Crypto has already revolutionized finance. Crypto is revolutionizing art. And crypto is revolutionizing community. We already know about many ways in which Web3 is pushing greater standards of privacy, data security, and freedom of speech.
And we know that Web2 is an insufficient solution to a lot of these problems.
But there’s more than just privacy, security, and freedom to be excited about. There are tons of practical benefits to the ongoing and incoming technological advances of Web3. One example that should excite everyone involved with online communities—fandoms, discords, even a corporate Slack group—is tokenized communities.
Tokenized communities aren’t brand new, they’ve in fact existed for some time, and some have even been around practically as long as crypto itself. But the mechanisms we use to interact with them, and their capabilities in general, are quickly advancing.
Community (Self-) Moderation
Anyone who has moderated a community understands the challenges, frustrations, and even seeming impossibilities of doing so. Spam, harassment, and toxicity can be difficult problems. If only there were a way to automatically determine moderation actions to take, and decentralize the authority of the community...
With token-based communities, such things are possible. Members who hold X,000 amount of a token can vote on posts or content to remove, and if sufficiently many governing community members determine a post should be removed, this could even be done automatically.
And if such an automated governance system doesn’t suit the needs of a community, specific moderating authority could be granted to active community members with a sufficient number of tokens, and/or that hold certain NFTs. The extension to communities supporting artists, musicians, etc. is practically immediate.
[W]hat is great about crypto is that what is considered infrastructural and operational costs are externalised and captured as value in the token . . . users can generate revenue by maintaining the network, . . .
– Jarrad Hope, Status founder in Why Status, and why not Discord?
The people most invested in a community can literally be the people most invested in the community, and this investment can perpetually be used in ways productive to the community!
Welcome to the club
In addition to more effective community moderation, tokenized communities could distribute roles in general based on held quantity of a token or NFTs. Features, content, and discussion could be gated behind such requirements.
These sorts of ideas are still being developed, but there is no shortage of precedent. Reddit, for example, has a subreddit exclusively accessible to members with Reddit Gold. Discord and Twitch have features that are gated behind payment or membership. Patreon (and OnlyFans) are entirely built around the concept of gated content.
But... what if we could do this with every community?