Connect your wallet and start building a web3 project in seconds.
For the past few months, people were required to earn and burn a $WRITE token to get full access to Mirror’s web3 creative suite. Going forward, anyone can connect their wallet, tell their story, launch a crowdfund, sell NFT editions, split revenue with collaborators, create a tokenized governance game, and auction NFTs.
Last December, Mirror launched its first product: a decentralized publishing protocol. Over the past year, we’ve also launched economic blocks for crowdfunding, auctions, NFT editions, and splits—as well as a governance product. Mirror has evolved from a tool for writers to a full-stack web3 creative suite for communities and DAOs.
More than ever, we believe that every creative project starts with a story. Our goal is to make Mirror the best place to share your story with the world and build a highly-engaged community around it, powered by world-class crypto-native tools.
$WRITE Race is how users onboard to Mirror. Everyone who verifies their identity on the platform is a candidate for $WRITE race and can be voted for by anyone in the community. Voting is about participation, support, and impact, and the kinds of creators you’d like to see on Mirror. We reward participation by increasing your voting power by 10 each week you use your votes. But as the number of rounds and winners has increased, the impact of new voters has gone down.
This week we're changing that by implementing quadratic voting. In case you're unfamiliar, here's a visual primer:
Mirror is working to open its creative and economic suite to the public, beginning with crowdfunds.
Mirror is entering a big new era in which we open our ecosystem to the public. Since last year, we’ve been expanding our creative and economic suite, and its applications within our community has been inspiring to say the least. So far, the suite includes publishing capabilities, crowdfunds, auctions, NFT editions, splits and voting—each with a web3 foundation. It’s a lot to roll out at once, so we’re beginning by opening up access to one of our most powerful and popular tools: the crowdfund.
Like traditional crowdfund platforms, Mirror’s crowdfund feature allows you to raise funds for your latest project. We’ve been most excited to see it used to fund completely new kinds of web3 projects, whether it be a decentralized e-sports guild, a grant giving program, an online learning community, or a community-built NFT marketplace. Unlike traditional, web2 crowdfund platforms, Mirror’s crypto-native crowdfunding gives the tool a disruptive edge. With the application of tokens and NFTs, backers have automatic and permanent stakes in the success of a project. The result is a unique cross between starting an online community and an internet-native company, all in real time and with the simplicity of filling out a form. Notably, our crowdfund tool has proved to be the easiest way to form a DAO, where an internet-native community is able to bootstrap its treasury and issue membership via tokens and NFTs in just a few clicks.
$WRITE RACE has been very popular. Over the past few months, we've spoken with many projects that want to use a similar tool for their communities. We kept hearing this again and again, so we decided to build a standalone tool that anyone on Mirror could use. Today we'd like to introduce: Token Race.
We’ve spent a lot of time building, ideating, and iterating on Web3 economic protocols to support projects and creators. As our suite of economic tools has grown and matured and we’ve had communities form around them, we feel that now is the right time to start investing in governance tools to support these communities.
A token race is a great way for individuals and DAOs to get their community involved in decision-making. You can use a token race in various ways, such as:
Open data in Web3 means we get to play with a large variety of interfaces for displaying information. While this means there is a lot of flexibility, it does introduce an extra step in the groundwork requirements for creating any kind of live discovery feed. We’ve decided to build a V1 feed into our Discord server for all Mirror events from our smart contracts, which can be further leveraged for our web interface in the future.
So why Discord? On most platforms, it's fairly difficult to get both organic discovery and discussion across content, teams, and individuals. Discord provides a happy (albeit chaotic) medium to bridge this gap and it also has a strong third-party developer ecosystem around bots.
While the basis of development is a feed, building this into a Discord bot will help supplement discovery and discussion within the community on a platform that already enforces a tight feedback loop between those two elements.
The $WRITE Race Oracle is a contract that enables creators to make Sybil-resistant, fair-launch NFTs. Imagine if Loot, for example, could only have been minted once per person.
The oracle we deployed is an attempt to explore models with fair distribution, to build games that everyone can play - where a single address cannot mint a large percentage of the NFTs that drop.
It accomplishes Sybil resistance by validating that an account has participated in the $WRITE race, which requires Twitter authentication. The list of participants is ordered by the number of votes they have received by the Mirror community; the higher they are on this list, the less likely they are to be a Sybil attack. Developers can use an account's place in the list (their index) to prevent Sybil attacks by limiting minting if the index is too low.
