Access Protocol’s ACS Token Rallies After Web3 Paywall’s Public Airdrop

The early airdrops accounted for just 2% of the token’s initial allocation, according to a version of the pitch deck viewed by CoinDesk.

AccessTimeIconFeb 16, 2023 at 6:07 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:08 a.m. UTC

Play-to-earn, step-to-earn and now … read-to-earn?

A crypto-fueled experiment in digital media monetization is underway after Access Protocol airdropped tranches of its ACS token to early adopters of the Solana-based content subscription service.

On Wednesday, Access Protocol airdropped 20,000 ACS tokens apiece to members of a sign-up list. Holders can “stake” their ACS with content platforms like CoinGecko and The Block to gain access to paywalled and specialty content.

With the public token airdrop now over, traders have stepped in to juice the value of ACS over 300% since launch, according to CoinGecko, which conducted the distribution. It’s trading around 2 cents with a circulating market cap of $620 million. CoinGecko data shows nearly a third of ACS tokens have been unlocked thus far.

The early airdrops accounted for just 2% of the token’s initial allocation, according to a version of the pitch deck viewed by CoinDesk. Access Protocol has allocated 15% of the token supply towards the project’s team and foundation, 15% towards the project’s treasury and 68% towards “onboarding creators and their existing audiences.”

The pitch deck also revealed the token’s “annual inflation rate of 7% in perpetuity split 50/50 between creators and stakers.” Additionally, creators are encouraged to airdrop their tokens to readers in the hopes that readers will stake the ACS to view their content, thereby generating staking revenue for both the content creators and the consumers.

At press time, CoinGecko was in the lead as Access Protocol’s most popular staking spot, with over 530 million ACS locked.

The pitch materials also highlighted that crypto news outlet The Block (a CoinDesk competitor) would put 20% of their content behind the Access Paywall, while Wu Blockchain (a well-known Twitter account) would publish content on a “Access” Substack product. The news outlets partnering with Access Protocol also received a distribution of ACS tokens, according to people familiar with the matter.

A bevy of exchanges lined up to list ACS at launch including Coinbase. In a tweet, Product Manager Rishi Prasad said ACS is the first Solana-based token that Coinbase listed on its launch day – one sign of the exchange's openness to play ball with the new asset.

However, Access Protocol is reminiscent of past crypto projects that incentivized users to earn tokens by engaging in activities like gaming (play-to-earn) or walking (step-to-earn). While those projects initially saw the value of their tokens soar, those gains proved to be short-lived as inflationary tokenomics failed to support the price pumps. Access advised content creators to “gamify your pool with publicly viewable leaderboards” and “incentivize your loyal supporters through unique offerings (e.g., NFTs).”

Access Protocol’s Mika Honkasalo, who now runs the project’s foundation, did not respond to a request for comment.


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