestly, I think it was a few different factors. One, I treated the streaming like a full time job. So I was lucky enough to kind of set aside six months without going to pursue a job to where I could stream nine to five, you know, 40 hours a week and basically just treat the stream as if that was the job that I had right out of college.

Adam Levy: That’s a lot of hours for a streamer in the beginning.

Allie Macpherson: Yeah.

Adam Levy: That’s a lot of hours in general, but okay yeah, continue.

Allie Macpherson: So I think it was just that, that schedule that, you know, there was just more opportunities for people to discover my stream because of that. And also, I think I’ve got a personality that resonates with people. And you know, I think I know, it’s kind of weird to talk about, but I think it, I just did a good enough job, I guess where people would be interested, I don’t know,

Mason Geyser: A big part of it’s your personality. I also like to say, you know, there’s opportunities when there’s something missing in the market. And in this case, there wasn’t a lot of females that are big on Twitch, that are also you know, high level competing at their game. And so Allie actually started to get really good at the game. And she started beating some of the best players in the world. And I think like, Blizzard wanted to promote her, because they were like, Hey, here’s a girl who’s actually doing really well at the game. And we’re we don’t have a lot of those. So like, let’s start putting her in events. And that was huge. Like they put her on the launcher for the game one day. And that made a big difference.

Allie Macpherson: Fortunate to have gotten the attention through social media, like the Social Media Manager found me tweeting about Hearthstone. And so that’s just the, you know, a piece of advice that, you know, content creators out there, you want to be on so many different platforms, because you never know who might discover you. And so yeah, I got the attention of Blizzard and they were kind enough to include me in different tournaments and events.

Adam Levy: That’s really where I feel like your background was super helpful. You studied.

Allie Macpherson: Advertising and public relations. So I basically just applied what I learned in college to a streaming internet career, I guess.

Mason Geyser:  she advertised herself and I think that’s really why Blizzard discovered her in the first place, but she did a really good job like she was on aeroplane travelling and she pulled up Hearthstone on her phone and we got a really nice photo of her like travelling and playing Hearthstone. And I think that’s the post that the blizzard manager found?

Adam Levy: Well, what would you attribute a lot of the success to like which platform? Because you talked about like, it’s important to be on every platform. I think it’s a great rule of thumb for new creators and existing creators, which platform gave you like the biggest jumpstart, would you say?

Allie Macpherson: So Twitch is my biggest platform. And as Mason was saying, there was sort of a gap in the market for like, a woman in my particular game. And so twitch worked out really nicely for me. But I will say that one of the things that contributes to live streamers gaining more attention on Twitch is having a secondary YouTube channel as well, like  that I think really catapulted my live stream is, you know, making content out of the live streams and putting them up on YouTube. And then being active on, you know, Twitter and Instagram and stuff like that. But it really just depends on the individual and what’s going to work for them. But for me, my biggest platform is Twitch.

Adam Levy: Got you and when did you guys get started in crypto? I know you brought that up in the beginning, because you’re one of the very few creators that I know there’s obviously a handful is a bunch of people dabbling in the space, but you’ve taken it upon yourselves to like, be like one to one with crypto right with the launch of Allie. So when did you like first discover crypto? Was it with Bitcoin? Like, what’s the story behind that?

Mason Geyser: But crypto is definitely my thing first. But my story, it was like I learned about it. In 2011. I was studying computer science. And one of my classmates was just like, have you heard about this thing, and he was freaking out about it. Like, we were actually learning about RSA encryption algorithm. And he was like, Oh, this uses encryption and does all this cool stuff. And I think I kind of just wrote it off in the beginning, like, I thought it was really cool, I was actually going to buy some on Mount Gox, like something, and I had to wire money overseas to buy it. And my bank was like, if we if we do that we can’t get the money back and kind of shied me off from it. So I decided not to and then in 2014, I thought I was a genius because of the mount Gox hack. And I was like, I was like, good thing. I avoided that scam. And then I think it was like 2016 I started learning that there were like 100 cryptocurrencies and they were doing all sorts of different things. And that just kind of piqued my interest a little bit more. And then after going through a wave of trying to learn about how all these things are going to be Bitcoin killers, it kind of brought me back to like, okay, maybe Bitcoin actually is kind of the best version of digital money. And I started to really love Bitcoin and learn more about it get deeper into it. And that’s when I really started to like it and 2017 probably started putting some money into it, I started doing some mining, I mined some weird stuff like burst coin using hard drive space, because I thought it was more energy efficient. And you know, and then actually, a funny story is that in 2017, I was so into this like social token idea that I launched Allie coin as an ERC-20 on ethereum main net. And obviously, nobody wanted to use it because nobody wanted to pay to send it to people. And there was no way to buy it. There was no liquidity, no order book or exchange. And so it kind of just fell by the wayside. I gave it to a few people and it just sits in their wallets to this day. But so that’s kind of my path. I learned about it. And then once I started doing the mining and stuff, I started telling Allie more about it. And then she started to share the passion for it and doing her own research.

Allie Macpherson: I just want to bring up something interesting because yeah, Mount Gox. And I just want to say that there’s actually a decent amount of crossover between gamers and crypto enthusiasts and it just Mount Gox Magic the Gathering online exchange, okay, like Mason has been playing magic since he was 10. I started playing magic too. It’s just like, I know, that wasn’t necessarily like magic didn’t have like the game didn’t have too much to do with it. It’s just an interesting history that you know, it was initially a game platform. And obviously, we know about the mount Gox…

Mason Geyser: You are card game player and I’m very into crypto these days. And so the fact that there is that history of card games and crypto being merged together going back as far as like 2014 that’s pretty awesome.

Adam Levy: It’s a very common theme you do see a lot of gamers be those first adopters into crypto and I think it’s because like, just to relate to you guys for a minute. I used to play a lot of games when I was younger, I slowly phased out of it for whatever reason, but the first game that I really fell in love with I think a lot of people can resonate with is ruins escape, okay, ruins escape was that first game where I got hacked a bunch of times you know, like I went through like ups and downs like they had the leader board and ximo was always like the top one you know, like how do you get 99 everything you know, and there was like there was like in game currency and that was the closest thing that there was to cryptocurrency right? And I think you’re also seeing this right with fortnight and all these platforms have their in game currencies that you swap for USD for the native token that you can then interact and the entire centralised ecosystem.

Mason Geyser: [Inaudible] everything’s Diablo three, I don’t know if you’ve heard about that. But they had this endgame auction house with items and you could buy and sell the items for real money. The gold was actually translatable to real money they had a way you can sell like packs of a million gold for whatever the going market rate was. That to me was like the first version of a cryptocurrency that had a real economy tied to it like it was functional items, you could actually go farm with them, and then go make additional money if you had better farming gear. So I that’s definitely a concept that crosses over a lot.

Adam Levy: Definitely. And the more I kind of go across Twitter, the more people I see with like the Twitter banner, like rune scape, like old snapshots, you know, or like, this guy’s like an O g. You know, so like the fact that crypto is very integrated in gaming is a very, I think first step right. We also saw that with crypto kitties in the launch of NF T’s you know, and people breeding kitties. And you’re seeing that with now I guess born apes, right? More common of people basically minting these functional, but these like images of really cool apes, and they get rewarded with dogs, you know, and you start building an ecosystem. And now they start developing utility. So the gaming the graphic side was definitely obviously the first intro, but you’re very unique with your story. Because you started obviously you got your head start with streaming, whether it be on YouTube on Twitch built a really nice sizable platform across social media, Twitter, Instagram, etc. But a lot of I guess, a lot of what crypto minded individuals argue when they’re pushing this narrative of web three. Okay, and I want to get your point of view on this is that the next wave of the internet must stray away from like those big corporations that lead the large hands of the people that have the power over the platforms in the users, right? And that power needs to be redistributed back to the people who create the content that consume the content interact on the platforms, through ownership and better data privacy. Right. Do you resonate with that?

Allie Macpherson: 100%.

