Proposal: GMI crypto media, an original network public service podcast series
Big Spender

Proposal: GMI crypto media, an original network public service podcast series

Version: 1.3

Original discussion: January 24th 2023
On-chain phase: February 8th 2023

Treasury proposal #: 93
OpenGov track: Big Spender

Network services: Decent Partners
Verified funding address: Subscan here
Previous proposals: Status

Work to date: Listen to the pilot series of GMI Crypto Media and check our channel FTTF here.

Proposal comment & iteration: 2 weeks in discussion prior to moving on-chain, EMA7 updated.

Short description: A network public service podcast series charting the rise of crypto-media, featuring familiar faces from within the ecosystem, prospective contributors and independent voices drawn from a wide cross-section of disciplines within a premium original entertainment format.

The project is a continuation of an Edgeware funded pilot that featured some of the most well known journalists in the crypto industry and is delivered by an experienced multi-disciplinary team with both a long track record in the ecosystem and delivering high end series for Apple Music, Spotify, BBC and Channel 4 and founding/scaling successful media properties such as Copa90.

The project also funds technical development focused on radically simplifying the onboarding experience for new users - using premium media and strategic distribution to drive new and active addresses on Kusama through experimental wallet-less onboarding and non-financial incentives built around a beautiful digital experience and web app with partners Phantom.

Kusama value proposition:

  • Fundamentally different approach to narrative development to current marketing led approaches.
  • Aims to drive up quality of output, broaden addressable audience whilst rooted in the principles, not just the slogans of Web3.
  • Focuses on advancing novel forms of public goods funding to enable independent media.
  • Seeding content to pre-engaged followers of both our own channel FTTF and of guests, removing need for paid media.
  • Optimising topics and tags for SEO on social platforms to drive long tail of users interested in subjects, rather than guests.
  • Format will feature both current and evergreen themes meaning series will remain valuable in the short, medium and long term.
  • Experimental wallet-less onboarding approach to access series aims to drive active addresses on Kusama.
  • Aims to define active addresses as a more effective measure of the value of treasury media spend than current social media KPIs.
  • Further distribution plans based on partnerships with publishers looking for trusted public media, not marketing messages.

Contributors: An expanding collective led by Decent Partners (co-stewards of Kabocha Network, co-founders of Copa90, producers for Apple Music, Spotify, MTV, BBC, Channel 4, led operations at Guardian Media Group) alongside Joon Ian Wong & Petrit Berisha and VFX artist James Harford, with Michel Erler and Travis Kassab from Parity, TrickyNFT exploring the limits of RMRK v2NFTs and Creative Agency Phantom focused on the digital experience.

On-chain history: Edgeware Proposal 1 | Proposal 2 V1 (failed) | Proposal 2 V2 (approved)

Network service fee (NSF): 10%

Total request: $197,710.20

Budget: Overview here

EMA7 Price: ( USD ): 36.462

KSM requested: 5,422.36

Terms: Decent Partners takes downside and upside risk on funding which is to be used to fund production of the series.

Governance: Funds may be staked but will not be used for voting until project is delivered.

Contact: (element)

Google Doc: comment here.



GMI Crypto Media was an experimental audio documentary funded by the Edgeware treasury, presented by well known crypto journalist Joon Ian Wong and produced by Pet Berisha.

The project aimed to shine a light on the advancing revolution that is ‘crypto-media’ whilst also experimenting with novel forms of public goods funding within the Edgeware ecosystem.

Bridging the past, present and potential future of this emerging form, the series was presented as a ‘public service podcast’ and stitched together interviews from some of the leading voices in the space:

  • Raoul Pal, Founder, Real Vision
  • David Bailey, CEO BTC Inc
  • Dave Nemetz, Co-Founder, Bleacher Report
  • Cammi Russo, Founder, Defiant
  • Marc Hochstein, Exec Director, Coindesk
  • Allana Roazzi-Laforet, CRO Decrypt
  • Matt Medved, Founder, NFT Now
  • Richard Welsh, Decent Partners
  • Miguel Faus, Film maker, Cadita
  • Dan Roberts, Editor-in-chief, Decrypt
  • Luc Doucet, Founder, The First Mint

We are now approaching the Kusama treasury to develop the next phase that will expand on the lessons learned in the Edgeware funded pilot project and build on the opportunity to create (network) public service media.

Problem statement

We are still very much in the early stages of the crypto revolution and media is at the centre of the battle for the narratives that will shape, define and dictate the direction of the technology.

To date, crypto-networks have been bootstrapped on the existing incentives of early, mid and late stage social media, with the digital media landscape emerging in lockstep with the vast data monopolies of Google, Amazon and Meta. As a result, existing incentives exert a kind of narrative gravity on the technology and those who develop it.

Despite massive valuations, huge speculative bubbles and a general awareness of crypto-currencies, there are still a vanishingly small number of useful applications and users outside of those used to speculate on its future.

