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Dimensino

Sources of Value vs Organising Value

This post is part of an ongoing scrapbook series exploring the emerging Dweb (Web3) ecosystem, the #supportnet, and the coming ‘Metaverse’.


The few weeks ago Jacob Navok co-author of the Epic Primer began a THREAD on the current state on certain aspects of the video games industry

Given the nomenclature explored in the previous post ‘Verticals of One‘ you can imagine my excitement when I saw Navok using terms like TOOLs, and PLATFORM, though-out the thread.

The thinking about the thread as it unfolded allowed me to puzzle my way though a bunch of stuff I’ve been thinking about. I’ve pulled out some of the tweets I found the most useful and will be exploring them over the next few posts.

What follows isn’t so much an essay. More like pages from my notebook building upon Navok’s thread. Thoughts unspooling in to adjacent topics and areas. Thinking in public.


1 Sources of value vs organising value

1.1

Instead of just thinking about games, let’s widen the scope of this discussion to all areas and sectors of content creation.

1.2

Park the sources of value framing and consider instead the way we organise value.

How we organising value is of fundamental concern to the Dweb and coming Metaverse.

The crypto currency boom of 2017 showed that the digital creation of real world value is possible and Satoshi Nakamoto’s thesis was in fact sound.

Jaya Brekke‘s commentary on Satoshi Nakamoto’s The White Paper published by Ignota Books is vital reading if you want to understand what all the fuss is about:

Money also involves the magical transformation of symbols into value. It requires belief to operate. Around such belief systems other beliefs tend to gather, and the industrial quantities of belief required to breathe life into new systems of value tends to gives succour to any number of outlandish ideas, whether these be the divine right of kings, the supremacy of the nation state or the inviolable will of technology itself.

Money, then, is a belief system backed by state infrastructure which, for a long time, assured centralised power. But as computational technologies, long the sole province of the state, became less about asserting government power than asserting individual freedom – in other words, as the weapons forged in the crucible of the Second World War became increasingly available to the common citizen – it became clear to the veterans of the Crypto Wars hows how they might make other adjustments to ancient power dynamics.

Jaya Klara brekke – on THE WHITE PAPER – The WHite paper

If you aren’t following the crypto world closely you can be forgiven to thinking that it’s all about coin prices, rampant speculation and unchecked materialist accumulation.

This is not an unfair perspective. A large proportion of discussion in the public sphere is about blockchain is exactly this. For the proposes of the Dimensino series park all that to one side. Move it all in to the mental category of ‘Crypto Fandom’.

It is a mistake to belive that all that heat light is the only thing that is going on in the Dweb world.

Jaya again:

For those of you trying to understand and describe blockchain and cryptocurrencies as a strange subcultural anarcho-cap- italism, speculation and financialisation on steroids or even a new fron- tier of authoritarian capitalist accumulation – stop. You have missed the point. It is not relevant; the territory has changed, the metrics look different and so do the political possibilities. These perspectives make for nice stories and there are elements of truth to them, but, as usual, there are far more interesting things happening than these traditional tales of never-ending profit extraction and large systems beyond our control. The machine has broken away.

JAYA KLARA BREKKE – ON THE WHITE PAPER – THE WHITE PAPER

Since the great crash of 2018 crypto projects have been in BUIDL mode. Solving problems and exploring the possibilities of this new database technology. This is (of course) also why early adopters got involved in the first place. I remember discussing DAOs in a kitchen during Transmediale 2015 they seemed so sci-fi. Yet, plausible. Many of the people in that room are now at projects bringing Distributed Autonomous Organizations in to reality.

I encourage everyone following this series to keep an eye on the ecosystem of TOOLS that are currently being created around the DAO space. That bare absolutely no relation to the endless noise and heat generated by the Crypto Fandom Bros.

Especially things like Gnosis Safe Multisig (a SERVICE to manage digital assets) and the Gnosis Protocol itself. Other protocols like POLKADOT are building out cross PLATFORMxTOOLS and integrations supported by their WEB3 Foundation. As is COSMOS with their Interchain Foundation. Not to mention of course, the recent explosion in DeFi most commonly built upon Ethereum, which itself is about to go though a massive upgrade as the protocol that underpins many of other aforementioned TOOLS. There are far more to mention. Don’t @ me for not mentioning your favourite project with a coin.

Web3 / Dweb is currently a wild and crazy place full of innovation and surprising moments.

