• Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Michael Fischer of KurateDAO Explains Curate-To-Earn Communities and More 


Content curation has been one of the major problems facing the internet today. The standards and processes needed by creators exist within many other technologies for the process to work effectively.  Web3 technologies have changed all that with the emergence of ecosystems that enable a single umbrella and assure security.

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The inclusion of DAOs for content curation and syndication is a great leap forward that will allow for content creators to be worth their salt programmatically.

Content curation works best within ecosystems that allow for these programmatic processes.

Imagine being able to organize, read, understand content and get compensated for everything based on code?

Well, that’s the future!

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We will no longer need to use centralized platforms with manual processes to get content to the target audience.

Platforms will automate this and people will vote on which content works for them!

KurateDAO is one of the such ecosystems.

We reached out to Michael Fischer who is KurateDAOs CEO for more  insight on exactly how the process works. Here’s what he had to say. 

Michael Fischer CEO at KurateDAO

E-Crypto News:

  • What are curate-to’-earn communities?

These are communities that are economically incentivized to organize data around a specific topic.

Examples of topics are jobs in a certain sector, music of a certain genre, NFTs for a gallery, academic papers on cryptography, product reviews of hardware wallets, recipes, short stories in a certain language, a curated set of web3 applications, and many more.

What is interesting is that these communities don’t need to know each other.

Everyone is incentivized to collect data based on the tokenomic model that we developed.

Discord is a big part of the curation process on KurateDAO. Curators and scouts building consensus using our Discord (https://discord.gg/eW8UwQQgvQ).

E-Crypto News:

  • How do community-curated blockchain-based databases work?

One way to describe it is “Pintrests with frens but you earn tokens”.

In a bit more depth, community curated blockchains work by having a criteria by which data can be determined if it should be included or excluded from a database.

People that get their data into a curated set make tokens proportional to viewership.


E-Crypto News:

  • How exactly does the curation process work?

Any person can start a database around a topic. For example web3 applications that have been audited, news articles about Russia, or restaurants in New York City.

The person that starts and defines the criteria for a database is called the curator.

Scouts then submit data that they think fits the criteria of the database.

Anyone can be a scout.

When a scout submits content they have to pay one token, which is refunded if their data is accepted into the database.

Before the data is accepted into the database, if another scout sees the data and thinks the curator won’t accept it they can vote with two tokens to reject the data.

Another scout can then vote with four tokens to keep the data in.  The token cost continues to double each time to vote the data in or out of the database.

This process continues until scouts on one side stop staking or the pool of tokens exceeds a threshold.

If one side stops staking tokens, after X minutes (X is defined by the curator when the database is minted) the content is either accepted or rejected depending on which side staked last.

On the other hand, if the data is contested by many people, and the pool of tokens crosses a certain threshold, the curator decides if the data should be accepted or rejected from the database.

The winning faction gets the losing faction’s tokens.  The curator takes a cut of the pool for doing work deciding if the content should be accepted or rejected.

Once data has been accepted into the database, scouts and the curator get access to a percentage of the token that database generates based on viewership.



E-Crypto News:

  • Please, can you tell us about the KurateDAO governance mechanism?

The governance process works by using a staking system, which is like a modified prediction market.

 Prediction markets allow for people to stake on the future outcome of a question.

In this case, the question that people are trying to answer is, “will the curator accept or reject this content?”

  Scouts then do their individual research and come up with their assessment.

  Scouts that think the content will be accepted by the curator stake one way and scouts that think the content will be rejected stake the other way.

Tokens are used as a way for scouts to voice their opinion proportional to their conviction.

Time is critical on the web because information moves quickly, so scouts that stake early and are correct are rewarded the most.

This process helps to build consensus around content.

It also helps to reduce the workload of the curator.

If scouts are not able to resolve if the content should be accepted or rejected from the database it goes to the curator for final adjudication.

Scouts help to reduce the work of the curator as well as to resolve easy issues quickly.

If the curator is sleeping or away from the computer, scouts resolve easy curation decisions without having to involve the curator.

The curator only has to review items that were not resolved by the scouts during the staking process, which might only be 1% or 5% of the time, depending on the pool threshold, which is set by the curator.

Curation relies on market forces.

Curators that are able to resolve issues quickly and fairly attract more viewers and scouts.  It is similar to how each state in the USA is a “laboratory of democracy”.

Each state comes up with laws that should attract people to the state.

Similarly, the goal of KurateDAO is for each curator to come up with their own rules and do a good job implementing them, and those curators will attract the best scouts and viewers.

