The Hidden Ones DAO: Decentralizing a Movie IP

The Hidden Lakes Cinematic Universe is a crypto-native film franchise created, owned & operated by its community.

TL;DR:The Hidden Lakes Cinematic Universe is a novel approach to decentralized web3-native IP, granting low-cost proof-of-stake commercial licensing for members of its community. Owners of Hidden Ones Cryptids gain membership to the Hidden Ones DAO, including a treasury funded from the public sale and the ability to monetize & create on the Hidden Lakes Story Stack, where fellow members have a material stake in your project’s success. A bull case allows the HLCU to massively scale its mythological monster memes across media, merchandise, & products in a relatively short amount of time.

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HIDDEN ONES are 10,151 Cryptids lurking in the forests of the Metaverse, designed by @zachabstract and released by Eleusinian Productions. Not only is each unique NFT a brilliant work of art inspired by a super fun crypto-native indie arthouse movie, their utility is incredibly unique in the landscape of NFT collectibles.

By owning a HIDDEN ONES Cryptid, you become part of a vibrant community with decentralized ownership over an original film franchise with 2 full works already in its canon. The innovative web3 business model of the HIDDEN ONES DAO aims to compete with traditional studio models like Disney, with the strength of a self-monetizing community on its side. Members will be able to create their own official HLCU content for fun & profit to collectively build the world’s next beloved creative property. Cryptid NFTs are your ticket to the fun!

The tokenomics detailed in this whitepaper attempt to solve the friction between traditionally closed & centralized IP ownership, and emergent web3 trends favoring permissionless, public domain IP usage. We believe that IP is a great invention for empowering creators, but the upsides of permissionless creation are too great to ignore. This DAO proposes a way to take the best aspects of both approaches and capture the financial upside of an IP’s success for the entire community.

From Blitmap going public domain to Bored Ape Yacht Club releasing commercial rights to token holders, permissionless IP is making headway. But in both of these cases, you can start to see some problems emerge:

  • How do you ensure that creations on a decentralized IP are true to the spirit of the original idea?
  • How do you prevent the cognitive dissonance of teams cracking down on their token holders for using the parent brand/copyright?
  • How do you prevent bad actors from using a permissionless IP maliciously?
  • How will these IPs manage the extremely long time it takes to create high-quality media, while building lore from scratch?
  • How can the greater community tangibly realize financial upside from derivative work, in order to have a more direct stake in every project’s success?

Each of these problems are addressed with the tokenomics of the HLCU. Our accessible proof-of-stake approach to licensing removes legal gray areas and keeps the community laser-focused on a specific outcome that everyone gains from: the advancement of the HLCU.

The Hidden Lakes Cinematic Universe

Introducing a web3-native IP

The Hidden Lakes Cinematic Universe is an independent, decentralized media franchise incepted by the full-length mystery mockumentary He Who Lives In Hidden Lakes, which the Cryptid NFTs are inspired by.

Centered on monster mysteries that blur the line between reality and fiction, the HLCU is a surreal & accessible supernatural franchise where monsters become memes and vice versa: phenomena created, shared, and made real by decentralized communities.

Hidden Lakes was the first feature film in history to mint, sell, and release exclusively as a 1-of-1 NFT

The fanatic beliefs of an internet mystic, a cult leader, and a rookie cop gone rogue are tested on the hunt for the “HIDDEN MAN”: an elusive forest-dwelling cryptid that terrorizes their idyllic suburb.

Available to watch now on Prime Video, the genesis HLCU film has deep, rich lore and a vast scope belying its ultra-low-budget and independent, DIY aesthetic. Read how Hidden Lakes made verifiable cryptofilm history in our previous article, Patronized Self-Distribution: A Complete Guide to Releasing Your Film as an NFT.

The Hidden Man is a meme that drives obsession like no other. He has captivated the minds and imagination of an entire town, driving the characters to abandon their lives, family, and sanity in search of this paranormal entity. They may be on a wild goose chase, or they may be playing with eldritch forces beyond their understanding…

As a mockumentary, there are plenty of tongue-in-cheek, campy, and humorous self-aware elements to the film. The joke is that most everyone in the film thinks the Hidden Man is an interdimensional chaotic entity with psychic powers, but to the audience, he’s just a crazy hobo living in the woods, or a bunch of people playing elaborate pranks.

