Consensys is excited to announce Soulflake, our first public contribution to an emerging toolkit of web3 community tools.
Soulflake is an experimental web3 social utility deployed on the Polygon network. It allows web3 enthusiasts to easily compose greeting cards with generative on-chain designs and send them as unique soulbound NFTs to the wallets of friends, loved ones, partners or inspiring community leaders.
The project comes out of the Consensys Innovation Lab, which is dedicated to exploring new concepts and building experiments to push the boundaries of web3.
What are Soulbound NFTs?
Soulbound tokens (SBTs) are a type of non-fungible token (NFT) that is non-transferable and non-tradable, which means that they can only be minted to and owned by one individual wallet. This makes them unique and special, allowing them to represent and manage web3 social identities and relationships in a way that is both verifiable and personal, without the risks of centralization or the temptations of price speculation.
Vitalik Buterin introduced SBTs in one of his musings. The rise of NFTs has encouraged web3 social platforms to explore new ways to represent and manage identity, reputation, and relationships. For example, on the Lens protocol, the users’ handles and connections are minted as NFTs on the Polygon network.
Vitalik also outlined that not all aspects of a user’s identity, reputation, relationships and social interactions need to be transferable or tradable on an open market. Since SBTs are bound to the original wallet, they can function as a permanent indicator of the above.
Additionally, SBTs are one way to counter the financialization of NFTs and web3, so that not everything is dictated by the high monetary value of a digital asset and its ownership.
Sending a Soulflake
Ready to spread kindness, gratitude and love with your web3 community? To use soulflake, simply follow these steps:
Choose a card theme and write a greeting note. You can customize the color, title and message of your card to make it truly unique.
You can also choose to send $MATIC tokens as a gift to the recipient. This is a great option to give a little extra joy with a soulflake.
Review your card and hit the “Send Soulflake Now!” button. Your MetaMask wallet will then open and ask you to sign the transaction. Once you sign, your card will be minted and sent to the recipient's wallet.
The dapp is free to use, but it requires the sender to pre-pay a small “burn allowance” in $MATIC tokens as an anti-spam mechanism. The burn allowance allows the recipient to burn an unwanted soulflake greeting card if desired. This gives the recipient control over what stays in their wallet, and helps disincentivize senders from sending offensive notes or spam.
The Soulflake Journey
Since the inception of the Consensys Innovation Lab early in 2022, we have been closely following the developments around web3 communities and social protocols.
We have observed the frustration of our ecosystem when communications and social interactions have to resort to web2 tools, often resulting in privacy loss, spam, phishing attacks and hacks.
In response to this, we scanned the ecosystem for new concepts, mechanisms and tools to establish connections, communicate, and manage interactions in web3. We bundled these in an emerging and evolving “toolkit” that promises to enable web3-native communities as they grow their relationships, communications and culture. This toolkit comprises:
and SBTs for proof of identity, credentials, reputation, relationships and participation, as for example Kudos’ community engagement soulbound NFTs.
Over the past months we have experimented with all of the above, but SBTs so far caught our interest and imagination the most. We believe that as the web3 ecosystem continues to grow and evolve, SBTs could play a key role in fostering trust, collaboration, and community.
As we advanced our research and set out to experiment with SBTs in the context of web3 communities, www.stickynotes.wtf inspired us to use this novel token model to allow users to “post” messages to each other’s wallets. We then narrowed down the use cases to fit the following criteria:
SBTs should be used to foster community by allowing two users, a sender and a recipient, to engage with each other in a meaningful way;
The content of the SBTs should be something both the sender and the recipient would willingly share publicly;
The content of the SBTs should be something the recipient could decide to keep, memorialize and display permanently or at least for a long time (while having the option to discard it if/when needed via a burn mechanism).
A few design sessions later, we landed on a clear concept: sending SBTs as web3 greeting cards to share appreciation, gratitude, love and kindness with other community members. We thought the best way to validate such a concept was to build a prototype our community could actually use, so we are launching Soulflake just in time for the holiday season.
That's it, we hope you enjoy using Soulflake and sharing Soulbound NFTs with your web3 community. Happy holidays!
About Consensys Innovation Lab
We recently established our Innovation Lab to continue exploring the forefront of the cryptospheres and metaverses.
As a space capsule wandering in space far away from its mothership, we are a small team of Consensys’ veteran builders, designers, and operators on a mission to explore, conceptualize, prototype, and evangelize new ideas that can further the adoption of Ethereum and other decentralization technologies.
We aim to research, build, and test in public. We seek ideas, feedback, and collaboration from the communities we will meet through our explorations. If you are interested in participating in our experiments, or want to collaborate, drop us an email at [email protected].