More details about how it works can be found in our white paper.


Related: NFTs Are on the Rise. Will the Fall Follow?

E-Crypto News:

  • How does KurateDAO aim to change content monetization?

When curators and scouts have developed a useful database it attracts viewers.

The database is the core part of any web application that contains the actual data.  On top of it is a UI that helps people access that data as well as some way to monetize the data.

People will build their own UI layer (or use ours) on a KurateDAO database.

Monetization is either explicit or implicit.  Explicit monetization is similar to a subscription service like Spotify where users pay a monthly fee to access a database of songs.

The fee that the viewer pays goes into the treasury for that DAO.

Implicit monetization is where ads are shown alongside the data from the database.

The ad revenue is then deposited directly into the treasury.

Revenue in the treasury is then split between the scouts and the curator.


E-Crypto News:

  • How do roles work in the curation process?

There are three roles: curators, scouts, and viewers.

Curators mint a database and come up with the rules to determine if content should be accepted or rejected.

The curator is also the final adjudicator in determining if a row should be accepted or rejected when it cannot be resolved by the scouts.

Scouts find and contribute content that aligns with the by-laws of a database.

 If a scout’s content is included into the database they will earn proportionally to how much it is viewed.

Scouts also monitor the database and vote for or against rows that they think are missabled.

Viewers pay tokens to view the content of the database.

E-Crypto News:

  • How are earnings calculated?

We’re working with the community to come up with numbers.

Currently, the curator makes 20% of the treasury and a percentage of the cases that they adjudicate.

The scouts make 70% of the treasury.

Then there is a network fee of 10%.

E-Crypto News:

  • How does the KurateDAO financial market work?

Each curator and database is creating a set of by laws that they think will most appeal to users.

This is like the ToS on a website.

The bylaws for a database can either be fixed or changed through a process specified in a DAO.

Each of these ToS is in a broader marketplace, and each is trying to appeal to a certain user base.

Related: DAO Creation: A Basic How To

E-Crypto News:

  • Does artificial intelligence play a role in the curation process?

Yes, one of the things that is important is making sure the people have a good read on if a curator is honest or corrupt.

This is a pretty hard thing to determine but we have come up with a solution that will allow for transparency.

Every decision that a curator makes to include or exclude an element is written to what we call a “logchain” that is publicly viewable.

Each item in the logchain is an item and if the curator decided to include or exclude it.  Like a blockchain, the longer the logchain, the more a user can verify their previous decisions and the more the curator can be trusted.

It is going to be hard for someone to look at every decision a curator previously made.

So we came up with a solution that uses AI to “spot check” decisions that curators make.

We are building a bot that uses GPT-3 to look at 1) the rules of the database, 2) the element in question, and 3) the decision the curator made.

 It then flags any decisions that look like they could be bad so the user can check to make sure the curator is honest.

Additionally since all the data is on the blockchain, users can build their own AI spot checking bots if they don’t trust ours.

What is good about this is that there can be 1000’s of bots trained to look for different things that are important to different sets of users.

E-Crypto News:

  • What role do immutable social contracts play in the curation process?

For some applications, users that are using a web application would prefer that the ToS for a web application not change.

Right now many ToS of web applications can, and do, change pretty often.

This is not good for users because they can put a lot of time and energy into their work on a site only to wake up the next day to find out they have been removed or the rules of the site have changed and they can no longer make money.

This isn’t fair for users.

 So if a curator makes the bylaws of a database immutable they are telling their users that the rules of their database won’t change and that can give users peace of mind in how they engage with the platform.

In some ways it is similar to how bitcoin works.

Knowing that there will only be 21 million bitcoins gives users confidence in how they decide to invest.

E-Crypto News:

  • How does content curation aid the development of decentralized finance (DeFi)?

One application that would be really would be to curate a list of tokens a user finds interesting based on certain criteria.

So there could be a list of DeFi tokens that a user thinks will do well, that are technically interesting, that are carbon neutral, that have had their code audited, etc.

Related: What Is DeFi 2.0 in 2022…and How Does It Work?

E-Crypto News:

  • What’s the backstory behind KurateDAO?

I just graduated from Stanford with a PhD in computer science in AI.

I was interested in program synthesis and how to use language to democratize programming.

I also wrote a book called Regulating AI, which is about how problems with AI are handled by our legal system

I wrote the book after I was the TA for a California Supreme Court Justice on the topic.

I had a deep technical background and an interest in current and future legal systems.

Right now more than ever we are seeing the importance of these two topics come together as digital information is becoming increasingly important around the globe.  data curation and censorship.

