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VeradiVerdict - Issue #168
A defining characteristic of the Internet Age has been the rising prevalence of “creators” –– people who produce and share content on the Internet, and often build a following and earn a living in doing so. Platforms for creators have historically been extremely centralized and uncomfortably restrictive, limiting the ways in which creators can engage with their followings and build their communities.
Rally is a new creator-driven network that helps creators better engage with fans using their own, custom cryptocurrency.
Creators can launch their personal token representing a piece of their digital brand, called a “Creator Coin,” on the Rally blockchain (a sidechain to Ethereum). Creators are incentivized to come up with unique, engaging utilities for their Creator Coin to grow their brand (quite literally, through the value of their coin). Rally also offers a suite of traditional web2 APIs to make it easier for creators to integrate with their sidechain, including authentication of fans and blockchain exploration.
Fans can purchase Creator Coins with the RLY token, an ERC-20 available on both Ethereum and Rally. Fans who own a Creator Coin can access unique experiences (like direct communication with creators on Discord, limited releases of content and merchandise, private events and meetups). Fans are also incentivized to help grow the creator’s brand, as it increases the value of the coin (and equivalently, their holdings).
Communities (a creator and their fanbase) can also earn weekly rewards from the protocol in the form of RLY tokens, which are then distributed to community members based on how much of the associated Creator Coin they hold, benefiting fans and creators alike.
Hundreds of creators have already launched Creator Coins on Rally, including band Portugal the Man and Twitch streamer Alliestrasza, and are hosting unique experiences for fans that purchase their coin. More than 40,000 individuals joined the initial token sale of RLY, demonstrating the public’s eagerness to engage with creators by owning a piece of their digital brand.
Ultimately, Rally completely reimagines the relationship between creators and fans towards collaboratively owning and growing a digital brand, providing the surface area for creators to build more tightly-knit, highly-engaged communities than ever before.
The Creator Age
One of the most defining features of recent history has been a remarkable explosion in the number of public figures. The Internet offers a venue for billions of people to interact with ideas and content more freely than ever before, extending a massive global platform to anyone with something to share. In turn, an increasing number of people are gaining widespread popularity from the content they produce and release: record labels are signing musicians left-and-right off of YouTube covers; influencer marketing is now a staple of D2C go-to-market; teens are building followings of hundreds of millions of fans. More and more individuals are rejecting traditional career paths in favor of becoming creators –– people who produce and share content online, build sizable followings, and often earn healthy livings in doing so.
Historically, creators have had to use multiple platforms to support their creative business; for instance, someone who makes videos on fashion may have a YouTube channel where they earn ad revenue, a profile on Patreon where they interact with paid subscribers, some listings on Etsy of clothes they’ve produced themselves, and an Amazon storefront where they recommend brands and items to their followers. These platforms, being centralized (and often clunky to use), are hardly interoperable, creating a fractured experience for creators and their fans alike, where they can only engage with one another via disjoint channels. In many cases, these platforms can also censor a creator’s business, disrupting the fan-creator connection within the blink of an eye. As the creator economy grows, there’s a huge need for monetizable, interoperable ways for creators to engage with their fanbases.
What is Rally?
Rally is a new creator-driven network that helps creators better engage with fans and build vibrant digital economies using the blockchain. With Rally, creators can launch their own custom branded cryptocurrency, which represents a sort of “membership” to their digital brand. Fans who own a creator’s cryptocurrency can gain access to unique experiences and content and can even contribute to a creator’s personal digital economy, allowing creators and fans to seamlessly engage in more ways than ever possible before.
How does it work?
The crux of the project is the Rally Network, a Proof-of-Authority (PoA) sidechain to the Ethereum blockchain. The Rally and Ethereum blockchains are independent of one another, but can be “bridged” using the project’s governance token RLY, an ERC-20 token available on and transactable between both chains.
