The way we value art, culture & community is changing before our eyes.
Web3 introduced digital ownership to the internet, opening the floodgates for creators to capture the value they create.
Today, we’re excited to unveil Bonfire, a platform that aims to unlock the power of ownership for online communities.
In the ownership economy, it’s not just creators benefitting - it’s their communities too. In fact, the very definition of a creator is changing. We’re observing a shift from a world where creators monetize individually from their fans, to one where they build wealth with their communities.
It's hard to overstate how profound a shift this is.
And while the results thus far have been jaw-dropping, you don’t have to squint too hard to see that much of what’s driving these outcomes is unfettered speculation more than any form of real utility. And while a powerful tool when used appropriately, speculation alone is insufficient to create long-lasting communities. Today we're seeing communities built primarily on hype and FOMO, with vague assurances of future utility. This implicitly values speculators over engaged community members, uniting people around something transient and undependable (“number go up”) rather than the intrinsic motivators that have always been at the core of successful communities.
In the long-run, value will be driven by strong and lasting communities, not the other way around.
For creators, engagement has always been predicated on utility, entertainment, and community. Fans invested their time, minds and hearts for free. Augmenting that with ownership and shared incentives is the revolutionary promise of web3. Replacing it with speculation is not.
A problem we’ve seen with current approaches is that communities can become disjointed when pure speculators share little overlap with fans that existed before. The end result is that instead of creating one community with aligned incentives, there’s a risk of creating fragmented pockets with misaligned incentives.
So why is this happening? Ultimately we see 2 main problems today:
To create healthy and lasting communities, we need more ways to earn membership and ownership in communities, and a greater focus on real utility.
At Bonfire, we’re focused on helping web3 communities unlock this full potential. We’re building infrastructure to enable creators to build their own branded platforms, powered by their web3 assets (social tokens and NFTs). Don’t worry, we won’t make you run your own server ;)
We’re also focused on better tools for token distribution. We’ve got much more planned here, but the first two tools we’re excited to be launching are:
Finally, we make it easy to layer additional utility and functional benefits on top of your existing assets. In his iconic post on New Internet Logic, John Palmer opens with the line that “The Internet is now a place where everyone has an inventory”. We’re building Bonfire on this new mental model of the internet. For us this means treating token-gating as a core substrate of the platform, a capability that can be applied across the features and experiences we build. Whether you want to gate access to events & community experiences, merch, content, or just about anything else on our roadmap, we aim to provide the tools and templates to make it easy to give your assets utility.
Over the past year, communities empowered with ownership have exploded onto the scene, and there’s a growing body of evidence supporting the core thesis of the ownership economy - share value with those who create it.
We’re on a mission to build a community-owned platform powering this next era of the creator economy, and we’ve got an ambitious roadmap ahead.
Come join us around the fire. It’s cozy 🔥
P.S. If you geek out on questions like:
…. then we’d love to explore opportunities to work with you :) Drop into our DMs, or Apply Here
And if you’d like to become a founding creator or community on Bonfire, please fill out this form and we’ll follow up ASAP.
Lastly, we’d be remiss not to acknowledge a few of the amazing folks that have supported us along the way - we wouldn’t be here without you. A huge thank you to the whole Rally fam, who’ve been building with and supporting us since day 1; our team of core contributors and collaborators, without whom we could have never made it this far; the folks who made bets on us before anyone else; and last but certainly not least, all of the past, present, and future creators and communities who’ve trusted us to build with and for them. We’re honored.