Mason Geyser: But I also think there’s varying degrees of it. So it kind of exists on a spectrum. And I think a lot of people get caught up in it’s either decentralised or centralised. And I think that for especially things like creator coins, we kind of want to exist somewhere in between those two, because at the end of the day, it is kind of centralised, it’s all based around one creator. And that’s centralization to some degree. But even the platform, we experienced some of those issues of platforms being egregious with their monetization and take power away from the creators, we really feel like rally is embodied the ethos of giving the power back to the creator in a way that most of those tech companies don’t. But then there’s still that degree of centralization and control that they have. And their goal is like a roadmap to decentralisation and giving even more power back to the creators and making it so it’s like truly a community run by the community and not by the rally company that they kind of had to form to get things like money transmitter licences and other legal frameworks to allow the things on the platform like credit card purchasing.

Adam Levy: Yeah, I think like an argument that people have because I actually didn’t know that you went through the route of launching your own traditional ERC 20 token before migrating onto more of these centralised platforms. And when creators kind of go down this social token path of Okay, these platforms that a great job in building my audience, but they’ve, they’ve literally like screwed me over and trying to monetize them to an extent, right. And they now they’re like, now I think people are kind of shifting more towards digital currencies, right? And personal coins, social tokens, crater coins, whatever you want to call them. And with where we are right now in the space Mason, because you did take it upon yourself to do the ERC 20. Right. Would you like re-evaluate your thought process in the strategy of launching traditional token because Allie went live on rally in December 2020, right from what I saw from the chart,

Mason Geyser: A little earlier than that the chart goes all the way back to the beginning.

Adam Levy: Okay, but what would you I guess, like how would you advise creators whether to launch their own 720 or go to a platform like roll, rally, coin vies, or all these like middlemen platforms that make minting and distribution easier?

Mason Geyser: I have to say that it’s far better, in my opinion, to join another platform. You just have to look out for what the platform is trying to accomplish and the ways that the platform monetizes you because at the end of the day, I think the platforms are trying to make money or trying to add value to their core token. I rally like what rally is built specifically out of all of them. And I think we kind of lucked out that we ended up on rally because I don’t think we did our full market research before launching it. But I now that I’ve, you know, we’ve gotten very deep in this industry, and we’ve looked at all the competitors and we’re actually really happy with rally but it’s such a different The world having a platform do it for you, because the piping that they create for your token, and this third party developer community that’s being built around rally now, where they want to give us all these tools, we didn’t have any of that when we launched our own token. So the buying and selling thing is huge on low market cap tokens, when somebody wants to sell a token, if you only have like 100 or 200 people in your community, they’re probably going to have an order sitting on the book for like a week before it finally gets filled. And it’s not going to get filled at the real price that they wanted at a lot of the time, they have to move it around. And, and then it’s also rallies built on a side chain, which now it’s very centralised in comparison to a lot of stuff in crypto. But what that allows is very cheap transactions. So people get the experience of like an old web to site where they get to log in, it’s a hot wallet, it’s much easier for a person. And this was a big thing for Allie coming from a creator space that people didn’t want to adopt crypto and learn about metamask and transaction hashes and how to do all this web three stuff. They just wanted to be able to support Allie a new way. And so this is kind of like an interim step that I see a lot of people go through in the community where they’re willing to try it out. Because it’s really easy. You can connect your twitch to make an account and you can buy with a credit card that’s very familiar for them. And then eventually, as they learn a little bit more about what’s happening behind the scenes, they finally start to branch out into getting a Meta mask and bridging some of the tokens off of the sidechain. And onto the main net, and actually using all this crypto stuff that they shied away from because they had a familiar like gateway into the introduction of crypto.

Adam Levy: Yeah. How do you kind of feel about that? Like, obviously, you’re very much on the front end. Mason has a lot of the foundation between the for the crypto right and all the infrastructure in the pipeline’s like when you’re talking to your audience, and you’re preaching this stuff, and you’re trying to hype them up and get them on board to be alongside your journey in a more intimate way financially and personally, right. Because now they have like a stake in you. Right?

Allie Macpherson: Yeah, yeah.

Adam Levy: How has that process been? Like when you’re trying to communicate that to them?

Allie Macpherson: Yeah, I mean, I will say, you know, I’m so passionate about teaching people not teaching but getting people into cryptocurrency, because I genuinely think it’s this amazing thing for the world, right? And over the course of the year since 2017, that I started talking about it, you know, I’ve had to deal with people being like, crypto lol, you know, like, through the crash and everything and, you know, it’s at sometimes when you’re like this public person, it’s kind of hard to keep the enthusiasm up, you know, when it’s $3300 Bitcoin, right? So, you know, with Allie coin and rally, it’s been this really nice introduction for people to get into crypto, and not that, like an aggressive of a way to be like buy bitcoin, you know, it’s like, this is a way to support me. And it’s a way to like, for people to dip their toes getting into crypto into the crypto space. And so it’s been, it’s been really, really nice. And I’m just really looking forward to the future of social tokens and creator economies, I really believe that this is going to be the next evolution in sort of the influencer space because, you know, in the world of, you know, content creators and the internet, like more and more people are making this a job, right, whether you’re a podcaster, or a YouTuber, you know, I think that eventually, a lot of jobs are going to get automated, and then humans are sort of going to be creative. Right? And so take this creative roles and jobs, then, you know, attaching cryptocurrency to it and sort of building an economy around yourself. I really think is the future. So yeah, I’ve been absolutely loving it. I think it’s great.

Adam Levy: So that was the intention of launching Allie. Because I was like my next question. Obviously, we talked about it, we were talking about why social tokens. But the intention of Allie was to put it from a point of view where you’re really starting your own creative economy and trying to close those barriers internally, right, and funnel users from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, and do it in a way where you can better monetize them. Is that why you created it?

Allie Macpherson: Yeah, I initially, we had worked with the rally developers on previous projects. So they had made different kinds of things for streamers. Okay, like different applications. And so when they approached us, you know, they were like, here’s cryptocurrency and your forte of content creation and, you know, there’s a mix between the two of them. So for us, it just made perfect sense to try this new thing out. You know, I’ll be honest, I was a little bit apprehensive in the beginning because, you know,  it’s kind of nerve wracking a little bit making myself a cryptocurrency, right? And also the notion of, you know what if your coin goes up in value, it’s attached to you. And for whatever reasons out of your control, people lose interest or whatever. And, you know, then people are really mad at you, and they hold you responsible for losing the money. So there’s definitely been like some things that have been on my mind. But I think the point of creator economies is not necessarily just to, oh, I think Allie’s going to grow, I’m going to invest in Allie. It’s not just about that concept of a monetary gain. It’s about participating in an economy that I’m creating, right. So I’m going to offer different services or products or experiences that are built around me. And if you want to participate and be, like, more closely a part of my community, then this is an excellent way to be involved.

Adam Levy: Yeah, I think that’s, that’s beautifully put, I think. I think that’s a lot of the reason why people approach this stuff is for that reason, specifically. So let’s talk about what can you do with Allie right now? Like, what’s the utility, the value beyond just the price itself?

Allie Macpherson: Yeah. So one of the most successful things so far with Allie coin. What is my Allie coin tournaments? So you know, again, I am a Hearthstone streamer. And my community had been asking me to run Hearthstone tournaments for like years at this point, and I just never really knew how to run a tournament that well. And then Mason was like, Okay, well, this is the perfect opportunity to get them into the concept of Allie coin by taking something familiar, like, which is the game and participating in tournaments. And having Allie coin roped into that. So basically, what we did is we set a threshold like if you’re an Allie, coin holder, you’re basically guaranteed to participate in this 16 player 32 player event. And then we had the prize pay-out and Allie coin as well. I was very, you know, I said all the time, like, Hey, you can hold on to your Allie coin for future use cases, or you can sell it for cash if you want, you know, I was always like very transparent about that. So people, you know, might not be too nervous to get into it. So we held eight qualifier term tournaments, and then how to Grand Finals. And that was an excellent way for natural interest from my community to happen with Allie coin, because, you know, over the course, or four months, Allie coin tournaments, quote unquote, you know, would come up and different viewers would be like, oh, what’s Allie coin? So it was that was probably one of the most successful things to get people into it. And then recently actually made some you want to talk about the merge, because you came up with the whole system of how we were going to release a merchandise.

