The upgrade marks a major step forward towards realizing the vision of a connecting creators and their communities directly, without any platform middlemen
Unlock, the NFT-based protocol enabling creators and their communities to form direct relationships online, is excited to announce that it’s created the first ever mechanism for recurring billing using NFTs. This groundbreaking upgrade to the Unlock Protocol positions it to replace legacy subscription systems that use centralized payment processors with a decentralized Web3 model.
Unlock offers a radical alternative for content creators who have been stuck in Web2 business models. Instead of being trapped in the walled gardens of platforms, creators using Unlock have direct connections to their audiences that are website and app agnostic, meaning they can move to new online venues without their communities needing to set up new logins. In fact, with Unlock, users never need to login to websites whose owners harvest personal data as the price for access and then turn around and use that data to sell targeted ads.
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Instead, a creator’s audience only needs to hold unique NFTs in their wallets, and they’ll be able to access that creator’s content, wherever it’s published. NFTs are already being used as access passes in a variety of places, such as Coachella NFTs that grant the holders lifetime access to the festival. But since everything from content to online streaming to disposable razors are monetized through subscriptions, and given that lifetime passes to or one-off purchases of content are not suitable for most audiences, existing NFT access passes only go so far in disrupting Web2 business models.
“From news to music to shows, there are many good reasons why subscriptions have become the default business model. But having a handful of Big Tech platforms acting as middlemen and locking in creators and their audiences is far from ideal,” said Unlock Founder & CEO Julien Genestoux. “That’s why we’re launching NFT-based subscriptions. Now creators using Unlock can exercise full control to flexibly monetize their content in the ways that best suit them and their communities.”
Unlock’s approach to recurring billing using NFTs uses a novel smart contract design that is the first in the industry, bringing the recurring revenue model pioneered by early SaaS companies into a decentralized web3 world. Functionally, a user begins a subscription by agreeing to a smart contract transaction that recurs each month (or at whatever interval the subscription is billed), and the user’s membership NFT maintains its validity so long as the payment occurs each time.
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