When a new kind of business model comes along, it doesn’t just enable a new way of making money. It unlocks new industries, new jobs, new ways of existing in the world. Innovation on the internet has brought about these sorts of existential reinventions many times over.
Crypto will usher in the next wave of business models. But next doesn’t do it justice. If we can make crypto more accessible to everyone, if we can forge a stronger connection to value, and if we can do this in service of the people most influential in shaping our culture, we will experience a seismic redefinition of commerce, value, and ownership itself.
Today, we’re announcing Foundation, a new medium for buying, selling, and trading limited-edition goods. A platform that claims the power of the stock market and reinvents it for independent artists, designers, and brands — and their communities.
With Foundation, creators mint a limited supply of tokens that each represent a piece of their work. If they’re dropping a hundred pieces, they’ll mint a hundred tokens. These pieces could be vinyl albums, sneakers, or something we haven’t even thought of yet. The tokens can either be redeemed to receive the piece itself or freely traded in an open market powered by Foundation.
Each time a token is sold back into the market, the creator earns a fee. In other words, they earn money from a secondary market for trading their work that they couldn’t access before. Buyers — the people buying and trading tokens in the market — benefit from getting in early. Not only do they have a newfound stake in the creators’ success, which they can profit from by selling their token back into the market, but they also experience a deeper level of connection to the creators they love because of this alignment.
On the technical side, the Foundation platform builds on the incredible innovation pushed by the crypto community to date. Our technology is an elegant composition of the ERC20 standard to express digital scarcity and fungibility, bonding curves to express market dynamics, and a smart contract architecture that hosts our user’s most critical data on a publicly-verifiable blockchain. In that way, you can trust that the prices and supply of each token exist outside of Foundation’s control. Moreover, a market owner’s very presence on the platform — their tokens, their capital — belongs to them, unlike any other distribution platform for creators.
Foundation offers a creative medium for artists and designers who are eager to experiment with monetization, test out new ideas, and experience the upside of their secondary market. We’re launching with a group of creators who are making some of the most compelling work in their field. Dan Barkle, a graphic designer making music and streetwear. Addie Wagenknecht, a polymath conceptual artist. Wesley Verhoeve, a photographer and curator. Just to name a few. They understand what crypto can unlock for them, and they’re energized to bring that power to their communities
Foundation’s team has spent over a decade building for and exploring the possibilities of crypto, but we’re also creators and artists in our own right. On our team, we have an apparel designer, an electronic music producer, a filmmaker, a painter, and a museum curator. The creative community is our community, and we’ve built Foundation to redefine our collective experience of ownership and connection — and how we make money as artists.
Today, we’re launching our first creator market with Foundation, Neue Goods — a project owned and operated by Foundation co-founder Matt Vernon. Neue Goods is a clothing label creating high-quality goods for designers, creatives, and anyone with their eye on the Internet. And it is the first concrete manifestation of the Foundation platform.
In the coming weeks, you can expect more drops from our creators to add to your collection. We’ll also be unveiling the more permanent way to experience the Foundation platform: an app for your iPhone.
DeFi brought us unstoppable, global financial services. Foundation takes inspiration from DeFi, but goes beyond pure finance. Our primary value propositions aren’t decentralization or censorship-resistant money. The space we inhabit is more experimental — more emergent.
At Foundation, we think a lot about the early days of the web. The first websites were mostly simulacrums of their real-world counterparts. Newspapers went online as carbon copies of their physical editions, literally uploading scans of print pages. Businesses did the same with physical brochures. But the promise of the web was about more than digitization; it was designed to democratize. Publishing should be universally accessible. Ergo Blogger. People should be able to buy anything from anywhere, from anyone. Ergo eBay.
The web’s radical, permissionless architecture reshaped our world for the better. And blockchains carry a similar messianic promise for foundational change. What is there to be democratized this time? Markets, currency, capital formation. With Foundation, our aim is to empower everyone to create their own markets and their own currency with which to accumulate capital — in exchange for whatever it is of value they have to offer.
We believe there’s a new category to be invented here and we want to define it, alongside the creative community — and you.
Follow us closely and be part of defining this new space. And if you’re an independent artist, designer, or brand and this resonates, please reach out: [email protected]