CoinDesk is fully launching its social token, DESK, and making it an integral part of the experience at Consensus 2022, our first in-person event since before the coronavirus pandemic.
Attendees of the June 9-12 festival in Austin, Texas, will be able to earn DESK by doing such things as picking up their badges at registration, visiting exhibitor booths or joining CoinDesk’s rebooted Discord server. The token will be redeemable at the event for merchandise (e.g., T-shirts or hoodies), food or beverages from Austin vendors that have partnered with us, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other rewards.
The big idea is to use tokenomics to build a loyal, engaged community by providing the audience with incentives to interact with CoinDesk’s content – and with one another. It will also give attendees who are new to crypto a way to learn about blockchain technology, including the experience of setting up and maintaining a wallet, with a relatively low-stakes, nonfinancial asset.
From testnet to mainnet
Now, CoinDesk is relaunching DESK into the wild, with the help of partners Coinvise, Flexa, and NFTify.
The new DESK is an ERC-20 standard token on the mainnet, or live version, of the blockchain. However, to avoid congestion on Ethereum, the revamped DESK runs on Polygon. This is a sidechain, or parallel network, to Ethereum that allows more and cheaper transactions by keeping them off the primary chain. CoinDesk will cover the cost of gas, or on-chain computation fees, for DESK transactions on Polygon.
Not a financial product
Importantly, DESK is not a currency, nor is it a financial asset or investment product of any kind. CoinDesk is not using DESK to raise funds; we are not selling the tokens for money. DESK is a reward token, analogous to airline frequent-flier miles, hotel guest points and the like.
Neither does DESK purport to be fully decentralized. As the creator of the token contract, CoinDesk may adjust the supply of DESK in order to encourage spending and discourage speculation or hoarding. The company reserves the right to delete the CoinDesk account and/or blacklist addresses of users that try to list the token on exchanges or otherwise undermine the purpose of DESK.
That said, DESK is a blockchain token. Users will need to set up a crypto wallet that works with Polygon (MetaMask is a beginner-friendly option) to claim and redeem it. Subject to the possible restrictions mentioned above, users will maintain full control of their DESK and can transfer it to whomever they want.
After Consensus 2022, CoinDesk intends to expand DESK as an engagement rewards program for our broader audience, including future event attendees, readers of our flagship news service and research reports, newsletter subscribers, TV viewers and podcast listeners.
In coming weeks, CoinDesk will publish more information about DESK, including the full backstory of how and why we created it.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.