Tokenizing Conference Economy — DESK at Consensus

Blockchain and cryptocurrency conferences have been creating numerous economic activities around the world, and their potential is yet to be fully exploited. ADAM Vault has been working with partners from the conference and event industry. We are exploring opportunities to capture the economic value through tokenization and DAOs, by building sustainable relationships with participants at conferences. This article will introduce DESK, the new token launched at Consensus 2022.

What is DESK?

DESK, also referred to as the Consensus token, is a new social token of CoinDesk, which is an ERC-20 token created on the Polygon network. It is a type of digital token designed to offer real rewards for community engagement, in other words, to tokenize the conference.

Back at the virtual Consensus 2021, CoinDesk beta-tested DESK which had run on the Rinkeby testnet of Ethereum blockchain. The experiment was a hit and CoinDesk officially launched DESK at Consensus 2022, which was held on June 9–12 in Austin. Yet, its scope will not be limited only to the festival but across all other services of CoinDesk in the future.

DESK at Consensus 2022

Among all other crypto conferences, DESK was the social fuel powering the tokenized experience for all the IRL attendees at Consensus 2022. It intended to propel attendees through their experiences at the event.

Get initial free tokens
All attendees have to set up a crypto wallet which is compatible with Polygon, e.g. MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet, to receive the Consensus token DESK. In the weeks leading up to the event, airdrops and giveaways of DESK were sent to attendees. A unique DESK key NFT was sent to every participant in an email. 500 DESK tokens were then deposited to their wallets prior to the festival.

How to earn more DESK
Having this crypto conference tokenized, there is a lot of gamification that can be done through incentivizing participants to earn DESK. Attendees had to complete different kinds of activities at the main festival or other partnered events within their 4-day experience. Here are some examples of the activities:

  • Panel discussions
  • Keynote speeches
  • DAO House
  • Metaverse Zone
  • Creator Summit
  • Money Reimagined Summit
  • Music Performances
  • NFT Gallery
  • Sport Court
  • MetaGala
  • Talent Hub
  • Web 3 Pitch Fest
  • and more…​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

In most of the places at the festival, there were various tokenized engagement opportunities. The objective was to encourage attendees to keep exploring and engaged at the events.

Spend the DESK tokens
Other than the engagement, expenditure of this crypto conference also undergoes tokenization. The attendees with their wallets can spend their Consensus tokens anytime at the festival, so as to redeem their rewards for their engagements. The rewards include:

  • Meals in the food area
  • Food from the nearby vendors partnered with CoinDesk
  • Free drinks at the evening events
  • NFT on CoinDesk marketplace
  • On-site offers from Consensus exhibitors and partners
  • Merchandise like hoodies and T-shirts

Some once-in-a-lifetime experiences also incentivize active participation in this tokenized crypto conference, such as:

  • playing chess with the chess grandmaster, Gary Kasparov
  • playing basketball with the NBA star, Spencer Dinwiddie from Dallas Mavericks

There were a lot of other rewards which were available at the festival. But no matter how the attendees decided to spend the DESK tokens, the goal of the tokenized system was simply to create value for their community members.

The Future Usage of DESK

To clarify, the Consensus token DESK is a social token which is totally different from the usual cryptocurrencies or other types of digital tokens in the current market. It is not designed to be exchanged for any currency, and not intended to hold any monetary value. At Consensus 2022, it was only tokenized to keep attendees engaged and reward their engagements throughout the 4-day journey.

Nonetheless, understanding what is DESK and the usage of DESK could know CoinDesk wouldn’t stop at Consensus 2022. CoinDesk is preparing systems where DESK could act as a feedback loop between them and their audience. The use of DESK will be expanded across the entire CoinDesk ecosystem, and more rewards are on the horizon for their audience and community. In the near future, we can foresee the Consensus token to be used again at Consensus 2023.

In Consensus 2023, we expect CoinDesk’s third tokenized crypto conference could go even further. Currently the system focuses on boosting conference-to-participant engagement, the tokenization could help explore exhibitor-to-exhibitor and participant-to-participant engagement. For example cross promotions and collaborations could get more DESK tokens, side events initiated by participants could collect DESK tokens as entry, etc. 

CoinDesk has definitely kickstarted the tokenization of the conference economy in 2022, encouraging not only crypto conferences but the entire conference industry to look into new technologies. We hope there are more exciting elements to see in the coming Consensus 2023.

How ADAM Envisions Conference DAO

What DESK is doing for the tokenization of the conference economy is just a starting point. ADAM Vault envisions DAO to play a significant role in the economy in the future. DAOs will be the containers to gather the communities at different tokenized conferences around the world. In the setting of a conference, the community contains conference organizers, online and offline participants, venue providers, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops, media, logistics companies and anyone else that is involved.

With a DAO, it is easier to capture the full value of the tokenized conference economy. All relevant parties of a conference will be gathered through a DAO without any geographical barrier. The members can make decisions and exchange values with their tokens. As for their decision making, members can vote in the DAO on topics like “Which city is hosting the next conference?”, “Approving sponsored side-events or after-parties.”, “Guest speakers invitation list”, “the tokenized incentives on site”, thus making the conference more engaging to the participants.

What’s more, the many kinds of value exchange would be the key driver of the entire conference economy. Every time when thousands of people convene at the same place for a conference, there will be an enormous amount of money flowing through economic activities in addition to the ticket sales, such as hotel bookings, meeting room bookings, food and drinks. These activities, however, are usually independent of every participant.

To seize the economic value generated by these activities, we can utilize DAO as the container for the community, and use its token for value exchanges. For instance, it goes beyond a mere tokenized conference, capturing a whole tokenized economy. When members of the Conference DAO are hosting side-events themselves, they can attract and invite members from the DAO and collect their tokens as the fees for entrance as well as all the food, beverages, and other services. Another example would be decentralizing the process of sponsorship sourcing. In other words, successful sponsor referrers can earn conference tokens as a reward.

To go further after the Consensus token, DAO can gather the community at a conference and capture its huge economic value, which is worth exploration and experiments in the future. More details on the tokenomics, logistics, and utilities will be further discussed soon.

Join the Alliance

ADAM Vault is working with conference and event organizers, solution providers, and potential sponsors to pioneer an experimental Conference DAO.

If you are interested in the partnership opportunity of any kind, please send us an email at or talk to us on Discord.

To know more about ADAM Vault, stay tuned to our website and Twitter.