The Next Phase of the Playful Paradigm

Social tokens are on the rise

20 months ago, Jacob Horne wrote a post called “The Playful Paradigm Shift”. NFTs were booming and going through a creative renaissance, spawning dozens of new projects & digital creators.

Since then, the creator community largely focused on art & collectibles because the digital objects alone had value in single communities and applications. But just in the past few months, we’ve seen a swift change to the next phase of the playful paradigm that doesn’t focus exclusively on art & collectibles.

Enter social tokens. The rise of social tokens as of late has only been made possible by the emergence of multiple primitives (eg. Uniswap) that have not only made it possible to create an exchange for a token, but also to start playing with it. Here are some things you can do with social tokens:

  • You can use social tokens to buy a NFT lock with Unlock Protocol to access community forums or blogs

  • You can stream social tokens to moderators of a community with Sablier for performing their moderating duties

Social tokens have made it possible for non-artistic creatives to enjoy the benefits of open source creation, allowing other creators to build using the token as payment or access.

Mapping NFTs to Social Tokens

Today, many are creating social tokens for personal use simultaneously tying them to a physical constraint - like time. Meanwhile, on the fringes of social tokens, the NFT scene are accepting social tokens as payment instead of stablecoins or other stores of value.

For example, $HUE was created by Connie Digital last December. Today, there are over 15 artists on OpenSea that accept $HUE as payment for their digital art. You can even use $HUE to get access to contribute to Connie’s digital art gallery inside of CryptoVoxels (as seen here).

In the summer of 2019, a CryptoKitties developer created $WCK - Wrapped CryptoKitties. By depositing (any) CryptoKitty into a contract, you'll be able to mint 1 $WCK (ERC20). Since 1 $WCK can be redeemed for any CryptoKitty, it's essentially the floor price of CryptoKitties. More recently, the CryptoKitties community wanted to preserve the value of their Gen-0 CryptoKitties as a collectible. Therefore they created $WG0 - Wrapped Gen0s. Now anyone could deposit a Gen-0 CryptoKitty (which can only be obtained by trading) into a contract and mint $WG0.

The NFT community has always been a leading indicator of trends in crypto. Before DeFi composability, dozens of developers were building applications on top of CryptoKitties (like KittyHats). Now, community & social tokens are being used widely between these communities. With NFT.NYC (which I’ll be speaking at!) and the public launch of Decentraland next week, I'm excited to see what the year brings with the overlap between virtual worlds and social tokens.

Are you ready to $JAMM?

Of course I couldn’t write a post on social tokens without creating my own. Introducing $JAMM by Roll. In each newsletter, I’ll post a quest at the bottom. If you complete the quest with proof, I’ll send $JAMM.

This week’s quest is to create an Ethmoji with the wizard hat. Send me a DM on Twitter with the link to your Ethmoji and I’ll send you 100 $JAMM.

Disclaimer: I work at Dapper Labs. The opinions expressed in this post are solely mine and do not represent the opinions of Dapper Labs.