It’s the meme that makes the monster.

HIDDEN ONES Cryptids are official digital merchandise from this film and inspired by this elusive idea that the Hidden Man can be anything to anyone. Whether it’s an alien, a demon, or just a crazy guy in a costume, the meme of the Hidden Man is what gives it power. There are as many unique interpretations of the cryptid as there are people. In this way, Hidden Ones are 10,151 unique takes on the true nature of the Hidden Man.

The Indigo Purple Vampire Fern has been stolen from its greenhouse in Arcata, California. The town’s cherished plant holds a supernatural, folkloric quality: no camera — photo, film or video — can capture its image. The only way to see and fully experience the Vampire Fern is to be with it in person.

The Case for the Vampire Fern is the next feature film installment in the Hidden Lakes Cinematic Universe, based on a short film directed by Eleusinian team member and producer of He Who Lives In Hidden Lakes, Anthony Gibson.

Vampire Fern is currently in development, and will innovate the cryptofilm space with a new approach to NFT-based fundraising. Cryptid owners may see special benefits here. Stay tuned for more!

Watch the short film here:

As you can tell by these existing films, the content of the HLCU is all about community-created myths, legends, & monsters. That’s what makes it perfect for decentralization amongst its fanbase!

The Hidden Ones DAO Model

A Hidden One is an elite member of a AAA community, lurking in the shadows, infiltrating the mainstream media landscape with monsters and memes of their own design.

Think of the HIDDEN ONES DAO like the Secure Contain Protect (SCP) Foundation (a decentralized community writing diverse, notorious stories under one central concept), but with a bank account.

The idea behind the DAO is simple: a vibrant fictional universe often attracts a dedicated fanbase, and that community should be the ones who create, cultivate, and own its direction into the future. Imagine if every artist who’s ever created a piece of Star Wars EU canon — be it a film, a comic book, or a toy — were proportional owners of the IP itself instead of Disney.

HIDDEN ONES Cryptids are the only full membership avenue that will ever be available to the HIDDEN ONES DAO. Cryptid owners have proportional jurisdiction over this DAO that manages the Hidden Lakes Cinematic Universe, including a treasury funded by half of the HIDDEN ONES primary sale. You will also receive a free NFT called the Codex. Stake a Codex, and you are able to create and monetize the IP of the Hidden Lakes Cinematic Universe. Members will also enjoy a host of other benefits one would expect from an NFT avatar community, such as community events, giveaways, meetups, and perhaps most importantly, vibes. Additionally, members may take advantage of grant opportunities and skillset-developing workshops.

To put it in completely plain language, Eleusinian Productions proposes a way to distribute commercial licenses cheaply and at scale, ensuring quality with a proof-of-stake access model. Here’s how it works:

  1. Establish a NFT-gated DAO around the IP
  2. Distribute proof-of-stake licensing tokens to members
  3. Incentivize creation of new HLCU media + products
  4. Empower creators to keep the rights to their creations
  5. Drive a modest royalty on all creations back to the DAO community

The bull case? The brand is able to scale exponentially, and very quickly. Dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people could be producing and releasing HLCU media and products at one time. And via a small royalty to the Hidden Ones treasury, all Cryptid owners have a material stake in the success of each and every project.

Let’s dig in to how we’re making it happen…

The Cryptids & their Drop

Supply & Provenance

Why 10,151? Why not an even 10,000?

We’re using Chainlink VRF to randomly assign tokens on our reveal date (TBD), so that no one, not even the core team, will be able to tell who gets which artwork. “Because math,” as our developer sanketq puts it, in order to work with verifiable randomness, the total supply of Cryptids must be a prime number.

We gave serious thought to 10,069, but ultimately decided on 10,151 so we could reserve 151 tokens for ourselves, modest gifts to advisors, and giveaways & contests while keeping a public sale supply of 10,000 even.

Each Cryptid is also hosted on and pinned to IPFS with a unique content hash. No centralized APIs here!

