Would you own the Mona Lisa even if other people could continue looking at it?
You could always sell it – but you, the previous and every future owner must allow public access.
Of course, you would! You could make good money off of this.
And who wouldn’t want to own the Mona Lisa if given the chance?
Keep this thought…
Currently more and more DeFi and Crypto initiatives are being built.
Especially in the content and evergrowing knowledge economy, some ideas are making their way on the blockchain. Cryptomedia could be a real part of our lives in the next couple of years.
As you are reading this on Substack, you might have realized that this model of content creation and monetization has proven highly effective for the company.
No wonder that Twitter acquires paid newsletter platform Revue and the Everything bundle raises $600k and launches their own platform.
But it is not the only model. I first heard about tokenized essays from this Twitter thread and this article. Let’s sketch it out.
The basic idea is that there's a new economic model available outside of the basic paid-substack model.
In this model, every essay is a non-fungible token (NFT).
An NFT is a cryptographic token, which represents something unique.
Think of NFT like your digital version of something special and unique, that only you can own. NFTs are used to create verifiable digital scarcity.
Tokenized essays are essays that are available to buy as NFTs. Each up-coming essay from the author is crowd-funded by selling the available NFTs.
Buying the Essay-NFT you own something like a certificate, that can be digitally transferred from wallet to wallet – much like a Bitcoin. The crypto bit is all sub-surface and doesn't detract from the reading experience.
This is what the pre-sale looks like. In the tokenized essays model every post is free to read but every essay is also an NFT – tradeable and ownable.
This pre-sale component you see above is what makes it really interesting.
Let’s put it together:
- Every essay is announced and pre-sold by the author
- Buyers own the essay as a unique NFT
- The essay is free to read after release to anyone – even those, who never bought the NFT
- The pre-sale creates hype and finances the author
Putting the essay on the blockchain ensures that it is not owned by any platform.
My essay will live as its own decentralized medium where the only source of power is defined by its original smart contract.
My smart contract specifies that I will get 10% of every future sale of the NFT.
If in five years my essay is sold for 10 million, I will get one million.
No one can do anything about this.
Why own something when anyone can read it?
Remember the question from the beginning?
The Mona Lisa is exceptionally valuable and lives in the public domain. An individual can own the Mona Lisa – yet it stays publicly available to look at. Mona Lisa Instagram posts, poster prints, remixes, reuses all do not detract value from the original, they add value to it. The Mona Lisa is individually owned, but free to share and use by anyone.
By buying the essay NFT you own it. Only you. Other people can use it – but it’s yours to keep. Any you can always sell it of course.
Cryptomedia allows authors to make money from content in a truly decentralized way.
It means that the more the object is shared and used the more valuable it becomes.
Does it work? So far, so good.
Until next week,