The new editor allows you to seamlessly weave together multimedia content and economic participation into a cohesive narrative. Create a story that’s collectible. Raise funds to make your dream project a reality. Build a community around your writing.
We’ve evolved the editor to better support your creative process. No more toggling to preview mode or looking up Markdown syntax. As you write, the editor displays your story how readers will see it. You can even insert rich embeds directly into the document — like Mirror economic blocks (crowdfunds, splits, etc.), web3 content (NFTs), or third-party content (YouTube videos, tweets, etc).
Editions are a way for creators to mint a limited supply of identical NFTs at a fixed price. If a 1/1 NFT is a Picasso at Sotheby's, Editions are like the thousands of first-edition holographic Charizards released. As a stupidly obvious sidenote, a cool thing about NFTs is that they’ll never get scuffed, scratched or bent :)
To put Editions in context, they have a clear predecessor: the NFT auction. When NFTs took off this year, they gave creators a new way to prove scarcity around digital artworks. For digital artists, that was huge. They could finally unlock the latent value in their work that was traditionally reserved for physical mediums. They also adopted the fine art characteristic that works are one-of-a-kind, known as the 1/1 NFT. That successfully gave these assets a flair of distinction and collectors all the more incentive to raise their bid. Reserve NFT auctions became the most common and successful market mechanism for creating demand around the works (Mirror added reserve auction support earlier this year). The public nature of auctions met with a ticking clock has really turned out to be a viral mechanism.
We’ve always said Mirror is a sum of its community. What is Mirror = Who’s on Mirror. Beyond its crypto foundation, we’ve continued to implement features that reinforce a decentralized, collaborative effort. $WRITE RACE gives community members the power to influence how the platform grows. Splits allow creators to route value from their work to other creators, suggesting no idea is an island. While Splits cited multiple voices as responsible for a single work, those citations came from a single individual. One publication, one author.
We’re excited to announce that’s no longer solely the case.
Last week, we announced Splits, a new feature on Mirror that allows you to continuously route ETH to an unlimited number of Ethereum addresses, according to a set of percentage allocations. The feature took off in novel ways across the Mirror community, already demonstrating exciting signs of early product-market fit.
A music collective auctioned off songs as NFTs and used splits to share the upside. A visual artist used the feature to reward each of his previous patrons using the proceeds of a new NFT sale (aptly titled Infinite Players). A writer published an essay about micro-economies and embedded a split at the end of the post, functioning as a tip jar that’d be shared amongst the author and those who inspired the text.
As a new primitive of economic attribution, patronage, and giving thanks, Splits hold a lot of potential. In addition to the use cases we’ve already seen, they present a particular opportunity we believe is especially worth highlighting: the funding of public goods.
One of the earliest provocations at Mirror went a little like this: what if you had a great idea, and when telling the story introducing it to the world you could also enable the reader to participate in making that story come to life. What if that happened directly within the narrative as part of the story?
This scenario has informed our approach to interface since day one, and lead us to creating a series of Economic Blocks—embeddable interfaces you can place within a story enabling readers to interact by funding and sustaining great ideas. To be active participants of the story being created.
Clearly there was something to this. We’re beginning to lose count of how many successful projects have taken place during Mirror’s first few months! Projects like Colin and Samir’s NFT auction and split, Songcamp’s auctions and splits for three original songs, Emily’s crowdfund for $NOVEL, and many more.
Mirror recently introduced splits, a native feature that lets you route funds continuously to an unlimited number of Ethereum addresses, according to a set of percentage allocations.
But what did it take for splits to evolve from an idea to a set of efficient, production ready smart contracts on Ethereum? Read the full story in this post!
There were three problems that we needed to solve for splits:
Mirror introduces splits, a native feature that lets you route funds continuously to an unlimited number of Ethereum addresses, according to a set of percentage allocations.
Footnotes. Special thanks. Instagram tags. These are a few ways we incentivize and credit names and works that have contributed to or influenced our work—whether an old idea that sparked a new one or a hair and makeup artist who worked on a model’s latest cover shoot. These citations come with their own benefits. They reinscribe a thinker’s influence in academia. They loosely attach an intellectually generous friend to another friend’s project. They drive followers from one social account to another—yielding dividends of clout.
