Introducing $DESK, CoinDesk’s Token Rewards Program

Like many media shops within the Internet 2.0 period, we at CoinDesk are exploring new methods to interact our viewers instantly, with out the intermediation of the enormous web platforms that dominate the digital financial system. 

So begins the journey of $DESK in beta at this 12 months’s Consensus by CoinDesk convention, the place these attending can earn particular reward tokens and redeem them for gadgets and experiences. 

(You may learn in regards to the mechanics of $DESK at its utility web site. Please word that solely Consensus attendees earmarked to obtain rewards will initially be eligible to say tokens. This text is extra in regards to the “why” than the “how.”) 

This beta take a look at of $DESK (lengthy facetiously rumored to be within the works) is narrowly centered on the occasion surroundings. With the assistance of our companions at and Torus, we’re endeavoring to foster a carnival-like expertise with two targets in thoughts: 1) to get attendees’ arms on crypto, many for the primary time, and a couple of) to reward them for collaborating within the occasion’s varied choices, enhancing the general sense of viewers engagement.

With the assorted incentives we’ve created, we hope to glean priceless data from this closed-loop, beta-test surroundings, discovering what issues and experiences folks worth at an occasion like Consensus whereas additionally determining what they’re prepared to do to get their arms on them. 

Learn extra: $DESK: Your Questions Answered

How does the $DESK financial system work? 

Effectively, attendees earn $DESK by finishing varied duties at Consensus similar to shopping for a ticket, watching periods or attending networking features. Then, on the spending facet – following a mannequin that, let’s face it, shouldn’t be not like that of Chuck E. Cheese eating places – attendees can redeem their hard-earned $DESK for goodies in our NFT market.

These embrace sponsor swag, tokenized variations of CoinDesk articles masking seminal moments in crypto historical past, experiences with audio system and even two giant Papa John’s pepperoni pizzas delivered straight to your property (a nod to a different vital second in crypto historical past).

Why $DESK?

In case you’ve attended Consensus in earlier years, you could recall how we distributed digital wallets to attendees pre-loaded with NFT sponsor swag. Whereas many individuals warmed to the idea, we discovered that engagement was restricted.

We hypothesize there have been two causes for this. 

The primary is that swag distribution was too random. Giveaways weren’t aligned with attendees’ pursuits. (I keep in mind giddily opening my first pockets to discover a tokenized version of a 35-page cash transmission licensing memo from some legislation agency. With all due respect to our lawyer mates on the market, this was not precisely one thing I used to be excited to learn.) 

$DESK seeks to rectify this by pooling all swag right into a market with various costs and levels of shortage, after which letting attendees buy the gadgets they need with the rewards they earn.

The second purpose for restricted engagement with previous Consensus wallets was the transaction was unidirectional. You turned up, you bought a pockets with swag. You didn’t should do something. There was no strategy to earn extra goodies. There was no gamification, no competitors. 

Learn extra: What’s the ERC-20 Ethereum Token Commonplace?

Now, in utilizing $DESK to incentivize folks to partake of the numerous occasion choices and to interact instantly with one another in enjoyable, interactive methods, we hope to boost the general expertise, bolstering the occasion’s attraction as a vibrant, participatory affair. In some respects we see $DESK as a device for constructing a Consensus group. 

A few of the drivers behind the venture stem from necessity. After the coronavirus pandemic pressured us to launch Consensus: Distributed final 12 months as our first totally digital, full-scale occasion, we realized we needed to be ingenious if we had been to make the expertise extra attention-grabbing and fascinating for our viewers, audio system and sponsors. How might we get folks to do issues?

We realized that with any digital expertise, together with Consensus, you’re not totally there. It’s simple to get distracted once you’re watching a Zoom webinar. And when the tickets are both free or priced at ranges properly under these of in-person occasions, the motivation to stay it out by means of all of the periods is low. In case you’re not there among the many lots, you don’t really feel as compelled to get out and meet folks or to construct your information. 

We’ve got an extremely strong agenda this 12 months with nuanced content material, however we all know that as organizers we’re competing on your consideration with every little thing else that’s occurring on the web at the moment. Now, with $DESK, we are able to give you a bit one thing additional in return for that priceless consideration. 

Consensus by CoinDesk convention attendees can earn $DESK reward tokens and redeem them for gadgets and experiences.

Straightforward on-ramp

We’ve designed $DESK to be a simple, secure and enjoyable means for folks to make use of crypto. Many Consensus attendees are new to the trade and have by no means created a pockets or purchased or bought something in crypto. $DESK affords a risk-free, simple means to take action, with out the real-life hazard of perpetually shedding your keys or pockets. You don’t even have to fret in regards to the on-chain gasoline charges usually required to execute good contracts (all transactions will probably be performed cost-free on Rinkeby, an Ethereum testnet, or proving floor for software program experiments). 

The toughest half about crypto goes from 0 to 1 – from not proudly owning any to proudly owning some. So we’ve tried to make that first step as simple as attainable. If this effort helps new folks come on board, to create a pockets or to purchase a non-fungible token for the primary time, that will probably be an enormous win. 

We additionally wished to borrow from one of many crypto trade’s actual improvements: the airdrop, deploying a loyalty-driver mannequin such because the one Uniswap distributed to its customers in September 2020. In the same vein, we’re distributing $DESK to all earlier Consensus attendees as a means of claiming thanks. 

In all, $DESK is about being on-brand with what the trade is doing and about innovating our core product. We predict we will be an trade chief, making digital occasions extra attention-grabbing for attendees. As the primary, actual, event-focused reward token, $DESK has the potential, we consider, to overhaul a enterprise mannequin that has been fairly static for years. Gamifying the expertise with cryptocurrency rewards might essentially rework how the occasions enterprise operates. 

Ultimately, we consider each occasion may have one thing like this. We wish to be the primary to do it.

After Consensus

What occurs to $DESK after the convention? We’re nonetheless figuring that out, however we now have some huge concepts on find out how to incorporate the token throughout our whole media ecosystem. Members of the CoinDesk group might maybe earn $DESK by way of totally different interactions with the platform, similar to studying articles (as our mates at Decrypt have finished), finishing academic programs, signing up for newsletters or watching movies. 

We’ll roll out the $DESK roadmap within the coming weeks and months. We’re excited to see how this experiment proceeds. 

Can $DESK be a device to reinvent each occasions and media? Can we use it to tackle the Internet 2.0 titans, to forge a brand new Internet 3.0 enterprise mannequin primarily based on direct publisher-to-audience engagement and group constructing? We’ll see. The reply to these questions will, partly, be decided by how a lot readers such as you interact with the product at Consensus 2021. 

Consensus by CoinDesk is our big-tent digital expertise Could 24-27. Register right here.

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