Starting the resistance. How I built a decentralized marketing… | by Peter Porobov | Upala Digital Identity | May, 2021 | Medium


In about 13 minutes we gonna create both an immense amount of value and a decentralized marketing department. A task impossible for a regular article. Thus this is not a regular one. This is the craziest and the sanest thing you’ve stumbled upon in the crypto space recently. Take a moment, relax and read it.

Inspired by Kernel modules (thank you Andy) that conclude with the gift — a beautiful article on giving.

After that, I started to see MoonCats almost daily. A song, an AR-kitten, a kitten on a tiny electronic photo frame, kittens on avatars (Nick.eth, Evan Van Ness), and all other sorts of stuff. Some people are celebrating, some appreciating BokkyPooBah, paying back to him and paying forward (I made a doughnut), some are trying to increase the value of their own cats.

There’s definitely something here. Intentionally or not all cat owners are promoting the myth of cat rescue. As a consequence the average MoonCat price on OpenSea increases. The act of giving effectively created a marketing department for the project.

Kittens have no utility (yet). They are “just” collectibles that are first of their kind, a part of blockchain history, and widely recognized by the community. All the kittens have is a myth and they sell nothing but a myth.

What about projects that do have utility™️? Think of virtually any project in the blockchain space. They have mission, art, memes, they do super-novel stuff, they are first of their kind, they are widely recognized and they are building history. They have their own strong myths. But they usually call it “marketing” and use it to build relationships with customers and sell their product. They never sell their myths directly and usually pay to promote them. There’s probably a better way for them.

Non-fungible myths

Imagine you want to sell your utility-first project myths directly. You put price tags on logos, icons, article header images, community calls background, etc. You turn all those into NFTs. It may sound weird, but let’s explore further.

We gonna call those non-fungible myths or NFMs. Same standard, same functionality as NFTs, just a special case of it — myths and their part on sale. We’ll explore if it is possible to bootstrap an additional marketing department for your project with NFMs. We’ll see what it takes to create dynamics similar to the one of MoonCats and what benefits are there for you if you select this path.

Easy to try

Simplicity. It doesn’t require a lot of effort. The artifacts you need are already there — the ones already mentioned above, logos, icons, etc., plus memes, sketches, prototypes, tweets — a lot of work that is usually considered a byproduct. Just put a “verified” mark on them, wrap them as NFTs and you get some NFMs for a start. Byproduct becomes a product and can be monetized.

Monetization. Start selling NFMs and you get an additional source of income at almost no cost.

These are a couple of instant benefits of using NFMs. But really just the tip of the iceberg. There are many wonderful properties of NFMs (inherited from NFTs) that could be leveraged.


NFMs are personal. Unlike ERC20 tokens, every NFM is perceived as an item, not a number. It does have an extrinsic (market) value, but also a story, relationship, affection, an intrinsic value.

Would you prefer to have an Apple stock or the first iMac prototype?

Every item's price is defined by its owner — not only the market. Every owner is thus incentivized to promote their own item, meaning to sell it in the future or just celebrate ownership.

How many profiles with pixel-portrait avatars do you follow on Twitter?

And as we’ve seen with MoonCats, promoting a single item promotes the whole project’s mythology and adds value to it. Promotion happens naturally as every holder is a promoter. An NFM-powered project gets an additional promotion channel.


NFMs are viral. There’s always something to share, to show, to tinker with. Any item could be modified and the number of modifications is unlimited. Even the whole myth could be extended. Any medium works — Image, video, text, sound, and code (programming new mechanics). Any type and any level of skill can benefit.

How many spin-offs (bastard gan punks) and add-ons (bodies) to cryptopunks you’ve seen so far?

Creators have incentives to collaborate as they are sharing the popularity of the project’s mythology. Same as owners promote their items, creators promote their modifications and spin-offs. Same as owners, they inevitably promote the original mythology (the project’s) and add value to it. An NFM-powered project naturally attracts contributors.


NFMs are self-sufficient. Let’s expand this one a bit more as we are approaching some really cool stuff.

The Sky Commuter flying car prototype from the 1990s was sold on eBay for $130,000 and again here. It has no antique value, the Sky Innovations company is dead and forgotten. What makes the prototype valuable is the myth of “flying cars”, which is still relevant today and will be relevant in the future. In relation to the company, this myth is a super-set myth — it includes the company’s mythology entirely. This myth is strong and lives on its own. Over time it keeps growing and keeps adding value to all the sub-myths and artifacts within it.

Imagine if somebody puts the first mouse prototype by Xerox on auction. Would you be interested to have it?

