The Hague Tech explores token economics
Tokens can become a reward for those that contribute to the community. A community member can earn or sell within the ecosystem when interacting with the community ecosystem (as in: the wider network) or within the co-working space.
We are a vibrant co-working space and community and our team has been looking at new ways to reward our community. As the community keeps growing, more connections are made. Startups, research institutes, corporates, and government institutions are starting to co-create while individual members are taking ownership of the co-working space, from hydrating the plants’, to ‘growth hacking the hell out of it’ to ‘bringing in new partners and investors’. How can we reward these practices?
Curious to token frameworks our team decided to organise a full-day workshop with professionals from the BlockDam Token Studio, to explore the possibilities of creating our own community token. If you think that token economics have slapped you in the face, here is a short explanation. Tokens are generic units of value; a gift card is a form of a token, having a stake in a company is a form of a token, your Air Miles are as well. We foresee that tokens can become a reward for those that contribute to the community. A community member can earn or sell within the ecosystem when interacting with the community ecosystem (as in: the wider network) or within the co-working space.
Value for peer-to-peer networks
The growth of the knowledge economy, upcoming digitalisation in combination with token economics, now offers the potential for new participation processes: it sets to change the relationship between individuals who shape their surroundings and reproduce the system through the negotiation of rules. What is different is that nowadays we have the opportunity to convert rights into digital tokens on a blockchain. Anyone can define a form of value through the creation of a digital token, thus a token can also represent value in a network of peers. Hey, that’s us! The Hague Tech community. As the amount of activity on the platform increases, the demand for tokens does too.
During the day our team learned that the possibilities are infinite, as far as the imagination goes!
A token design for a co-working space
During the workshop we learned when a token is non-fungible, meaning every token is unique. One example is CryptoKitties, a blockchain based virtual game that allows players to purchase, collect, breed and sell various types of virtual cats. Every cat contains unique data. An example of a fungible token is the euro; a euro can be exchanged for any other euro. Also, we gained insights in that there are multiple types of tokens: utility tokens offer access to a service, while security tokens are different in that they give token holders ownership rights of a company. An important choice for the design is the size of circulation of tokens and if the token is mineable or mintable. The bitcoin network for example, has a fixed supply: 21 million bitcoins by the current consensus protocol.
Token design is merely influenced by the behaviour and needs of token holders. Can token holders in our community vote for new features, projects, tasks? Can a co-worker get a reward for cleaning the dishwasher and exchange his token for a beer? Or is a permissioned design preferred, where activities can only be rewarded when this is approved? Does a community member need to perform in a certain way to earn a token? Do you need to become a member to be able to earn or spend a token or can people outside the community also contribute to the ecosystem? And this process of earning and spending, do we make it transparent or private?
The workshop by the Blockdam Token Studio has been a great start to re-examine the foundations of our community and co-working space with the horizontal networks that arise. It allowed us to deep-dive into token design layers and to understand how a design is influenced by certain choices. The result: we have successfully designed our own token model with different functionalities.
Token design is not only about selecting tokens and determining the tokenized value, an effective token design is merely a behavioural design! Tokens can be complementary in enabling frequency of interactions and shared experiences with a wider ecosystem. Traditional business models often lack the organisational structure to support co-creation in order to improve the chances of start-ups, corporates, entrepreneurs, research or government institutions to succeed. The co-working space as an ecosystem therefore is an ultimate platform for a token economy. The focus on knowledge sharing and interaction, the type of governance, innovative entrepreneurs as users of the services and the shared practices, lay a foundation to integrate token economics as a tool to enable participation of users in co-creation and decision making processes.
Want to experiment with tokens yourself?
Willing to physically participate in the Blockdam DAO co-working day? The Blockdam DAO will give a bounty of 50 BCD-tokens to all readers of this article. How can you earn those tokens?
Step 1: Visit co-working Tuesday at Blockdam in Amsterdam
Step 2: Take a photograph of yourself
Step 3: Post the photograph on Twitter addressed to @BlockdamM with the text: ‘Give me my tokens Mario!’ and hashtags: #blockdam #CryptoCanal and #mariodraghi. And don’t forget to post your ether-address.
PS: Promotion will last as long as there is a consensus in the DAO! ; )
"During the day our team learned that the possibilities are infinite, as far as the imagination goes!"