 My dream is that through the use of crypto, clear economic incentives, and openness we can create a more robust system then what we have today.

E-Crypto News:

  • Congratulations on your recent $6.85 Million funding round! What’s next for KurateDAO?

We have work we are doing on the product side to make it easier to use, faster, and less expensive.

There are a lot of tricky engineering challenges that we have to do to make the whole system work.

Databases are notoriously tricky to build and building on top of blockchains which are still under active development adds to the complexity.

If distributed curation is interesting and you’d like to work with us, please DM us on twitter @KurateDAO.




E-Crypto News:

  • What role do cryptoeconomic games play in the content curation process?

Cryptoeconomic games are the core of what makes this system work.

It aligns people’s incentives so that they are economically incentivized to do the right thing and economically disincentivized from doing the wrong thing.

For example, when someone contributes data that is helpful to a certain community they will make tokens.

If someone is spamming a community with bad content, they will end up paying tokens.

This is pretty different from what we have today.

Today if someone flames a post with a mean response they can end up getting a lot of attention, and hurting the overall community.

 In our system they can still do that for a small amount of time, but other people will be able to capture their tokens.

Conversely if they are curating content that is helpful to the community, they will end up making tokens.

E-Crypto News:

  • Can you please tell us about the KurateDAO protocol?

KurateDAO’s curation model is similar to the three branches of the American government.

Each acts as check and balance for the other branches.

The US Government has the executive (which enforces laws), legislative (that makes laws), and judicial (which interprets laws).

Every database begins with a set of rules—or laws—legislated by the database creator.

Laws are established when the database is minted and can either be set to changeable or fixed based on the purpose of the database.

These laws are enforced by scouts.

When a potential violation is seriously disputed, it is judged by the database curator, who makes a ruling and establishes precedent for future scouts.

E-Crypto News:

  • How can content moderation be democratized?

Major platforms on the web are like the curators today that enforce their ToS.

There are around 1000 major sites.

But there should be millions of ToS that are more nuanced to specific communities.

Each group on a social media site should determine their own ToS/laws specific to their needs.

The one size fits all approach of having 2 billion users all obeying the same ToS, restricts expression.

In addition to democratization, another important thing is censorship resistance and data permanence.

Even when content has been curated honestly, it can still be lost or taken offline by someone maliciously.

By using content addressing or storing the data directly on-chain, it improves the chances that the data won’t be censored or lost.

E-Crypto News:

  • What’s the difference between web2 and web3 content curation?

Web2 content curation happens on a centralized database with varying degrees of clarity about what the curatorial process looks like behind the scenes.

Value accrues to the platform which disincentivizes curators and content creators.

Web2 is curation that is one size fits all where communities have to fit the platform instead of the platform meeting the curatorial needs of the individual community.

Web2 restricts usage of curated API data and changes ToS to fit a platform’s needs.

Web3 curation happens in the open and is accessible to anyone.

Incentives are clearly defined before a user participates.

Additionally, on web3 users are rewarded for their work with tokens.

Web3 is permissionless and data can be easily accessed by a human as it can by a computer program.

For example if an AI needs extra training data, it could find a KurateDAO database, pay the fee, and then get access to the data for its training.

E-Crypto News:

  • Why was a DAO chosen as a vehicle for content curation?

A DAO is a great fit for KurateDAO because a community comes together with the narrow focus of curating a set of data around a specific topic.

The incentive structure is laid out from the outset and it is clear how the different roles interact.

Everyone that participates in the system then gets access to the tokens in the treasury that the content generates.

Discord can be used to allow communities to build consensus around decisions.

E-Crypto News:

  • How will KurateDAO change the internet?

The dream here is to be a distributed database layer on which new types of web3 applications can be built.

This new type of web3 application will be governed by a DAO and make curatorial decisions in an open and quick way.

I believe the bigger a dataset is the more KurateDAO will shine.

With traditional databases, the administration of what goes in and out becomes a bottleneck for “closed” organizations.

However, with KurateDAO it will attract more people.

So collective action problems of a very-very-large scale could be solved with KurateDAO’s cryptoeconomic incentives.

E-Crypto News:

  • Where do you see KurateDAO in the next decade? 

KurateDAO being the database layer for future web3 applications.

It will be fully governed by the community.

It will create a marketplace where truth can thrive, misinformation will be economically disincentivized, and large problems can be solved using cryptoeconomic games.

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Kevin Moore - E-Crypto News Editor

Kevin Moore - E-Crypto News Editor

Kevin Moore is the main author and editor for E-Crypto News.