Creator Coins: What Are They and What Do They Offer?

All on my very own I started thinking that a genuinely new angle on book publishing might be offering crypto coins related to the book. Or possibly the author. It turns out these things already exist and they are called creator coins.

As usual, the internet was a bit ahead of me on this (though not by as much as it usually is). It’s 2021 and the ‘creator coin has arrived. Let’s talk about what the people who are using it are cooking up for themselves.

Like Doge, But Not Really

All of this starts with blockchain, but that’s not actually something we have to talk about in detail here. Suffice it to say, with blockchain, you have a foundation for creating digital money that can’t be forged and that maintains a ledger of transactions that can’t be tampered with. The proto-crypto currency, the wild one with the crazy fluctuations and concerning level of electrical power consumption, is Bitcoin.Creator coins live on a different blockchain, the grown-up one (sort of): Ethereum.

The currency that’s native to Ethereum is called ether, but creator coins don’t use ether. They are different coins that also use the Ethereum blockchain.When people are waving their hands around, what they say about creator coins is that they let you “participate in the economy of these artists.”

Those are words from Bremner Morris, who actually probably wasn’t just waving his hands around. He’s community-appointed CMO and CRO for Rally, which is a big fish in the still-small pond of creator coins, as well as a former Patreon executive.

Rally

Let’s look at Rally: it’s an infrastructure that can mint ERC-20 tokens, thereby essentially drumming up new “alt-coins” at will. Dogecoin is the alt-coin people talk about, mostly in a sort of disbelief that there’s such a thing as joke-but-real money. But Rally envisions spinning up lots and lots and lots of alt-coins, one per creator/entrepreneur. Because Rally is an Ethereum sidechain, the coins are actually tied back to a currency system that in turn ties back to what most of us still (archaic fiat-currency boomers that we are) think of as real money.

No, Seriously

If you’re not in the crypto world yourself and/or haven’t been observing the absolute webmadness of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), you may be wondering if I’m even being serious here.

So let’s be clear: people (that is, creators) are actually doing this. Rally itself is only setting up new coins by invitation at this point and there are only a couple hundred creators at this point. But the top several coins have capitalizations that are fast approaching a half-million dollars. And by dollars, I mean actual, fiat-currency dollars.

What does capitalization mean in this context? When people use $RLY coins (which are the coins that provide cross compatibility among all the different alt-coins Rally creates) and buy a specific creator coin, they pay for them, paying whatever the current market rate for that specific coin is. As I write this, for instance, the most expensive coin costs $41.58 per coin while a $HUEVO coin costs 9 cents.

When you buy a particular coin, you own the coin, plus you may also “get” benefits associated with owning specific amounts of the coin (in terms of current value or actual number of coins). For instance, you might get access to a video chat with the coin issuer if you own, say, at least 10 coins.

Now, anybody who plays in this space hardly gets through their first sentence before they tell you that creator coins are not investment securities.

I think Rally is out in front on this and I think they’re on to something. If you can move coins, you can become a sort of web influencer on steroids, plus direct money.

There’s a lot more to it than what I’ve covered so far, but I wanted to get to this particular point: Cryptocurrency gives you as a writer or artist or consultant or public intellectual or whatever else, gives you the ability to create a “currency of audience.” You may be selling tshirts with it, just like the old days, but the odds are you’ll be creating far more complex ways to provide products, services, and community access, and you’ll be able to control and influence the way it works in your specific situation.

…More to come on this…


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