A Newbie’s Tour of the Tokemak Community
Danica Swanson takes us on a journey navigating Tokemak as a new Pilot.
Written by Danica Swanson
Tokemak has quickly become my favorite DeFi project. Today I’d like to invite you to join me for a guided tour of its vibrant community through the eyes of a newbie.
A Quick Intro to Your Tour Guide
I suspect I’m an atypical Tokemak pilot — new to DeFi, GenX, non-male, not anon, non-whale. In any case, I didn’t expect to get so thoroughly TOKE-pilled.
While I’ve been in web3 for about a year, I’m only a few months into my first real foray into DeFi. After contributing in arts-related DAOs last year, “DeFi 2.0” caught my attention, and I started digging into the infinite rabbit holes. I joined several DeFi project Discords to stealth-lurk, learn, and scope out the vibe, including Tokemak, Alchemix, and OlympusDAO.
By December 2021 I had gained enough conviction to hodl assets for all three for the long term, and I aped in (shrimped in?)
Over the next few weeks I ratcheted up the time I spent in the Tokemak Discord. The more I read, the more TOKE-pilled I got. Nothing like being in a room full of gigabrains to inspire me to level up my DeFi game.
In January 2022, I greeted the tokemechs with a short intro.
No need to worry about impostor syndrome here. You see, fren, tokemechs don’t snub the newbie shrimp or leave them to flounder. On the contrary: they often respond with class, kindness, style, and wit.
As I continued to study the new pilot manual, eavesdrop on the tokemech discussions, and take copious notes, I wondered: what is it, exactly, that makes Tokemak so compelling? What kind of arcane magic are they working in those reactors, anyway?
What Makes Tokemak Special
Let’s start with the attention to detail. It’s evident at every level, from the Discord emojis to the graphic design to the identities, channels, and roles. Everything is on point.
Then there’s the team, including devs. I’m still too new to know everyone, but their top-notch reputation speaks volumes.
For starters, I’ve listened multiple times to every single interview I can track down with Carson Cook, who’s probably better known as the Liquidity Wizard. In a fascinating recent interview with Lex Sokolin for The Fintech Blueprint, the Wizard described how his background studying fusion reactors (including the tokamak device) informed the design of Tokemak. Hard to imagine a more suitable commander for this mission.
The Wizard (aka Lizard) is a compelling speaker as well. “I could listen to him speak for hours”, I recently wrote in DMs to a fellow pilot, “…and I’d be riveted the entire time.” Turns out I’m not the only one.
Major props to the wardens (mods), too. They patiently answer round after round of similar questions, and seem ready-to-hand with the banhammer whenever scammers squeak past the guardrails. Once in awhile a few feathers get ruffled, but it’s handled deftly.
And the discussions? Exceptionally engaging, congenial, and appreciative. Get a bunch of gigabrains together and there be… brainin’.
Let’s not forget the community rituals. Every Sunday, tokemechs gather in the Leaky Reactor bar to wait on the edge of their seats for the Wizard’s masterfully delivered weekly alpha leaks.
Unable to attend? No worries, pilots! Just consult Tokebase, where faithful captain and editor Tratium and a team of amazing collaborators will cheerfully serve up the updates you missed without delay. (Including some interview transcripts and a translation into Chinese!)
Of course the center of it all is the protocol itself, and Tokemak’s far-reaching vision of liquidity as bandwidth. I’m a fundamentals-focused pilot with a stubborn streak of shared idealism, and I’m excited to watch Tokemak deploy sustainable liquidity-as-a-service as a public good. It’s critical infrastructure for DeFi.
Don’t ask me to explain the mechanics of it all yet, though. Seems I just stepped right off the cliff into one of the deepest ends of DeFi, so I’ll refer you to the official blog, docs, and other sources for that whilst I learn to navigate properly.
But don’t take my word for any of this. Dig in for yourself. For inspiration, here’s Nat Eliason on Tokemak:
“It creates a really virtuous cycle of incentives, where everyone wants everyone else to do as well as possible, since that’s also the individual-maximizing outcome.”
In other words: in the right context, greed can serve the greater good.
That incentive alignment shapes the behavior of the community. It’s part of the beauty of Tokemak.
Oh, and have I mentioned the top-notch art and design, including some tantalizing teaser glimpses of upcoming NFTs? ‘Tis another new and unexpected affinity for me, since I’m unfamiliar with mecha anime and am not even a gamer. (Unless you count the days I played Minesweeper in the Win98 boomerverse, lol). But fortunately, even unlikely Tokemak pilots can reinvent themselves while learning to wield a powerful tool: $TOKE (”toe-KUH”). $TOKE holders can redirect liquidity wherever they deem appropriate.
And of course this tour wouldn’t be complete without a mention of crypto’s favorite numbers…
While we’re at it, let’s balance those reactors!
As I write this, it’s liquidity deployment week, and Tokemak is serving up some eagerly awaited announcements in first-rate style. They’re masters of the tease, so here’s a tip for aspiring pilots: learn to savor extended states of heightened anticipation. The results from the esteemed Kingmaker/Queenmaker of Web3 are always worth the wait. And I haven’t even mentioned Membrane yet, nor any of the other teasers...
As we wrap up today’s tour and look out unto the horizon, frens, I must confess that I can’t imagine writing this way about a web2 company. But with Tokemak, I got plugged into a real flow of magic, with unexpected but welcome results. Thank you for joining me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got reactors to balance.
Disclaimer the first: This is not financial advice. DeFi is risky. Obviously I’m a $TOKE hodler. If I were a whale I’d stack MOAR $TOKE. You know the drill.
Disclaimer the second: This is not a sponsored or commissioned piece. It’s a gift of appreciation to the Tokemak community.