You can invest in products and ideas, but through social tokens anybody can invest in someone’s ideas, work and creative brain. Last week Marguerite deCourcelle tokenized herself and launched her own social token COIN. Online she’s better known as coin_artist. Investors and fans alike can now invest in her brand by acquiring her token. It’s seems a bit odd to invest in an individual. But it’s actually a very interesting idea that goes beyond the scope of normal tokens or stocks.
Investors normally put their money behind ideas and products. This is the case with stocks, investment funds and of course cryptocurrencies. However, these social tokens are not tied to one project. Instead they are connected to the success of an individual. Imagine investing in someone now, who’s going to be very successful in the future. Let’s say an gaming influencer launches their own token. Fans can only use that token to acquire merchandise or exclusive in-game content. In addition fans can vote for sponsorships or events the influencer visits. That’s the road we’re currently driving on.
There’s one thing that seems very important in this system of social tokens. Token owners need to have an online presence. This online presence can be very mainstream with millions of followers. On the other hand it can be very niche, appealing to a very specific market. Size doesn’t matter, but activity and delivery does.
Social tokens: Introducing COIN
DeCourcelle launched a token called COIN, which has a limited supply of 3.47 million tokens. The idea is that COIN represents the coin_artist brand, and by chance DeCourcelle is also CEO of Blockade Games. This means that the token will also have an impact on the upcoming role playing game Neon District. For example, the COIN community will be part of the lore.
Over the years deCourcelle has proven herself as being a true artist. In many things she does, she combines elements of cryptography with art. No wonder she’s promoting the launch of COIN with a new cryptographic puzzle in which players can win 34.700 COIN tokens.
In addition the newly launched token adds a social layer to her work. Creating a community whom all share the interest to see the product grow in value. Like a proper decentralized autonomous organization, COIN owners get to vote on development and partnership proposals. In the end that’s where the real value comes from. Users need to be able to do something with their tokens, creating usability and liquidity.
Similar things are happening all around the blockchain space. Companies are launching governance tokens. Think about Rarible and RARI, or about The Sandbox and their SAND tokens. Gamers and traders can earn these tokens through the platform, while they can be used for payments, governance voting and trading. In a similar way WHALE has now launched its decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), which will give token owners voting rights on the future of the project. This particular social token started from the actions of one individual, but the future of the project is placed into the hands of a community.
On a side note, I’m not a big fan of the WHALE token. Simply because nobody knows who the owner really is. All we know is that he’s got money to throw around and buys lots of valuable crypto art and in-game assets. That being said, seeing WHALE become a DAO is something I see as a good thing. There’s a lot of trust that can be created by smart contracts, technology and a person’s actions.
Holders of the COIN token can already vote on several proposals. For example, there’s a vote for the introduction of more puzzle tokens. Contestants need these to claim the reward on the earlier mentioned cryptographic puzzle. In addition there are votes for PR activities, staking mechanisms and so on. There’s even a vote for whether Marguerite deCourcelle should accept a position as an advisor at GameDAO.
The most important about a governance or social token is that they give the community a stake in the success of the project owner. The more usability these tokens get, the value they create. In addition, the more success a project owner has, the more valuable these tokens can become. I say ‘can become’, because despite a couple of (successful) examples here and there, it’s an unproven concept so far.
An experiment worth looking into
There’s no need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into a social currency. But the concept of investing into an individual and their success surely is interesting. It does require community participation from investors and the project owner alike. Where WHALE is an investment in a portfolio, COIN is an investment in an individual and online brand.
While a DAO can perfectly maintain an art portfolio and acquire or sell more art, a token tied to an individual requires that individuals participation. But imagine you’re a major influencer, it would at least be cool to give your community a rank, a vote, and give them value in exchange for their support as you grow your online brand. Maybe sponsors will need to use the influencer’s token in order to be a sponsor in their content. This is just one example of how liquidity and usability can create value.
I bought myself 51 COIN and now I’m a runner. No idea what this will bring me personally, but I will be following the developments of this concept. Perhaps we’ll see something similar coming to Play to Earn in the future.
Robert Hoogendoorn is a gamer and blockchain enthusiast. He got in touch with crypto in 2014, but the fire really lit in 2017. Professionally he’s a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games & tech industry. He’s a communication consultant for blockchain start-ups and writes not only for Play to Earn, but also other dapp websites and tech magazines.