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.
Today, we’re opening up decentralized publishing on Mirror to anybody with an Ethereum address. Anyone can connect their wallet and start writing.
Why does decentralized publishing matter? We believe the core principles guiding Mirror development answer this question:
When you use Mirror, you log in with your Ethereum wallet instead of a username and password. This means your account is owned by you and lives on an open blockchain instead of a centralized database. All data published on Mirror is cryptographically signed by users and stored on permanent decentralized storage (Arweave). This means that data cannot be corrupted or modified by faulty service providers or malicious parties. Permanent storage means that you don’t need to rely on the Mirror team to ensure the longevity or integrity of your content. Most importantly, cryptographically secure and permanent data ensures users can credibly exit a platform if it no longer serves their needs or becomes misaligned.
Online publishing drives enormous engagement but has been notoriously difficult to monetize in sustainable ways. Because Mirror is built on Ethereum, it natively supports new crypto-native business models around tokens and NFTs. For example, posts on Mirror can be minted as Entry Editions, allowing them to be collectible at different price points while the content remains accessible to all. Entry Editions let writers monetize their work without putting it behind a paywall. At Mirror, we strongly believe that high quality, popular content is worth much more than $0, and early experiments with Entry Editions have validated this thesis.
If a DAO doesn’t have a credit card in the physical world, how can it start a website or access cloud service providers? There are many DAOs with vibrant communities and significant treasuries, but they are not recognized as first class entities by the web2 ecosystem of creative and developer tools. Every crypto-native entity needs a website, and Mirror lets any DAO onboard with a multisig wallet to start sharing its story with the world. In a sense, Mirror bridges a web3 entity into web2 distribution of ideas. This is crucial for DAO success, since most audiences still engage on web2 platforms like Twitter. Collaborative publishing between web3 entities is natively supported on Mirror today.
Because publishing on Mirror is underpinned by an open protocol where data is stored on blockchains, developers don’t need permission to extend the system and build on top of the data. While there is still a lot of work to do to create word-class documentation, APIs, and developer libraries, there are already exciting community projects building on top of Mirror, like Mirror Latest, RSS3, and Yup.
Crypto empowers creators and communities with robust economic tools, but we don’t think that should come with added complexity or poor user experience. The Mirror client has been architected to provide a snappy and beautiful interface, underpinned by a statically rendered site powered by Next.js and a performant API. Posting and editing on Mirror feels instant, while data asynchronously commits to permanent decentralized storage in the background. While we think the Mirror client is the easiest way to get started, users always have the option to create their own frontend or use a different client because data and identity on Mirror is credibly open and neutral.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll continue opening up economic blocks and shipping frequent updates to the publishing experience, such as:
As the Mirror tools open up for anyone to use, this milestone is an opportunity to redefine the meaning of community membership. Membership attained via $WRITE RACE is evolving to represent decision-making power and stake in the future of the Mirror protocol and DAO. Also, only Mirror members that burned $WRITE get a subdomain to signify their member status. We will articulate the full meaning of Mirror membership in more detail in the coming months!
We’re embarking on a new era where internet services are community owned and users are in control of their data and identity. Check out this world for yourself by starting a decentralized blog on Mirror today.