KuCoin AMA With SO-COL (SIMP) — A Better Way for Communities to Connect
Dear KuCoin Users,
Time: January 19, 2023, 12:00 - 13:23 (UTC)
Official Website: https://www.socol.io/
SO-COL is a community management platform that helps creators and brands engage with their audience through NFT gated communities. Our platform is for all community leaders, including influencers, musicians, artists, instructors and interest groups. SO-COL also provides white label services for brands who want to provide NFTs and new offerings to their customers. SO-COL works with partners in consumer tech, F&B, entertainment and more.
Irene Zhao — Founder SO-COL
She has been in the creator economy for 7 years and has amassed over half a million of followers across all platforms. With SO-COL, she aims to disrupt the creator economy and empower more creators with web3 tech. She is also a notable female thought leader in the web3 social sphere. IreneDAO, the viral NFT project, is SO-COL's proof of concept of a successful creator-led NFT collection that has achieved a total trading volume of 2666 ETH. SO-COL aims to have embedded utility in every NFT project in the platform, and IreneDAO demonstrated how holders helped her establish partnerships with other web3 leaders and raised funds for an anti-trafficking organization. With the insights from IreneDAO, Irene and the SO-COL team also help web3 projects reach the mass market. Irene was recently featured in an interview with Tatler here, and was a speaker in last year's Token2049, GeckoCon, Metajam Asia Web3 Summit and other conferences.
Q&A from KuCoin
Q: How did SO-COL get started, and how did IreneDAO lead up to the project?
Irene: My NFT collection, IreneDAO, started as a meme sticker pack on Telegram to generate buzz for So-Col. People loved it, and it has a trading volume of 2666 ETH now. It was a proof of concept to show that you can empower creators in the Web3 space.
There is a lot more to the success of IreneDAO NFTs that could be more obvious, like the extraordinary community and the support from industry thought leaders. After we formed the DAO, its members quickly started a Discord channel and organizing committee. But Discord as a tool doesn’t have all the right tools to manage an NFT community. For a start, we can’t even identify whether a Discord member holds the IreneDAO pass. So we thought we should do something for web3 communities to be able to manage their communities in a very easy way.
So IreneDAO was really a proof of concept, it shows the power of the community when it came together. From the transaction fees alone, we were able to donate 100k to charity to fight child sex trafficking, which is something that I cared a lot about personally. So we initiated a vote within the DAO, and it was approved.
I want to challenge the narrative that NFT projects are just cash grabs and for people to believe that NFTs have real-life utility because I want to build something much bigger here.
Q: How does SO-COL empower creators?
Irene: We want to cure the pain points of the web2 centralized social media platforms. No matter how long you spend watching your favorite Youtube video or how long you've been fawning over a creator on Web2, there is no way for you to be rewarded. The relationship between fans and creators is very one-way and transactional. Web3 technology can fundamentally change that power balance.
One key empowerment is the ability of creators to own their communities. On SOCOL, our community is minted into an NFT, so the creator owns the community. The creator can also set up their premium collectible, which can be sold to fans directly. This directly helps the creator to monetize their creativity.
Another empowerment lies in the decentralized nature of web3. Recently we have seen many stories where creators on Instagram or Twitter get banned. This is because they might have invested years of effort in building up their contents, and yet it gets canceled overnight. SOCOL allows the creators to build their decentralized communities based on NFTs.
On the centralized platform, the platform dictates what people see. Whether your content gets pushed to the front page. On a decentralized platform, your popularity depends on the quality of your content. If your content is sold at a high price and volume, it will be pushed up in the ranking.
As for fans, they can now co-own part of the creators’ work by owning an NFT, whether a video, a post, or a piece of music. Fans can grow with the creator that they believe in. If the value of the content created increases, then fans will be able to earn together with the creator. With SO-COL, we are trying to simplify onboarding Web2 users to Web3. We even provide one-click access to buying NFTs on our platform.
