About Darwins Inc.
Today, we’re speaking with Jonathan Larson, the Co-Founder of Darwins Inc.
Darwins Inc. builds applications that connect the everyday person to Web3. The Darwins team is currently working on a closed beta product called COFI, which is designed to help creators monetize their content.
Jonathan shares, “We find that the most difficult part of getting started, in particular with things like Twitch steams and all sorts of different live streamed digital content, is to get monetized in the beginning, especially as an individual or solo artist.”
What is COFI?
COFI is a tool that helps creators become monetized in new ways without product placements or ads. Jonathan shares that COFI lets your supporters set aside money, which is then left to work on its own and generate more revenue for the content creator.
From there, the content creator can use the money generated as they would like.
COFI is a closed beta product with about 350 people testing it on the platform. The target audience for the COFI tool is primarily streamers and gamers. As a result, most of these beta testers are small to medium-sized streamers on Twitch, YouTube, or multiple streaming platforms.
Jonathan shares, “The feedback so far has been great and useful. We’re actively tuning the platform in terms of the volumes that we’re seeing. We have about $20,000 that has been used on the platform to generate revenue in one way or another currently.”
What Do Supporters Get In Return?
When a small creator blows up, you often see early supporters of that creator saying that they’ve been supporting the creator from the beginning. This is often a source of pride.
However, it’s hard to prove this support. COFI gives creators a way to reward their early supporters and provide them with proof of support.
“You’re the first person to say, I like this guy. I think he’s going to go far… We have a system where it proves that you were some of the first people to support somebody. If you set aside, let’s say, a hundred dollars. It’ll generate between $5 and $10 a year. That $5 and $10 will start generating you as the supporter, individualized rewards from that content creator that we track back.”
The Web3 part of the platform tracks the generated money back to the early supporters, giving the supporter proof that they were part of the “OG crowd.”
Web2 vs. Web3
One of the perks of the Darwins Inc. platform and COFI tool is that it doesn’t require users to entangle themselves with crypto or NFTS. Instead, the applications handle this, taking stress off the user.
However, many everyday Internet users don’t understand what Web3 is or how it’s different than Web2.
Jonathan explains, “Web3 is kind of a blanket term right now for decentralized endpoints for users to get on the Internet. So, I guess what that looks like is instead of Facebook and Google holding your data and saying here’s your access to the data. It’s controlled by a password.”
He goes on to share that Web2 left much of the access to data in the hands of big companies, which are essentially giant data silos.
In Web3, users have something like a passport that verifies itself and allows you to connect to the Web3 ecosystem.
“We have our own little mechanism that we use in Web3 that kind of melds Web2 and Web3 together so that it looks a lot like you don’t need to deal with crypto wallets and stuff, but really you are holding your own data so that we can’t gatekeep.”
Web3 gives users much more control over their data and online ecosystem access. For example, Jonathan shares that the Iran government cut off previous funding for apps to people protesting against the government, which immediately shut down access to the apps and messaging systems that coordinated the protests.
In Web3, this cannot happen because the system is separate from any one company or app.
In terms of business transactions, Jonathan shares, “For the average person, it is going to look very similar. I consent to buy a thing. I like that item, or I want to purchase something, subscribe to something. If I want to have access, I just consent, and then it goes right through. Costs me nothing.”
The Future of Web3
Jonathan shares that he thinks Web3 is where the Internet was in the late nineties to 2002 when forums were popping up everywhere for niche communities. However, Internet forums were never mainstream because they were hard to use and often bullied newcomers.
“We’re still in that phase in Web3. I would say there are a lot of people who want them [newcomers] to join, just like people in those forums wanted others to join, but it wasn’t user-friendly enough or attractive enough.”
Facebook, Reddit, and Tumblr were updated, more attractive versions of forums that reached much larger audiences. When more technologies are developed to make Web3 more user-friendly and engaging, Jonathan anticipates these technologies being the next Facebook.
The Future of Darwins Inc.
Jonathan shares that users can grab and reserve usernames on the COFI app by joining the waiting list now.
“We have a couple of neat features that we’re excited to roll out soon. We’ll talk about those when they’re a little more baked, but the interest rate right now is around 4.5% to 5%, which is way better than any bank account. We don’t deal with crypto, so you don’t have to go buy Bitcoin or anything like that. You take dollars and put them in, and once those dollars are in the system, they can start generating interest.”
Darwins doesn’t take a fee on the revenue, only on the interest generated by the money added to the system.
“We don’t take anything [of the money added]. You put that money aside, and it starts generating interest for a streamer or a content creator that’s looking to monetize and buy some equipment for their upcoming endeavors. That is where it matters the most.”
Another big announcement Jonathan shared is that Darwins has a partnership program they’re doing now. If you onboard yourself and five or more people onto the platform and reach a certain monetary threshold, Darwins has a doubling program set up to $10,000. This is their version of a partnership affiliate program.
Jonathan notes that they are always looking for ways to improve their products and welcome active feedback to continue making Web3 more accessible for everyone.