jokerace v3: welcome to the post-token future

Back in those bygone days of 2022, we had little more than a few jokes and a dream: a dream to bring submissions and voting to a woebegone populace—

Actually, screw that. No preface. Let’s rawdog this announcement.

I. jokerace v3 is live at

You can watch a loom showing how to set up a contest in three minutes here.

Let’s get this out of the way: yes, we’re still the platform for communities to make, execute, and reward decisions through on-chain contests that let them submit responses to a prompt and vote on their favorites. And ok also, we’re biased and probably not the people you should ask for an opinion on a product we created ourselves.

But we’re excited.

And there’s a lot of reasons why, but let’s start with the main one.

We’ve made token-voting a thing of the past.

Instead of token-voting, we let you create an on-chain allowlist of anyone you want to submit and vote. And that means two things for the future of on-chain communities. First up:

You can now handle full governance for your tokenized community—as well as hackathons, grants, games, etc—on any EVM-compatible L2.

You no longer need to bridge or mint or distribute tokens. Just export your list of token holders, and that’s your allowlist to operate your community on Polygon, Optimism, Scroll, Base, Arbitrum, etc. You can do everything from our site in minutes.

But there’s a second, bigger point.

With our v3, on-chain communities no longer need tokens. At all.

Your community is whoever you allowlist to make decisions—and that means you can allowlist people to submit and vote based on any behavior that you can map to an on-chain address.

So sure, you can allowlist token-holders as your community. But you can also allowlist anyone who’s completed a specific action on your on-chain protocol… or even anyone who’s completed an off-chain action and shared their address.

For example, want to create an on-chain contest for everyone who follows you on Twitter? Just have them join a Guild, export their addresses into a spreadsheet in column A, and give them whatever voting power you want in column B. Upload the csv on our site, and you’re done. That’s it.

And that means that *literally any company or community* can use us to acquire and retain users by incentivizing these users to use their product, perform quests, hold their token, build reputation for airdrops, give data on user preferences, and campaign publicly for their brand. We’ll explain more below.

Why tf is this important? 

Our v1 was focused on expanding the bounds of on-chain governance so that communities could not only vote but submit their own responses to a prompt to vote on—letting them have far greater say.

Our v2 was focused on expanding the population that could perform on-chain governance—by enabling anyone to easily launch a contest in a few clicks as a no-code smart contract.

Our v3 is focused on expanding the types of communities that can operate on-chain. Practically speaking, getting rid of tokens means that communities of any size can easily launch contests without minting or distributing voting tokens outside our site.

But more importantly, in a world where tokens are under legal pressure and on-chain communities face the challenges of whales buying up tokens to control their treasury, we’re enabling a new way to build on-chain communities.

We’re building for a post-token world of modular communities: communities that exist based on whatever permissions you set across the internet for people to join you in games, grants, governance, and the like. Your modular community might be fixed over time, or it might evolve each contest, incorporate multiple other communities, or even integrate different communities to submit (ie people who follow you on twitter) and vote (ie your delegates who you also elected in a contest).

Modular communities are a unique product of crypto—not because they leverage tokens (they might not!), but because they leverage on-chain data that is far greater than tokens alone.

Moving past the limitations of token-based voting towards fully customizable allowlists for submission and voting—well, see, this is just the first step to let anyone launch and operate modular communities.

And most importantly, it enables whole new incentives to acquire and retain your community.

II. Incentives All the Way Down: The Future of Customer Acquisition and Retention

On the surface of any contest, you can reward winners for their submission—whether that’s a prediction in a game, an amendment to a proposal, a feature request, an application to a grant, or a submission to a hackathon.

But that’s just the surface. Look deeper, and you can leverage six incentives to draw and retain users to your community.

We’ll use the example of a contest with a $10,000 USDC rewards pool for the winner to show just how much activity that $10k can incentivize.