Similarly, NFMs get automatically attached to a super-set mythology, the one that is bigger than the project’s. Public goods, automated markets, future of work — these are all super-set myths, that a related project will passively attach to. And there’s always bonus fallback mythology — blockchain history.

These mythologies will live longer than most of the projects. And NFMs will belong to those myths forever. The stronger the mythology gets, the more valuable the artifacts within that mythology are.

Thus NFMs are antifragile. Unlike ERC20 tokens they don’t care where the market goes. They are almost insured from dropping to 0. And in the early days, there’s only one way for them — up and to the right. Holders/traders/creators understand that. Which creates an additional FOMO (definition on wiki incentives for them. NFM-powered project passively acquires value over time by just being there.

Nobody is selling their myths

Creating non-fungible myths does not require a lot of effort. Project’s byproducts don’t have to be wasted anymore, all the little memes and all the big ones can be monetized. Putting a price tag on those creates strong incentives for anyone to expand the project’s mythology, buy into it, or just share it. Any of those actions increase mythology’s and project’s value.

This already does look like a marketing department. Owners, creators, traders being its dedicated employees. Marketing becomes diluted through NFMs in the same way as governance is being diluted through airdropped ERC20 tokens.

EPNS project is issuing NFTs to support their community. As well as MetaGame. Badger is minting starships together with Cometh. Syndicate protocol and Mochi are selling their NFTs to support development.

I couldn’t find other utility-first projects that sell NFTs and I found none that sell their myths (NFMs). I see it as an opportunity and gonna take some first-mover advantage for Upala. In the next section. That would be insane. But before that let’s have a short talk on myths.

Super-set myths

We’ve seen how projects can make use of their existing myths by wrapping them into NFTs. And how those NFMs are then being auto-attached to its natural super-set myths. This is a kinda passive way to deal with myths. There’s probably a better way. What if we deliberately create our own super-set mythology?

Hm… But we’ve just discussed how easy it is to build a marketing department with NFMs. It may seem that we are about to diminish its benefits. Creating myths is what marketing departments do. And it requires a lot of effort.

True, but we can use a vastly underrated blockchain super-power to cut corners. We’ve seen how we can count on artists, buyers, holders, and other individuals that share value through NFMs. To build a myth from scratch we need even more help. For that, we need to share even more.

The super-power that we can use is synergy. We can create a super-set myth wide enough to include multiple project mythologies. If these projects would then acknowledge the myth, they’d have a shared value. Building the myth would be a much simpler task.

Synergy is often explained as 1+1 > 2. I believe projects that share value are just about to show us what it really means. In clear numbers.

One example is Panvala. Panvala puts synergy at its core and creates incentives for projects to share value. Its Digital Identity Coalition (aka Bladerunner) brings projects related to human uniqueness and digital identity together. Many projects within that coalition would be considered competitors in the traditional business environment. In the blockchain world, they have a shared budget in PAN token. They decide together what to spend it on.

Another example is DAOhaus’s DAO of DAOs (called UberHaus) in which over 50 member DAOs govern the DAOhaus ecosystem, including the HAUS token supply and the development priorities. PrimeDAO has a similar approach. There’s an emerging term for the phenomenon — Federated DAOs. I bet it is worth watching closely.

Apart from those, I couldn’t find other examples of projects that share any real value. That’s another opportunity — not only for Upala but for you as well. In the next part of the article, we gonna create our own example of value shared by multiple projects. This time the value is going to be shared through NFMs. This time you’ll have a first-mover advantage too.

Starting the resistance

Thank you for reading to this point. You are awesome, smart, and beautiful. Despite my clumsy attempts to deliver the message clearly, you started to see something. You are reading between the lines. [I’m gently switching to emotional you — we gonna need that soon]. WE gonna create a myth with an immense amount of value, a marketing department, and an army of fans - in the next 5 minutes.

We have Upala — a decentralized identity solution — at the input. Its mission is to unite people at scale, it promotes the price of forgery concept and the importance of distinguishing humans from bots. Strong mythology is already there, but it “belongs” to Upala and is not suited for sharing. WE gonna create a super-set myth for that. Wide enough to include mythology of any project related to digital identity. For better experience follow the article carefully.

Bringing the myth into existence

[Broaden your consciousness here]. Upload the following into your memory ̶p̶o̶o̶l̶: Terminator, Bladerunner, Matrix, sad robots, raise of the machines, artificial intelligence, robots rights, replicants seeking love. Stop for a moment and wait for other associations… Got a couple? Great. ̶N̶o̶w̶ ̶t̶r̶y̶ ̶h̶a̶r̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶i̶t̶!̶!̶!̶

Try to remember when Boston dynamics started abusing their creatures?

