KuCoin AMA With Access Protocol (ACS) — Reinventing Content Monetization With Web3
Dear KuCoin Users,
Time: February 16, 2023, 10:30 AM - 11:21 AM (UTC)
Official Website: https://twitter.com/AccessProtocol
Access Protocol offers a new way for digital media publications and content creators to monetize their work. Instead of traditional subscription payments, users stake the ACS token to receive access to premium digital content.
Mika Honkasalo — Founder, Access Protocol
Q&A from KuCoin
Q: What is Access Protocol and what problem does it solve in today's world?
Mika: Access Protocol is built to solve issues around digital media monetization. Today, publishers and creators suffer from low penetration rates on subscriptions (e.g., Bloomberg and The Atlantic only monetize 0.5% of their audience). Consumers are instead subjected to click-bait and advertising, and overall don’t want to pay for subscriptions.
Access changes the value-extractive relationship between consumers and creators with ACS locking. Instead of directly paying for subscriptions, users instead lock ACS to receive access to premium digital content. In this model, users subscribe to publishers by owning a part of the platform and benefiting from the growth of the ecosystem.
The Web2 world is built around email relationships, but we believe those can be made much stronger by turning them into on-chain relationships.
Q: Which blockchain is Access built on and what made you guys choose that particular chain to build on?
Mika: We have built and launched initially on Solana. Our goal is to abstract the complexities of blockchain, which means we need low transaction costs and the ability to e.g. log in with an email address.
Through our launch partners, Access is in front of millions of people and it is up to us to build the UX for people to convert to subscriptions. This is an exciting opportunity and every detail on the UX-side can lead to tens of thousands of more users. Even on crypto news sites, interestingly most users don’t even have a wallet yet – so it’s important to build features that can onboard the 1st time user.
Q: How does the entire process for creators and users work?
Mika: The creator first creates a pool that users can lock their ACS into. They set a minimum threshold for the amount of ACS required to receive services – e.g., The Block requires 20k ACS to get access to their premium content.
From the user perspective, they get ACS and lock them into a creator pool to receive the content. They can unlock at any time if they don’t like the content anymore or don’t want to subscribe.
Once locked to a creator pool, both they and the content creator will share in the protocol inflation. This works as a constant revenue stream for the creators and benefits active ACS users (instead of passive holders).
This inflation is offset by a token burn, which is 2% on every locking interaction. This both makes sure that users can't simply jump in and out of creator pools (and download their content) as well.
Q: Who are the current creators on Access and what content is available on Access Protocol today?
Mika: We currently have 7 creator pools on the site and are working to bring on more publishers and creators. This includes Coingecko, The Block, Crypto Slate, Wu Blockchain, etc.
Each of these creators/publishers are integrating Access Protocol in their own way – but with the target being their B2C products and consumer subscriptions. The goal for these publications is to begin building an on-chain relationship with their users. Note that some of these integrations aren’t quite finished yet.
For example, Coingecko is offering a subscription to their newsletter “Gecko Ramblings” to Access users who lock ACS into their pool. The Block is offering premium content on its site. This means you can go on TheBlock.co, connect your wallet, and lock ACS. You should see Access-related articles on the right side of each article on the site.
Q: How can we join as a creator in Access protocol?
Mika: We have a link on our site and information about how content creators can use, and join the waitlist for, this platform. At this time, we are working with key partners to ensure they have a successful launch – but are also looking to bring on more partners.
The goal is to become fully permissionless over time where any creator can join. Recently, we had a popular NFT artist join who will be doing NFT drops to their most loyal ACS subscribers.
If you contact us, we are happy to get on a call to discuss more about how you can integrate with Access Protocol.
Q: What is next for Access Protocol? What does the roadmap look like?
Mika: The first product we have launched is “Access Publisher”, which is the kind of full-site integration you see with The Block. In the beginning, we are heavily focused on customer success which means ensuring the UX on our partner sites is good and they have all the tools they need to manage their B2C subscriptions.