Q: What exactly is a premium collectible on the SO-COL platform?
Irene: The premium collectible is a more web2-friendly term for NFT. Creators can launch premium collectibles within a few clicks of our platform and embed utilities for the holders.
I want to compare it to an on-chain ticket to the creator’s secret club. First, the creator can decide what happens in the club. Then, the premium collectible holders can enter the club. They can also decide on what goes on in the club by voting with their premium collectibles.
If more people want to enter the club, the old club members can start selling their collectibles to the newcomers and make some money for being there early. And in that process, the creator would receive royalties from the secondary trade. The creator can issue more premium collectibles so more people can join the club.
We have creators who offer deeper and more two-way interaction with daily chats or allow fans to vote for their next video challenge, or fans can come together to contribute in a more meaningful way, such as for a charity fundraiser. Each utility NFT is unique to each creator, such as getting access to a workout class with a fitness instructor or a guestlist to your favorite DJ's club gig.
You can buy the premium collectibles with Ethereum now and very soon $SIMP tokens. Eventually, you'll be able to buy them with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and credit cards. After you get them, you can also see them on OpenSea immediately for secondary trading.
Q: SO-COL will be the first SocialFi with your own layer 2, and you're building it with StarkEx. So what is the purpose of SO-COL's layer 2?
Irene: This is what sets us different from the other Web3 social projects. We will be the first SocialFi with our own Layer 2, and we’re building it with StarkEx.
The main benefits of having our L2 are:
- Transactions will become faster, and gas fees will be much cheaper.
- There will also be more customization that will suit our platform's needs.
- Since gas fees will be significantly cheaper than Ethereum, which we are built on now, we can also store more data on-chain, a big requirement of a SocialFi platform.
The L2 will go live in a few months. We are very excited！
Q: What can people do with $SIMP tokens?
Irene: Currently, holders can participate in platform and community staking. Platform staking has no threshold, so it allows everyone to participate. Each staking period is three months long, and you can unlock more SIMP tokens at the end of each staking period, calculated at a flat rate for each period. This is a staking mechanism for SIMP holders to start accumulating more SIMPs and get ready for the more exciting utilities being built.
As for the upcoming utilities, there are quite a few.
First, users could stake their SIMPS to unlock more features. As SO-COL continue to develop more features of its platform, $SIMP tokens function as a loyalty membership point that can be staked to test and unlock additional features for the users and their communities, such as live stream, increasing the number of people in the chat room, special filters and skins in the user interface.
Second, SIMP holders can participate in platform and community activities to earn airdrops. For example, they participate in marketing campaigns to earn airdrops of $SIMP or other tokens.
Then there is also community staking. The users could stake their $SIMP tokens in their communities to support the creator. Communities with a higher number of $SIMPs staked will go higher on the ranking board and increase exposure for the creators and the communities. Users can eventually unlock more community features and functionalities, and higher levels will get access to more premium features. Community staking will be in levels, and higher levels will entitle users to more fun activities and higher rewards from the community.
The tokens can also be used to reduce transaction fees. The current transaction fee is 2.5% of all transactions. If the user transacts with the token, the transaction fee will be lowered to 2%.
Finally, the tokens also function as governance tokens. $SIMP allows users to participate in proposals on platform parameters and community decisions. For example, holders will be able to vote for upcoming features for SO-COL and also vote for the creator’s decisions, such as which charity to do a fundraising for or what activities or premium collectibles to launch.
Q: Please tell us about the 2023 Roadmap of SO-COL.
Irene: You have to follow us to watch and see! I can reveal some of the things we are looking forward to:
In Q1, we are launching our layer 2 with StarkEx. Fiat payment will come very soon as well. We are exploring fiat payment using a credit card so that more web2 users can be boarded onto SOCOL. Currently, there is a lot of friction when web2 users try to enter web3. First, they must register a Metamask and then have some Ethereum loaded as gas. Then, there is heavy KYC if they want to onramp or off-ramp. SOCOL wants to remove all that friction by giving web2 users a seamless experience. Think about it, when we first learned to use Facebook, we didn’t have to learn how to code. So we want to give web2 users that same familiar feeling of being able to check out premium collectibles with just their credit card at a click of a button.