  1. Use contests to incentivize people to use your product and engage in your community:

    Say you run a contest offering $10k for the top feature request or top user of the month. Now anyone who wants to participate is incentivized to spend time using and considering your product as thoughtfully as possible. The $10,000 is effectively a customer acquisition cost for getting new users to engage deeply in your product and community. You’ve captured their most precious resource: their full attention.

  2. Use contests to get fuller data on your users and their preferences:

    At the end of any contest, you’ll have full data about what your community prioritizes. The winner of a $10k contest for best feature idea gets $10k, so they’re happy, and frankly, you don’t even need to build that feature. What you get instead is the full data on all the features your community wants to see.

  3. Use contests to get people to perform quests:

    You can also incentivize users to complete on or off-chain actions in order to participate for the chance to win rewards. Want people to follow you on Twitter? Just have them join a Guild to have the chance to win $10k for that feature idea, export the addresses, and that’s your allowlist. So you can effectively allowlist anyone who features you in their Twitter bio, follows you on Lens, stars your Github repo, has completed a Layer 3 or Rabbithole quest, has performed any custom off-chain action through Lit, has joined your Discord, etc. 

  4. Use contests to get people to hold your token and contribute meaningfully:

    You can get funky in determining how many votes each account gets. For example, you might give twice as much voting power to anyone who’s held your token for over a year or participated in previous contests—incentivizing them to hold the token and continue participating in contests. Voting incentives not only let you give voting power to your most valuable community members, but encourage everyone to become more valuable in order to have more power.

  5. Use contests to get people to publicly market your brand:

    Design your contest with ample time for submissions and voting, and you can tag participants on social media—encouraging them to share the contest to campaign publicly for votes. When they campaign on their own behalf to try to win, they’re also campaigning on your behalf in sharing your brand to their audience, giving you organic distribution from users across socials.

  6. Use contests to unlock reputational incentives and plan future airdrops:

    Players in contests build powerful on-chain data that can earn them access and rewards well beyond the contest—even if they don’t win. Submitting, voting, voting on winners, voting in line with other players who share your taste: all of these data points form meaningful social graphs of your community.

    But most importantly, every vote is an attestation to the value a player has contributed to your community. Even if they don’t win the contest, players who submit valuable feature requests or projects in a hackathon or nominations for a podcast all earn on-chain reputation by accruing votes—and this reputation is likely the best basis for future invites and protocol airdrops because it’s the only surefire metric of the value they’ve generated. So they’ll be incentivized to continue participating to earn this reputation that can earn them airdrops, voting power, and access down the line.

This is why we truly believe that contests are the future of customer acquisition and retention in web3. The financial, social, and reputational incentives of our contests simply wouldn’t be possible off-chain.

III. Oh Goddammit, There’s More

But no, no, that’s not all. See, our v3 also represents something close to a full redesign of the entire site and architecture. Indeed, as grateful as we were to subsist off two-to-three-week grant bounties for a year in building v1 and v2, this is the first time we’ve been able to build with all the time and resources we wanted—four months and budget for a team of three, if you’re counting.

So what did we do?

  • We redesigned everything. We reimagined the entire site from the ground-up. The landing page includes featured contests, sort functionality, improved search, an explainer, and a customized showcase of what contests you qualify for. The “create contest flow” is now segmented into minimal fields that boost focus, use rich text, and add tags for anyone to find your contest. To add a rewards pool, you can now set the proportions each rank receives and decide whether or not you want to fund it.

    And most importantly, we’ve simplified the entire experience of playing in contests by using cards to represent submissions, so the process of submitting and voting is as streamlined, simple, and sleek as possible.

  • We went modular. Both the backend and frontend have been completely refactored so that we can easily add new features, permissions, and integrations as we continue to build. Our goal wasn’t just to ship as quickly as possible—it was to ship a framework that would let us continually ship as quickly as possible moving forward.

  • We built better tools for you to go viral. Good contests are ones that people are incentivized to share on other platforms. Virality requires clear descriptions, tags, rewards, images, timing that lets creators build momentum on social media, and easy sharing—all of which we’ve built into the v3.

And this is, in fact, just the start.

— management

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