Growing up in Chicago, I spent summers cutting steel in a confectionery equipment factory. It was good, honest work, but hard work. During that time, I realized people’s pay did not necessarily reflect the value they brought to the company. Those summers motivated me to get my engineering degree and apply the lessons I learned to my own company.
Flash forward a few years, and I launched FloSports, a direct-to-consumer, subscription-based media company based in Austin, Texas. Surveying the media landscape, I learned that the dynamic I observed as a kid in a factory also exists in media, albeit in a different form, between content creators and the digital platforms that monetize their work.
Once I learned about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, I realized there is a solution to this inequity.
There are two reasons why content creators are not rewarded appropriately for their work.
- Creators’ compensation ignores network effects
- Digital platforms conceal data that would give creators visibility into their real value
Blockchains can solve for both of these problems.
Not every subscriber to a network is equal. One of many examples is how difficult it is for digital platforms to acquire their first 1,000 paying customers compared to the effort in going from 1,000,000 to 1,001,000 paying customers. The former is much more challenging than the latter. Yet current digital platforms do not recognize the dynamic value creators add to their networks. They ignore it and actively work in their financial best interest to commodify the creators so that the digital platform is never dependent on any one creator (or more).
Blockchain enables a predefined minting schedule of tokens, which reward creators for their work on the network. The distribution of new tokens at a published schedule can automatically reflect the dynamic difference in value between creators. As such, there is an inherent premium associated with the stage at which creators join the network.
Requiring the digital platform to burn tokens that equal the cash value of its paying subscribers transmits value to the network and all of its creators. This burn-and-mint process is one way to connect blockchains to reality, and it allows for creators and digital platforms to be aligned, since both participate in the reward from network effects.
Moreover, the beauty of smart contracts is in their transparency. By publishing the rewards via blockchain for all to see, it is hard for digital platforms to obfuscate the value that content creators add to their network. This builds a conducive relationship between creators and digital platforms because it eliminates information asymmetry and suspicion.
We believe blockchain technology used in this manner will have far-reaching consequences across many industries. Protocols will supplement existing standards by changing the way we record and transfer value between buyers, suppliers, and platforms/intermediaries. The day will come when these stakeholders will only transact on networks that reward their full value to the network.
This is why I am excited to announce the first creator distribution of the RAE Token, which will help erase the value gap between content creators and digital platforms. My team and I have been working diligently on this project, onboarding creators and developing this first-of-its-kind infrastructure.
-Martin (@Martinoflo / )