One Year in, the Web3 Education and Media Engine Is Just Getting Started
BanklessDAO started one year ago with the gift of a spark. The gift was a fair launch distribution of BANK to the Bankless community; it sparked a movement around bankless values. The bankless movement is a collection of explorers and wayfinders, creators and builders, punks and misfits, on a shared journey of freedom and discovery. We are pilgrims with a purpose, with boots on the ground building a nation in the sky.
The bankless journey starts with crossing bridges into Web3 and crypto-native ways of working, discovering our place in this new world, and learning how to occupy and grow in that space. It’s a journey centered around reclaiming our autonomy, our creative potential, our time, energy, and attention. It’s a journey about reclaiming our life and shaping what the communities of the future might look like.
What happens when we give people the tools they need, help them level up, get out of their way, amplify their work, and surround them with a community that values productive, creative, and happy humans?
The bankless movement is as much about exploring and creating the external world around bankless values as it is about exploring the uncharted inner landscape of who we are, what we value, and how we choose to show up in that world. Like all journeys worth going on, we initially set out alone, but quickly find many who are traveling a similar path. What was once a lonely step into a dark and spooky forest turns into a shared journey with many fellow travelers carrying lanterns and lighting the way.
As a community, our mission is to help onboard people to crypto-native ways of working together. Onboarding people to the bankless movement means changing their minds about why they work and what type of work they do, but it is also a recognition of them as individuals: we see you and your potential to carve out a role in this space. Nothing and no one is holding you back here; what are you going to do with this opportunity? When are you going to show up? What gifts do you have to share? What do you want to learn?
BanklessDAO gives people an opportunity to get started in Web3 without needing a long resume of experience. It’s an amazing way to get your feet on the ground and learn about the crypto space. Joining bDAO is a great way to onboard to crypto.
BanklessDAO fulfills its mission when people break out of the box and start living the life they are capable of in a Web3-native world.
Breaking Out of The Box
Let’s start calling traditional corporate work The Box. The Box likes to put people into smaller boxes and keep them there. The Box might occasionally shuffle the org structure around, and if you are lucky enough to get picked, you might land in a corner of the box tower or at one of the top levels. There are lots of people boxed in the middle and lower levels where no one really wants to be, but those are the levels that allow the tower of boxes to keep growing.
The Box feels safe. It comes with certain benefits, like health insurance, paid time off, a steady, predictable paycheck — but really The Box is crushing you and limiting your potential.
No one at The Box will say this, but they thrive when they are able to extract the most value from each box that they can. Have you seen your billable rate? You’re worth more than you get paid. The value that is mined from each box is shared with stakeholders, but it rarely goes back to the individual in the box. No equity, no wealth-sharing, just a j-o-b.
It is common to introduce yourself at social gatherings with what you do for a job. “I’m a software engineer, nurse, barista, ____” … fill in the blank. This is only a small part of the story of who you are, yet it’s often the part we emphasize in social settings.
When you go full-time DAOlife, the “What do you do?” question is not very easy to answer. You might hold a variety of roles and work across the DAO or even in multiple DAOs. It is hard to pin down exactly what you are when you have a multitude of roles and identities. And that’s a good thing.
My previous job was strict, stifling and restrictive. BDAO is different in that it is permissionless, and open ended, with tons of like-minded, BRILLIANT people. This enables the exploration of opportunities and finding what I am most excited about exploring.
The world wants to put us in a box. It’s so much easier than having to reconcile the complexity that is a human life. But we are not limited beings with fixed identities. The future of work is not to fill a predefined job title, but to step into the playful act of holding a multitude of roles and responsibilities.
What is the small-b box that the world is always trying to put you in? It is a limited conception of who you are and what you are capable of.
You need to break out of the box. You need to realize your full potential. You need to go bankless.
We Are Going Bankless
BanklessDAO is here to help people break out of the box. Maybe not all at once, but we are here to give you the resources, tools, guides, and personal connections needed to figure out how to break out and confidently continue on your own journey of self-discovery, unbounded by traditional structures.
What happens when you are free to explore your creative potential, to jump in on exciting new projects, and brainstorm new ideas? What happens when we remove the restrictions to your potential and encourage you to role-play your way to a productive, healthy, and happy life?
