What is Dai? And why are we using it to transform creator markets?
“Democratize” is a tough word to lead with because it’s been co-opted by modern brands everywhere. It’s one of those words that’s kind of lost its meaning. Which is part of why you won’t see it front and center on our site.
But democratization is really it for us. We’re doing what we’re doing to democratize creative markets, sharing, and ownership. By this, we don’t just mean “increase access.” We mean create a more authentic and ethical market dynamic—one that gives people more control over their work’s value, while allowing others to drive it with demand. We mean ties the upside of secondary markets back to the people who started everything in the first place. We mean create a new kind of a relationship that’s more than just transactional—it’s emotional and financial investment in what’s being built and shared.
Depending on where you sit in the modern economy, this is controversial. Foundation will break down barriers and challenge existing financial and cultural institutions. It will unlock new digital behaviors. And that is just our product offering.
We've built Foundation on Dai.
Dai is money. You can use it to buy, sell, and trade things on the internet. But it’s different from government-issued legal tender, or what people in the crypto community call fiat (crypto slang is a topic for another post).
US dollars are meant to be spent in the United States, and, for the most part, they are. Because Dai is decentralized, it doesn’t have these limits. This is because it’s not issued or regulated by a nation-state. It’s the internet’s money and the internet has no borders.
This means people don’t have to rebuild their products and platforms for each national currency and reintegrate again and again with Stripe or some other payments service. Using Dai makes it easier and cheaper to reach more people with new things. Easier + cheaper = more experimentation and innovation.
Dai doesn’t have the same limitations as fiat. (Reminder: fiat = government-issued legal tender). But it’s stable because its value is pegged to the US dollar. Other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are notorious for spiking and dropping like crazy over the course of a day. Or even an hour.
This makes Dai reliable. We owe a lot to Bitcoin. It sparked everything. But Dai is the new take we need in order to access everything awesome about crypto in a way that’s as stable as regular money.
Dai operates on the Ethereum blockchain, which means it’s not subject to any centralized governing body that controls access. Like a national treasury, or a banking system. It’s like the internet itself—you don’t have to ask permission or somehow qualify to build a website. You can just do it.
This makes Dai open and unbiased. Anyone anywhere—of any race, ethnicity, creed, anything—can get Dai and use it on the internet.
Dai is like a .jpeg. It’s also like an MP3. These are just file types. But they completely changed the way imagery and music existed in our digital world.
MP3s transformed the way music was accessed and shared. Without MP3s, we wouldn’t have had iPods or streaming.
Jpegs made image sharing, and editing...not analog. It’s hard to grasp how massive that is in terms of creative potential, speed, and access.
Think of Dai like a transformative file type, but for money. It will unlock entirely new internet platforms and behaviors. New ways of sharing, accessing, connecting, owning, supporting.
So, when we started building Foundation, it wasn’t a hard choice. This is about empowering creators and their communities with an alternative to old school creative patronage, creative markets, and ownership. Of course we'd use Dai.
It’s the only currency that reflects the values of what we’re building. And by using it, owning the idea of “democratization” becomes even more authentic. Who cares how many times you see it on enterprise SaaS billboards?