The fully decentralised protocol for automated liquidity provision Uniswap (Uniswap is a cryptoasset exchange who at the time of writing has a trading volume over the last 24 hours of $86.74M). Last month (Sep 2020) dropped a share of its new governance token to everyone that had ever used the platform. Even those whose transactions had failed. It gave something like $1,400 (400 UNI) to all its past traders. Even more went to anyone who had supplied liquidity or who held its SOCKS token.

Are there any examples in the regular tech Industry of projects returning value directly to users? This new kind of organisation of value is a core tenet and very common in the Dweb space. All users with UNI tokens can now participate in the exchanges future governance and vote on its technical roadmap.

1.3

Recalling last weeks post let’s return to SERVICES. Let’s call Games Publishers and Record Labels in the traditional media world SERVICES.

SERVICES are entities that performed an act on another’s behalf.

Substack and certain elements of Patreon are services made up of TOOLS. Modular elements combined and recombined. In the future many of the discrete TOOLS currently provided by games publishers and platforms like Steam will be abstracted away into SERVICES. I expect that even games themselves will be DAOs controlled by developers and the community that play them. There may even be SupraDAO’s that house several DAO games.

In the Dweb future and by extension the Metaverse everyone will be operating as a Vertical of One.

15

Skipping to tweet 15 here as it has a useful note on the TOOLS layer.

15.1

Just as game development companies use off the shelf TOOLS to make their own projects, the same is true in the new Dweb space. It is already full of building blocks for the future, but in this case open source.

For example Circles UBI is built with Gnosis Safe, xDai (an Etherum sidechain) and is ultimately, underpinned by Ethereum.

Circles has proved to my satisfaction in the last week or so that social mechanics (can be) baked into Web3 primatives. Projects like Circles have the potential to reach a drastic amount of users with an interesting set of dynamics at play.

As I say. all the most exciting stuff going on in the Dweb is around organising and managing networks of value rather than just creating it in the form of a coin.

TOOLS like these are the building blocks for DAOs that will come to utterly define how we associate and operate in the coming Metaverse.

1.4

To return to CONTENT category as a source of value for a moment. Holly Herndon and Matt Dryhurst recently had the founders of the Zora Marketplace on their Interdependence.fm podcast.

This week we welcome Dee and Jacob from Zora, a new organisation that is building tools for artists to issue tokens around their creative practices.

We discuss their idea of dynamic pricing of art releases and at the advent of the musician RAC releasing his $RAC token through ZORA, the new space of artists and their audiences owning a stake in the value they interdependently create in the world.

About Zora:

Zora is a new online marketplace for internet-born brands that lets early adopters convert their eye for fashion and other goods into profit.

Zora aims to present a new paradigm of transaction between brands and buyers by ensuring creators of limited-edition goods such as sneakers and streetwear receive the full value of items they create. It uses a system of tokenisation for goods, which means they can be dynamically priced.

With a focus on buying, selling and trading limited-edition items, people can use the platform to buy popular products early and sell them back at a profit before even receiving them. They can also fund creators’ work, participating and buying into the ideas and products of creators they love early in the process.

In addition to dynamic pricing, the system also allows items to be fractionally traded, which means people can sell part ownership of an item to another. As the market for fashion re-sale and limited-edition goods grows, Zora shows how new metrics of value are being put in place to fuel the Hype Market.

Here’s some quotes from Zora’s manifesto.

The platforms that hold our audiences hostage. The labels that lock down our rights. The galleries that hold our art ransom. The big brands that think exposure is cash. They have a monopoly on ownership, a monopoly on creativity and they have been robbing us of the value we create for as long as there’s been a creative industry.

The deals were cut in advance and we got cut out. The big brands, suits, and monopoly men own the revenue, the files, the rights, the email addresses — what’s left for the creator? What’s left for the fan?

The CONTENT and SERVICE layers are implicit in the following text I feel.

We need new infrastructure, something transparent, ownable, accessible, financially sustainable, where we can share the value we create, something for the community, something that’s ours. It’s not mine, it’s not yours, it’s definitely not theirs, it’s ours. This is Collective Creation. We have the tools, we have the moment, and we have the power. We can take on humanity’s greatest endeavours. We could build cities. We can create so much more.

The full Dweb is about 5 mins in the future. It’s going to disrupt content production, distribution, and the organisation of value created by whatever CONTENT in a big way. Parts of it are already here being prototyped at this very moment.

The DJ RAC’s recent community token launch with Zora is one of the first prototypes in a new phenomenon that is going to rapidly expand and evolve. This intersects with the idea of ‘The Alms Race’ that I’ll get to in another post. RAC’s token’s immediate purpose is to allow fans to “unlock access to various perks and exclusive content.” I.E. you need to buy in to a community token from a creator before being able to select a Patreon level/reward.