Intellectual Property

Compare Cryptids to any of the many other 10k-supply avatar format NFT projects. Nearly all of them have aspirations to IP expansion, including producing movies. We’re reversing the steps. Each Cryptid is already backed by a complete, publicly available independent film, and its lore that has been in development since Hidden Lakes began the writing process in 2016!

Take the film’s wacky cult, for example: the Disciples of Gaia already have a detailed belief system rooted in real occult thought that doesn’t even get mentioned in the movie! At that, dozens of characters have their entire backstories mapped out, including how each of them came to have their own obsessive take on the Hidden Man Cryptid.

Media production takes a long time, especially to do it right. In this department, HIDDEN ONES have a huge leg up on IP development compared to other community-driven avatar projects.

The revenue split

25% of the revenue from the sale of HIDDEN ONES Cryptids will fund the HIDDEN ONES DAO treasury multi-signature wallet (hiddenones.eth). This wallet is administered by Eleusinian Productions and controlled by the HIDDEN ONES DAO.

Each HIDDEN ONE NFT represents DAO membership, and proportional jurisdiction over its treasury. To put it in perspective, a portion of each mint is going directly to the HLCU community’s benefit. That funding, coupled with frens is some serious power to make an impact.

Post-drop: Roadmap

Many projects have a roadmap, and often these are more like sales milestones or future promises of things like game development. The Hidden Ones DAO roadmap will keep the best ideas from those types of projects (official merch, etc) and put them on the back burner, in favor of delivering real, attainable, significant value to our holders and our IP.

This is our Roadmap v1, which will make more sense when you have the context of this entire whitepaper.

Drop 2: The Hidden Ones Codex

The proof-of-stake license utility token that expands the Hidden Lakes Cinematic Universe

If Cryptids can be thought of as the “superfan” or “executive producer” token, then the upcoming Hidden Ones Codex is the “creator” token. This fully tradable NFT will have 3 main features:

  1. The Codex will be a beautifully designed poster depicting the HLCU’s “story stack” (artist TBA).
  2. The Codex grants secondary DAO membership (no governance rights, but owners have the same exclusive community access).
  3. Codex tokens can be staked in exchange for an unlimited, non-transferrable commercial license to use HLCU intellectual property commercially (!)

The Concept

The “story stack” is a set of core principles that a decentralized IP should follow to ensure that new creations, no matter how forward-thinking, exist in harmony with the property’s foundational spirit. No one will ever be told what or how to create with the HLCU, but, like a technology development stack, creators should use these immutable values as the foundational IP elements to realize their visions. The story stack is flexible, but the Codex will be a way for creators to ensure that they aren’t straying too far from the spirit of the Hidden Lakes Cinematic Universe in their explorations of its fringes.

You aren’t limited to movies or NFTs! In fact, Codex creators are encouraged to explore every medium from merchandise like shirts & toys, to media like comics, games, and more. If you want to make a prequel comic book about the rogue Officer Garrett Walden from Hidden Lakes, go for it! If you want to make an entirely new story with new characters and supernatural phenomena, you can do that too (you can even make another 10k NFT collectible 👀)!

You are in control of your vision. The story stack is your only guideline — you will never be told what to make or how to make it. There is no design-by-committee here. We trust artists to make the right decisions! However, we also believe in lifting each other up and helping each other be the best we can be. Creators are encouraged to gather feedback from fellow Cryptid and Codex owners!

The DAO community will also vote on what types of media & products they would like to see, but the ultimate vision of every project is ultimately up to a singular artist or cohesive, aligned team.

Hidden Lakes: Officer Garret Walden

The Nuts & Bolts

The Codex will be the first “airdrop” to Cryptid holders based on a to-be-announced snapshot, and as such the Codex will have a maximum supply of 10,151 tokens. The chain and distribution method (true airdrop vs. claim) are still to be decided. Because transfers of this utility token will be how our community does business, we will look for the most cost-effective long-term route.

In any case, Cryptid owners will be the first to receive Codices, and they will receive it for free (possibly plus gas). One Codex will be distributed per unique Cryptid holder, with the remaining supply taken to public sale. This initial sale will have same revenue split as the Cryptid drop: 50% will fund the DAO treasury, and 50% will go to Eleusinian Productions.

