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The ✨ dream home ✨ for tokenized communities
By Geneva Team
We started Geneva for communities of all shapes and sizes, and for the last three years, we’ve been sprinting to create a fun and flexible group communication app that gives people everything they need to stay connected. During this time, we’ve seen all sorts of communities thrive on Geneva — from creator-led book clubs to grassroots social movements, local hiking groups to global artist collectives.
One type of community we’re particularly excited about is tokenized communities — groups using new web3 tools like NFTs and tokens to experiment and operate with new models of membership, coordination, and ownership. While the world of web3 often gets flack for being scammy and confusing, when you simplify things down to the fundamental building blocks, it becomes really clear that tokens and other web3 tools can offer people and communities more flexibility, better ways to reward positive contributions, and new possibilities for self-organization.
But the barrier to building or participating in web3 communities today is really high. Anyone who wants to start or join a tokenized community has to deal with clunky infrastructure, confusing bot integrations, and a variety of annoying spam and dangerous scams. The experience for everyone is 😬 — which not only makes it hard for existing communities to reach the mainstream, but also prevents other groups who might benefit from web3 tools from accessing them in the first place.
We believe that web3 tools offer a ton of exciting new possibilities, and that using them — both as a leader and as a participating member — should be as easy as buying something or accepting payments with a credit card is today. Our goal, simply put, is to make web3 tools intuitive and accessible to everyone.
In this post we’ll go into a bit more detail about why Geneva is the ideal home for tokenized communities, what we’ve built so far, and what we have planned — including our own vision for a future where Geneva is owned and governed by all of you, our users. So let’s jump in…
PHASE 1 (2019-TODAY): BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR HEALTHY COMMUNITIES
The first few years of Geneva were all about building the foundation for healthy communities of all shapes and sizes.
To us, this meant building a flexible, fully cross-platform app that…
- Lets groups create a private, organized space with different rooms for different topics
- Brings together all the different ways communities interact — synchronous chat, asynchronous forum posts, group video hangouts, group audio calls, live broadcasts, and DMs — into one place so people don’t have jump between a bunch of different apps
- Allows people to create a profile and bio so others can learn about who they are
- Makes it easy for people to plan events and meetups
- Gives leaders control over who can access their space and how they show up there
This also meant making a number of day-one decisions that would help keep Geneva safe and cozy long term and set the conditions for people to show up as their best selves. While most apps allow anyone to sign up with an email address (a recipe for spam and scams), we’ve always required all accounts on Geneva to be tied to a real phone number. We encourage people to use their real identity (though we do plan to add ‘nicknames’ for communities of people who want or need to show up that way) and have prioritized features like Question Gates that give community-creators more visibility and control over who’s entering their spaces.
Over the rest of this year, we have a lot more planned to continue making Geneva more powerful and fun for ALL communities (you can read more about that here!)
PHASE 2 (REST OF THIS YEAR): LAYERING ON WEB3 TOOLS
As we continue working to make Geneva the ideal home for all kinds of communities, we’ll start to layer on new features and functionality specifically for tokenized communities. Some of this will be natively built while other bits will come via tight-knit integrations with leading web3 protocols and partners.
Two weeks ago, we released our first native web3 features: wallet connect & token-gates. This means that community leaders can now easily create rooms that members can unlock based on their NFT or token holdings. As a member, all you need to do is connect your MetaMask wallet to Geneva with just a few taps — no confusing or risky bot-interactions necessary — and you’re in! This is in private beta right now, but if you want access, send us an email at email@example.com. Over the coming months, we’ll add support for more wallets and more blockchains too.
We’ll also continue to focus over the next few months on two of the major challenges that web3 communities face:
1. Making communities’ experiences safer & more secure
While spam and scams are an issue for all kinds of communities, they’re particularly problematic for web3 communities. We’ll be spending the next few months building out a range of tools to help eliminate the most common attack vectors including things like wallet-based 2-factor authentication, community role badges that verify and indicate status, and additional protections around DMs. If you have other ideas in this area, we’d love to hear them!
2. Making it easier for beginners to join web3 communities
One of the biggest challenges new people face when trying to join their first web3 community is not having a wallet or tokens, or even knowing how to go about getting them. That’s why one of our top priorities is a “fiat on-ramp” which will allow people to buy NFTs & tokens with a credit card or Apple Pay, right within Geneva.
Over the next few months we’ll be announcing several exciting integration partners, so keep an eye out 👀 (And if you’re building a web3 app or protocol that you think makes sense as an integration with Geneva, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
As we work to create tools that are more accessible for everyone, we’re also partnering with a hand-selected group of web3 communities who are building homes on Geneva. From established web3 education communities like Crypto Witch Club to new kinds of social DAOs like Black Girl Magik, we’re excited to support the next leaders in this space with both the product and the partnership and amplification to help them grow and thrive. You can learn more about that group here. 😊
PHASE 3 (NEXT 12-18 MONTHS) - THE ALL-IN-ONE HOME FOR WEB3 COMMUNITIES
We’ve always been building Geneva as an “all-in-one” home for communities, and over time we’ll add everything that tokenized communities need to stay connected, organized, and operational too — some natively and some via partnerships and integrations.
We envision a future where you can…
- Discover communities to join based on current token holdings
- Create a seamless onboarding experience for members that helps them learn everything they need to know about getting involved
- Easily track and reward members for participating in things like community discussions, votes, and events
- Push Geneva forum posts to formal, on-chain proposals with a single click
- Initiate and track community transactions
- View and manage voting, treasury, and integrations in a single place
- Build custom rooms into your home on Geneva to expand the functionality
- And more…
Here's a little teaser 👀
BEYOND THE PRODUCT…
Ultimately, our belief that web3 tools can serve all kinds of communities is rooted in our fundamental belief in the power of collective ownership and decentralization. Over the next few years, you’ll also see us…
1. Progressively decentralize ownership and governance of Geneva
Instead of being owned by outside stakeholders and controlled by an all-powerful CEO, we’ll put more decision-making power into our users’ hands. As our society emerges from a decade of large tech companies being run as monarchies (or dictatorships?), we’re excited to make Geneva a platform that’s more “of the people, by the people, for the people”. Stay tuned for more on this.
2. Progressively decentralize our tech stack
Our goal is to move Geneva onto “decentralized rails” without compromising on the performance or user experience that our communities have come to love. We’ve looked pretty deeply at a number of different services and plan to begin decentralizing our infrastructure bit by bit as different services mature. If you’re building in this space, we’d love to chat!
We know this is an ambitious plan and none of it will be easy. But we’re energized by the possibilities and excited to continue to build alongside all of you 💕
If you have any questions or want to work together on any of this, email email@example.com or DM us on twitter!