We’ve created a culture of personal exploration. There are no prerequisites for trying new things, and people are encouraged to join projects and guilds.
BanklessDAO is a sandbox for personal growth and exploration. We are headed West, exploring the frontiers of a crypto-native, Web3 world. The community is a safe place to land, a place to get oriented to the journey ahead, and a place to try out your talents and skills, or discover hidden ones. You’ll likely start in places where you already feel comfortable, but you might find more joy in areas you have never even heard of, because we just invented them (What the Hell are Governance Solutions Engineers?).
Opportunity of a Lifetime
A year ago I was working in a full-time corporate job managing a team of healthcare professionals. I was good at my job, worked with a great team, and we were always one of the top performing teams in the company. But I didn’t enjoy the work. I had been looking for a career change for quite some time. The work no longer excited me or challenged me intellectually. Sure I was good at it, but I never felt stretched or inspired. I looked forward to my days off, was always planning my next vacation, and wanted to get away. I would scroll through LinkedIn looking for other jobs, but the job descriptions all sounded lifeless, moving from one corpse job to another. I could see the boxes the new job would try to put me in and none of them sounded like me.
Then, in the spring of 2021, I heard Ryan and David saying on their podcast, “Get a job in crypto.”
A short while later BanklessDAO was born and the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself. Having been a long-time blogger and writer, I gravitated towards the group of writers forming and helped put together the very first Weekly Rollup — four days after the DAO launched.
Working on newsletters got me used to putting my work out in the world, gave me time to learn, to develop a perspective, to get my bearings, and to understand how this space works. For others, starting might look like designing POAPs, creating images for publications, editing podcasts, taking meeting notes, or writing code for DEGEN. The key is to show up consistently in meetings, unmute your mic, raise your hand for opportunities, and commit to a ship date.
Over time all of this gets easier. You start to take on more responsibility, explore roles, pitch ideas, and write proposals. If you so desire, you’ll find yourself part of a tight-knit team, involved in decision-making and joining multi-sigs.
You start to organically develop and grow.
As you explore the edges of your comfort zone and deepen your understanding of the space, lights go on and you start connecting the dots, many of which you barely understood only a few months ago.
If you hang around BanklessDAO, you’ll find this story echoed throughout the DAO. It’s my story, but you will have your own, similar story. These are the chapters in the story of going bankless. The story that we write every day when we show up, raise our hand, and contribute. It’s a story about reclaiming our freedom, which means rediscovering what we care about and consistently showing up for our values. Those values often include work we enjoy doing, but they also include friendship, curiosity, play, family time, self-care, and caring for others.
I heard a panel on DAOs on the Bankless podcast and was intrigued. I was starting to look into some jobs in the Web3 space, because I was disillusioned with Web2 startups, but still wanted a “startup” vibe and was super interested in the tech of Web3. I wanted to learn in a lower-stakes way — to get into Web3 without actually getting an official job yet, and joining bDAO looked like a great way to make that first step.
What we are talking about is finding a posture, a way of being in the world. It’s a posture that can be learned, trained, and practiced. It’s about learning how to show up, level up, and take time to reflect on your values. It’s about noticing when you find joy and noticing when you need to rest.
The bankless movement puts people on a path of self-discovery. You need to embrace adversity, and it takes time to find a healthy balance between work, rest, and play in this borderless playground.
I love being in a place where I can build the peripheral skills that I couldn’t explore while working as a specialist.
Bullish on Discovery
When you first land in the BanklessDAO Discord you are met by a hive of people raging with energy, passion, curiosity, and excitement. Your first days in the DAO are often overwhelming and confusing, but gradually you will start to resonate and connect with particular people, guilds, and projects. As you get settled, you will find many opportunities to stake your attention and energy based on your interests, talents, and the needs of the community.
It’s an intoxicating combination of a new and interesting work and brilliant, curious, and dedicated people from across the globe.
This sound collage merges voices from BanklessDAO community calls. The particle system was generated from the audio data and represents each individual voice and individual that has participated in this DAO. Source
You should be bullish on BanklessDAO if you’ve heard about some of the projects that we’re working on. In the span of one year, we have spun up a variety of media channels, DAO tools, an educational platform, Web3 consulting service, and a variety of successful international media nodes like Bankless Africa and Bankless Brasil, among many other projects.