Adam Levy: yeah, but before we even get to that, because I want to hear about the merge how many people that were holding Allie coin actually participated in the tournament.

Allie Macpherson: So we did not bar people off like people could play if they can hold Allie, because we didn’t, you know, we want people to be involved and not say, Oh, you absolutely have to be an altcoin hold. So I would say, less than 50%. In the beginning.

Mason Geyser: I think it was around 50%. So the way we did it was in other 16 slots for the tournament, we give a certain number of slots to coin holders and a certain number of slots to a raffle. So more people would want to play in the tournament, then we could fit in. And so we would prioritise the coin holders, and then we would give it to the rest of the people so but in general, it ended up being around 50%. Some tournaments were like 70% coin holders, and then other ones were maybe like 40%. But always a good chunk of coin holders for sure.

Allie Macpherson: What wound up happening though, is that as the tournaments went on, more and more people became coin holders, because believed in the system, so maybe it was less than 50% in the first two, but by tournament eight, I would say that over 70%.

Mason Geyser: there were  people who like tried to get into a tournament two or three times and didn’t get in and then they went and they bought a coin because they were like I’m playing in the next one. And that was kind of fun to see that people could see the value of holding one of these coins outside of just monetary value. And that’s a big thing. I think for creator coins is non-monetary value. If you’re not giving people an experience or actual physical item or something else. I think there’s only so much of up on the roller coaster that you can have before eventually you come down and if it’s all about speculating on the value of the coin, when it comes down, it’s going to crash really hard and it’s probably not going to come back.

Adam Levy: So out of like the rewards that you guys distributed how many of them actually held Allie versus sold?

Mason Geyser: It’s that’s a tough one. We’d have to probably dig through some analytics to find out but I’d say I see most of the smaller winners held on because actually hashing out, it’s not the easiest thing, you have to bridge the token out, which is an ethereum transaction. And then you have to swap rally for ethereum on uniswap was, I mean, it was $40 at least for a while there. I don’t know what it is now. But so if somebody want $50 in the tournament, they’re paying $8 to bridge it out and then $40 to swap it, they don’t have any money left at that point. But the people who want like 500 bucks or more, or they want 115, it turned into 1000 because the coin actually did really well. Some of those people did cash out, we have one person cash out for like 10 grand, and they got laser eye surgery and a new gaming chair, etc. Like, and they were just like, so happy about Allie coin.

Allie Macpherson: I just want to speak on that really quickly, just from the creator perspective, you know, over the course of five and a half years, you know, in my career has been sustained by the support of my community right so whether it’s people subscribing to my twitch channel, or donate just donating to me because they appreciate my content. And now Allie coin has been a way to give back you know, it’s more of a two way relationship where I can give back to the people that have supported me for so long. So as Mason said, Yeah, someone got LASIK eye surgery with the money that they made off with Allie, yeah like computer you know create crazy stuff and add just pro [cross voice] was quite fulfilled.

Adam Levy: I was looking through the discord cuz you have you have the Allie coin channel, you have the crypto channel and I was scrolling up to the top to see like what kind of conversations people are having. And someone literally wrote I bought a computer. I bought this. And then I think Mason you responded like nice, like Goodwin.

Mason Geyser: I love that channel that we have a got with Allie channel in Discord. And it’s just for people to post what they bought with Allie if people wanted to talk about it. So we wanted a place for people to discuss.

Allie Macpherson: One thing that I do say though, is just, you know, these creator coins are not necessarily supposed to just be this like speculative thing, right? You shouldn’t really just be buying Allie because you think Allie going to go up in value. It’s just kind of a nice thing that if you buy Allie to participate in my economy, there’s a chance it can go up in value in which it did for a lot of people and then they were able to, you know, get some monetary benefit.

Adam Levy: Yeah. And what about the merge, you started telling me about this merge developing.

Mason Geyser: Just before the merge for sec, because this leads into the merge, I want to talk about rally does this really cool thing called the rally rewards program. So it works a lot like a defy project that will give you tokens for you know, adding liquidity, the creators that are adding value to the platform, which they mainly measure by if your coin is growing or not over the last four weeks, they give you a dividend in the form of new rally tokens. And so most of these creators, like that’s a great way to monetize without having to sell your coin and kind of like rug pull your audience a bit is to get these rally rewards as a dividend and then use them for something. And so our idea was okay, well, let’s take that dividend. Let’s sell it for some cash. And let’s go do some fun things for the community that’s non-monetary value. And so the first thing we wanted to do is Allie was making this new merge with a new merge company, we thought it was really cool, we wanted to get it in the hands of as many people as possible. So we came up with a programme to take those rewards pre purchase, like a wholesale amount of shirts and hoodies, and just give people 100% off discount codes if they held on to some Allie coin. So we came up with a tiered system, like the guys who held 100 Allie coin would get a lot of items. And then people who held one Allie coin, I get a 10 Allie coin, you got one item, one Allie coin, you got a $5 item. So you could you could buy that with Allie coin, and the shirts are $30 to $50. So it was a heavy discount. And we sold, or we gave away a bunch of shirts that way, and people were just so thrilled. They’re like, not only is my altcoin gone up in value, and I’m getting some dividends, but now I’m getting free merch on top of that, which is merch I really like because I like Allie as a creator. And no matter what people tell them in real life, like your coin is going to crash or you’re going to lose all that money you put in, at least they can say I got an experience I played in a tournament and I got this awesome shirt. And I think that leaving them with that, regardless of what happens with the token price is something awesome that we can do for the community.

Adam Levy: You know, it’s interesting because I talk to a lot of creators, a lot of people that have taken themselves public quote, unquote, right, as people like to say and think about and rally’s tokenomics the way they design the system is really remarkable. It’s very interesting how they did it. And they’ve seen growth because they’ve earned that right like they’ve really introduced something novel to the world. One thing that I hear from creators is a concern that they get is because rally is somewhat centralised, okay, and a lot of your token success depends on the performance of rally that because they’re already tinkering in a world of crypto that’s already risky, and then tagging that along into a platform where your success as a creator and the value of your currency depends on proportionately to a different currency, the underlies that value. They get, they get not fearful, but it’s a barrier to entry. Right. In addition to ERC 20 tokens are already hard to launch and provide liquidity to right enrol, like, is somewhat also centralised, with the smart contracts and their minting contracts and whatnot. Was that was that a fear of? Did you guys have that concern at all? Or was it like, they just they started talking to me, I trusted them and their team and their vision, and we just went for like, what Where’s your head at during that process?

