It didn’t take long for influential celebrities to see the value once the foundational tech was actually built. Akon, Ja Rule and Lil Yachty all announced tokens this year. The NBA’s Spencer Dinwiddie and Japanese superstar soccer player Keisuke Honda launched tokens too with esports and gaming seemingly on deck next.
Recently, Esports Insider noted, “esports is prime real estate for custom currency.” The diverse array of use cases that each of these social tokens offers is a testament to how far crypto has progressed when it comes to producing real-world usage and value instead of offering a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.
The last few years have really taken their toll on creators who feel burned and burned out by big tech social platforms. It’s no secret that platforms rake in huge profits and often give creators the raw end of the deal. The rules are constantly changing and no matter how neutral a platform claims to be, there are always inherent biases behind their decisions to censor content. Creators can be deplatformed through unilateral decisions made by the platform, over which creators can exercise little or no control.
Perhaps if bitcoin’s bull run continues, we’ll see celebrities like Logic and Maisie Williams create their own currencies. But one thing is certain, the conversation will shift from what creators are launching tokens to what they are doing with their tokens, grading social tokens on their usability and utility.
Creators, artists and brands and their fans will need to keep their guard up against crypto projects offering pump-and-dump mechanisms for short-term gains that will ultimately be a detriment to their relationships with their fans. Instead, they will need to focus on the long term and partner with crypto projects that aim to build richer solutions to community management and monetization.
The coming year will be one of experimentation where influencers will tap crypto to engage their fan bases with token-permissioned chat, voice and video functionality. We’ll likely see a ton of new activity. Discord community servers will launch their own social tokens as well. Artists will explore tokenized meet-ups, crowdfunding, and we’ll likely see social tokens plugged into the decentralized finance (DeFi) community as collateral for lending/borrowing.