BanklessDAO went from just memeing about crypto to building and shipping some incredible projects and code. We’ve also grown dramatically and have spawned subDAO projects that are just as amazing as the main DAO.
Bankless HQ’s bDAO birthday celebration. Source
The first year of BanklessDAO has been successful by any measure, but if you are only looking at the projects we are working on, then you are not sufficiently bullish on BanklessDAO. In addition to building projects, we are inspiring a trans-national generation to adopt Web3-native tools and ways of working. BanklessDAO is giving people a place to discover what it means to live a sovereign life while we figure out how to DAO. We’ve opened a doorway and provided people with a path to freedom and an opportunity to tap into their creative potential.
BanklessDAO is a social engine working on becoming a web3 incubator.
BanklessDAO is not only a project incubator for Web3; we are a human incubator for Web3.
Being bullish on bDAO means being bullish on humans.
We have managed to capture the attention and energy of hundreds of creators, innovators, builders, and thought-leaders. As we continue to double down on layer zero, the human layer, we honor their potential and their capacity to live a sovereign life.
We are bullish on freedom, bullish on curiosity and passion and connection. When humans flourish in Web3, DAOs flourish, because that’s what we are here to do — to learn, to grow, to flourish, together.
The positive, uplifting and cooperative atmosphere makes working feel like fun, and this is exceptional compared to other DAOs.
DAOs may be the first organizational structure where instead of extracting value from workers for profit, they facilitate workers mining for and staking their own value, simultaneously renewing their lives and enriching their community.
BanklessDAO fulfills its purpose when we reclaim our freedom and are able to contribute meaningfully to projects, DAOs, and protocols that we are interested in. What is possible if we create a system that incentivizes human flourishing? Anything, but most significant is the opportunity to live happy, healthy lives.
What makes BanklessDAO special? The people and mission. The people are smart, interesting, and positive, and working to help people and projects into Web3 is very aligned with what I want to do in life.
Exploring the Frontiers of Possibility
As the rigid box-like structures of the Web2 world collapse, we need new structures and a vibrant culture to fill the void. We need to develop regenerative systems that support human capital and promote human flourishing.
When I joined bDAO, I got a tip for BANK within the first day, and realized the wealth-sharing and “positive sum” attitude is so different than in the Web2 startup world. People didn’t know me yet but they were already reaching into their coin purse to welcome me in. That’s a huge difference from Web2, and really shows how giving everyone is here in bDAO. It was life-changing.
This past year, many people have gone full-time DAO and report being happier and more confident. They are passionate about the work they are doing and enjoy working alongside brilliant people and making new friends. These pioneers have discovered the courage to explore Web3-native work and significantly change the course of their life.
The best thing about BanklessDAO? The people, but also our influence. I’m a part of something that people recognize and respect, and I’m starting to benefit from that association.
We have an opportunity to level out the playing field to enable access to freedom and opportunity regardless of nationality, education, gender, or social status.
We foster an inclusive and friendly environment for everyone from crypto newbies, to seasoned multi-bear market veterans.
Will the journey be difficult? Of course it will. There are fun stretches and times when the path ahead seems tenuous and unpassable. But in the process of finding our way, we find that we are not traveling alone. Friends are here to pick us up, lend a hand, share helpful guidance, and to chill around the fire.
It’s a culture of becoming that holds us together.
My life goal is to inspire and be inspired. I feel I can do both at BanklessDAO every day.
We are headed West, leaving a trail of settlers, explorers, and builders who are laying the foundation for future cities and networks. BanklessDAO is just starting to find clarity around the way we organize, how we work, and what work we are supposed to be doing.
It’s been one year since BanklessDAO was born, and already the community has impacted many lives. And we’re just getting started.
Come build with us. Join the movement. #WAGMI
Siddhearta is a writer, editor, and explorer at BanklessDAO.
BanklessDAO is an education and media engine dedicated to helping individuals achieve financial independence.
Disclaimer: this isn’t investment advice. This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and it reflects my personal experience and current views, which are subject to change.
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