Community is Utility

Genuine Undead
6 min readOct 24, 2022

By @mangchinance ft. GU Literature Team.

Utility — /juːˈtɪlɪti/

noun

the state of being useful, profitable, or beneficial.

Utility, in broad terms, is defined as the state of being useful, profitable, or beneficial. Essentially, this means that ‘something’, whatever it may be, is useful and functional, rather than ‘just’ being attractive. In economics, it refers to the usefulness or the enjoyment a consumer can get from a service or good.

Early NFTs such as CryptoKitties and CryptoPunks were strictly collectibles. The value of these tokens derived mainly from their scarcity and demand from collectors to own something of historical or cultural significance.

As the NFT market matured and exploded in 2021, with thousands of different projects coming online, the concept of using blockchain technology and NFTs to provide real-world utility became one of the hottest trends. Utility became not only a hyped-up trend, but a psychological and business framework that project founders, developers and investors all operated within. Instead of accepting the inherent value of the art itself, it was now almost mandatory that this NFT also have other ‘extended’ uses to make it more of a worthwhile investment.

Almost overnight, it became apparent; what really is the point of an NFT after-all, if it doesn’t ‘do’ anything?

Utility centred NFTs are built to give token holders certain use cases or perks, such as passive income earning opportunities, access to exclusive events or merchandise, ownership titles for virtual real estate, or more subjective utility such as ‘clout’, helping to personify one’s online identity.

Examples of NFTs with “utility” include:

  • Gaming/Metaverse (Axie Infinity, Otherdeed)
  • Fashion/Luxury Goods (CloneX)
  • Gambling (Slotie)
  • Profile Picture / Digital Identity / Status (BAYC)
  • Tickets / Token Gates (Various Access Passes)
  • De-Fi / Tokenomics (Wolf Game)

NFTs offering ‘utility’ are usually the byproduct and brainchild’s of their respective creators and in most cases these individuals are the founders of the NFT project. Naturally this sort of top down structure helps to create consumers. The consumers, in these instances are those people who become the initial adopters or end users of that new economy or service. The chain of communication for said products or services flow in one direction; from the token creators to the ‘community’.

Naturally, such an organisational dynamic has its advantages and disadvantages. However, as we have seen in the bear market of 2022, in most cases projects with this sort of structure results in poor ‘actual’ involvement from the holders, who in turn end up engaging with the project leads through announcements, deadlines and updates, always wondering “wen?” this or that. Lack of communication can then lead to a fragmented community, stunting further interest and ultimately the progress of the whole initiative.

Under such a format, it’s only natural that the market uses comparables to determine an accurate valuation of the company (NFT project) that is producing the goods or service (utility), as well as the NFT itself. When speculative crypto assets are subjugated to the value systems that govern traditional markets, the results are not pretty.

Two things seem to happen time and time again with NFTs offering utility:

  • Execution failure. The token’s value was driven by anticipation and speculation, and when deadlines are missed and promises broken, the price of the token falls dramatically as holders lose trust and then dump the token.
  • The project executes, but in the process, exposes itself to the reality of comparable values of the good or service being offered. Some of the “perks” offered by high-value NFTs (over $10,000 per token) are worth $50 in the real world.

A silver lining of this NFT bear market is that it has successfully siphoned off the froth, hype and speculative pricing of many useless NFT projects which claim to offer utility. For casual investors, this has been a harsh lesson in the nature of market bubbles. For builders, developers and long-term believers in Web3, it has allowed true reflection and sharpened insight into where value truly does exist in NFTs. This process has now begun to emerge.

Nowadays, it’s painfully simple to identify projects built around hype and vaporous promises vs. those with solid foundations, functionality and strong value propositions. The most encouraging sector of utility NFTs, in my opinion, has been ones offering access. These NFTs use token-gating technology to provide holders with membership to a community, club or society.

The average price of these tokens significantly outperformed the overall NFT market over the last 3 months:

  • BAYC (clout, status, events, avg price down 25% over last 3 months)
  • Degenz Access Pass (access to professionally researched NFT reports, avg price down 26% over last 3 months)
  • Nifty Portal (a community of collectors & traders looking for the next big NFT, avg price up 23% over last 3 months)
  • Underground (NFT trading, access to expert information, avg price up 70% over last 3 months)
Left to right: BAYC, Degenz Access Pass, Nifty Portal, Underground

You can use any word you like to describe the group of people: collective, society, cult, club, fellowship, association etc. The label does not matter; what these projects share is that they are providing token holders with access to communities of like-minded individuals, sharing ideas, information and expertise.

As such, these decentralized collective minds tend to work and operate as a single entity, making their combined efforts greater and more profound than the sum of the individuals that compose it.

Genuine Undead Collection

Community is Utility

Holding a Genuine Undead token grants membership to a one of a kind decentralized community. The utility is access to a collective of passionate and motivated creators, developers, investors, academics, collectors, innovators, thinkers, and leaders in the future of Web3.

As a community-led project, the value flows in the opposite direction of a typical “utility” NFT project. Individuals in the community are providing time, energy, skills and passion to enhance and propel the project forward. Instead of waiting for the next announcement, asking “wen?” Genuine Undead members are constantly creating, brainstorming and executing on innovative and genuine ways to add value to the original art collection. The community is the team.

Community is the Utility.

There are 9 councils, or departments, designed to organize and deploy an army of literally thousands. Deviating from a traditional DAO model, where the community operates under strict decentralized protocol, Genuine Undead is implementing a hybrid model of decentralized organization. GU acknowledges the proven models of Web2 and has used those models in combination with the innovations and principle ethos of Web 3 to form a Hybrid-W3 structure. The Undead Council, composed of elected and appointed community members, acts as a “Board of Directors” to harness, curate and refine the unending creative passion of contributing members.

By investing in, and continually improving the tools available to contributors, the goal is to provide a platform to elevate creators. Which will in turn elevate the project through curated and sustainable ventures.

What happens when you flip the utility model upside-down and send the flow of value from the community to the project? In Genuine Undead, the NFT is the consumer; consuming the value being pushed into it by the community that holds onto it.

You may be asking yourself, “Okay, but how long does this last? Won’t the community get bored, or disgruntled with not being compensated for their time?” To answer that, I would tell you that the art brought us to this place, and we really like it here.

Genuine Undead is a decentralized Hybrid-W3 organisation, which aims to amplify and provide a launchpad for individuals to contribute and collaborate going forward, creating sustainable and value-adding ventures. It is a place where community members are able to elevate themselves alongside the NFT and the brand as a whole. We’re cultivating a healthy and vibrant collective, attracting some of the best minds in web3 and its utility is far more than ‘just’ monetary gain. For as long as there are creative and passionate individuals who desire an opportunity to build the future of Web3, the Undead will never die.

Stay Genuine

@mangchinance ft. GU Literature Team.

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#BurningWar #GenuineUndead #UndeadNeverDie #UndeadArmy #CommunityisUtility #NFT #Pixelart #FineArt #Decentralisation #Genuine

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Genuine Undead

Genuine Undead is an NFT community art project. Within it are creators, developers, artists, collectors and leaders in the NFT space. We are on a mission!