Our second product, which is almost ready for launch, is “Access Community” which enables gated access to Discord membership/roles/servers. Expect to see this launched very soon.
After that, we are working on “Access Scribe” which is our Medium/Substack-style product for individual creators. This will allow individuals to publish content behind the ACS paywall.
And as mentioned previously, we are also working towards our Polygon and Starknet launches for multi-chain support.
Free-Ask from KuCoin Community
Q: How different is your project from others?
Mika: We want to build strong network effects around the Access Protocol ecosystem. This means onboarding a bunch of publishers and other creators on the platform. With many partners, we can offer users a unified ecosystem (and tooling for creators) where there are many things to do within the ecosystem and a bunch of content to discover. Replicating this won't be easy, in our opinion on a per-creator basis.
Q: Can the Access protocol ensure that user data will remain safe from misuse?
Mika: This is one cool differentiator between the Web2 and Web3 worlds. Web2 uses intrusive cookies and other malware to track activity, which drives unhealthy behavior like advertising. With Access, you only have to connect your wallet and are subscribed. This means users can maintain better privacy and not worry about massive data leaks where their credit card details are posted online for the world.
Q: How secure is this platform?
Mika: We have completed an audit (actually 2) with Halborn —you can view these here. Our code is also entirely open-source, and the link to Github is above. Unlike many Solana projects, we are committed to the open-source ethos. Not only this, but we make our tooling open-source. This includes the widget you can see on, not alone, into Crypto Slate — which creators and publishers can implement with one line of code.
Q: What kind of ecological business does your project build?
Mika: Bear markets are historically the best time to build and get rid of businesses that are not sustainable. We've seen this before, and for any new technology, there are cycles. Our vision is to meet consumers where they already are. The Block, Coingecko, and others are exposing Access Protocol to their existing audience. This way, we don't only rely on our efforts but also are supported by our partners — we are in this together.
Q: How can we subscribe to creator groups with the ACS token? How many ACS tokens do we need to have to subscribe? How many creator groups can I subscribe to at the same time?
Mika: Each creator decides a minimum amount of ACS required. For example, the Block is doing 20k for a subscription. The creator can adjust this at any time — but note that if you got in with fewer ACS and the limit gets raised, you are still subscribed. This is a cool feature because it means our partners are continually incentivized to produce the best possible content to get new subscriptions in with the higher limit.
Q: How can a developer monetize within the Access Protocol? What are the requirements or conditions for creators to start monetizing?
Mika: We are focused on onboarding key partners and ensuring they succeed. This means about 10 partners today (with a few unannounced names) — but we want to scale that and make the process much faster (and ultimately, permissionless). Also, our Access Scribe individual content creator platform should open up a new base of creators. The same is true for our Access Community Discord product.
Q: What are you focusing on right now?
Mika: I wouldn't say I like announcements or even more announcements. With Access, you can go on TheBlock.co and use this today. There is no need to wait on utility that may or may not come. In the short-term, look for the Discord product — we were considering putting it out at launch already but decided to move it back to ensure we gave our partners the resources they need.
Q: Please tell me a brief story about your project.
Mika: I always have to separate Access with a capital A with just access, but you get some good puns. So, use Access to access premium news content.
Q: What is the best thing you would point out in the Access Protocol in 2023?
Mika: We are happy to see users using the product. Our number one goal is to go on-chain, see the lock/unlock transactions consistently, and see our partners get subscribers.
KuCoin Post AMA Activity — Access Protocol (ACS)
🎁 Participate on the Access Protocol AMA quiz now for a chance to win $10 in ACS!
The form will remain open for five days from publishing this AMA recap.
KuCoin and Access Protocol have prepared a total of $2,000 in ACS to give away to AMA participants.
1. Pre-AMA activity: $400 in ACS
2. Free-ask section: $50 in ACS
3. Flash mini-game: $400 in ACS
4. Post-AMA quiz: $1,150 ACS
. . .
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