Project registration — In order to unlock the ability to stake your Codex tokens, projects must be registered with Eleusinian Productions, including synopsis, category, genre, and budget. This is only for purposes of accounting, data aggregation, and screening for harmful or prohibited content. Eleusinian will never reject projects based on subjective quality, because that would go against the entire spirit of decentralizing the IP. We’re also cool, so you don’t have to deal with any political BS.

Your Codex NFT will only be released from staking when you mark your project as complete or canceled. There will be no penalty for canceled projects (we know how it goes!).

Rights ownership — Codex Keepers will always retain ownership of the creations they produce! Even if you sell all of your Codex NFTs at some point, you will always retain legal ownership of your work in the HLCU. In exchange, the DAO and Eleusinian Productions will receive a modest royalty from all revenue generated by your creation in perpetuity.

IP ownership — Any intellectual property you create in a Codex project also becomes a part of the HLCU IP. For example, say you produce a new film where a never-before-seen main character is introduced. You will still own the rights to the film itself, but your new character will roll up into the IP and be freely available for your fellow creators to use.

Project financing — Assume that when creating a Codex project, you will be independently responsible for all aspects of your project, including fundraising and distribution. Eleusinian Productions will not fund Codex projects, and the DAO will only grant funding to projects that have been nominated and approved by members. However, keep in mind that our goal is to build a robust, resourceful, and well-connected community that creators can leverage to make their dreams a success.

Anonymity — You may present yourself anonymously in public, but as a consequence of the revenue share business model, registering a Codex project will also require that you securely disclose identifying personal information to Eleusinian Productions for trust, accounting and legal purposes. This information will be kept highly confidential and will never be shared with anyone outside of Eleusinian Productions, LLC (not even with the DAO).

Unfortunately, this will likely be the case until the entire market for HLCU goods & content can be trustlessly distributed and transacted on-chain.

The DAO + Codex Business Model

We have a DAO. We have a proof-of-stake licensing model in the form of the Codex. Now how does it work?

Staking tiers

The amount of Codices you have to stake in order to achieve a license depends on your project’s budget. There are a few reasons for this model:

  1. Keep a low entry barrier for small, independent creators.
  2. Ensure that larger creators are proportionally bought-in.
  3. Since these tiers are DAO-controlled, the community can vote to raise or to lower the barrier to entry. If the HLCU needs more content, we can make licenses even more accessible. If there is a high content saturation in the HLCU, we can require more buy-in. This can also adjust based on the floor price of Codices.
  4. Encourage collaborations between Codex Keepers. Pool resources to achieve your desired staking tier! Form sub-DAOs dedicated to specific myths & monsters! The organizational possibilities are endless, and the tiered staking structure incentivizes collaboration.

These tiers are just to start with. Cryptids will have control over if and when they change, and may also propose new Codex governance models. Everything in the Hidden Ones DAO + HLCU community is driven by its participants, after all!

Hidden Ones Codex Staking Tiers

Tier 1 — stake 1 poster

  • For project budgets up to $25,000 USD
  • Great for: posters, novels, t-shirts, NFT art & collections, short films

Tier 2 — stake 2 posters

  • For budgets up to $50,000 USD
  • Great for: comic books, merchandise, no-budget feature films

Tier 3 — stake 3 posters

  • For budgets up to $100,000 USD
  • Great for: complex merchandise, ultra-low-budget films

Tier 4 — stake 5 posters

  • For budgets up to $250,000 USD
  • Great for: metaverse projects, ultra-low-budget films with name talent

Tier 5 — stake 10 posters

  • For budgets up to $500,000 USD
  • Great for: limited edition toys, tabletop games, ultra-low-budget films with B-list star

Tier 6 — stake 20 posters

  • For budgets up to $1,000,000 USD
  • Great for: complex toys, indie games, low-budget films with A-list star

Tier 7 — stake 35 posters

  • For budgets exceeding $1M
  • Great for: low-budget games, mid-budget films, shows

Tier 8 — Large corporations and studios will need to consult with the DAO in order to come to explicit staking terms. If Disney wants to create, that would probably be very good for the HLCU! Disney will also have total creative freedom on their HLCU project and own all rights to the final artifact (and new IP they create will be released to the DAO). However, we want to make sure they are staying accountable to the HLCU community and the Hidden Lakes Story Stack.

