“Never, ever, think about something else when you should be thinking about the power of incentives.”
💎 Why It Matters
Token-gated communities align incentives.
Traditional communities suffer from noise, spam and other extractive behaviors.
Token-gated communities build deep alignment between members.
Members are incentivized to protect and add value.
- MetaTrends • Get lifetime access to Trends Pro Reports and our community.
- Poolsuite™ • Grants early access to projects, members-only playlists and merch.
- Developer DAO • Educates Web3 builders.
- Friends With Benefits • A community of “cultural creators.”
- Nouns DAO • Community-governed treasury built on daily auctions.
- SongADAO • A group supporting one song everyday.
- Flamingo DAO • NFT collector DAO.
- Her House • Community of womxn builders.
- Collab.land • Gate access to Discord and Telegram.
- Guild.xyz • Set token requirements and build communities.
- MintGate • No-code store builder for NFTs and token-gated content.
- POAP • Digital mementos for shared moments.
- Aragon • Open-source infrastructure for DAOs.
- Snapshot • Cost-effective voting tool focused on “vote signaling.”
- Rally • Platform for creators and communities.
- Bildr • Web3 tools, templates and building blocks.
- Bonfire • Tools to gate resources and reward engagement.
- Beyond • No-code tool to launch tokens, gate content and measure engagement.
- Mirror • Web3 toolkit to share and fund things.
- Token-gated communities will create and curate content. Together.
- JokeDAO rewards joke submissions with $JOKE and $JOKE holders vote.
- Time Writer is a collaborative writing project.
- Rally has a content bounty program.
- Forefront pays writers with $FF.
- Token-gated communities will collect and invest together.
- The Flamingo DAO portfolio reached $1B.
- PartyBid helps groups bid on NFTs.
- Metaverse spaces will be token-gated. See Worldwide Webb, The Portal and Metroverse.
- Non-transferrable (Soulbound) NFTs will gain traction. Thirdweb has 145,000 NFT owners. 0 NFTs have been sold. In-person events will be token-gated. FWB built Gatekeeper to do this.
- Calendar access will be token-gated.
- Allow members to earn tokens. This acts as proof of work.
- Subreddits reward high-quality contributions. See MOON and BRICK.
- FWB lets members earn tokens by hosting events.
- Bankless pays BANK for completing bounties.
- Offer fiat and token-gated access. Some communities are Web 2.5.
- MetaTrends is an NFT but we also accept fiat.
- Water & Music is token-gated and fiat-gated.
- Serial Marketer accepts fiat and has a $CMO token.
- Create and curate content as a community.
- JokeDAO holds joke races and allows token holders to vote.
- Forefront pays writers with $FF.
- Create a permissionless community. Guild has 400+ groups.
- Financial Accessibility • As tokens grow in value, it becomes expensive to join. The floor price for PROOF access is $80,000+ at the moment.
- Technical Accessibility • We’re in the early adopter phase of DAOs.
🔑 Key Lessons
- NFT-gating is simple but less flexible than using fungible tokens. These are not mutually exclusive.
- Think from first principles. Don’t force solutions. You may not need tokens.
🔥 Hot Takes
- DAOs, like NFTs, are primitives. These technologies are defined by early use cases. Although they are flexible and agnostic. A DAO can be a community, company, protocol, investment fund, city, country or who knows what else.
- Token-gated physical communities will gain traction after digitally-native communities. We have unsolved problems in governance, usability and tooling. Physical implementations compound problems. This won’t stop us from trying.
“Transaction costs are high.”
You want security for high-value tokens. There’s no free lunch. Some token-gated communities use L2s and centralized apps for operations.
“What about speculators?”
They’re incentivized to add value to the community. To do otherwise puts their investment at risk.
“This is exclusionary.”
This is a critique of gated communities. Not token-gated communities. That’s beyond the scope of this report.
- Who should I talk to about token-gated communities? • The tweet behind this report.
- Delivering Belonging in Web3 • On the importance of community-building work.
- Designing Incentives for Web3 Communities • What is contributor mining?
📁 Related Reports
- DAOs • DAOs are a primitive for token-gated communities.
- Social Tokens • NFTs and fungible tokens become social tokens in token-gated communities.
- NFTs • PFP projects are art with network effects.
- Paid Communities • Token-gated communities are alternative paid communities.
- The Creator Economy • The direct-to-consumer nature of token-gated communities is reminiscent of the creator economy.
Thanks Candace Stewart, Marty Bell, Vajresh Balaji, Natwar Maheshwari, Matt Alston, Tom B, Arthur Ostapenko, Ashwin and Benjamin Gabay. We had a great time jamming on this report.
📈 What else?
Trends PRO #0082 — Token-Gated Communities has more insights.
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- 24 Token-Gated Communities (200% More)
- 41 Tools (272% More)
- 11 Predictions (83% More)
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- 4 Risks (100% More)
- 4 Key Lessons (100% More)
- 4 Hot Takes (100% More)
- 10 Links (233% More)
- 14-minute audio episode with exclusive Token-Gated Community stories, insights and opportunities.
With Trends Pro you’ll learn:
- (📈 Pro) How to attract users?
- (📈 Pro) What are token-gated operating systems?
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- (📈 Pro) What is quadratic voting?
- (📈 Pro) What’s the fastest way to launch a token-gated community?
- (📈 Pro) How to whale-proof communities?
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