Web3 promises a path to releasing the stranglehold of the incumbents and yet the crypto-industry at large is still addicted to the incentives that it aims to replace, with resolutely traditional advertising strategies and brand partnerships turbo-charging speculation that has become a poor proxy for relative adoption and worth.

As a result current podcasts generally focus on the more financial aspects of the industry, since they rely on sponsorships and advertising revenue, or have an explicit marketing mandate, which ensures only positive stories are surfaced, leading to the formation of echo chambers that are rooted in repeating technical messages or announcements rather than creating original entertainment with cultural impact.

The Kusama ecosystem had just over 10,000 active addresses in the last 30 days. This does not mean 10,000 unique users, since power users, validators and teams will operate multiple addresses, meaning the number of contributors is likely lower.

To date, the primary marketing mechanism for driving new addresses on Kusama has been crowdloans which used direct financial incentives to onboard both venture capital and retail investors to slot auctions for new parachains.

The first Kusama slot was secured by Karura with over 500k KSM committed. The last few crowdloaned slots have been secured with around 2k KSM representing a fall of 99% from the peak. Larger teamsare now self-funding slots, reducing the marketing function of auctions even further.

Outside of crowdloans, the majority of treasury funded marketing and media spend has relied on creating and distributing content across social networks, utilising legacy metrics to assess relative progress - impressions, likes, comments, subscribers and views.
This approach is led by a more general notion of awareness that is hard to measure and thus difficult to price, leading to challenges with scaling the model beyond the more localised impact of core ecosystem education to already engaged holders and contributors.

With large public treasuries and its ability to develop more fluid decision making and organisational tools, Polkadot and its ecosystem offers a platform for the emergence of new talent, platforms and indeed narratives - challenging the current orthodoxy of crypto-media.

Polkadot and the W3F have explicitly avoided the usual click-bait and influencer partnerships during the development of the ecosystem, however now the technology is production ready, there is a need for innovation around the way the story of the ecosystem is told, and indeed a requirement to return to the values and principles that root Web3 rather than just repeating marketing messages.

The next wave of adoption will be driven by impactful projects delivering real world value, addressing real needs and generating actual utility. The questions we seek to ask in this series:

  • How will this happen?
  • Where will these projects come from?
  • What will they look like?
  • What questions will they be asking?
  • What challenges will they be addressing?
  • What value will they bring?
  • How can people contribute?

Ultimately, how do we reach, engage and inspire people to begin a journey of contribution rather than speculation and in turn bootstrap adoption of the underlying technology?

Introducing GMI crypto media season 1

GMI crypto media is initially a podcast series, but we aim to develop it further into a core part of a crypto-native media network, all built on and around Substrate’s emerging set of tools, technologies and talent through objectively independent funding and editorial structures - moving towards a clear separation between church and state, removing direct financial incentives that conflate and confuse current initiatives that aim to present independent media.

The series will feature established and emerging faces from the community and focus on digging deep into the underlying philosophies that drew them in, providing insights and education that will be most useful to those motivated to contribute, rather than speculate.

It will also feature people from outside of the ecosystem - whose experience provides context for the challenges the technology aims to address.

Importantly it will also feature those skeptical about the industry, pessimistic about its potential and even those who see issues with the current technical, economic or organisational tools, projects and mechanisms of the ecosystem.
Part of Polkadot’s unique capability is its power to change and so we want to reflect this emergent characteristic - our hope is that these interviews can not only inspire those outside the ecosystem, but also give pause for those in it to rethink assumptions and have their ideas challenged.

In this regard, this is explicitly not a marketing initiative - we will not be utilising paid media for distribution, nor paying for PR or influencers - it is a public service initiative, not just for the ecosystem, or potential contributors but for a broader community of academics, institutions and media outlets looking for credible, accurate and independently produced media.

Format development

GMI Crypto Media will advance from the initial experiment which took the form of an audio-documentary, rather than just recorded interviews.

This is a far more creatively challenging and time consuming process that also allows for more originality when it comes to delivering a differentiated series.

Alongside recorded conversations, we will include debate, archive material, musical interludes and even comedy sketches that all serve to bring to life the magic and mayhem of this rapidly emerging space - creating a must-listen series that redefines the way people interact not just with the ecosystem, but crypto in general.

Our ambition is to not make an original crypto podcast, it is to make an original podcast that will appeal to a wide and varied cross-section of society.

One reference for the direction we aim to take the podcast is the Apple commissioned series Midnight Miracle that features Dave Chapelle, Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli.

You can get a feel for the type of material we’ve made historically by visiting our FTTF YouTube channel.


Per Bruno's comment: We are working on the format of the series - we will likely record video for some sequences and interviews but do not want to overpromise in this regard.