Now imagine. The opposition of humans and machines is already happening. We cannot see it, because it evolves slowly and naturally. The resistance forces are here too. Invisible, as they are scattered, have no coordination, and — most importantly — are not treated seriously. Individuals are considered mad. Precautions from authorities like Stephen Hawking are referred mostly for fun.

Nevertheless, WE are the ancestors of those who will defeat Skynet (this thing is real AF). It is our grand-grand-grand-… children who gonna inhabit the city of Zion It is us, who will refuse to treat robots as equals. It is us who will desire no peace.

  • The resistance narrative above and everything in closest relation to it (your associations) are real.
  • It is not fiction — it is prediction. It is the future.
  • The resistance has already started.

Take a moment and realize the meaning behind the last three lines… Close your eyes… Let your mind wander for a couple of seconds… Congratulations! We got our new myth! It exists now. You and everyone, who’s reading this are the carriers. And you know it.

Well, ok, not that exciting so far. I need your thoughts in this article, they are in italic.

Taking responsibility

Probably this is not very exciting so far. The myth still feels a bit humorous. In that sense, it is not much different from a random Twitter meme. But WE don’t want it to come and go like thousands of similar memes. Let’s add some value to it. First, I tell you the following…

UNLIKE all those tweets I’m totally fucking serious! WE ARE starting the resistance. The real one. The coordinated one. I do realize it may sound crazy. But I’m not crazy. ̶M̶y̶ ̶m̶o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶h̶a̶d̶ ̶m̶e̶ ̶t̶e̶s̶t̶e̶d̶.̶ You already know I’m sane. You’ve read to this point. You already trust my judgment.

More importantly, I’m not a random person to make a declaration like that. I’m already building an anti-Sybil system, already started to spread awareness (Upala’s anti-Sybil academy), contacted many like-minded people. I already started to resist.

“anti-Sybil” simply means “resistant to bots” or “one human — one account”. When entering a website you are sometimes asked to select all images containing buses or (worst of all) traffic lights. This is an example of an anti-Sybil system. Upala is an anti-Sybil system because it provides a human uniqueness score. Wiki on Sybil-attack.

Even more importantly I have something to lose. I’m putting my reputation at stake. Right now Upala is actively looking for contributors and investors (an open letter to investors). Hardly everyone gonna accept this wild move. Some people will feel doubtful about my judgment. It is a risk.

I’ve already taken some responsibility for the resistance and now taking even more. Check out the new section in our Sybil-resistance academy — feel free to contribute. Join the new awareness channel at Upala’s discord for coordination. If you wanna resist I’m your point of contact (Twitter).

You now know: this is where the resistance actually started. Right at THIS moment.

Hmm, this guy is totally nuts, but it all kinda makes sense. Or rather feels right. I wonder what comes next.

Sharing responsibility

Next stop. You. We are starting the resistance WITH you. That’s right if you are reading this you are a part of the resistance. I’m sharing responsibility with you. You now bear this knowledge. And you are now responsible to direct anyone who humbly mentions “the resistance” to this post.

Am I a part of the resistance? Well, ok.

You probably felt how the article became a bit bumpy. That is on purpose. I’m bumping and bumping it up in your head. The myth needs it. It came into existence thanks to you. Thanks to you it already has some strength and momentum.

Looks like it does have momentum. At least in my head.

Thank you for still being here. Take a deep breath, relax [and broaden your consciousness a bit more]. Because…

Pumping up the value

I hereby declare the ownership of this myth. The whole thing. The resistance narrative above and everything in closest relation to it (your associations). The whole damn thing is now mine! Wait, what? For real? Yep, just like that. If you are curious this is how art works (to do links readymades). I’ll explain in a moment what it all means.

Nah, no big deal, let him have it.

And this is quite a big deal!


We can proceed to discuss the value now.

I created a tiny bit of value by defining the myth. Then you added a bit more by paying attention to it — I asked you to do it. Then we kept increasing the value together. I addressed the rational you many times during the article. I made you think and sometimes even feel. You made pauses to reflect and build associations. You noticed how this article is more penetrative to your brain than most of the regular articles out there (I told you this is not a regular one). You have a vague feeling that you gonna return to it soon. And you know that many other people will feel the same. You also know that there’s a reputation behind this myth, some actions made, responsibility, and your share of it. We did a good job in growing the value of the myth. And it raised significantly.

But it was nothing comparing to the value added when I made the first transaction. I unlocked the value by capturing it and making it mine. Minted it to myself, if you will. Or better say, you minted it to me. THANK! YOU! You thought of it as insignificant at first, but it is getting more and more real. It is easier to perceive it as valuable. Probably you feel a bit of regret and even envy.

