Julien Genestoux is the Founder and CEO at Unlock Protocol. Unlock is a protocol for memberships that lets any creator and brand monetize their work and community using NFTs.
Blockchains are forever. Once a transaction gets mined, it's stored permanently. The NFT that you purchased is in your wallet until you, and nobody else, sends it to someone else. Actually, even when you send it to someone else, its public historical record will show that you owned it for a while, that it was yours for a period of time.
Over a year ago, Forefront started its mission to curate the best projects and insights from across the social token landscape. Why? Because the need for curation rises as decentralization increases. Our goal at Forefront is to help people find communities that align with their values, and to help those communities do incredible things.
That mission is needed now more than ever. The explosion of social tokens and DAOs over the last year has made it hard for anyone — including us! — to keep up with the pace of innovation. We’re working hard to build an information highway between Web2 and Web3, one that will allow more talented people to travel across. If we can speed up that transition by even a tiny fraction, the compounding impact is almost incalculable.
We realize that to accomplish that mission we need to keep up with the pace of change in the ecosystem as a whole — not an easy task but one we’re excited to pursue. It will mean continuing to strengthen the DAO and bring more contributors and experts into our community.
New digital native cities are emerging: first in the form of digital spaces (e.g. DAOs), and soon as physical expressions of their communities. At Forefront we are developing the port of entry, a digital city unto itself.
As we collaboratively shape these new organizations, we need to revisit old approaches to work and membership. At the same time, we must continue to ensure community members can contribute reliably to the collective vision.
It’s tempting to lean on traditional central planning practices as the pressure to grow and scale increases. However, our constant state of flux means we need new operating models that can respond quickly and effectively to rapid ecosystem changes.
My personal journey over the last year has led me through the artisan landscape of Puerto Rico, nascent online organizations on Discord, and through this unlikely intersection, to the future of work.
Big thanks to Patrick Rivera, Jarrod Dicker, Raphael Menezes, and Dan Shipper for their help writing this post. Follow me on Twitter or subscribe to Penguins and Rabbit Holes to hear more thoughts on building public knowledge in the future.
Interoperability is the connecting thread of the future of the social web. It’s the reason Facebook and Twitter are not so secretly working to fundamentally transform their current products. It’s the argument I’ll give for the crypto publishing platform Mirror — where this post is published — being undervalued, despite raising a round at $100M a year after launch. Interoperability is the idea that to succeed in the future, builders will design individual lego pieces rather than entire sculptures.
The world of consumer tech can feel impossible to keep up with at the moment: NFTs, social tokens, crypto wallets, AR/VR, the metaverse. Those terms describe new products and experiences and will continue to change, but interoperability is the core mechanism that brings them together. It will drive the next wave of products, including and especially science where I spend most of my time.
So I’m going to try and make interoperability as cool as a pixelated punk. I want to lay out the steps to a tipping point — where you wake up one day and the internet is almost unrecognizable from how it is now. And to make those steps as concrete as possible in this abstract world, I’ll do it through the lens of Mirror, a company with a vision that makes the opportunity of interoperability obvious.
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✷ *. 𝕱𝖔𝖗𝖊𝖋𝖗𝖔𝖓𝖙 𝖇𝖎𝖗𝖙𝖍𝖉𝖆𝖞 𝖇𝖆𝖘𝖍
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🛋 Update: The gates to our main event party are now open. Access here.
PS: You will need to hold at least 20 $FFPARTY tokens in order to join. Make sure to get your hands on one before they're sold out!
Since its inception, Forefront has established itself as the leading aggregator in the social token landscape. From insight-packed essays to social token tooling to one of the best newsletters in the crypto space, the Forefront community is on a mission to truly become the Home of Social Tokens.
With momentum picking up rapidly, our community has come to recognize a few key blocks that need to be collectively molded for Forefront to really take things to the next level.
In this post, we’ll dive into Forefront’s journey so far and introduce Season One: Enter the Forge, which officially began July 25th.
We're also auctioning off a 1/1 sponsorship NFT to give an individual or DAO the chance to sponsor our work and get their product or service in front of our readers throughout Season One. Auction details on the bottom of the page.
In this conversation, Austin talks to Nathan Schneider, a proponent and leader of the “Exit to Community” movement to learn more about its background and meaning, as well as its application within crypto networks. Nathan is an author and a professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he directs the Media Enterprise Design Lab.
It’s not for everyone. Start talking with an average human being about “exit” and they’ll start looking for a red glowing sign or something. But talk about “exit” to a startup founder, and it means something very different. The exit is what nearly all investor-backed startups are for, what their founders are working toward, because that is what investors demand. Usually, the exit is when the startup gets sold to a bigger, generally more boring company, or when it “goes public” on a stock market and pieces of it get passed among countless buyers and sellers. That’s when investors, along with founders and early employees, get their payday. But for startups that build communities—of users, or workers, or whomever—the people who have come to rely on the startup most don’t benefit. They’re the asset, really, they’re what makes the startup valuable. So what if there were ways for that community to become its stewards in the end? That’s the possibility we’re trying to make more of a reality, more of a live option.
A Coopah x ForeFront Collab.
Social tokens. Community tokens. Creator coins. DAOs.
The terms you hear every day have evolved into a movement with no signs of slowing down.
In the time that’s passed since the 2020 Social Token Year in Review, what was once a nascent sector has become a hotbed for the industry’s most creative minds to explore the intersection of financial and social capital.
🎯 Update: WOW. Target reached! We are overwhelmed by the support for this experiment in funding high quality public content. Thank you to all who have contributed by collecting the NFT. This essay is now permanently available to the public.
Analysis of on-chain activity of social tokens tracked by Forefront.
Social Tokens have exploded in growth over the past 18 months and momentum is still picking up. Forefront community member RantumBits conducted an on-chain analysis of the 25 tokens listed on Forefront Market, as measured in the Dune Analytics dashboard on the number of wallets holding tokens, and their trading activity. (Note: price activity will be added to the dashboard once tokens are added to Dune’s database.)
While there’s much left to explore, here are four key takeaways that have us excited:
The focus of this piece is to highlight the important business opportunities that social tokens and NFTs enable for services, software, and creators without 3rd party investment. We cover what tokenized access and subscriptions look like, ongoing experiments with the tech, as well as the numerous advantages over traditional SaaS. We purposefully don’t dive specifically into other important benefits that token economies can provide services willing to decentralize, such as governance, DAOs, etc. We mainly focus on the argument that all or most SaaS and creator businesses can and should tokenize subscriptions to their services.
Tokenized services are especially powerful for creators, allowing them to focus on providing a good service, finding customers who want the service (a market fit), and focusing on bringing that customer value. This is good for customers since they can pay less and have a better experience. It’s good for creators since they can sustain their businesses.
Forefront is excited to announce its first NFT Drop collab with Mintfunds uprising artist Ikaro Cavalcante (Occulted).
Occulted is a transdisciplinary Brazilian artist working with 3D and sounds that reconstruct common spaces with their affective memory, be they virtual, such as games, or physical, such as internet cafes. Their most recent work "Perennial Links" was featured on Sotheby’s Natively Digital NFT Auction.
The drop features two limited edition NFTs, entitled "Genesis Connect" and "Genesis Access", auctioned off as 1/1 and multiple editions, with a portion of the proceeds going to Mint Fund to further support crypto creators on their NFT journey
The artwork comprises FF metaverse "like" vibes in a completely open and experimental artistic playground while capturing the community essence, its value and evolving culture.