CoinDesk Mothballs DESK Reward Token Program

It was an experiment in driving community engagement, and we're leaving the door open to relaunching DESK or something similar in the future.

AccessTimeIconJan 31, 2024 at 5:54 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 31, 2024 at 5:58 p.m. UTC
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CoinDesk has suspended support for DESK, the rewards token that debuted at the virtual Consensus in 2021 and relaunched on the Polygon blockchain in 2022.

DESK was an exploration of new ways for a media and events company to engage with its audience. As a customer engagement token, DESK was never intended to have any monetary value, and CoinDesk never sold it. Rather, Consensus attendees and CoinDesk readers earned DESK by engaging with our content, and redeemed it for rewards like NFTs and swag. The terms of service prohibited trading of DESK.

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  • Many of our customers engaged with DESK in the spirit of community engagement for which it was intended and derived some real benefit at Consensus events, and we are glad for that. We got a lot of things right, but as some users began to game the system in ways that were misaligned with our goals, we were constrained in our ability to curb such misuse.

    These users began transferring large amounts of DESK to "collector" wallets on-chain. Even though our terms of service prohibited trading DESK, a secondary market nevertheless emerged where people were trading it, thus assigning it a value which we never intended it to have. DESK became a tool that we no longer fully controlled. This is a risk with blockchain and decentralization. Ultimately we made the determination that the product, as built, wasn't serving us and our community effectively.

    We're leaving the door open to relaunching DESK or something similar in the future. In the meantime, if you are a DESK holder, thank you for participating in this journey with us. If you have questions, please contact


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    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

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