We will be creating short cutdowns, clips and teasers to push to the main episodes that will connect to our existing audience of 13.9K subscribers and for the talent that appear to share across their social platforms, all driving to the wallet-less onboarding where they can listen to the series for free.

Distribution and partnerships

We expect those who feature to share the media themselves - but this will be done by them under no direction from us.
This approach of credibly neutral and transparently funded media can in turn allow us to deliver distribution partnerships for more objective and trusted media - especially those who are publicly accountable.

These publishers lack the kind of deep thinking, insights and access that the current ad-supported or marketing driven crypto-media landscape produces and so are desperate for content that they can trust.

This is the value of an approach that sets independence, balance and credibility above all else.

Development, schedule and communication

As with any creative endeavour within highly experimental domains things can and do change.

Things that appear simple end up being complex, whilst things that should be complex come off without a hitch. More often, there are simply many surprises, dead ends and issues that cannot be accounted for within an initial pitch.

As a result the creators reserve the right to develop the format to best serve the explicit purpose of the proposal to develop a public service podcast series that aims to present balanced, critical and informative output that becomes valued by established and emerging publishers and distributors looking for high quality information sources.

We will provide updates to voters in a consistent and timely manner and alert holders if there are any critical issues.

Driving adoption of the technology

In its initial incarnation, we aim for the podcast to be accessed for free through a wallet-less onboarding process linked to Kusama addresses, that we are collaborating with Michel and Travis from Parity on.

That onboarding is matched with Kabocha’s non-transferable NFT identity ‘Seeds’ providing an on-ramp into the ecosystem for those who discover the content directly or through partners.

Given the public good nature of the project and varying interview subjects, we will approach the further technological development of the project with an emergent mindset - allowing the builders we speak to and the community who listen to us to shape the emerging technical advances of the project.

In the future we aim to utilise our in development decision-making, talent sourcing and collective creation platform Root.

In this way we see this more as a creative project, than a fixed podcast, one that can slowly iterate and evolve into a native on-chain network and collectives that also drives adoption of on-chain identities, assigns credit using verifiable on-chain credentials, streaming on Substrate native technologies and opening the door to all manner of experimental creative executions.

Collaborative creation

We will have a select set of people we would aim to interview from a wide range of backgrounds, but we are also open to this being a collaborative project where there is a path for the community to suggest people and indeed topics - something that we aim to expand over time as the project develops.

In time we aim for this to become a core part of the project’s development and something that will experiment with form made uniquely possible through the underlying technology.


  • Season 1: 10 episodes of 30-60 minutes

  • Memes, social clips, teasers, trailers and longer form interviews to be distributed across social media that drive audiences to listen to the main series.

  • Web app / digital site and experience that is linked to signup process.

  • Access to the podcast will initially be accessed through wallet-less onboarding

  • A subscription requiring the creation of an address and an identity.

  • Distribution and seeding plan and activation


We will be basing production at our London community studio Portico but we will also be recording interviews with guests from around the world as well as recording sequences out and about in the real world.

What does success look like?

At this early stage, we are not setting any quantitative metrics or KPIs but the core of the project is rooted around an experiment that will seek to demonstrate that original media can drive new and active addresses on Kusama and beyond.

We believe this will prove to be a more effective measure of the value of treasury media spend than purely legacy social media KPIs.

From a qualitative perspective, if the project succeeds in its ambition of being a trusted source of information, valued by those inside and outside the ecosystem and indeed helps us to experiment with novel forms of onboarding into an emerging Subtrate native crypto-media network we believe that should be seen as a success.

Only in further stages of production will we begin to understand the impact this and other projects that have been incubated through fully on-chain development are having, and indeed metrics we should care about.

Potential development lifecycle

  1. Edgeware pilot funding [complete]
  2. Kusama season 1
  3. Development of a creative collective with sustained funding from Polkadot


We will begin pre-production after funding is approved.

Delivery of episodes will be dependent on availability of guests, but conservatively we’d hope to conclude the series within 6-9 months. Episodes will likely be available sooner.


On conclusion of the project, we will produce a report that charts our learnings from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective and if successful set the stage for the continuation and evolution of the project.

Conflicts of interest


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28.65K KSM
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22.9K KSM
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Decision Period
14 days
(201,600 blocks)
Confirming Period
2 days
(28,800 blocks)
After: 100
Proposal Hash
amount5422.36 KSM
TimelineLatest activity undefined
2023-02-08 19:17:42
Big Spender
Proposal Hash
2023-02-09 06:50:36
2023-02-23 07:30:54

Decent partners has been a keen player in edgeware's ecosystem. Several good projects have spun up thanks to Rich work.
Could you elaborate on the technical part of this proposal:

  • Research and development
  • Wallet-less onboarding implementation
  • Website / digital experience with Substrate login

Is this to put the podcast episodes behind a login required wall?
Will users have to login with their account to view the content?


"Several good projects have spun up thanks to Rich work."

Could you name some?

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