Like many media retailers within the Net 2.0 period, we at CoinDesk are exploring new methods to interact our viewers immediately, with out the intermediation of the enormous web platforms that dominate the digital financial system.
So begins the journey of $DESK in beta at this 12 months’s Consensus by CoinDesk convention, the place these attending can earn particular reward tokens and redeem them for objects and experiences.
(You possibly can learn concerning the mechanics of $DESK at its software web site. Please be aware that solely Consensus attendees earmarked to obtain rewards will initially be eligible to say tokens. This text is extra concerning the “why” than the “how.”)
This beta check of $DESK (lengthy facetiously rumored to be within the works) is narrowly targeted on the occasion setting. With the assistance of our companions at Unifty.io and Torus, we’re endeavoring to foster a carnival-like expertise with two targets in thoughts: 1) to get attendees’ palms on crypto, many for the primary time, and a pair of) to reward them for taking part within the occasion’s varied choices, enhancing the general sense of viewers engagement.
With the assorted incentives we’ve created, we hope to glean precious data from this closed-loop, beta-test setting, discovering what issues and experiences folks worth at an occasion like Consensus whereas additionally determining what they’re keen to do to get their palms on them.
Learn extra: $DESK: Your Questions Answered
How does the $DESK financial system work?
Nicely, attendees earn $DESK by finishing varied duties at Consensus resembling shopping for a ticket, watching classes or attending networking features. Then, on the spending aspect – following a mannequin that, let’s face it, shouldn’t be not like that of Chuck E. Cheese eating places – attendees can redeem their hard-earned $DESK for goodies in our NFT market.
These embody sponsor swag, tokenized variations of CoinDesk articles protecting seminal moments in crypto historical past, experiences with audio system and even two giant Papa John’s pepperoni pizzas delivered straight to your private home (a nod to a different essential second in crypto historical past).
Should you’ve attended Consensus in earlier years, it’s possible you’ll recall how we distributed digital wallets to attendees pre-loaded with NFT sponsor swag. Whereas many individuals warmed to the idea, we discovered that engagement was restricted.
We hypothesize there have been two causes for this.
The primary is that swag distribution was too random. Giveaways weren’t aligned with attendees’ pursuits. (I bear in mind giddily opening my first pockets to discover a tokenized version of a 35-page cash transmission licensing memo from some legislation agency. With all due respect to our lawyer mates on the market, this was not precisely one thing I used to be excited to learn.)
$DESK seeks to rectify this by pooling all swag right into a market with various costs and levels of shortage, after which letting attendees buy the objects they need with the rewards they earn.
The second purpose for restricted engagement with previous Consensus wallets was the transaction was unidirectional. You turned up, you bought a pockets with swag. You didn’t must do something. There was no method to earn extra goodies. There was no gamification, no competitors.
Learn extra: What’s the ERC-20 Ethereum Token Normal?
Now, in utilizing $DESK to incentivize folks to partake of the various occasion choices and to interact immediately with one another in enjoyable, interactive methods, we hope to boost the general expertise, bolstering the occasion’s attraction as a vibrant, participatory affair. In some respects we see $DESK as a instrument for constructing a Consensus group.
Among the drivers behind the undertaking stem from necessity. After the coronavirus pandemic compelled us to launch Consensus: Distributed final 12 months as our first totally digital, full-scale occasion, we realized we needed to be creative if we had been to make the expertise extra attention-grabbing and fascinating for our viewers, audio system and sponsors. How may we get folks to do issues?
We realized that with any digital expertise, together with Consensus, you’re not totally there. It’s straightforward to get distracted once you’re watching a Zoom webinar. And when the tickets are both free or priced at ranges nicely beneath these of in-person occasions, the motivation to stay it out by all of the classes is low. Should you’re not there among the many plenty, you don’t really feel as compelled to get out and meet folks or to construct your information.
We have now an extremely sturdy agenda this 12 months with nuanced content material, however we all know that as organizers we’re competing on your consideration with all the things else that’s occurring on the web at the moment. Now, with $DESK, we will give you somewhat one thing further in return for that precious consideration.
We’ve designed $DESK to be a simple, protected and enjoyable method for folks to make use of crypto. Many Consensus attendees are new to the trade and have by no means created a pockets or purchased or bought something in crypto. $DESK affords a risk-free, straightforward method to take action, with out the real-life hazard of perpetually shedding your keys or pockets. You don’t even have to fret concerning the on-chain fuel charges usually required to execute sensible contracts (all transactions can be performed cost-free on Rinkeby, an Ethereum testnet, or proving floor for software program experiments).
The toughest half about crypto goes from 0 to 1 – from not proudly owning any to proudly owning some. So we’ve tried to make that first step as straightforward as doable. If this effort helps new folks come on board, to create a pockets or to purchase a non-fungible token for the primary time, that can be an enormous win.
We additionally needed to borrow from one of many crypto trade’s actual improvements: the airdrop, deploying a loyalty-driver mannequin such because the one Uniswap distributed to its customers in September 2020. In an identical vein, we’re distributing $DESK to all earlier Consensus attendees as a method of claiming thanks.
In all, $DESK is about being on-brand with what the trade is doing and about innovating our core product. We predict we will be an trade chief, making digital occasions extra attention-grabbing for attendees. As the primary, actual, event-focused reward token, $DESK has the potential, we consider, to overhaul a enterprise mannequin that has been fairly static for years. Gamifying the expertise with cryptocurrency rewards may essentially remodel how the occasions enterprise operates.
Ultimately, we consider each occasion may have one thing like this. We need to be the primary to do it.
What occurs to $DESK after the convention? We’re nonetheless figuring that out, however we’ve some huge concepts on learn how to incorporate the token throughout our whole media ecosystem. Members of the CoinDesk group may maybe earn $DESK through completely different interactions with the platform, resembling studying articles (as our mates at Decrypt have completed), finishing academic programs, signing up for newsletters or watching movies.
We’ll roll out the $DESK roadmap within the coming weeks and months. We’re excited to see how this experiment proceeds.
Can $DESK be a instrument to reinvent each occasions and media? Can we use it to tackle the Net 2.0 titans, to forge a brand new Net 3.0 enterprise mannequin based mostly on direct publisher-to-audience engagement and group constructing? We’ll see. The reply to these questions will, partly, be decided by how a lot readers such as you interact with the product at Consensus 2021.