Mason Geyser: Well, I can answer that in a few ways. Actually, it could be a lengthy answer, but I’ll try and keep it short. We did have a good relationship with the team, like we said, so we did trust them to that degree. But like, I also, like we said, we tried doing this on our own, and it just, it didn’t work for us. And maybe it works for somebody who’s a really large creator, or they have a team of developers make some of those tools for them. But they’re not having liquidity is just a huge issue. And also having it on a theory on Main net, like maybe if we could launch it on Matic now it would be different, because it would be so cheap for people to use it. But I mean, it just it was a huge pain on ethereum. We don’t mind tying it to a platform that we like what they’re providing to us, right? Like, you could make a website and upload photos. But it’s not like you have an Instagram at that point, I think at some point, you have to make the leap and say, Instagram is providing me a platform, it’s worth giving them some of my monetization to have that be the place where all of my fans go to look at my photos. And for us, we need a place that all of our fans go to buy the cryptocurrency and use the cryptocurrency, because that place is more functional than it is by itself, like on its own website. But then also, with tying it to the platform, you know, that was an interesting change that they actually made in the beginning, it was going to be USDC that backed all the coins, from my understanding, and that’s how it started. And then they change the bonding curve to be with the rally token, which at first I was a little sceptical about because I was like, Oh, no, we’re tied to the success of the platform now. But as we work with the team more, and we trust them, and we learn to believe in what they’re creating, and all of the developer community as well, which is outside of them. And their ethos really is to make this a decentralised project one day where there is no internal Rally Team. And it’s really just managed by the community and through voting. But it’s a transition to get there, it might take for eight years. Who knows? And then the other thing I wanted to say is, with the coin value, there’s it does move on its own curve. So we’ve seen a lot of Allie growth against the rally token, or even as the rally tokens been coming down in this market crash Allie tokens been growing against rally, which has helped kind of level out the price a lot. It could have fallen, you know, from $60 to maybe $15. But instead it only came down to about like 27. And that’s because it’s been growing on its own against the system. And I think that’s really cool. But then the other thing that they’re working on is allowing us to bridge the token off of the platform. And at that point, it would no longer be fully tied to rally. Like if rally completely fails. Maybe people still want to buy the altcoin outside of the rally, right? Not using the rally bonding curve anymore. But in a different marketplace. Maybe we launch it on like each swap on polygon or something.

Adam Levy: Yeah. No, very, very solid points. And I think it’s a common thing in crypto with new projects that are coming out. They have their foundations, they’re non-profits that a certain portion of tokens is allocated to that foundation to hire employees, marketing, engineers, operations, whatever. And then once they feel more established, and they have a good system and a good control of what’s happening, they slowly start releasing the keys to the community. And the best example of that is maker Dow. Right? That’s very much a defy platform, not so much social tokens. But I think there’s overlap but referencing them because they started off, not centralised, they started as fully decentralised, or protocol, at least. But they had the foundation, piggybacking in driving a lot of its success by having contributors, developers, marketing people, Ops, people that manage the day to day in the in the, the I guess the image and the look and feel of maker, right. So 100% a strategy, especially when you’re entering such a weird space that’s very grey and very experimental. There needs to be some familiarity, for sure, right with how things are done, how things are structured. So I hear you, I want to kind of pivot more into the streaming side of things because there’s this cool function, obviously on Twitch and a lot of people know about bits, right, and people kind of rewarding people in bits and cheering them on. And in many ways, it’s very relatable to a social token, because I’ve seen creators leverage their own currency to receive tips as well. Right? How do you kind of differentiate like receiving tips in Allie versus receiving tips and bits? Like is that even a thing that you’re thinking about? What’s your thought process there?

Allie Macpherson: Honestly, I haven’t really thought too much about kind of comparing the two for my audience, like, I understand that there is still a lot of apprehension to crypto from a lot of people. So, you know, I’ve, I accept the twitch system of bits, you know, and I tried to talk about Allie coin naturally as much as possible just for the sake of teaching people about what I offer with Allie coin and stuff like that. But right now, they’re two very separate forms of support, you know, and I and I, I never say, oh, like, you just gave some bits you could give me Allie instead, you know, like, I don’t really do that. You know, um, and yeah, so maybe in the future, when creator economies and creator coins are more commonplace, you know, people will opt for, you know, that form of support. But right now, as it currently stands, bits, like twitches just made it so easy to support creators through their bit system. And so, you know, you know, people used to actually just send individual donations through PayPal and stuff like, it’s bits have been introduced on Twitch like, I hardly get, like, external donations, because most people just use the bit system. I forget how much of a cut.

Mason Geyser: It’s 40 to 24%. I believe, with 24% being if you buy the largest bulk pack of bits.

Adam Levy: Wow. Crazy.

Mason Geyser: Yeah. Which is, which is really high, by the way, like, PayPal was when we were doing it through stream labs of Pay Pal I think was like 3%. And with Allie coin, it’s, I guess it depends on how you look at it, but it’s basically fee free. There’s no real fee to do it. Now, of course, when you do that you’re buying rally token first to place it behind in the pool for the bonding curve with the Allie coin. So there’s maybe like a small hidden tax there in the terms of like, rallies getting a cut somehow in the tokenomics. There, but it’s still I feel like it’s more direct. Do you feel that way too?

Allie Macpherson: Oh, yeah, absolutely. YouTube takes a pretty decent chunk in their donation system as well. So yeah, I think maybe in time, when this becomes more popular, people will opt for this form of support, because it’s not just, you know, as I said earlier, it’s not just donating to the Creator, the donator gets something or should be getting something out of the experience as well. So it’s more, it’s beneficial for all parties. I love it when you buy it, because it makes my coin go up in value, but you should like it more to because you’re not just donating and then never seeing that money ever again. Maybe you get to get a free shirt out of it or participate in something that I put on or, you know, etc.

Adam Levy: Yeah, yeah, I think the more equivalent thing, so if twitch takes anywhere between 25 to 40%, right, there more equivalent thing is now wanting to swap Ollie for rally and then rally for eath, and then eath, or rally for usdc. And then putting that usdc in Coin base, withdrawing from Coin base to your bank account, and going through all those layers and everyone taking a cut from the network to the platforms and etc. So she gets messy right now.

Mason Geyser: I will say that’s another awesome thing about rally is they’re thinking about that. And they want to actually become like a PayPal or a coin base and allow people to connect the bank account to their rally account and withdraw directly from there. And then a lot of those fees will go away.

Adam Levy: Yeah, makes sense. Can you tell me a little bit more about your community? Like who are your fans? What’s that general audience? Are they mainly male, female? Are they more crypto native or non-crypto? Tell me a little bit more about them.

Allie Macpherson: Sure. So I play a card games. And I would say that card games generally have a little bit older of an audience as opposed to a game like fortnight for example. Right? So my main demographics are is male 24 to 35 that’s the majority of my community. And you know, I definitely have some women here in there. But in general, there are definitely more males in the gaming space. And that’s changing with time. And it also I think, it depends on what game is it I find that more males are into card games as opposed to something like I don’t know, valour and are among us and that kind of stuff. So But yeah, I would say that because I’ve got a little bit of an older audience, you know, introducing Allie coin and cryptocurrency has is really nice, because you know, if you if I was a fortnight streamer, you know, and a lot of my audience was, you know, 15 year old boys, you know, getting them into cryptocurrency, you might feel a little bit harder. So it’s all just really worked out in that, you know, Mason’s initial passion for block chain and crypto introducing it to me teaching me about it and then having the landscape to be able to introduce it to my community. It’s really, you know, I think you’re just meant to be honestly.

Mason Geyser:  And then there’s a second community like a sub-community sort of point where like, the more that Allie coin gets brought up, and there’s naturally always somebody who hasn’t heard about it so they ask questions and then like, the sub community pops out and they all jump in to answer all these questions and introduce it and you know, they link to discord and then people join the discord and they start talking right there. Now we have a community of like 570 people or something like that just keeps growing. I can’t keep track.

Allie Macpherson: I looked at the number like right before okay.

Mason Geyser: It’s awesome that it just it just keeps growing. And so now we have this subset of people that are really into cryptocurrency and they have all these questions about crypto and it’s awesome to like, see, people go through that progression of just learning about crypto and now they’re learning about it through social tokens first, and then they go in and they’re like, okay, but why would I want to decentralised money and then it gets them thinking in a new way that you know, there’s always going to be people who naturally gravitate toward crypto the second they hear about it, but there’s also a larger portion of people I think, that are kind of resistant to the concept and finding that that in with them to show them hey, here’s something fun you can do with crypto that’s actually relevant to your life. It gets them hooked and then I love helping them go further down the path they’re like, Can you recommend a good YouTuber? I’m trying to learn about liquidity pools can you help me with that? And that’s like, I love that because yeah, we it’s all about everything in crypto not just having decentralised money but decentralised finance and decentralised creator economies and all that stuff.

