We are empowering a community of authors to support themselves through their passions. We are allowing readers to hold ownership of heirloom-quality digital works that are meaningful to them. We are replacing corporate gatekeepers and middlemen with passionate curators and deeper connections between authors and their readers. We are following the ethos of decentralization and opposing all forms of oppression imposed by centralized powers or which are reliant upon centralized authorities. We prioritize environmental sustainability, diverse representation, a more equitable distribution of resources, and inclusive access to technology.
Are TokenBooks a kind of NFT?
TokenBooks are Literary NFTs, a medium of expression that exists at the intersection of words and blockchain tokens. TokenBooks are as distinct from visual NFTs as books are distinct from paintings, as bookstores are distinct from art galleries, and as readers are distinct from art connoisseurs. Literary and visual NFTs are branches of the same tree, just as literature and visual arts are branches of the same tree of human creativity.
Our TokenBooks, publishing house, and community are built on a tech stack that evolves as our partners in the Web3 publishing space improve on the tools we rely on. We are pleased to support their further building efforts.
PageDAO is a Web3 author’s guild that provides educational resources for Web3 authors, advocates on behalf of creators within the industry, and develops open-source publishing technologies for the benefit of guild members.
Darkblock is a decentralized encryption/decryption protocol. TokenBooks that use the Darkblock protocol don't rely upon a centralized gate that could vanish over time.
Arweave offers permanent decentralized storage. When TokenBooks connect blockchain tokens to digital files on the Arweave network, those assets become enduring enough to be considered long-term heirlooms.
MINTangible provides an on-chain licensing registry. Use of MINTangible allows content owners to license their IP to token holders for experiences that traditional books have never been able to match.
ThirdWeb provides and deploys audited smart-contracts. TokenBooks governed by ThirdWeb contracts are as secure as possible.
Bonfire is a website host with Web3-enabled features.
Cent is a literary NFT publishing platform that is innovating mainstream-friendly features.
Unlock is a membership NFT protocol.
Paragraph is a newsletter platform that archives to Arweave and allows a limited number of subscribers to collect the issues that include news they care about.
Terminology: Blockchains and NFTs
What is a Blockchain?
Blockchains are immutable ledgers that are publicly available and resistant to forgery, alteration, and erasure. Think of the blockchain as a spreadsheet etched onto titanium plates.
What is an NFT?
Tokens on a blockchain can be used to establish the provenance, custody chain, and current ownership status of an off-chain asset, which can be an image, an ebook, a music file, a video, a 3D model, a plot of virtual land, a video game asset, or even a non-digital object in the physical world. Think of NFTs as registered deeds that can also serve as keys to a gated space, tickets to exclusive events, community memberships, subscription services, sweepstakes entries, loyalty cards, in-game upgrades, bundles of licensed intellectual property rights, and, oh yeah, some people are keen on them as limited-edition collectibles with a unique set of traits. A single NFT can serve any number of purposes and can be assigned additional utility over time.
What is an Airdrop?
Tokens or assets can be sent by a project directly into a user’s wallet. In best practices, this is done legitimately as a loyalty reward, royalty share, or subscription service with full transparency and the recipient’s explicit or implicit prior permission. However, users should be aware that shady operators may use this method to drop promotional materials or malware. Users should not interact with any unexpected tokens whose provenance can not be verified.
What is an Allowlist?
The allowlist for a project is a set of wallets that are allowed access to mint a certain token. Often, the ownership of one token can serve as an automatic mint-pass to put the holder on the allowlist for early access to another token.
In technical terms, only the token itself is an NFT. In common usage, people often conflate the token with the asset it represents, referring to both collectively as an NFT. In an incorrect usage that betrays a shocking lack of understanding, some people mistakenly believe that only the digital asset is an NFT, that these assets can only be jpegs, that these jpegs can only be profile pics, that these profile pics can only be ugly cartoon animals, and that these ugly cartoon animal jpegs can be collected with a right-click. In reality, even when an ugly cartoon animal jpeg is being described as an NFT, its image is only the visual representation of a token that provides provenance, a custody chain, current ownership status, and any utility provided to validated holders by the project owner.
Is the Blockchain Required for Web3 Publishing?
The blockchain and its tokens are powerful tools for advancing the Web3 ethos, but their presence alone doesn’t make a project Web3. Also, there can be Web3 projects, authors, and readership communities that don’t use blockchains at all. Web3 publishing shouldn’t mandate the use of any specific platform, format, or technology, but should empower authors to apply the best tools to their work.
What is the Metaverse
A metaverse is a shared virtual space where people can connect and socialize. Social media is a metaverse. Online gaming is a metaverse. Fan forums are a metaverse. Some people have envisioned more immersive, feature-laden, and widely adopted versions that might exist in the future, as in Ernest Cline’s READY PLAYER ONE, but there is not currently a single authoritative service that can be called THE metaverse.
Web3 Tools: Generative AI
What is Generative AI?
Generative AI is a computer program that’s been “trained” to produce an output based on user input. Possible outputs in the creative realm include visual art, text, music, and video. It can be seen as a tool that creators can use, a collaborator to bounce ideas off of, or as a competitor for commissions and commercial work.
The AI products we’ve seen so far have been trained on sets of data that include copyrighted works by artists who have not given permission for their work to be used in this manner. To the extent that this is different from the common practice of humans copying from, learning from, or paying homage to other artists, this has created a gray area in copyright law.
Cryptoversal creates experimental literature at the intersection of authorship and technology. By harnessing emergent technologies, we help authors achieve their full creative potential in a future where our readers can share ownership in dynamic, interactive, immersive, and personalized literary journeys.