Inspiration for Zion
For too long, the 50+ million independent creators propelling the exploding “creator economy” (an umbrella term for the influx of new business models made possible by the internet) have been disenfranchised by corporations, unable to share in the prosperity they’ve created. By capitalizing on their role as gatekeepers of digital content, social media companies divert revenue away from creators to corporate shareholders while retaining full control over the distribution of user-generated content. At this point, creators have essentially been forced to construct mansions in the backyards of social media companies. Zion empowers them to build independent communities on their own sovereign land. Decentralized technologies are upending established power structures by putting creators in control.
The limitations on creators’ ability to fully monetize their labor far predate social media. For most of history, writers, artists and singers focused on their talents, while publishers, galleries and music labels handled the business deals...and split the profits.
The advent of the internet democratized self-expression, and creative people took full advantage of a new way to tap into niche audiences around the globe. Viral content exponentially drew newcomers online and unleashed the explosive growth of platforms like YouTube, which was acquired by Google for a staggering $1.65 billion just a year after its launch in 2006. In the giddy YouTube video announcing the acquisition, cofounder Steve Chen credited independent creators with the platform’s stunning success: “None of this would have been possible without the creators.”
In the years since, social media companies appear to have forgotten this sentiment, despite the fact that their business model inherently relies upon monetizing user-generated content. Social media companies need online creators — they’re intangible assets on corporate balance sheets, but are rarely compensated accordingly. When creators do get paid (either directly by platforms or via sponsored posts), funds are routed through a litany of third parties, each creating friction and taking a cut before the money reaches the creator:
The "Creator Economy" serves companies, not creators.
Zion decentralizes the creator economy. You’ve probably heard about decentralization, the transfer of power from a single authority to a distributed network, in the context of blockchain technology. However, decentralization isn’t a recent — or uniquely-human — phenomenon.
Throughout history, decentralization has been a remarkably effective evolutionary strategy. Just ask the Fungi Kingdom, which has continuously thrived for over 1.3 billion years. Uniquely adaptive masters of survival, fungi forgo a central “brain” in favor of a mycelium network: a branching, underground root system that distributes control throughout the organism. Mycelium networks efficiently allocate resources, respond to external stimuli, and remain functional even if one part of the organism is destroyed.
Neurons, insect colonies and dark matter: nature insists on replicating decentralized network architecture. Zion applies the decentralizing force of Bitcoin (sometimes referred to as the "Mycelium of Money") to further democratize creative expression.
Holding Bitcoin allows you to “be your own bank.” Creating on Zion allows you to truly act as your own agent, publisher, music label or sponsor. There are truly no barriers to entry, and creators can retain full ownership over the pricing, distribution and profit share of every piece of content they upload. Zion Communities are free-flowing economies where value is collectively created, recognized, and rewarded, so fans can be compensated for being fans while investing in their favorite artists.
Zion disintermediates transactions, prioritizing efficiency, transparency and security:
All transactions are peer-to-peer.