A conversation with @WasabiNetwork from Kokonut DAO.
We're always trying to learn about all the interesting things happening in web3. To satiate our curiosity, we host a weekly-ish Twitter Spaces series called Coffee Conversations. What follows is a summary of the third episode.
Wasabi is a chess enthusiast and one of the founders of the Kokonut Network. It is the gateway for farmers in the countryside of Dominican Republic to access funding and other resources necessary to work on coconut plantations. More on this below!
ReFi projects empower communities and restore our environment.
The ReFi revolution, at large, aims to tangibly help these projects by creating eco-friendly economies using web3 principles that promise equitable access to all.
Kokonut Network is a ReFi project that works with coconut plantations (and those working on these plantations) in the Dominican Republic.
It is a DAO that is completely owned and operated by its members.
Wasabi explains the concept of a DAO to the countryside farmers as a “co-op without borders”. This description is instantly understood.
To fund its operations and attract contributors, membership to the Kokonut Network is tiered, which each succeeding tier coming with a more perks and benefits as compared to the preceding one.
This transcript is edited for brevity and clarity.
Infi: Well, we've already got a few people in the audience, so let's begin!
A warm welcome to everyone here for the third episode of Coffee Conversations. Last week we hosted folks from Aavegotchi DAO and discussed all things gaming DAOs.
This week, we're excited to host Wasabi from Kokonut Network to tell us more about the ReFi revolution.
Wasabi: Welcome everyone! I'm excited to be here with you today and even more excited about our upcoming partnership with rep3.
Infi: The agenda for today's call is threefold. First, we would like to talk a little about the ReFi revolution, what it is, and what it aims to achieve, to get everyone in the audience up to speed.
Then, we will talk about Kokonut DAO, your vision, and the progress you have made so far.
Lastly, we can discuss how Kokonut DAO plans to use rep3 badges in their community. So let's dive right into it.
What is the ReFi revolution?
Wasabi: The ReFi revolution is the response to the failure of DeFi. In the summer, everything crashed because all the DeFi assets were backed by nothing, not even thin air! Everyone knows what happened. And that's what has fuelled the ReFi revolution because here you're helping the planet and helping communities.
Creating new economies that are eco-friendly. And at the same time, you are giving the community access to these new assets that are helping everyone. This is all tangible and concrete. This is the ReFi revolution, and it's going to be huge. Even bigger than what DeFi is today.
It's so refreshing working closely with founders in the ReFi community. As soon as problems arise, we have people chip in with ideas to fix them. It's amazing. Also, regarding assets and the market cap of ReFi tokens, it will be much bigger than what it is now because we're talking about the planet. We're talking about replanting trees and reconstructing water sources, not just some finance product.
Infi: That's an interesting introduction to the ReFi revolution. So you mentioned it's about the planet, planting trees, fixing water resources, etc. This brings me to my next question. What is it that you're specifically doing at Kokonut DAO? What are you all focussing on, and how does it fit into the broader ReFi revolution?
Wasabi: So, a little primer. Kokonut DAO is basically a project out of the Dominican Republic. We're working with coconut plantations.
Recently, in the last Gitcoin round, I discovered how DAO can take any shape beacuse all the voting power is in the hands of the DAO members. So if the members want to turn Kokonut DAO into a public good, they can totally do that!
In the same context, Kokonut DAO is something you can put under the equality umbrella because we are giving access to the countryside of the Caribbean.
We are giving everyone access to a new way of doing things. At the same time, we are creating jobs for the people and making them shareholders in the same projects. These people become part of a network of plantations and tokens backed by natural assets produced using eco-friendly methodologies.
And the people truly decide what to do. If they want to launch an NFT collection tomorrow, sure, why not? The founder has no control. So we're building something that the community owns.
Infi: But these people, I'm assuming, are the furthest away from web3 and crypto since this is not something one incidentally finds themself interested in. So what was general response when you approached people with this project?
Wasabi: You need to understand that this is in a fairly rural part of the Dominican Republic. Rather, I would say it's deep in the countryside. So web3, etc., all these ideas might be a little new, but these people know that – seeing how the government operates – they know that they cannot depend on the government to help them.
Everyone else is counting on the government, and these people — the plantation owners — know that they cannot count on the government. They have to wait for ages and all of that. I just told them that it's in a co-op because they know what this is. And I said this is what we're going to do.
We're going to set up a co-op without borders. It will be living on the internet, and everything will be transparent.
They agreed and were willing to try it out because it seemed like the best option. Also, most agricultural projects go unfunded. And the data around that is not open. If people around the world knew what projects are going unfunded and the impact they can have, would it not be it be easier for these projects to find funding!
Infi: It's really inspiring to see communities, especially in the countryside, acknowledge their reality and say, "Okay, it's gonna be tough getting help from the government, so why don't we help ourselves?"
And I feel that the whole DAO model is perfect in this regard because it's so conducive to getting up and doing it yourself with membership shares and this transparent way of funding.
So that brings us to our next main question. rep3 is all about helping communities organize and manage themselves more efficiently. And there are many ways you can do that. So what part of your community operations are you going to target using rep3?
Wasabi: The barrier to entry in our DAO is very low; you just need one membership share. We want to be as inclusive as possible. We also want to provide some perks along with people's memberships.
For example, we have an IT company in the Dominican Republic, and we want to provide IT services. Sometimes the prices for these services there can be inflated, so that's the demand we will address.
For example, let's say you need a website. Even if you want to launch a shampoo company, you must have a website and other basic stuff. So we've added perks like email hosting, business cloud hosting, websites, etc.
So if a DAO member wants to start a project, instead of paying for this stuff, they can just avail the benefits that come with being a member. And the rewards obviously increase as you go up membership tiers.
But essentially, to answer your question, there would be rep3 membership badges based on the number of membership shares a person holds. And then these badges would give members access to certain perks.
Infi: rep3 membership badges are great for bundling services and incentivizing member participation in general. In addition to membership badges, we also have customizable child badges, which one can use to recognize contributions and other member activities.
How do you currently do that? Do you run bounties or any other initiative to get the community involved?
Wasabi: We've already run our first bounty on our treasury management thesis. So we plan to codify this by having badges for contributions. Still, it depends on the types of contributions we will have which isn't final yet.
Infi: That sounds great. We've covered everything on today's agenda. It feels amazing to contribute to the ReFi revolution in the little way we can by helping you organize your community through rep3 badges. Before we go, Wasabi, I'd like you to shout out any person, community, or project that has been informative and helpful to you in your journey.
Wasabi: Yeah, shout to ReFi DAO! They lead the pack. They are connecting all the founders with each other. They just launched the Founder Cycle Season 2, which brings together one hundred fifty-three founders and people working to build a better planet.
Infi: I will check this out right after. That brings us to the end of this episode of coffee conversations.
It was great chatting with you, Wasabi. We covered quite a lot, from the basics of the ReFi revolution to empowering countryside farmers in the Dominican Republic, and much more.
Any parting thoughts before we leave?
Wasabi: No, none really. I was honored to be here. You all are awesome!
Infi: Likewise, Wasabi! It was great having you. To the audience, thank you so much for attending. We'll be back soon! Till then, stay safe and work hard.