Creators can launch a custom, unique cryptocurrency on the Rally Network called their “Creator Coin.” Creator Coins are a tokenized representation of the creator’s digital brand and can appreciate in value as the size and utility of a creator’s brand grows. When a creator joins the network, Rally gives them a sizable supply of their Creator Coin, which they can then hold or distribute as they wish. For instance, a creator may randomly airdrop their Creator Coins to their fanbase or sell them to fans for RLY tokens.
Creator Coins also more directly extend the utility of the creator’s brand to their fans. As their brand grows, the value of their Creator Coin also increases, creating a positive feedback loop between a fan’s engagement and the value of their holdings. Creators can also offer unique experiences and content to fans who own a certain amount of their Creator Coin; for instance, fans who own 10 units of a creator’s coin may be invited to an exclusive private Discord server for highly-engaged fans, and fans who own 50 units of the coin may be able to message the creator directly. Rally also supports creators in minting and selling NFTs on the Rally blockchain, which fans can uniquely purchase using that creator’s coin. If inclined, fans can “exit” that creator’s fanbase by simply selling the token for its current value in RLY, and then exchanging RLY for any other token on the Ethereum blockchain. Rally also has a suite of APIs to interact with their sidechain, surfacing key features like block explorers, webhooks for events on Creator Coins, and an OAuth2.0 feature that authenticates users with their Rally accounts; this makes it easier than ever for creators to build out crypto-powered businesses without needing to hire blockchain engineers and dive into the technical complexity.
Rally also offers Community Activity Rewards, where the protocol rewards engagement between creators and fans (tracked by holdings/transactions/utilizations of the associated Creator Coin) with some amount of RLY distributed to that community. Community members earn a share of the reward in proportion to the amount of the creator’s coin they hold, meaning both fans and creators benefit.
In sum, the project aligns incentives between creators and fans around the Creator Coin, rewarding deep engagement between the two with a literal increase in value in that creator’s digital brand (and by extension, a fan’s holdings). Rally also takes no share of any transaction –– a major departure from the dominant business model of most web2 platforms for creators. The team earns profit simply through the appreciation of the RLY token.
How is Rally being used today?
Hundreds of creators and public figures have already launched their own Creator Coins on Rally; some particularly notable ones include band Portugal The Man (with the PTM coin), Twitch streamer Alliestrasza (with the ALLIE coin), and international soccer star Keisuke Honda (with the KSK coin). Fans holding Creator Coins are able to access incredibly unique experiences, such as special invites to gaming tournaments, limited release drops of music, art, clothing, and more, direct communication with creators via Discord, and weekly RLY rewards. Several creator platforms are launching their own creator coins to enhance creator-fan relationships as well; online fashion marketplace Clothia recently launched the CLOTH coin to enable designers and consumers to directly connect with one another and earn rewards from engagement.
Over 40,000 individuals joined the initial token sale of RLY today, reflecting the public’s eagerness to engage with creators through these special experiences.
Rally also recently launched a sister platform, Unite.io, focused on Asian markets, allowing for deeper integrations into regional creator platforms and more flexibility in terms of crypto regulation.
As creators continue to grow in both number and popularity, the demand for creators for more versatile ways to monetize their content and from fans for new methods of engagement and rewards for dedication grow more and more pressing. Rally addresses these demands by aligning the incentives of creators and fans along the growth of a creator’s brand: creators are incentivized to offer new, unique experiences to fans to increase the value of their Creator Coin, while fans are incentivized to purchase a creator’s coin to access these experiences and own a financial stake in that creator’s growth. Ultimately, Rally completely reimagines the relationship between creators and fans towards collaboratively owning and growing a digital brand, providing the surface area for creators to build more tightly-knit, highly-engaged communities than ever before.
- Paul Veradittakit
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Hi, I’m Paul Veradittakit, a Partner at Pantera Capital, one of the oldest and largest institutional investors focused on investing in blockchain companies and cryptocurrencies. I’ve been in the industry since 2014, and the firm invests in equity, early stage token projects, and liquid cryptocurrencies on exchanges. I focus on early-stage investments and share my thoughts on what’s going on in the industry in this weekly newsletter.