What is the status quo of building a native currency for the creators economy?

To be able for everyone to understand the Flame Token economy and also for purpose of transparency, I want to publish in this article some of the current numbers.

Around 200M Flame Credits (XFL) are right now in circulation on Sharesome, to be exact, 200.309.516 Flame Credits. 200.300.216 Credits have been given away for free in our friends & family program for content creators and as a sign up bonus (each new user currently gets some Flame Credits for free). 9.300 Flame Credits where actually sold on the platform.

This means that only around 0.005% of all Flame Credits in circulation are currently representing value in fiat. As you can see, withdrawal of 0.005% of your balance doesn’t help anyone to achieve anything.

1.410.914 Flame Credits have been spend on tips, 50.530 Flame Credits have been spend to send messages to stars (a message costs 20 Flame Credits), and 739.300 Flame Credits have been spend by stars to boost their profiles.

Now, the “distribution of wealth” on Sharesome is interesting because we distributed Flame Credits mainly to verified content creators who represent around 0.8% of our userbase. These 0.8% own 40.73% of all Flame Credits, while regular users/fans own together 59.27% of all Flame Credits.

In order to jumpstart the ecosystem of the Flame Token, we also held an airdrop where we distributed over 1 billion Flame Credits to more than 1 million subscribers on our website Flametoken.io. This was one of the biggest airdrops in the history of crypto.

On both websites, Sharesome.com and Flametoken.io, withdrawals of Flame Tokens are not enabled yet. To understand why, one has to understand the difference between Flame Tokens and Flame Credits.

Flame Credits exist on a centralized ledger that is controlled by us, while Flame Tokens exist on the Ethereum Blockchain as an ERC20-Token. Flame Credits are 1:1 pegged with Flame Tokens, that means each Flame Credit represents one Flame Token on the Blockchain.

The initial supply of the Flame Token is 10.5 billion XFL, the maximum supply is 21 billion XFL.

The token contract is 0x469861bdfd02e7ebce7cdeb281e8eec53069cf5f

Flame Token (XFL) is a cryptocurrency and can be used on the Ethereum Blockchain, Flame Credits are their counterpart and can only be used on Sharesome.

Flame Credits have the following use-cases:

  • Tipping: Every post on Sharesome contains a Flame Button that enables to send Flame Credits to the poster. If the poster is a content creator, and the post is original content, ~90%* of the tip goes to the content creator (10% to Sharesome). If the poster isn’t a content creator, and the post isn’t original content, but fair use content, the tip remains in a wallet of the post, waiting to be claimed by the content creator.
    * We say “around” 90% because we are experimenting with different splits that would also give 1–2% to people who shared the post, or to topic moderators.
    The Flame Button can also be integrated in third party websites through an API.
  • Messaging: To message a verified star costs 20 Flame Credits (same split ~90/10). 20 Flame Credits isn’t much, but it avoids that every John Doe just sends pics of his dick to stars, frankly speaking. We are working now on a tool where stars can set their own price somewhere between 0–100 Flame Credits.
  • Boost profile: Verified stars and brands can boost their profiles, depending on the market, the price starts with 100 Flame Credits per boost and goes up in price if demand is rising.
  • Payments: Third party websites can integrate a “Sharesome Login” through an API and receive Flame Credits for their goods and services.

There is also our business model: We receive a commission for every transaction. But that’s not gonna pay for servers and salaries. Only if we sell enough “sponsored posts” or “boosted profiles”, we will make enough money to survive.

One critic mentioned that the Flame Token isn’t crypto because of our central ledger.

All crypto is at some point handled on central ledgers. For example in the moment I am transferring my Bitcoins to an exchange, or once I decide to install an app like Revolut or Xapo on my phone. In any of these cases, I lose control over my crypto and trust the service provider to keep my crypto safe. The issue isn’t about crypto. It’s about security (and compliance).

Every time safety is discussed, it’s discussed because we trade it for something else and this is usually convenience. We decided to go for a central ledger because it’s more convenient:

  • Transactions happen in real time (no confirmation time)
  • Micro-transactions are possible (no blockchain transaction fees)
  • Providing an accessible wallet is easier (no recovery seeds, etc.)

I agree that moving crypto off-chain and trusting us to keep the “originals” safe isn’t the best way of securing crypto. Our intention is to offer a user-friendly off-chain wallet for smaller amounts (the one on Sharesome), bigger amounts should be stored in a hardware- or paperwallet on-chain (the one you choose for).

Once technology will evolve and allow micro transactions and user-friendly on-chain wallets, we will switch. I am very curious which way Facebook will go with Libra, if they go on-chain or off-chain.

Rumors have it that Facebook’s Libra token will be issued in Switzerland. That would be the same legislation where the Flame Technologies AG operates, the company that issued the Flame Token and controls the Flame Credit wallets and transactions.

To allow withdrawals of Flame Tokens from your Flame Credit wallet in your Ethereum wallet, we have to comply with regulations. That basically means that we have to implement KYC/AML processes. To be regulated by financial authorities and to implement Anti Money Laundering processes takes time. But it makes sure that we are able to provide financial services to you guys on a legal basis that is rock solid, made in Switzerland.

To withdraw Flame Tokens only makes sense, once XFL’s are listed on exchanges. If the token is not listed, you can not turn it into fiat or other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Up until now, we did not focus on that, we focused on the compliance process.