Imagine tokens like this for fandoms. If you have a ‘My Fav Fandom’ Token for example, you could write as much fan fiction as you wanted. Then potentially get paid for it based on however the community agrees to share value. These sorts of arrangements will require what I call: PERMISSIVE IP’S.

Zoras other efforts are not just limited to web content. They recently spearheaded the tokenisation of physical assets like limited run of shoes by Nike designer Jeff Staple.

The premise of Zora is to let artists and designers capture part of that resale value by creating a digital token that can be redeemed for merchandise, or else sold to someone else for a higher price. In the case of a bidding frenzy, the creator not only pockets a higher ultimate price, but part of the fees collected when the token is resold.

Zora’s head of business development, Dee Goens, says Zora is primarily aimed at “hype beasts”—those consumers who are super fans of a given brand or creator. Other creators using Zora include Jeff Staple, a Nike designer famous in sneakerhead circles, who has been selling limited edition shoes on the platform. (The pair below fetched $2000 after being listed initially at $160).

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of unique / non mutually interchangeable tokens check out the early experiment Cyptokitties or NTF’s on Wikipedia.

All of this CONTENT discussion be expanded out to include virtual property in the Metaverse. Buy a pair of shoes on the Dweb AND get the same pair of shoes as a digital twin for your virtual avatar in the Metaverse.

Wallem AR

To illustrate how quickly this is all arriving from the futre: 3D augmented reality game/Pokemon Go clone Wallem launched his week .

Wallem uses a 3D map and augmented reality (AR) technology, to place virtual objects in the real world. It features a cryptocurrency wallet and allows its users to find and collect Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and other cryptocurrencies, which can be transferred to external wallets and then sold on an exchange. 

In addition to to the AR and 3D world, the game has its own native game currency called Pteria (PTE), which as far as I can tell is issued by a DAO of the same name managed via the SERVICE provided by Aragon protocol, built on top of Ethereum.

Interestingly Youtuber PewDiePie is involved in the games marketing :

On November 1, the Wallem team announced that the team has issued a limited number of NFTs via the Pteria DAO, the NFT skins represent unique skins. The Pteria DAO (following a positive majority vote) issued a limited number of NFTs representing skins that can be used within the Wallem app,”

6 Unique, never to be issued again, NFT game skins of PewDiePie will be available for players to buy:

Imagine whats going to happen when this shit hits Fortnite?

The first one sold on Monday for 23k USD.

Pteria DAO put on sale its first PewDiePie’s NFT on its Opensea store.

The result? Dozens of bids and in 5 hours the price grew so fast that Pteria decided to close the auction, selling the PewDiePies’ first NFT for a value of 57.75 ETH, or about 23k USD at the current ETH price.

What happens next?

First of all, there are still 5 other NFTs available on the market, so Pteria will put them on sale very soon.

This sort of thing whilst in its infancy and has come a long way in the last few years, and has clear implications for the Metaverse as the Dweb becomes more sophisticated. PewDiePie NFTs were issued by a DAO, with community involvement:

Users can control the development of the DAO and take an active part in the team decision-making process by voting or making proposals.

The DAO was born as an independent entity from Wallem™ or other games, but, through a vote, the DAO decided to allocate part of its tokens (2.5 million to be precise) to Krakatoa™ (Wallem’s parent company).

The Pteria DAO, in fact, was created precisely for this: to reward interesting and deserving projects, giving them tokens to implement on their platforms, encouraging the use of the blockchain in the games sector.

The possibilities for organising value via the Dweb are currently coming as fast as they can be imagined and built. The most successful games/worlds/projects will be the ones that return the most value to their users.

This is a topic that we’ll be returning to and scrapbooking as more of the future arrives.


NOTE: This post may contain a lot of buzzwordy jargon. I intend to build a glossary page linked off the Dimensino category home page soon.


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Dimensino is an ongoing series: Over the next few posts I will be continue to post notes building on Navok‘s THREAD.
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Thanks to: Cade Diehm, Ben Vickers, Jaya Brekke, Guild.is Crew, Trust Squad, Blogger Peer Review, Other Internet, Interdependence.fm, Common Knowledge Coop, and RIVAL STRATEGY for all the conversations and friendship over the years.

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About Author

Jay Springett is a Solarpunk, Theorist and Strategist for hybrid environments. His concerns are with culture, humans and technology and the environment. He is currently writing his first public book: Land as Platform.

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