Adam Levy: So you know what that reminds me of really quick is when Elon Musk, I remember when there was a period where there was a bottleneck with pushing out cars and on boarding new customers, so the cars already received and reach the retail location. But there are so many demands, like so many orders and demand and so many people need to get their cars that he tweeted to his community, to the Tesla community, if anybody wants to come down and help like, basically on board, other Tesla buyers and fans, meet us at this time at this place, and work with the employees who are getting paid and come volunteer with them to on board people. And the only reason I bring that up is, you know, a lot of creators tend to think like, man, how am I going to educate my audience? How am I going to tell them about metamask, Bitcoin, all this all these like different layers and loopholes? And when you think about it, when you build such like a cult following to an extent or such a strong fan base, the community starts educating one another. Right? And that and that, that power starts to kind of uplift off of your shoulders, and into the people who’ve really seen the success and the value that you’re creating for them. Right. And they kind of take it upon themselves what it sounds like, like, wow, I got to show that welcome. Let me show you the power behind this. Right.

Allie Macpherson: Yeah, absolutely. Like, one of my favourite things now is, you know, when I’m streaming and I’m playing my game, like I’m pretty distracted, right? Like I there, I’m doing all these different things multitasking and, you know, someone Allie coin will come up and someone will ask what Allie coin is? You know, it’s kind of hard to give the full spiel while also trying to win a strategy game. Right. So I’ve built enough of the community now that, you know, people are sort of excited to answer the question for me, you know, direct them to the discord, which is really nice. And I just wanted to touch on something that you know, the discord Mason is always in there, like, answering people’s questions like taking the time to private, like if someone needs a personal problem solved, like he’s, you know, taking it upon himself to help them in a private message and do that kind of stuff. But, you know, we’ve just arrived surprised at how much you know, Allie coin has become sort of a new subset of my content creation, like, you know, gaming streaming, that was my thing. And now a decent amount of time, is become Allie coin. And, you know, I don’t can’t remember what prompted it. But another thing that we were doing is like, on Wednesdays, we do our own. We call it a podcast. It’s not really a podcast, it’s a live stream, where we talk about crypto. And so it’s a time for the Allie coin community to ask us questions, just like on what we think. And some of the questions that are asked during that live stream are like very, very basic crypto questions. And so that just gives you an indication of like, this really is a lot of people’s first time, inquiring and trying to learn more. 

Mason Geyser: I was surprised, though, on some of those live streams that people would ask, like, really good questions. And I was like, I was like, that’s actually really insightful and, you know, there might just be somebody who’s more experience in the general crowd, but I still try to answer it because like, anyone can take away something from it. And we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from even people who we hadn’t seen in the stream a lot for a while, they would pop back up in the live stream, and they would say, hey, thanks so much for doing that. Like I’ve been meaning to learn more about cryptocurrency and the fact that it was you and we’re familiar with you, and especially Allie, you know, you asked like, what makes her popular, it’s her ability to play the game and explain it well at the same time. And she’s good at educating people. So when there’s this topic that’s a little intimidating for them, which you know, used to be Hearthstone, but now might be cryptocurrency, they naturally gravitate to Allie to learn from her.

Allie Macpherson: Amazing to hear. I mean, like, that’s the, it’s really been this amazing thing that we can do together where, you know, Mason’s got the so much expertise on, like, knowing the technical and stuff like that. And so the two of us just sort of being this, I don’t know, duo and helping people learn more about it and, and create these different things for the altcoin community. It’s been, it’s been really amazing.

Adam Levy: So it sounds like the community is strong, they’re loving Allie coin. They’re encouraging others and on boarding others to use it. And from a point of view with what’s kind of trending in the creator economy in the crypto world as it pertains to creators, whatever, okay, there’s this concept of DAOs being rolled out that’s very popular amongst traditional defy and crypto projects that now there’s narratives of now creators are going to have their own DAOs from what it sounds like your audience is at a point where you can start forming those DAOs. And I don’t know if you guys already have that in place where and let me start with this. Are you guys familiar with DAOs, the decentralised autonomous organisations, basically, what it means is, your token holders are now like members of the community to the extent where they can now vote on proposals and govern the Allie community beyond Allie beyond Mason, right. So now when they hold a token, they have a share of a voice in how the platform how the brand kind of proceeds forward with its growth, right.

Mason Geyser: That’s definitely the long term vision, some of that functionality just hasn’t been built yet. So we haven’t been able to implement as much of it as we’d like. But when we talk to other creators, that’s always something I’m pitching, I’m like, give your community some voice for holding this coin. And if I talk to someone who’s you know, like an artist, that they’re a singer, I’m like, if whatever you’re comfortable giving up, you know, maybe it’s like the topic of your next song. Or maybe it’s the key that you sing it in, you know, give some power back to your community. So they can have input on what they would like from you. And you might even like that input, and it can help you as an artist. And so for us, we’re always trying to think of things that we can allow the community to vote on, in order to feel like they’re participating more in this economy that they’re now you know, like you said, kind of shareholders.

Allie Macpherson: It’s got to be a good balance, though, you know, where you’re allowing the community to vote on certain things, but you still are, you know, making decisions for something that you want for your economy, like, I think there’s probably got to be a good balance.

Adam Levy: So for example, right, the first thing that comes to mind, excuse me, is, you already have these tournaments, right, that you’re doing, you could put proposals in place and how that tournament gets executed and organised, right? It’s less about like, what Allie going to eat for breakfast today, you know? Like, she’s either going to do whole milk or almond milk, you know, guys vote like, that’s not where my head’s I’m saying, like having the community partake in activities and having like proposals put in place that they can vote and execute in even, like, take it upon themselves to build, right, because if they have a certain amount of Allie, and you and you tell me is this even a vision that you wouldn’t, you would see a reality for communities, there will be a time where the rally or the Allie community gets bigger and bigger, you have certain amount of individuals that hold a lot more Allie than others. Right? And they believe in you so much. They love everything that you’re doing. They can even start working for you to an extent, right and live off. Okay, so tell me about that. What does that look like now?

Mason Geyser: Yeah, so I mean, there’s a few different working relationships we have. And like you said, when someone gets a lot of the coin, they kind of want to do stuff for free, just because they’re like, hey, if I can increase the value of the coin, and that means my holdings are going to go up. And so we have one mod that he did a bunch of work for us on a tournament, and I gave him like, 100 bucks to the coin. And he’s like, you know, you don’t have to pay me right. And I was like, I mean, I want to pay you because you’re doing work to help the whole ecosystem, but he wanted to do it anyway, because he just wanted the ecosystem to do better. And then there’s another guy we brought in specifically just to kind of spruce up the discord and since I’ve gotten busy working on a bunch of things, I wanted somebody in there always answering questions, because I don’t want people feeling Like they’re lost at all in this community. So he’s been amazing, we pay him monthly. But he also has just taken it upon himself to do all this extra stuff. Like he came up with this concept of a text based video game that you could play in the discord typing to a discord bot. And you know, like those really old school text based RPGs. And if you get to the end of the game, then you win some Allie coin. So it’s like a great way to create engagement with the fan base. And it’s an idea that he came up with on his own, and now he’s doing all the legwork to like develop the text base prompts.

Adam Levy: That’s so cool. You know, that reminds me of like, if you compare it to what’s happening in the less sexier defy crypto world, you know, all these big projects that are decentralised, they have a certain amount of tokens allocated towards a grant that goes to fund projects, software solutions, tools that get built to help push the community and prove the community.

Mason Geyser: It sounds very lucky, when we launched, we were one of the first 10 creators on the platform. And they decided to give us or to buy a bunch of our coin and give it to us as a treasury. Yeah. And in the beginning, we were doing it out really slowly, we actually gave some coins out for free just to people who would sign a Google document and like almost nobody signed it. But those people, I think that’s like worth four grand now or something. So we give them for free. And just if you would just sign the Google signup form, that people wish they could go back and do it.