Right now we are implementing KYC-checks into Sharesome and we are in discussions with several exchanges about a listing and an IEO. We don’t have a timeline for it, it will be ready when it’s done. That’s just the way it is.

There is a reason why 0.8% of the users on Sharesome own 40.73% of all Flame Credits. These 0.8% are the sex workers on Sharesome. We made this usergroup “token rich” for two reasons:

  • We appreciate that you are early adopters. And we want to give you a “start bonus”. Most of you own so many Flame Credits that you can boost your profile basically for free for a very long time. The next generations of content creators will have to buy Flame Credits to pay for advertising.
  • Owning Flame Credits (and with this Flame Tokens) makes you a an early adopter of a new cryptocurrency, with all the benefits that come with this. We see you as partners. You just might want to HODL your Flame Credits and exchange them in Flame Tokens to sell them way later, or you spend them on advertising once the Flame Credits unfold their purchase power.

Cryptoprojects are usually build like this: A team gets together, develops a prototype, writes a whitepaper, sells tokens in an ICO/IEO, trading starts (all based on pure speculation) and then, maybe, the product will be developed.

We did it the other way around: We first build the product (Sharesome), then created liquidity for the Flame Token and pushed ~1.2 billion Flame Credits to ~1.5M people (on Sharesome and Flametoken.io), then we created real world uses cases and let people transact with the tokens. Then we wrote the whitepaper and started selling the token. And only after an ICO/IEO we want to see the token being traded, not based on pure speculation, but based on real world usage of the Flame Token. Everyone who is a Flame Credit holder right now could benefit from this.

Early withdrawals and early trading of a cryptocurrency are counterproductive. Almost every token that went that road failed. You need to build the product and the market first. And only if you have a high transaction volume already, in a real world scenario, you allow the token to be traded. This is another reason why Flame Credits exist. In that way, we can control when this will happen. And it will happen in a moment where it will benefit all token holders: And remember, sex workers are right now the ones with the largest Flame Credit holdings on Sharesome.

Only if the Flame Token has value, withdrawals make sense (and also to top up your Flame Credits balance with Flame Tokens). The value will go up as more people will use Flame Credits on Sharesome and it will go down if transaction volumes will drop. Right now we have a higher transaction volume per day as Bitcoin Cash (BCH) or Monero (XMR), but still a lower transaction volume per day as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). That will change. We are already a relevant player.

I also don’t believe that withdrawal is the killer feature for content creators. If you believe that, you placed Sharesome in the wrong category of services you use. You shouldn’t post content on Sharesome for tips only. This is just a “nice-to-have” feature. You should post on Sharesome to get more followers, turn them into fans and send them to your paysites to buy your products and services. You build a brand on Sharesome and you monetize your followers, because we give you all the tools for it. Same as Instagram enabled the Kardashians to build a brand and monetize their followers, Sharesome gives you the platform and tools to do the same for NSFW content. You don’t sell on Sharesome, you sell through Sharesome.

I heard the accusation that we “let models work for us” and then “don’t pay them for their work”. If you post on Sharesome, you don’t work for us. You are the CEO of your own business: You work for yourself. You promote yourself, your brand, your products.

We want you to be successful. Because that’s the business we are in. Sharesome is right now the only social media site that it build with sex workers in mind. Everything is developed and structured in a way that you have the best possible exposure and that fans click on your paysite-links. We work for you. You work for yourself.

At the end of the day, we made a bet with the future: If enough content creators generate enough money through Sharesome, and Sharesome becomes the №1-choice for NSFW content creators to build and promote their brands, they would also be our customers by buying sponsored posts to reach out to even more people. We see you guys as entrepreneurs in an industry that is changing in a way that power shifts to you, away from centralized studios and producers. We bet: If you can spend $100 on Sharesome to boost your brand, knowing that this translate into revenue higher then that, you will do that (and pay for it in Flame Credits).

This is the killer feature you should look at: Sharesome levels the e-commerce playing field for sex workers and brings you the “Facebook Ads” that you can’t access on any mainstream social media site. This is one of the reasons why it is so damned hard to build a business as a NSFW content creator. You are cut off from all the advantages of the mainstream online market: Free use of social media and the ability of spending (also smaller) marketing budgets. Every small entrepreneur in the mainstream business is better off.

As I said, we are in the same boat. If you are successful on Sharesome, we will be successful with Sharesome.

But keep in mind. Sharesome is work in progress. Flame Token is work in progress. And our vision is bold: What Facebook did for e-commerce, Sharesome will do for NSFW content creators. Facebook enabled millions of businesses and brands to participate in a global market. Sex workers should have the same opportunities. We are building it. Now Facebook allegedly plans to implement an own cryptocurreny called Libra to enable payments inside the Facebook universe. And that makes sense. In that regard we are already a few steps ahead, and we are seeing already a growth in Flame Credit transactions every day.

Flame Token is crypto done right. If we don’t allow to withdraw now, it’s not a scam, it’s part of the roadmap. The roadmap was always communicated, we never advertised to join Sharesome to “work on the site”, we never even talked about withdrawals, we always just talked about using Flame Credits on Sharesome for tipping, messaging, buying ads, and third party payments. But we hear you, withdrawals will come, as topping wallets up will come — as we have planned it from the beginning. It’s just not a killer feature.

For further questions, you can reach me out via PM on Sharesome and Twitter.

Ralf Kappe
Founder, Sharesome