I launched a creator crypto token on Rally.io. Here’s what happened next.


Improbably, I have launched a creator crypto token.

It has been a bit of a mess in the early going, but now that I’m sorting things out, I thought it is time to report on what I’m learning from this unique experience. Are the creator economies of Web3 our future? I don’t know. But here’s a bit of what I have learned so far …

(and if you make it to the end of the post, you can find a way to get your own creator crypto tokens!)

In the beginning, there was $RISE

Earlier this year, I was invited to join a crypto-enabled platform for creators called Rally.io.

At first, I resisted the idea. I didn’t see how this concept fit with my vision of my future, or how I fit with the Rally.io vision of their future. So I turned it down. I’m very focused on making the world a better place for marketing and I needed to stay on my path.

But then I saw some people who I really respect climb aboard the Rally train. Hmmmm. What was I missing? Maybe this was an opportunity to be on the ground floor of the next evolution of the web economy. I’m all about learning and moving in new directions.

So I applied for the opportunity to launch a coin and I was accepted. I named my coin $RISE, as in RISE above the noise. That’s what I help people do. That’s my mission.

I didn’t know it at the time, but being accepted on the platform was a big deal. Tens of thousands of people were applying and less than 200 had been accepted at that point. I just kept stumbling forward. I was in the dark about all of this.

In fact, I was in the dark about everything …

Fumbling forward

Rally.io was growing fast and like any start-up, some of the details were slipping through the cracks. I was one of those details.

I don’t know how this happened, but I received absolutely no onboarding training except for a link to a lengthy and overwhelming wiki with head-spinning terms like “streamlabs integration” and “token bonding curve.”

For a crypto baby, it was intimidating. I couldn’t make heads or tails about the basic economics of the thing. Within a few hours of the coin launch, people were swooping in and buying thousands of my coins. Wait … what was happening here?

I made SO MANY mistakes and I was so confused. Finally, I reached out to Joseph Jaffe, a friend who had launched a crypto creator token a year ago. Joseph speaks fluent crypto and after an hour on the phone with him I was approximately 10 percent less confused and 10 percent more confused. If you are upended by that math, you are meant to be.

Finally, I was connected to an hour-long private training session with a Rally executive. What a relief. At this point, I felt I knew enough basics to not be an idiot.

I need to add that since this initial oversight, Rally.io has been amazing in its support.

Whale watching

Because I was new and stupid and my coin was cheap, speculators bought thousands of dollars of my coin. There are little or no fees on the platform for that kind of transaction, so there is no penalty for buying my coin and then selling it in bulk (and crashing the coin value) if it only goes up by a penny.

This was unnerving. Strangers were spending tens of thousands of dollars on my tokens, hoping for a quick and easy profit. While I had entered the space thinking “community,” most people spending heavily on Rally tokens are thinking “commodity.” The Mark Schaefer brand was being traded like pork bellies and oil futures.

At that point, I had an existential crisis. What the heck was I doing? I want no part of this stress.

Rally does have a method available to prevent these early bulk-buying behaviors. But I didn’t know about it because I had no onboarding.

After some early profit-taking, most of the threat of these big investors has diminished. Their power is dissipating as more people acquire my tokens and hold them. I’m smarter now and taking steps to protect my community from whale-fueled crashes in the future.

I’m still uneasy that my brand has been tokenized and traded in such a manner. But I’ve started to get clearer about the potential to help others through this opportunity.

Crazy rewards

Every week, Rally.io was dumping thousands of dollars in my account for seemingly no reason. Yes, they were tokens. But they were worth real money. What the heck was going on? It took me awhile to understand this craziness.

To understand the seemingly upside-down economics of Rally.io, I’d like to tell you a story about Twitter.

A decade ago when Twitter was blowing up as the new darling of the social media scene, I saw an interview with founder Jack Dorsey. “How will you make money?” he was asked. “I don’t know,” he responded, “We probably won’t think about that for three years.”

As a business leader groomed in a Fortune 100 company, I thought this was the nuttiest thing I had ever heard. How do you found a company with no plan for profits?

But I eventually I understood the idea. Once you have a hot digital product, you will happily lose money to dominate a niche. Twitter did it. Amazon did it. And apparently, Rally.io aims to do it. There will probably be only one winner in any niche (there is only one Twitter, right?), so you do whatever it takes to be the ultimate victor. Once you have that audience, you can find ways to monetize.

Rally.io is not only losing money like Twitter to dominate its niche of the standard creator crypto token, it is actually giving money away to assure their foothold across the world.

Major investors like Andresson-Horowitz poured millions of dollars into Rally’s idea of becoming the standard crypto-based creator community. There are competitors. So Rally needs to dominate.

One half of all the money poured into Rally is being spent on rewarding people who acquire and hold creator coins. From the Rally.io website:


So if I grow my community, I get a cache of “reward coins” every Sunday that is distributed to everyone who holds my $RISE coin. For example, if you own 1 percent of my coins, you get 1 percent of the distribution. I’ve had as much as $20,000 distributed to my community in one week.

And those who reinvest the dividend back into the $RISE coin every week (very easy — takes 60 seconds), own more tokens, which are eligible for more of the next weekly reward.

This can’t last forever, but it in Rally documentation it projects that it will last in some form for eight years, which is a substantial amount of time to have these new creator crypto token economies bloom.

The next vision

Now that I am immersed in this world, I’m beginning to embrace a vision of where this creator economy could go. In fact, I have not been this energized by a new idea in the last 10 years.

Right now if you visit the $RISE token site, you can see the basic metrics of the token and some cool discounts on my books, coaching sessions, and classes. Already, I’ve paid people for blog posts with the $RISE token, and fans have used the tokens to buy my books, classes, and podcast ads. Pretty cool.

But that is just step one.

I think there is an opportunity to use this gift to build something bold and new. To really help people RISE.

I’m being deliberate about a strategy — Having meetings, watching best practices, continuing to learn. The obvious first step is to use the tight and loyal Uprising community as a place to start and build. I’ll probably be able to take some first steps early in the coming months.

And here’s the cool part. I don’t have to do it all myself. I can leverage the brains and talents of a community. And maybe that will include you?

Note: I am not a financial advisor and the $RISE coin is primarily a token to support creators and participate in creator communities. Everything in this post is only my point of view and does not represent investment advice.

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions. He is the author of some of the world’s bestselling digital marketing books and is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Follow Mark on TwitterLinkedInYouTube, and Instagram.

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