Crypto, NFTs, DAOs – An Introduction

To start us off on our DWeb Learning journey, we had the privilege to speak with Shermin Voshmgir about the basics of Web3. Shermin is the author of the book Token Economy, which helped many of us grasp the basics, the founder of Token Kitchen and BlockchainHub Berlin.  She was clear: the time to learn and get involved in shaping this new socio-economic operating system is now. You can re-watch the full conversation here.  Here are a few of the highlights:

A brief history of the web

To get us situated, Shermin took us through the evolution of the web. She reminds us how we got to this point, from email that send data packages “across the information data highway” (Web1), to hyperlinked websites and eventually leading us to the social networks and e-commerce platforms we know today (Web2). We are now entering the Web3 era of blockchain networks where data is stored in a decentralized manner and managed collectively. Here’s her brief synopsis of this history and why this evolution matters:

Bridging tech & social experts

The web is in a sense becoming one of the key operating systems for society. Leaving the design and governance aspects of this system to engineers only is bound to lead us down a path of unforeseen consequences, much like what we are seeing with privacy and misinformation challenges on social networks.

The token economy is coming

Shermin proposes that while websites were the “killer app” of the Web2 era, tokens are the equivalent in Web3. She walks us through the different potential uses of tokens, from representing assets to access rights or governance rights.

Vienna’s token experiment to reduce CO2

There’s nothing quite like a use-case example to help us grasp some of these concepts. Here, Shermin describes an token experiment she helped design with the city of Vienna. Their key question was: how do we incentivize residents to reduce their CO2 footprint? While the ultimate token design is fascinating, what is perhaps most insightful in Shermin’s description are the multiple questions (and sets of expertise) they had to ask to come up with a viable governance model.

DAOs as the next frontier

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are multiplying at a rapid pace. In these organizations, decisions are made through smart contracts that self-execute but are designed, updated and governed by token-holders. Many refer to it as an update to cooperatives. Shermin tells us more:

The time is now!

Shermin left us with an urgent call to action. Start learning now so you can leverage and shape this new socio-economic operating system.

The session was information packed but of course we only scratched the surface. For those interested to go deeper: We found Shermin’s book – Token Economy – helpful, as well as resources like Odyssey DAO and Ethereum Foundation's content, among others. For content in Spanish, Boske offers abundant resources.  

Learn more about the DWeb Learning Collaborative, convened by Ashoka & Mutualist Society