Allie Macpherson: I don’t know that they have it to like, yeah, there’s a few names in my holders, where it’s the exact amount that we gave out in the beginning, I’m like, got $4,000 worth [Allie].

Mason Geyser: But with how successful the coins been, it’s like the US dollar value of the Treasury has just been continuing to grow. And no matter how much we spend from it, like for these tournaments, or for hiring people to help out, it’s growing faster than we are actually using it. So at this point, we think it could last us years, which is really awesome. Because it gives us just a tonne of room to hire people and develop the ideas that we want. And that’s something that no other platform is really given to us. Right when that platform is like so successful. They’re not like, oh, let’s our early creators give them a bunch of shares in the company that they can sell and use to fund their own growth. But that’s something we get with rally because we are tied to the platform, and the coin grows along with the platform. And that’s the positive side of being tied to it is that like the rising tide floats all boats, and the creators that got in early have done really well on the platform, just from the fact that the platform’s grown.

Allie Macpherson: But, you know, I kind of want to say, though, that we even though we were one of the first 10 people on the platform, you know, it’s still really really early, you know, what I mean? Like the notion of creator economies and creator coins, like I believe, will kind of have their boom at some point here, someone huge, like a big name, Kim Kardashian, or whoever, you know, is probably going to, at some point, I think launch their own creator coin, and that will set off this sort of ripple effect to really shed light on the space. So I still think it’s really early for creators, businesses, whomever to create their own tokens.

Adam Levy: Yeah, I agree with you the other day. Kim Kardashian that just because we’re bringing her up started shilling ethereum max like a fork of ethereum that Yeah, just like a shit coin. Right? Just like another shit coin when I’m thinking like, why not? Why not just create your own currency and just do Kim or booty or whatever, like your brand is right? You know, like, whatever, whatever you want your brand is whatever your audience associated with, like, why she’ll and I don’t think she’s even educated to that extent. It’s and it’s not her fault, right? She’s not aware of how deep this is. She’s focused on her beauty brand, whatever, but 100%. And I think the creators who get early into the social token economy, will start seeing growth and rewards that are going to outpace traditional influencers and creators. And the best example that we have from that is Tik Tok and all the Instagram influencers that struck rich and big and have their hundreds of millions of followers to hundreds of thousands of followers, and now kind of getting outdated because attention is now on tik tok. And you have all these Gen Z, Millennials even like boomers, gaining a lot of like a huge following, when they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to on Instagram. So attention, shift in energy shift in power, being an early adopter. That’s the takeaway here, right being an early adopter.

Allie Macpherson: I’m optimistic. You know, hopefully it goes well.

Adam Levy: Okay. I got another question. Okay. So in terms of your discord now, because people use discord as a very like centralised hub to funnel in people from all these different platforms to create a central line of communication for their audiences. Right now we have the ability to create these tools. Gated features where if you have a certain amount of altcoins, you get access to certain perks and features. And my whole thought process is one, what is your funnel for getting more people into discord? Because on one hand, it’s such a valuable tool and you want as much of your community in there. So what’s your funnel with getting people in there? And once they’re in there, too, how do you convert them into Allie holders so that they can partake more into the whole entire experience of Allie?

Allie Macpherson: Yeah, that’s a good question. Again, my biggest platform is my live stream. So every time that I bring up the altcoin discord on my stream, like I try not to overdo it, right? You know, I want it to be natural, but we can see a significant amount or an increase in people come in after I mentioned it, particularly after our crypto chats as well, because obviously, there’s more crossover there. But, you know, occasionally I’ll tweet about it and stuff like that. But I would say the biggest funnel is me just using my biggest platform and saying, hey, you know, Allie coin is this. And if you want to know more like the nitty gritty, more details, then please, you know, join the discord. And then that’s where you can find more and interact with people ask questions, and that kind of thing.

Mason Geyser: That’s a great funnel is the tournament circuit. So part of the prerequisite to sign up for the circuit is to be a member of the discord and to put your discord name in. And that’s how we grab members in. And we run the tournament’s mainly through Discord. Besides the like, the bracketing system, which is on a separate site, everything else the communication, the getting people into the tournament, and choosing the participants and communicating with them. It’s all done through the discord. So that’s a great funnel to get them in there, get them to be an active member, and to get them to attach their rally account to the discord, which is another big step that people make. Yeah, once they’ve done that, I tend to see the people who have done that they stick around, and they become long term members of the community because now they see the value like in you can send coins to another person just through a discord bot command, which is off, so you don’t have to log into the website and use that. So people are starting to like really form a community in there of coin holders. And you’ll see things like someone wants more Allie coin, and another person wants Hearthstone packs. So they’ll buy them packs, and they’ll send them altcoin and return. And so it’s its own, like e commerce thing that’s going on between the members of the community. And that’s all enabled by the discord. So that’s really how we get it get people to stick around as they see that activity. And they’re like, Oh, I can be a part of this now and participate in the tournaments and the different stuff I can do with the coin and it’s all run through the discord.

Allie Macpherson: discord is just so instrumental in building a tight knit community, like, you know, I we often get the question asked, you know, like, my amount of supporters in terms of like, total holders is actually less than some other people, but the price of my coin is higher. And I really feel like the reason for that is that, you know, I’ve just got a pretty tight knit, loyal community, and a lot of that has come about by, you know, individual interaction and engagement that comes about from a platform like Discord. So, you know, I would definitely recommend, you know, any creators, that kind of thing, build an external community to your main platform, and, and definitely utilise it a lot.

Mason Geyser: You also asked earlier about what like the typical audience member of ALLIE is. And one thing I also want to say about these people besides their age and demographic is that because they play a mobile game, they’re very used to dropping a lot of money on it, like Hearthstone is an expensive game to play. So a lot of these people will spend 400 to $1,000 a year on Hearthstone Pax, which is a lot of mobile games will milk that kind of money out of you because they find little microtransactions to get you to pay more. And so I think they’re already comfortable spending money on digital products, especially as it relates to Hearthstone like the tournament circuit. So when they learned about Allie coin, and they put a little bit of money in, and then they see it go up in value, or they see that they’re getting use out of it, or they get a free shirt. They’re like, okay, maybe this is something I want to put more money into. And they’re kind of comfortable doing that, because they already do it on all these other mobile games. So I think that’s been a big benefit to the coin value.

Adam Levy: That’s its powerful. And then another metric I want to bring up is so right now you have 538 member’s 34 members in the discord 71 of which actually hold the token in discord yet on rally you have over 700 contributors holding Allie.

Mason Geyser: Rally number just to clarify is people who have bought it, but if they’ve sold it, they still get countered in that number. Whereas on this board, it would tick down when somebody sells the coin.

Adam Levy: Got you, so I guess like in the future Right when you have more people holding, assuming, two, three years from now, at least one of the top social communities out there for your niche of streaming gaming, maybe even bridges on beyond that. And people become more native to social tokens. Because they realize that the financial upside of trading people, that’s obviously a thing that’s coming from here in communities, which is very scary to think about, but it’s the reality of it. How do you, I guess, have you guys started thinking about? Or how would you kind of approach? There’s a lot of people holding and investing but not engaging and participating? Right? So how do you kind of how do you kind of clear the fog from the investors and funnel them in more to become participants, rather than just relying on the financial upside or downside of buying and selling your token?

Allie Macpherson: That’s a really good question. Honestly, I feel like…

Mason Geyser:  You should take that up with Bitcoin.

Adam Levy: Right? Because Bitcoin, you have the traders, right? And then you also have the people, the core contributors who help push out updates, etc. But yeah,

Mason Geyser: You know, there’s always going to be speculators? I don’t think you can get rid of them entirely.  But it’s still a good question. Do you want to try to answer that?