In Q2, our mobile app will be introduced so people can use it more frequently and easily. Content upload and receiving notifications would be more seamless as well. Currently, our platform is web-based. It can still be used on the phone through the metamask browser. But of course, we want to make it more convenient. We want to allow users to check their communities and creators on the go, just like how you can do it with Instagram or Discord. So that will be a major step for huge adoption.
For the rest of the year, we are focusing on building our platform to be more sophisticated for fun and meaningful social interactions, such as content creation AI tools and livestream integration. We have all seen the power of AI through ChatGPT. We want to explore how we can integrate AI with the creator economy. One very obvious angle is to have AI help the creators create content. Or the creators can generate a metaverse character using AI technology. The fans, too, can create their avatar and wear the premium collectibles on their avatar. There is a lot of potential to explore the synergy between NFTs, metaverse, and AI technology. That is the huge trend we see for the next three years, and we want to be early.
Once the basic building blocks are ready, we will also be working with regional partners for creator acquisition and marketing. We already have great traction on our platform. We now have 15 thousand users, which are acquired organically. We have very interesting communities already, such as the Icongirls Elevated Yacht club. Then, of course, my community and Vanessa’s community. We want more such communities on SOCOL to be fun places where people can come together and have fun.
Q: What role do you view creators playing in bringing about the mass adoption of web3?
Irene: Creators are culture curators who determine what people find interesting and want to participate in. The more creators empowered by web3, the more their communities will benefit. As more audiences and communities get introduced to web3 through creators, this will open up a whole new world for people they want to explore.
Creators can use web3 tools in many ways to address audiences in every niche. Hence, if we get creators on board and understand how this space benefits them and their communities, we're seeing web3 grow in different niches, culminating in what we might call mass adoption. People underestimate how important ownership is and how much that changes someone's perspective.
SO-COL makes web3 easy for web2 and web3 natives. It makes it easier for people to enjoy ownership and explore what's possible when they have ownership. With SO-COL's features, people can more easily onboard web3 and be empowered by it.
Q: Why do you call your token SIMP?
Irene: Web3 is very masculine. It's full of technicalities, numbers, trading, and winning, which makes everyone very anxious and competitive.
But there is also a feminine side of web3, the community side. People connect through communities, cheer each other on, and try to stick together as an industry.
SOCOL is built on communities, and we believe "SIMP" very well defines the community culture. We don't have to be simping a good-looking girl. We can simp a project, simp an idea, simp a protocol.
“Simp" is where you join the community and feel empowered by the goal of that community. We want people to feel that it is okay not to be so masculine or strong at all times. That it is fine to go with the flow simply. To feel attracted to something, together with others in the community. We want to redefine SIMP.
I recently read a book on human nature and how we have evolved to become rational. We invented math and codes. But when we connect with people, we activate the other part of our nature, our emotional side. We feel the other people’s laughter, their sorrow. I think that is exactly what simping is about. It is to give out part of yourself in exchange for a part of somebody else. We want this world to be less hostile. We want everyone to know that it is okay to simp and feel primitive and emotional sometimes.
Free-Ask from KuCoin Community
Q: How do you plan to improve the interaction with new users and users outside the crypto space?
Irene: UI/UX is a huge pain for many projects. That is one of the key points which I wanted to target from the start. Suppose you check out our platform; you will see that we have put in a lot of effort to make it easy to use. We ensure that we do not use web3-only lingo, and our UI UX looks very much like any other web2 platform.
Q: How can I buy your token, and which wallet supports it?
Irene: You can get our tokens on KuCoin’s spot market at the trading pair SIMP/USDT; ERC20-compatible wallets work.
