Season 2 of Decrypt’s decentralized media mission is here.

When we launched Decrypt in 2018, we aimed to do more than create the best cryptocurrency news site: we wanted to become the first true Web 3.0 publication. 

We all know the traditional media model is broken. Content creators get shorted, while large corporations squeeze what little revenue they can out of news brands by using intrusive banner ads or auto-play video ads that create a terrible experience for readers. Trust is mostly eroded. 

As cryptoland likes to say: “Does crypto solve this?” We believe it can. For many on our team, what attracted us to crypto in the first place was the promise of finding a better way to fund content online and deepen the connection between readers and publishers.

In March, we kicked off Season 1 of this effort with a reader rewards token. Now, with the launch of Season 2, we have begun to construct a decentralized media organization in earnest. 

Decrypt is building out a media DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) that we hope will help drive the next era in online content. DAOs—in which a community of passionate stakeholders collectively steer a project and share the rewards of their work—are cropping up across the web, from startup investing to digital art creation to media. Many see DAOs as the future of companies. We see them as a potentially better way to operate content sites.

We’re now recruiting engaged community members who share our vision and want to help build it. We’re collaborating with representatives from other DAOs to report on the groundbreaking developments in this space, and we’re migrating our reader token to an ERC-20 governance token. That token will give our DAO community on-chain governance rights which will help guide us as we begin to progressively decentralize.

The reader rewards token we launched in March enabled our audience to earn simply from engaging with stories on our mobile app; readers could spend their tokens on original NFT artworks we commissioned. Those 75,000+ holders of the reader token will be the first eligible to claim the new governance token, as part of a to-be-announced token allocation plan. 

In June, we experimented with a way for Decrypt NFT holders to vote on what explainers they’d like to see next in our renowned Learn section. This was the first of many steps on our path to build a DAO that encompasses writers, thinkers, developers, and creators from across the crypto space as we progressively decentralize the content production and distribution process.

In the case of both the token and the DAO, we started small, and now we’re going big. 

We’ve already tapped a trusted circle of initial advisors who will help steer the project, including: Cooper Turley of Fire Eyes DAO; Trevor McFedries of Friends with Benefits; Scott Moore of Gitcoin; Lauren Garcia, a crypto developer and node operator since 2015; Steve McKeon of Collab+Currency; Cami Russo of The Defiant; and Joon Ian Wong of ACJR

These advisors are working closely with Decrypt editorial to help establish guidelines for how DAO members can submit content ideas to Decrypt. Soon, we’ll open applications for “stewards,” which is what we’re calling our most engaged DAO community members. 

Our aim is to forge a better path for content creation (not just for us but for all publishers as well), strengthen the connection between writers and the projects they cover, and compensate community members for their time and insights. We think those are pretty important goals—and they’ve become urgent for the broken digital media business.

Stick with us in the months to come, as we’ll be sharing updates on our progress. And if you’re a crypto native and original thinker who wants to get involved, you can soon apply to be a steward.