Decentralized Media is the future. Here's what it will look like

Jul 20, 2022

In Balaji Srinivasan’s new book, The Network State, he writes about the potential of decentralized media.

You can see early signs of this with Substack, Mirror, and NFTs…but in brief, the best content creators have better things to do than work for the establishment. They can become publishers of their own, by founding their own media companies.”

Let’s break down what this future of decentralized media will look like. First, let’s talk about incentives.

People want to write

People are writing online more than ever because they have a personal incentive to write.

There are tangible benefits that come with publishing content:

  • Writing helps build a personal (or professional) brand that unlocks new opportunities

  • Writing helps people connect. By sharing what they know about a topic, they put a flag in the ground to attract other like-minded people (which creates new opportunities)

  • Writing helps people learn about a topic (clear writing = clear thinking)

  • Writing can make people money (though this is admittedly very difficult)

These incentives mean that people create content because they want to not because their boss told them.

As a result, experts are creating content about topics they are deeply passionate about. Without much research or effort, someone deep in the weeds of a new technology can write a 1000-word post about the technology that gives boots-on-the-ground insights.

Vitalik is a Content Creator?

Take Vitalik Buterin’s website for example.

Vitalik’s writing is almost required reading for people in the crypto space — how could a centralized media brand compete with a founder of Ethereum?

No one is telling Vitalik to write these posts. Instead, he’s personally incentivized to write (for some of the reasons listed above).

So, people are writing online because they are incentivized to do so. And, their writing is high-quality because they have deep knowledge about the topics they are covering.

Decentralization on a Spectrum

Just as people in crypto argue about how decentralized their blockchain is, decentralized media will exist on a spectrum.

On one end, decentralized media will be completely decentralized. On this end of the spectrum, individual writers like Vitalik create media on their own website. Similarly, there are thousands of Substack writers publishing expert knowledge under their own brands.

But, there will be some centralization in decentralized media.


Coming back to The Network State, recentralization comes after decentralization.

“Recentralization is not about going full circle and making zero progress. It’s the helical theory of history. Recentralization, done right, is a cycle back to centralization from one vantage point but a step forward from another.”

The media that individual writers create will live under their own personal brands. But, it can also be packaged and aggregated — this is the recentralization.

Not everyone has the reach of a Vitalik. It takes significant effort to build a following and get eyes on your writing.

So, new, decentralized (recentralized?) media brands will rise to publish and give distribution to the media created by individual experts.


A version of this is already happening — take BanklessDAO for example.

BanklessDAO has built a large following, and they feature individual writers on the BanklessDAO Medium page.

If you look at the Medium page, posts are written by different (decentralized) writers that are particularly interested or knowledgable about the topic they cover.

In my opinion, this model works because the incentives are aligned. Writers benefit from getting more eyes on their writing by leveraging the BanklessDAO brand.

And BanklessDAO benefits because they get high-quality writing to share on their Medium page.

(Note, I’m not involved in the publishing process for BanklessDAO, and there is more nuance that I’m not capturing — this is intended to be an illustration).


Decentralized media is the future because experts want to create media out of their ambition to grow their brand, create opportunities, and learn.

This media can be recentralized with new media brands that will aggregate and publish the content giving wider distribution for these writers.

Cohort-based writing programs

Cohort-based writing programs (like the ones I’m building with Taptive) play a role in this environment.

Writing is lonely and intimidating. Once you start writing, it’s hard to stay consistent. Cohort-based writing programs help people to write more and improve their writing ability.

So, cohort-based writing programs can help unlock the potential of decentralized media.

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©2023 Taptive. All Right Reserved.

A growth agency for the Bitcoin economy

©2023 Taptive. All Right Reserved.

A growth agency for the Bitcoin economy

©2023 Taptive. All Right Reserved.