No! I’m actually glad for this guy!

It is not clear yet, what owning a myth actually means. You’ll see that in a moment. But it is already clear that I can do whatever I want with it… And first… I’m gonna blow the value so high, that your fingers will tremble. You’d better sit down. Here we go…

Now… when everything is clear with the ownership of the myth… I hereby declare… that I present it all to you! WHAAAT? Yes, the resistance narrative above and everything in closest relation to it, the whole damn thing is now YOURS!… yeah!!!… YEAH!!!


If you are reading this you are an owner. Just like me. Just. Like. That. Now you share not just the responsibility, but the value as well!!! And this is where the value skyrocketed…

Now it is easier to discuss what WE can do with it. [Proceed with a comfortable consciousness level].


Now that we have this shared myth what is possible? How you can benefit? There are a couple of examples below. Short answer — acknowledge the myth, join the resistance and be active. Grow the resistance, spread awareness of it for your own benefit and for the benefit of humankind. It is your luck is to stumble upon this among the first. It is your choice now how to act. And when to act.

Build it

Explore the myth, create within it and expand it. If you are an artist (in a broad sense, a creator) you now have an additional channel to get heard. You are one of the myth owners. Owning the myth is like owning a smart contract, e.g. CryptoKitties contract. But Unlike CryptoKitties the contract is social, there is no code. And unlike CryptoKitties the myth is general. You can attach (breed) any type of art to it: text, visuals, audio, or code (interaction mechanics). Or it is like Marvel’s Earth-616 universe, except that it is not built yet. Anyone can fill it with characters, events, and stories.

Just create a piece of art that is relevant to the myth. Then acknowledge the myth. Mention one of the following lines: “Vive La Sybil Resistance”, “Welcome to resistance”, “This is resistance”, “Humans vs Machines”, “You are now part of the resistance”. Use #ViveLaSybilResistance or a shorter #NoBots hashtag on Twitter. Mention this article. These are the ways to find people with shared values (and shared value😉). These are the breeding mechanics I can think of. Other ways of attaching to this meme are possible. Explore them!

At the start, while your node of resistance is not strong enough, you’d probably gonna need some support. Ping me and I’ll mention your work, so it could be discovered easier. Don’t be humble — I got incentives for that. I’m one of the owners and I acknowledged the myth — by sharing I increase the value of the whole myth and of my share as a consequence. A gift is an addition.

Hodl it

Follow me and Upala on Twitter and wait for #NoBots or #ViveLaSybilResistance tags. Follow NFMs channel on Upala Discord. You can be among the first to grab a part of history. Fun fact — you cannot be 100% selfish. Buying is acknowledging. Buying increases the value of the bought item and the value of the entire resistance myth as well. Buying is a gift.

Official OpenSea collection is part of the resistance, as well as this tweet, this ancient project with broken front-end, Mooncats. Everyone I mentioned in this article is a part of the resistance. Everything they do is important for this myth, for blockchain, for humanity, for good.

Share it

Spread the knowledge — share this article, shill artists you like and their works, bring new people into the resistance. Fun fact — you cannot be 100% altruistic. When dealing with history, timing matters the most. By sharing you become an early adopter. Sharing regularly increases your weight in the resistance. One day you may use your weight for your own benefit. Sharing does have value.


Our new resistance mythology includes Upala’s Sybil-resistance mythology entirely. Both are interconnected. When mentioning the resistance you also mean that humans are important, they have rights by the mere fact of being born, you mention 1 bln people without ID, who need help. Moving down to earth you make people aware of decentralized ID systems and the term Sybil-resistance. Lastly, you promote Upala. The resistance is now Upala’s marketing department.

But WE created a lot more! As the scope of the resistance mythology is much wider than Upala’s many other projects may find that their mythology can be a subset of it. As the ownership is shared they may acknowledge the myth and start expanding it with no approval. It is like creating a project-specific flavor of Linux. It may look very different, but everyone would know it is still Linux. The more a project contributes to the myth, the stronger its resistance node becomes. And the stronger the entire resistance gets. Every member of resistance is incentivized to support other members. Because both creating and sharing an NFM increases the entire myth’s value. Incentives aligned. Win-win. We created the basis for a decentralized shared marketing department. Thank you!

WE started it all TOGETHER. The resistance already gained strength and value. With a little help, it may become self-sufficient and live longer than any project or even humans involved. The value behind it is uncapped. It is all up to us. Remember this is the genesis and you are as close to it as one can get. Be among the first to add value to it. Share it now!

Share this tweet. Follow me and Upala. Join the Upala community on Discord. Make your offers on OpenSea, buy this tweet!