Revenue Model

It’s a big question in the crypto world: how does a DAO make money? I’ve heard from friends in the DAO space that one of the biggest problems facing this new organizational structure is establishing revenue streams.

Luckily, NFTs and decentralized licensing are great ways to solve this problem. As we mentioned in the Codex nuts & bolts, Codex Keepers will pay a royalty of all of their revenue to the Hidden Ones DAO and (to a lesser extent) Eleusinian Productions. Even if the project is not yet profitable, this royalty applies to all generated revenue in perpetuity.

Our #1 priority is to incentivize artists & entrepreneurs to work with the Hidden Lakes property. The proof-of-stake Codex licensing model, which allows up to 10,151 people to be actively creating HLCU content at one time, is a model of scale. For this reason, Eleusinian and the Hidden Ones DAO should strive to keep their royalties low, Codex Keepers active & happy, and the reach & prestige of the Hidden Lakes Cinematic Universe very high.

In these early days, it is most beneficial to have a high volume of creations to cast a wide net and get the word out about this new property. As the HLCU commands more cultural gravitas, we expect 80% of DAO revenue will be generated by 20% of Codex projects, which will be the highest-earning creations themselves.

Please keep in mind that 3rd party marketplaces will also take a fee on top of NFT sales, which is why we have a native marketplace in the roadmap exclusively for trading HLCU/DAO tokens.

The Hidden Ones DAO will receive a 7.5% royalty on all revenue generated by Codex projects. This number is to start with, suggested by Eleusinian Productions. In the future, the DAO’s royalty may change from a flat rate to a variable rate, and may even depend on staking tier. This will be entirely up to the DAO itself, with the counsel of Eleusinian Productions.

5% of all secondary sales from HIDDEN ONES Cryptids, as well as the eventual Codex, will directly fund the continued operation of Eleusinian Productions, LLC. Eleusinian is only netting 25% of the entire Cryptid sale, and we will need this revenue stream to effectively execute on the Hidden Ones roadmap (which is for the benefit of the entire project). We won’t touch the DAO treasury at all.

Eleusinian will also receive 2.5% share of Codex project revenue in similar fashion to the DAO. This is the only fixed rate in the entire fee structure. It is for all staking tiers and will never increase or decrease, even if the community votes to modify the DAO’s royalty generally or per staking tier.

Community is #1

What do I get for getting involved?

We want to make sure that anyone getting involved with the HLCU community, whether as a Cryptid owner, a Codex creator, or a fan outside of the DAO, you will be rewarded.

Codex Keepers — Creator Incentives

If you’re an creator and you’ve made it this far, you must be thinking, “this is all well and good, but why would I want to create a project on the HLCU in the first place? What am I getting in return for the 10% royalty on my work?”

In exchange for the modest revenue share, creators will have a host of benefits to make the royalty worth it.

Though Cryptids are the only means of primary DAO membership, both Cryptids and Codex Keepers will enjoy free workshops & skill development in a range of subjects from business to film to web3. There will also be music, font, & other licenses secured by Eleusinian for DAO member use, as well as official HLCU brand guidelines.

Eventually, our vision is to partner with content distributors, vendors, & agencies for the benefit of everyone creating in the HLCU!

The DAO and its surrounding orbit is the central touchpoint for the HLCU fanbase. As a result of the royalty model, DAO members see upside from widespread adoption and success of every HLCU creation in the form of a well-funded treasury and token appreciation. This might even mean they’ll be interested in paying for your creations!

Eleusinian will also make efforts to market member projects at no additional cost to Codex Keepers.

Cryptids may set aside some treasury funding to grant to Codex projects. DAO members must select and nominate projects, and the DAO collectively will vote on which one(s) to award funding. This is a good thing to have in the back pocket when fundraising for your project! If the HLCU gets big enough, the brand itself may be enough to pique the interests of fundraising sources.