Allie Macpherson: Yeah, I’m not sure to be completely honest. Like, I think the best thing that I can do in that situation is just come up with things that people find valuable, you know, like, maybe some of the contributors, or the people that hold Allie, you know, don’t really care that much about the merge right now. Or maybe they don’t play Hearthstone. So they don’t have any reason to participate in the tournament, you know, but maybe at some point in time, I will come up with various use cases that will eventually get more and more people, you know, involved. And, you know, I would imagine that a lot of the holders are just, you know, people in the rally ecosystem, and they’re excited about the concept of creator coins. And so maybe they’re not jumping at every opportunity to engage super closely, but they’re just like, kind of a supporter of the system. And, you know, maybe they like what we’re doing, even though they’re not necessarily participating themselves. But yeah, like, I’m not sure exactly the best way to get more engagement going quite yes.

Mason Geyser: I think emerged thing was great, because it pulled some people out of the woodwork. Like, we’re like, Hey, we’re giving away a free shirt, all you have to do is connect your discord and then say what you want, because connecting the discord is the way that we can verify how many coins that own, and then we just say, claim your free merge. And if somebody’s not interested in free merge, then I mean, we’re not going to get them that way. But I think a lot of people, even if they’re just like speculator, they’re going to see these perks that we come up with, and they’re going to be like, well, I guess it’s worth my time to go connect my discord and get and claim that piece of free merchant, maybe we need to come up with more things that we can do to entice them to actually participate, rather than just hold the coin on rally and get the financial upside.

Allie Macpherson: And I just want to bring up another thing that that this concept of like, who’s really engaged versus just kind of, like a passive supporter is not something really specific to this, like, you know, I have usually 1000 people watching the stream, the amount of people that are typing in the twitch chat, and joining my personal Allie, strawser discord, or donating bits or following me on social media is probably pretty small, actually, to the, to the average passive viewer, you know, even like, a lot of those people don’t have twitches, they don’t follow her on Twitch, they just as an anonymous user, go to Hearthstone category, see that she’s online and click it and watch and they might be a regular viewer, but they still won’t even make a twitch. Like when you started watching Twitch, it took you a while to actually make an account. I didn’t make an account until you started streaming.

Mason Geyser: And I watch Twitch all the time, I just never wanted to make an account or like get that involved in a community.

Allie Macpherson: I will say that, you know, purchasing my Creator coin is definitely a more active though, than just like passively watching content, but still, you know, I can see why people might just believe in what I’m doing and want to support the system. And you know, maybe like, as I said, maybe they don’t play tournaments or really care that much about having allies trials emerge. But you know, but with more things that we create, you know, the merge was probably a wider or more broad benefit where like, if you’re competing in the Hearthstone tournament, you got to like actually be a Hearthstone player and, and have to have deck willing. So, you know, you said people came out of the woodwork for the merchandise well, that’s because there was more of a broader benefit. So what maybe with each thing that we introduce, you know, it’ll strike a chord with different people.

Adam Levy: Sure, sure. It’s so fascinating. You know, the more I learned about your community and the health of the token and the supporters, I’m starting to realise you guys have probably by far the most like the most healthy career economy that you’ve built from utility right to the price being driven up to are not price, like the growth and the performance at least. So the token to the number of discord members and holders that you guys have to now also developing a grants program, like an unofficial grants program where you’re paying people to create tools, discord tools, whatever tools to help kind of push and engage the community even forward even more so. Which is like the cherry on top is now hiring people in the community to help manage the community. And like all these all these points are critical to sustaining like, a very efficient crater economy. And I think you guys built yourself and maybe you don’t even realise how like, hard that is to do. You know, when you’re when you’re bringing people into crypto and you’re, you’re telling them internet funny money, you know, and numbers going up and down. And, and there’s this this shit coin from us from, from those from sheep, like all these like nobody, it’s so much fog, and there’s hard to build clarity. And you guys are building somewhat or in the in the genesis of building a self-sustaining ecosystem for yourself. Right. And obviously, you can attribute the growth of the token because from the time of this recording, I’d see it’s about $24, 63 cents. Okay. And when it got started, it was at 26 cents now not to shill token.

Mason Geyser: Lower than that.

Adam Levy: Lower than price. Okay, so I only see what rally provides.

Mason Geyser: They only go back in December.

Adam Levy: Yeah. So that growth for people who were part of the community believed in you engage in these tournaments engage in these activities. Were core contributors to helping build the brand saw the upside? I think that’s a lot of the ethos from what people are trying to kind of encapsulate here is there’s power behind being an early adopter. There’s power behind being a community supporter. There’s power behind crypto in decentralisation, essentially in the in the web three primitive, right? And what does that number kind of mean to you, when you see $24 on the screen? What does that mean to you guys?

Mason Geyser: Well, I see a big crash in the rally token price from $1.40 to like, it’s really hurt our coin. But that’s just crypto in general, it goes up and down. But to be more serious, that price means a lot, actually, we put a lot of work into growing it from 10 cents to where it’s at today. And whether it’s at 60 or 24. Like, we consider it very much a success. And the early adopters have had a lot of that and, and what I think more important than the price to me is really to see the adoption of creator coins in general and the people that I’ve introduced to the system that have stuck around, and also commingled with other creators, like that’s one of the other great things about rallies, it’s so easy to go from Allie coin to another creators coin. And with the rally dividends, a lot of people will take that and try out a new creator and get some of their benefits. So the, for me, that’s what’s more important is that all these people that have joined family stream, whereas in 2017, when we tried to get them to do that, it was like impossible as pulling teeth just to get somebody to like, make an ethereum wallet.

Allie Macpherson: Absolutely. And thank you for the kind words, by the way that was really nice of you to say. Yeah, I definitely think that there are a lot of great communities on the rally platform, and I’m sure there will be other, you know, creator economy platforms that do well, you know, as well. So, yeah, I mean, in terms of the price, like, I don’t know, it’s kind of crazy to wrap my head around just because it’s, it’s my name, you know, in it right, going to grow far beyond just about me. I mean, that’s our plan, right? You know, it’s, it’s, it’s an ecosystem and economy that we’re, you know, starting with me and Mason, and, you know, but I’m hoping that it gets to a point to where, you know, like you said, in terms of a doubt, you know, it becomes this thing that is so community based where even if it has the name Allie, you know, it goes far beyond just me Because honestly, that that concept kind of freaks me out a little bit. I’m being completely honest. It is kind of an issue with creator coins where, you know, like, creators want to retire at some point in their lives. Maybe that’s 2030 years from now, but a lot of the great crypto projects I think are going to exist beyond their founders.

Mason Geyser: And I wonder if that can be the same for some of these social tokens?

Adam Levy: Yeah, I think the perfect example of this to like look at more, I guess, modern day examples is you have Queen the band that had it’s called following right. And then Queen Freddie Mercury passed away. Maybe Queen has what’s that singer Adam from American Idol, right that like replaces him and does like tribute shows.

Allie Macpherson: Sure.

Adam Levy: And you have the occasional members but you have the Queen cult you know, that go they watch the movies, you know, they engage in the memorabilia, they still stream the music, and from those who stream on Spotify have more of the power engages right in the of the more active ones that dress up go to the tribute bands do all this really cool stuff and the brand of Queen has outlived, it’s like, it’s a legacy now. Right? And I think that’s the end goal for and correct me if I’m wrong like that was my next question to you. That’s like the end goal of Allie right? Right. Is that how you kind of see it?

Allie Macpherson: I love that you made the Queen analogy. We love queens. That’s really cool.

Mason Geyser: If we could have that kind of legacy, that would be amazing.

