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Multiplayer Mode

Shayon Sengupta
April 6, 2023 | 7 minute read

Today, we are proud to announce our investment in Lore, the first co-ownership platform for web3 collectives. We led a $4M round alongside North Island Ventures, Seed Club Ventures, Balaji Srinivasan, Zeneca, Mischief Ventures, Sfermion, CMT Digital, Patricio Worthalter, Spice Capital, Sublime Ventures, and others.

Lore is building essential co-ownership infrastructure that allows internet-native communities to pool resources, co-purchase and co-use digital assets seamlessly. The current offering is two-fold: a protocol that allows collectives to spin up trustless shared wallets, and a platform that enables further coordination and utilization post purchase. At scale, Lore is a network of communities of all shapes and sizes, including media collectives, gaming guilds and entirely new kinds of web3 collectives based on shared interests and long term goals.

Lore envisages a future in which communities of five or 500 can channel their resources into collective action that builds and sustains new, digital-native cultural movements.

Sovereign Collectives

Crypto is an inherently social technology. Permissionless networks rely on distributed coordination across multiple actors, and the incentive structures underneath guide the flow of resources to enable novel financial and social products with inherent network effects.

This ethos paved the way for new, internet-native special interest groups to emerge. These groups often collect resources and contribute time toward a shared mission or set of objectives. ConstitutionDAO, Friends With Benefits, and Nouns are all examples of rich communities with thousands of members who contribute capital and labor in unique ways that collectively reify the core mission.

When crypto experiences become multiplayer, they get stickier by an order of n^2. Every individual community member represents a rich index of interests and experiences, and individuals often cluster to form micro-communities across mission-driven collectives that produce unique cultures. Most importantly, each individual operates with a sense of ownership, which catalyzes radically better outcomes for communities as a whole.

Proof-of-physical-work networks like Helium and Hivemapper, bottom-up IP initiatives like StoryCo’s Disco Ball, and collector-curator groups like Fingerprints are each distinct examples of the power of collective ownership. However, each of these collectives uses distinct and bespoke infrastructure to coordinate resources.

Spinning up a digital collective is a cumbersome process. Leaders have to choose the appropriate permissions and tracking tools amidst dozens of options. Members have to participate across several platforms, which induces cognitive overhead and increases risk of churn. For existing crypto-native communities to thrive, and for new ones to emerge, the UX fragmentation problem must be solved.

Unlocking Co-Ownership

Today, most consumer crypto products and tools are built in single-player mode. Wallets are perceived as a serialized index of transactions, and interactions with protocols and applications are often designed with only a single user in mind.

Contrast these design patterns with the communal energy of an active Discord channel through which small groups participate in crypto together. Consumers use communities as a curated entry point into on-chain opportunities and as a way to organize to accomplish on-chain goals they couldn’t achieve alone.

However, the current toolset for on-chain coordination today occurs across several fragmented on-chain tools (e.g., multi-party custody, governance and token issuance) and off-chain applications (e.g.,messaging apps, spreadsheets, and notion docs).

For example, If a group of friends wants to buy an NFT together, the default process is to elect a leader that will create a multi-sig and then request every member to deposit funds into the multi-sig. Then the group will run into several problems:

  1. Most smart contract multi-sigs cannot directly purchase or list NFTs on major marketplaces, so assets have to be transferred to an EOA (Externally-Owned Account) wallet.
  2. All ownership stakes in the collective have to be managed outside of the wallet, most likely in some shared spreadsheet.
  3. Once the asset is purchased, individual members have limited access to any utility attached to the NFT; for example, if a user wants to participate in a token-gated chat or use the NFT in a game, the asset has to be manually transferred to the individual’s address, and then sent back to the original multi-sig after use.

For large groups, the overhead in handling communications, decision-making, trade execution, and analytics is massive.

Collectives, both small and large, need a unified platform to manage on-chain activity and perform actions together. Lore takes the view that each collective is its own subculture, and requires infrastructure to express its customs. To this end, the team is building infrastructure that enables critical group actions: aggregating funds, purchasing digital assets, managing ownership stakes and roles, establishing governance and voting structures, and making use of the assets across applications and environments seamless for each member.

Collectives add members, assign permissions, and manage liquidity within their Lore dashboards as needed, but most importantly retain the ability to access mints, stake assets, or connect to any apps without compatibility issues. The key unlock here is the notion of a true shared ownership experience for collectives to purchase, own, and use NFTs exactly as they would if they were solo users — without the frequent hassles of UX breaks and context switching across myriad platforms. Communities also issue soul-bound membership cards that function status badges on profiles, and conduct formal governance processes to inform key decision events.

Furthermore, Lore has developed a protocol for collectives to grow members and capital as they accomplish on-chain milestones and accrue status. This allows consumer collectives to leverage web3 to leave their mark on internet culture.


GHOULS, a derivative NFT collection driven by a Moonbirds sub-parliament on Lore

Lore has been operating in closed beta for under a year, and has accumulated an impressive set of early adopters:

  1. DeadBirds Society: A leading Moonbirds “sub-parliament”. They have raised over 100 ETH over 6 Funding Rounds from 96 Members. They acquire skeleton-trait Moonbirds to create media that brings more awareness to biodiversity loss.
  2. FWB Squallet: is FWB nft-general-chat's NFT vault, affectionately named “squallet” (squad wallet). Their mission is to back emergent culture, art, and memes within the Friends with Benefits community. They have grown from 12 Members to 96 Members over several FWB “Seasons.”
  3. Tracksuit Cartel: A leading Valhalla Clan building utility and revenue for tracksuit holders. 17 Members have contributed 24 ETH to purchase tracksuit Valhallas. Valhalla has pledged to direct any royalties Tracksuit Cartel makes from their IP to their Lore vault. You can join Tracksuit Cartel directly on Valhalla’s site through a Lore-powered integration.
  4. 824: A group of 16 internet-first friends that got together to "make degen plays," as their mission statement says. They have grown from 23 ETH to over 80 ETH in a matter of months.

On Lore, over 1000 collectives have coordinated over 3,000 ETH. Collectives have formed from Proof, Friends with Benefits, Azuki, Valhalla, Art Blocks, and many other top web3 communities.

The Platform for Collectives

At scale, Lore’s functions as a marketplace for new communities and members to discover each other based on the identity and reputation state that accrues to profiles and vaults over time. Communities come for the tool, and members stay for the network. In practice, Lore acts as a platform to support the creation of and coordination within the thousands of special-interest collectives that will emerge over the coming decade.

The team is also building a modular set of APIs and SDKs to make co-ownership possible in every environment. From building simple Discord bots that automate governance processes within collectives, to powering guilds with thousands of players directly within game environments, Lore’s mission is to make co-ownership reach every corner of the application layer.

Lore is live in public beta today. Start a collective or join any of the hundreds of collectives that are accepting members.

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