Splits, Mirror’s latest feature, present a truly exciting alternative to involving people in your work. From a monetary perspective, collaborators typically have to divy up their earnings manually. That process relies on trust, manual coordination, and sometimes a ton of paperwork and legal overheard. Split’s crypto-native approach replaces a social contract with code-enforced rules that can’t be fudged.
Today we're excited to officially introduce a new feature to the writers of Mirror: You can now embed reserve auctions for zNFTs into any entry!
The journey to get to this release is full of adventure. A month ago, Mint Fund had an idea to add timed auctions to the Zora Protocol, and decided to crowdfund the effort on Mirror. Mint Fund ran this crowdfund on March 5th, raising 7 ETH to hire a developer to build a reserve auction contract.
Writing is at the center of Mirror. The editor is where ideas begin, and when ready, made public. But Mirror is not only a tool for writing. It also proposes new ways to fund, sustain, and grow the practices of writers. Not only are these big ideas, it’s also the early days in Mirror’s story.
With these constraints in mind the Editor has been a no-frills expression of the bare minimum. This latest update retains that simplicity. It’s a plain text Markdown editor, but with a little imagination you may begin seeing hints of the future we’re aiming for.
We’re glad to get this latest iteration in the hands of writers today, and look forward to seeing what you create with it.
We’re proud to have released a beta block to crowdfund writing on Mirror. Our first two experiments were a total success. John Palmer raised 10 ETH for his essay Scissor Labels, which has since be published. Just last week Cooper raised 2 ETH for Net Value Capture Equation, which will be published imminently. The next step is to unlock this for all Mirror writers; all in time!
Mirror now supports embedding NFTs from several of the big platforms, including Zora, Foundation, Rarible, and SuperRare. In addition to images and videos there is also support for audio and text. Our plan is to progressively introduce greater coverage for metadata, such as display names for creators and owners, along with a few other surprises. You can see the updated NFT embeds in action on Jesse's entry and Cooper's entry on NFTs.
So far we've been onboarding users through Rinkeby, while evolving our on-chain protocol. We call our onboarding model "burn-to-register", because members need 1 $WRITE token to join, and the token must be destroyed once they do so. To do this, our $WRITE token's ERC20 contract has a
register function that burns 1 token before calling into a
registrar contract that registers the user's ENS name. That
registrar contract can only be accessed from the $WRITE token, and so these contracts are tightly coupled, and we have needed to take our time to make sure that they were working well and were very gas-efficient. Over the last two weeks, we finalized this system and deployed it to mainnet. Check out the code on GitHub and the contract on mainnet.
Over the next two weeks, we will migrate existing users to mainnet ENS, and start air-dropping mainnet tokens to new users. We will meticulously observe this process and ideate ways to improve.
Monetization of publicly accessible written content has never had a strong basis on the internet, since it suffers from the public goods problem. As publishing has moved online, funding for high-quality, long-form writing has broken down.
NFTs give us new tools to solve this problem — by representing previously infinitely-reproducible creative works as scarce, tradable digital assets. This means that artists can now sell a scarce digital asset representing an essay as a unique collectible or artwork, while the content itself remains open and freely accessible (a public good). Still, the problem remains for funding the time and work necessary for a creator to produce impactful writing.
We imagine a world where writers on Mirror can publish an intention to research and produce high-quality writing, and receive crowdsourced funding. In this model, the contributors who fund the project also receive a stake in the future financial upside produced by the work, captured by subsequent sales of the NFT. This improves considerably on existing crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter.
To achieve these outcomes, the content must be tradable as a single artifact (an NFT), and the ownership of that artifact must be fractional — allowing multiple people to own a small stake. By using Ethereum as the economic infrastructure, we can allow tradable, fractional ownership of the NFT using ERC20 tokens.
Mirror has the ambitious vision of redefining publishing online by empowering writers with the tools offered by crypto. We are delighted to share that we've officially closed our first full-stack engineering sprint: the MVP of the Mirror blogging platform. This will allow us to onboard our first writers and serve as the foundation for all the functionality in the future.
We have a lot to figure out over the next few months and years—from discovering new crypto-native business models for creators to supporting basic things like embedding NFTs. We knew that the starting point for the project was supporting a basic publishing experience; the ability to post text and share it with the world.
This post details our journey so far.