Canonization is a novel quality-incentive concept where the DAO will vote on which projects should be “canonized” into the highest prestige of HLCU lore. This will entail special benefits for canonized projects & creators.

Last but not least, the HLCU story stack is a robust fictional universe and teeming with deep, artistically rigorous possibilities. Has there ever been a mainstream cryptid movie franchise with artistic chops? This is your chance to create one, with up to 20,302 of your best friends! If you’re reading this as a creator and your interest is piqued, we highly encourage you to watch Hidden Lakes very closely for conceptual themes in the occult and the esoteric…

Hidden Lakes: Oracle Joe

Cryptid Owners — DAO Membership

Cryptid ownership is golden, and always will be.

Cryptids are the highest level of prestige in the HLCU community, which has its sights set on becoming a global AAA brand. They also have the most comprehensive exposure to the entire HLCU market via the DAO treasury.

You are the ones who steer the direction of the the HLCU. Nominate Codex projects for funding, vote on which one to award grants, identify gaps in the market and lore, and nominate creators to fill them.

Because every unique Cryptid holder will receive a free Codex, you are also Codex Keepers and will enjoy the aforementioned benefits too (as long as you don’t paperhand your posters 😉 )!

Get rewarded for doing cool stuff that advances the HLCU, including some top-secret, special-operative-level missions. For example: if the community decides we need a lore wiki set up, or updates to the website, you can claim these tasks, complete them, and get paid!

You’d be wrong if you thought all this business talk would get in the way of cultivating the best of the best community vibes: we’ll have merch drops, contests, giveaways, airdrops, and more! Everyone will have the opportunity to build friendships and hang out with other forward-thinking and fun-loving creators, entrepreneurs, investors & fans.

The Entire External Fanbase

It’s important to note that Hidden Lakes content will not be gated and available only to token holders. Because we’re completely indie — we don’t have Hollywood connections or name talent (yet) — this IP needs to shoot for reach and open access. It’s an exciting opportunity to build a dedicated fanbase the world over who LOVE our creations. The DAO ecosystem is the heart — essential, but not the entire body.

This allows us to draw a bridge to the world beyond the (still very early) crypto sphere. Thousands of non-crypto-native people may become crypto-native through the HLCU! The DAO’s revenue stream may become resilient to crypto market fluctuations. Codex Keeper audiences become far and wide. New people become DAO members. The Hidden Lakes Cinematic Universe can very quickly become as big as the major movie franchises of the moment, and that will be entirely via decentralization.

Future state (near & far)

Marketing: Reaching an external audience

Eleusinian will dedicate a large portion of its Cryptid and Codex drop earnings to market He Who Lives In Hidden Lakes and early member projects to general audiences. The film can’t stay locked up in the DAO or even just the crypto sphere! The more people are exposed to this film and its universe, the more people will love it — which means more value will be driven back to Cryptids, the DAO, the Codex, and projects & media created by the community.

And yes, as producers of the film, we want people to see the incredible work that the cast & crew put into it. But our biggest goal in marketing the DAO’s genesis film is to generate demand for future member creations. If the mainstream has the HLCU on its radar, then fans of the new franchise will want the t-shirts, games, books, merchandise, and movies that DAO members are going to create.

We also have a host of longer-term projects we’re planning for Roadmap V2:

Shared NFT contract & native web3 marketplace

Since the community is already taking a royalty, we don’t want OpenSea taking an additional 2.5% from creator works! We encourage members to create NFTs as well, and it only makes sense from a financial and provenance perspective to build a marketplace for each and every web3 HLCU transaction. Mint, sell, and buy directly with the HLCU smart contract like you would on Foundation or SuperRare!

Distribution partnerships

Imagine if every film produced by a DAO member was automatically at the top of Netflix’s submission list, simply by association to the HLCU? Or no matter what your Codex project was, you would have access to robust financing, marketing, and fulfillment resources at a fraction of the cost, or even free?

As we touched on before, Eleusinian will be working toward securing these kinds of partnerships exclusively for Hidden Ones DAO members of all tiers. This is what we mean when we say we envision the long-term community as blue-chip and AAA.