Q: One criticism is that NFTs are often used to create and sell digital collectibles with little intrinsic value. The market for NFTs is driven more by speculation than actual utility. What actual utility of NFTs the SO-COL platform worked on?
Irene: We want people to think of utility NFT when they think of SOCOL. So we have partnered with a few clients in promoting them. For example, we worked with Amber Lounge, the world's premium F1 afterparty brand, where we built NFTs called Amber X. These owners have a lifetime membership and access to Amber Lounge.
Q: Are you a global project or a local project? At present, which market do you focus on?
Irene: We are a global project, and our team members are scattered across Asia, Europe, and the US. We are focusing on Asia first, where we understand the landscape better and have a stronger network with partners. If you know Asia well, you will already know a huge simping culture. For example, think of Korean pop groups. Some fans of Chinese pop groups have bought billboards at Times Square to celebrate their idol's birthday. Think about the simping power in that. We believe we need to channel all of that energy into owning NFTs and that we will see massive adoption of web3 technology afterward. Our north star is to be the top social app for creators and fans worldwide.
Q: Is your platform suitable for crypto beginners?
Irene: We designed it for everyone, even web2 users! On our official website,, you can log in using email and social media accounts. Soon you can purchase using a credit card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. The user experience is intuitive, like a social media platform, but you must try it yourself first and let us know!
Q: What are the toughest challenges you are facing right now? As far as I know, regulation is very strict with start-up blockchain projects. How does SO-COL plan to tackle this to gain investors' trust and loyalty?
Irene: Regulation is certainly a key part of what we are focusing on. The better news is that NFTs are less regulated than Defi projects. NFT is like a ticket, just on the chain. So if you can sell tickets, you should be able to sell NFTs. To be able to purchase NFTs using a credit card, many payment service providers are very doubtful about this, and we are doing a lot of work behind the scenes to satisfy them with our processes. This is the right move to make more traditional web2 payment service providers more comfortable facilitating web3 transactions. There is an education process, and we are at the forefront.
Q: Where can I get the latest updates or more information about the project?
Q: Can you tell us how to become a creator?
Irene: Anyone can be a creator! It's for any community leader across verticals, influencers, grassroots community leaders, instructors, artists, musicians, and more! You can start a community on our platform!
Q: Do you have a plan to start staking programs?
Irene: Definitely! SIMP staking will be live very soon.
Q: Where can I get the information about your Tokenomics?
Q: Regarding the current market situation, please give me some good reasons why I should buy your tokens.
Irene: The market condition is in our favor. Liquidity has touched rock bottom, and we will see the next bull run raise the price generally for projects. In the web3 social space, not many projects can survive this crypto winter. But we have a strong user base and a very ready road map. So we are confident we will survive as the few SocialFi projects in the space.
Q: Please list the outstanding characteristics of the project that make it different from its competitors.
Irene: Here are some points of consideration:
● UI/UX - I have seen very few social projects with UI/UX as smooth as ours;
● We have a strong presence in Asia and globally with reputable projects. Apart from Amber X, which I have just mentioned, we are also the tech provider to "Nothing," the niche phone manufacturer of their Blackdot NFT. Very few projects have access to such partners;
● We know the creator economy. My colleagues and I have a huge community on Twitter and Instagram.
KuCoin Post AMA Activity — SO-COL (SIMP)
🎁 Participate on the SO-COL AMA quiz now for a chance to win $10 in SIMP!
The form will remain open for five days from publishing this AMA recap.
KuCoin and SO-COL have prepared a total of $2,000 in SIMP to give away to AMA participants.
1. Pre-AMA activity: $400 in SIMP
2. Free-ask section: $50 in SIMP
3. Flash mini-game: $400 in SIMP
4. Post-AMA quiz: $1,150 SIMP
. . .
If you haven’t got a KuCoin account yet, you can sign up here!