Adam Levy: I love it. I love it. I love it. Okay, a final question to you, because you already touched upon it. It’s something I asked everybody. Because the reality of social tokens is, well, you’re creating a human stock market, a community stock market, essentially, right? And it will come to a point where you where you’ll have the companies like Robin Hood that gamify stocks, options and trading. And you’ll have scenarios where creators, I imagine we’ll come to points where you’ll have the GameStop, short squeeze, you know, and the Doge Short squeeze? And how do you imagine that kind of one from a point of view of like taking effect, when you have millions of creators all publicly traded? Everybody’s speculating if you have more of the laggers adopting trading? How do you imagine this world kind of manifesting down the line? Because we’ve never had a scenario where we were able to invest directly in a creator person in the community, we’ve only been able to invest in stocks, right. And unless like, I’m talking from a public point of view, like if it was from a private investment, you could do it, right. From a public point of view, this is the first time that we’re actually able to do something like this. How do you guys see this manifesting down the line 510 years from now? And even more so right now we attribute influence to the number of followers you have right across YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Now, people are going to be launching themselves in the forms of tokens, will we start attributing influence based off what your tokens trading at? For example, Justin Bieber is trading at $100. Taylor Swift is trading at $30. Justin Bieber’s more influential than Taylor Swift and vice versa. So two very, very, like big questions, tackle them however you’d like.

Allie Macpherson: Yeah, wow. Um, that I do think that that probably is what is going to happen. And that this will be the next evolution of the influencer space. I will say that the concept of like investing in a person I, in theory, like, in theory, yes, I believe in that if you find someone when they’re small, or like their price of their Creator coin is low, and you’re like, wow, this person is a really good creator, I can totally see them getting big someday. I actually, like I loved my bands in high school. And I like found a lot of bands that wound up being way bigger than then when I found them. And I was like, Man, I wish I could have bought stock in this bands like I would have made bank. So there’s actually like, I had this concept as a teenager. And I do think that, you know, this is a cool thing. But the thing that I want to the concept that I want to drive home is that it’s, it should be first and foremost a way to participate in the economy that the Creator is making, you know, it goes beyond just, you know, investing and speculating, and if someone’s coin will go up and down. And it’s more about like, how can I use the coin that this creator has started? And I think that’s important, because I, you know, I don’t know how rational it is. But there’s a part of me that gets kind of scared of that landscape. It sort of seems like a black mirror episode, if I’m being completely honest. Like, you know, they had one about like followers and stuff like that. And, you know, you’re going about life in terms of like, how, what’s your score? What’s your rating, that kind of thing? And so having, like, $1 amount, just specifically attached to my name is kind of I’m kind of weird, but I feel like if as long as I can be providing services, products, and things that just go beyond me as a person, I think that’s the sweet spot. Mason, do you have any insight on that?

Mason Geyser: Yeah, just on the on the topic of like, does somebody coin price make them more influential? I think it’s going to be a factor. But I don’t think there’s ever one factor that makes somebody more influential than somebody else. There’s going to be all these like the connections that they have to other influential people. Like how the strength of their following but I do think, yeah, if you’ve got more money in your token, it’s not just that more people have thrown money at you, but it’s also that you have more money to play with. So you can go do more things than a smaller creator might but its all varying degrees, and it’s just one of many factors. And then in terms of like, what does the landscape look like in five to 10 years, I think it’s very much like what you’re saying where you’re going to slowly see a larger and larger percentage of creators having their own coin, to the point where it almost feels like almost every creator has their own coin. I think at some point it gets there, maybe that’s 10 years from now, maybe its two years from now, I don’t really know the speed of that adoption. But there’s going to be a lot of speculation. And they’re definitely going to come out with financial instruments to allow people to leverage their positions and short positions. And I think there’s going to be all sorts of liquidity pools and you’re going to be able to use your Creator coins as collateral at some point. It might depend on you know, the weaker coins, you probably can’t do that with because it’s too volatile. But with the stronger coins, people will probably lend against those. So yeah, over time, I think, like, just crypto in general, I think it’s going to be hundreds of coins and creator coins are going to be a piece of that whole pie. And it’s all going to be this interconnected web of financial activity. It’ll be its fun, like, it’s hard, it’s so hard to predict, because it’s going to just be like more economic activity than could even imagine right now.

Allie Macpherson: I like the idea of it being more fun than anything like I can see every, you know, creator having their own coin. But again, it’s a method of participation, you know, and support. You know, like, if you enjoy someone’s content, you throw them a tip, right, you know, you appreciate them and being a part of their community in this way, I think could be something that’s really special and one of the coolest forms, or one of the coolest ways to use cryptocurrency and block chain technology.

Mason Geyser: And nothing makes you root for a creator like owning some of their coin. Yeah, I mean, a lot of people will see a creator get really big, and they’re, you know, the, the jealousy comes out, and then they’re like, oh, that person doesn’t deserve it. But if you buy just like a couple other coins, you’re like, yeah, they deserve it, I love them go to making some more money. And, and I know that can be negative too. Like, if the coin goes down in price, you might hold that against the Creator. But I think, like I said, if you’re doing it with the mentality of I just want this to be a fun investment that I can make. And if it does, well, then great. And if it doesn’t, at least I know I supported this creator. Like that’s the perfect way to approach it. And I think if most of the people approach it that way, it’s going to be a really great time for almost everybody.

Allie Macpherson: Also, what people can do you know, when we launched Allie, we just put the name Allie like we call it Allie coin, but there are definitely a lot of creators who are not putting their name at you know, they’re a creator that creates. Give me an example.

Mason Geyser: Well, Jaws, for instance, actually, not only did he not use his stage name Jaws, but he used btx, which is his bite this label. So his coins, not even his stage name. It’s something else entirely. And that’s because he wants it to be like getting to own part of this new type of label that’s run by a cryptocurrency and the cryptocurrency holders can vote on which songs the label should add. And like that, to me is just an awesome social concept that I own some of that coin, because I think I really believe in what he’s creating there.

Allie Macpherson: Yeah, so it’s not just going to be Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber coin, it’s going to be creators, you know, starting their own businesses and attaching currencies to that.

Adam Levy: I think the perfect example of that is whale shark. Probably the most successful social token project to date. Have you guys heard of whale shark?

Allie Macpherson: I actually have not, no.

Adam Levy: So whale shark is part whale, part shark, okay, he’s anonymous. He’s anonymous character, personality online that he’s been in the space for years. But he really got his name to fame by his NFT portfolio and basically making big bets on NFT artists and buying large amounts of digital art okay and what he did, he then created the whale community. Okay, where it’s a volte of these tokenized assets, that’s pegged to his social token, indirectly pegged to social token, but there’s some value relationship between that. And people love whale like people love whale. And he took it to the extent where he now created a clothing brand called 1337, which is a social token within itself that targets the gaming community, okay, and creates metal ware that also translates into physical wear. So the whole bet that he’s making is people are going to be so heavily invested into the metaverse that they’re also going to want to represent what they were online in person. So you can purchase your clothing, right, through digital currencies through the currency 1337. And he also has his big cloud, right? So he has three different social tokens and the big cloud is the whale big cloud that’s also performing exceptionally well. So it’s three different social tokens, each doing and working their magic and like you said, probably these things, a lot of them will be tied to the creator’s name like Allie, but it should be getting to a point craters are thinking about building brands that extend beyond them. Where there’s a common like vision mission that community and a large amount of people, even a small amount of people, right depends how you want to build this network that align with and that grow that from there on that extend beyond you.

Allie Macpherson: An anonymous success in cryptocurrency is this satoshis…

Adam Levy: Is Bitcoin satoshis is a social token. Yeah.

Mason Geyser: That’s a joke in our friend group sometimes, like Cardano is just like a big social token for Charles hospital.

Adam Levy: I love that. I love it, guys.

Allie Macpherson: You know, when we started Allie coin, I was reading the Internet of money by Andreas Antonopoulos. And in that book, he just talked about how there were going to be creator coins, Bob coin and sueann coin or whatever. And he was talking about that in what 2014 or 2015 whenever he wrote that talk, and it was just crazy to me because I was reading that book and as we were starting Allie coin it was coming to fruition. I was like wow, this is crazy. So yeah, I just really think that creator economies creator coins, the next evolution of the influencer space honestly.

Adam Levy: I love it guys. That’s a perfect place to end off. Allie, Mason, more power to you. Thank you for being on and I hope to have you on again when your communities more developed, more success, more exposure. So cheers. Thanks for being on.

Mason Geyser: Thanks for having us.

Adam Levy: Of course.