I’ll be honest. We don’t even know what an ERC-20 would be for yet, if it would be legal, or if it would even align with the HLCU’s goals. But it sounds really cool, and along with other DeFi tokenomics, a native token will be something the Eleusinian team will explore enthusiastically, thoroughly, and with the close counsel of the community — as always.

Hidden Lakes: Margaret, Grandmaster of the Disciples of Gaia, with The Mother


An Experimental Model

We’d like to acknowledge that this business model is highly experimental and has never been tried before to our knowledge. And even if completely permissionless, public domain IP eventually wins out in the future, it will take time for this to become the norm. In the meantime, we need to find solutions that make the best of current IP structures as well as emergent web3 possibilities.

For this reason, we believe the outlook for the models created by the HLCU and the Hidden Ones DAO are strong, their value intrinsic, and their many positives outweigh the few drawbacks.


  • Quality assurance — The DAO can use its network, resources, and governance to incentivize quality creations. No one can use the IP maliciously (unlike public domain IPs), because projects must register with Eleusinian Productions before Codex staking becomes available to a project. (Again, Eleusinian will never reject Codex projects based on subjective quality)
  • Community buy-in — The Hidden Ones DAO community has a material stake in every single business and creative venture as a consequence of the revenue share, from a tentpole blockbuster to a poster run from an independent illustrator. Creators also have a built-in market to sell to.
  • Removes legal gray area — You are either a licensed creator or you aren’t! With the Hidden Ones DAO model, everyone in the community is on the same side. Token holders do not have to compete with the parent brand. But attempts to monetize the property by entities outside the DAO may still be met with legal action to protect holders.
  • Expansion, onboarding & diversification — Trading Codex tokens on the secondary market creates a pipeline for new creators to enter the HLCU even decades down the line. Incentivizing creations in markets outside of crypto makes the business model more resilient against crypto market fluctuations.
  • Accessible & creator-first — The non-transferrable license you receive in exchange for staking is unlimited per-project (in terms of acceptable mediums). There will never be a penalty for unrealized or stagnant projects. Creators own the rights to their individual creations forever.


  • Semi-permissioned — Acquiring licenses is not completely permissionless (projects must pass through Eleusinian first) and creators need to share personal information with Eleusinian (for now) as a consequence of the revenue share.
  • Royalties & Bookkeeping — Creators do pay a small royalty from all of their revenue, and often this will have to be settled manually and/or off-chain, at least in the short term.
  • We’re still early — The legal structures we would like to establish will be a rolling process as the world learns how to handle web3 organizations. Eleusinian Productions has legal jurisdiction over the DAO until it can be established with proper legal counsel. Short-term, Eleusinian Productions has custody of all HLCU IP until legal ownership can be transferred to the DAO itself.
  • Eleusinian is dedicated to making these migrations, or else we wouldn’t have gone to all of this trouble to decentralize in the first place. This should be no cause for concern, as it is simply a short-term limitation (Pixel Vault is currently working with a top law firm to establish their handful of DAOs, and BAYC likewise for their native token).

These drawbacks are acceptable and will improve as web3 matures. By allowing any community member to create within the Hidden Lakes story stack, and monetize their creations while retaining their ownership in perpetuity, HIDDEN ONES seeks to replace the traditional Hollywood studio model. This decentralized method of building a media franchise & fandom allows everyone involved to own a stake in the quality & success of the stories we create together! 👾

The ultra-rare Demon Core Cryptid

Follow the HIDDEN ONES DAO on Twitter to stay updated on the drop!

Zach Lona (@0xach) is a multimedia artist, director of He Who Lives In Hidden Lakes, and Executive Producer at Eleusinian Productions. Contact us at

None of the above information contains legal or financial advice, and the plans detailed are subject to change according to laws & regulations. None of this information should be construed as legal terms to any arrangement between token holders and Eleusinian Productions, licensing or otherwise. Purchase and ownership of any digital goods released by Eleusinian Productions do not constitute an investment.




LIVE THE MEME. An IP development company leveraging web3 to build fandoms, mysteries, and universes.

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