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The Joystream Manifesto

Our Manifesto units out each the issues we believe are associated with digital media platforms of their present form as well as our proposed solution to those issues.


We imagine that art, be it as literature, music, movie, video games or performance, is a crucial tool by way of which societies establish a shared understanding of what is common knowledge among all members. These expressions define values and narratives that find yourself shaping tradition, religion and even public coverage. It therefore matters deeply how it is financed, distributed and paid for.

Digital media has turn out to be the primary medium by way of which such expression is distributed, and digital media platforms have turn out to be the key establishments organizing this exercise.

Unfortunately, as a result of community effects, economies of scale, laws and political pursuits, we are right now left with handful of massive institutions which set the terms for the way this happens. They are virtually completely unaccountable to normal market and political mechanisms.

As a outcome, our tales, expressions and interactions are managed and filtered on their phrases. This continues to generate an ever changing set of issues, be it rigid monetization, censorship of controversial speech, inequitable sharing of features with creators and audience, low platform innovation or lack of credibility with third party developers.


We name for an association the place media platforms are accountable to the people they impression, that are primarily their users, be it as consumers, creatives, third celebration developer or staff.

It is the absence of such accountability which is the elemental supply of any specific problem at any explicit time.


Our core thesis is that there are two basic challenges which have to be addressed to realize this objective, and that an acceptable utility of contemporary distributed systems know-how, including blockchains, sensible contracts and tokens, is the proper means to do so.

The Wedge

First is the question of the way to create an alternate from scratch in the face of platform externalities which make any new platform almost useless, no matter any of its inherent characteristics. The means of doing this kind of bootstrapping has traditionally been largely an artwork, where success has hardly ever been reproducible.

We consider that blockchain tokens, earned by and issued to early participants, have been proven to be extraordinarily effective at mobilizing, integrating and motivating an international and dynamic community.

This has now repeatedly allowed nascent communities, just like the Bitcoin community, to beat the initial network effect hurdle. There is no certainty that this shall be adequate, but we consider this mechanism is as promising as anything which is prone to have an opportunity in a long time.

Accountability at scale

Second is the question of the way to create and maintain accountability in such a platform when it actually reaches scale.

We perceive there to be two elementary ways that participants can hold establishments of any type accountable: Voice and exit, in the tradition of Hirschman A. O.


Voice is the strategy of making an attempt to enhance or reform the functioning of an institution from inside. The effectiveness of this depends on some capacity to both share reliable information with different members, and have some impression on internal governance processes. Current media platforms present customers no efficient method of doing either.

We consider that blockchains provide an organizational and economic infrastructure which might tackle both problems. The public, verifiable and immutable history of economic and administrative data, supplies an excellent basis for customers to know the present and past state of the platform. This permits anyone to make incontestable claims about relevant facts and circumstances.

Further, blockchain tokens allow us to make use and management of a platform inseparable, giving customers an automated seat on the desk in deliberating over platform stage selections.

All that is required to ascertain, exercise or transfer the capability to participate in such exercise, is the flexibility to sign messages with identifiable cryptographic keys. Perfectly dependable contracting offers a big, dynamic and unrestricted set of customers the technique of governing the platform. This can serve a wide range of functions, such as enterprise tasks, regulating participation in different formally specified roles, or even updating the institutional guidelines themselves. This integration of reliable contracting into the economic rails offers an organizational infrastructure much more in line with our objectives of inclusive control than the normal jurisdictional belief based mostly infrastructure.


Exit is the strategy of entirely ending participation in an establishment in favor of either joining or creating another. The effectiveness of this is dependent upon prices of leaving, and either joining or creating an alternative, all being low in comparison with the deprivation in the present establishment. This is presently not the case.

By constructing platforms based on free open supply software, open protocols and open information — as is the case with Blockchain methods, one dramatically lowers these prices. Since customers control their very own data, identification and belongings, they’ve a much easier time becoming a member of new platforms, and even taking their friends with them.

Open protocols and data will make multi homing interfaces plentiful, the place users could not even want to modify, but as an alternative use multiple platforms concurrently, which encourages platform level competitors.

Even extra dramatically, reliance on open supply signifies that all of the software capital of a platform can easily be reused, and since the entire organizational state is also public, whole ecosystems may be forked to create new alternative platforms with modified insurance policies and goals.

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