Joystream DAO

Joystream is a developing ecosystem, built on blockchain-based protocol that aims to formalize a shared content platform. It has a gateway system, which allows creators to build their own video- or other kind of content platforms with NFTs as an option. Joystream is operated and governed by its users, and has its own DAO governance tool. The main products at the moment are: Atlas (a gateway framework), Gleev (a video platform about web3), Pioneer (a governance platform and a forum). Joystream is currently in the testnet, with mainnet planned for December, 2022.


Joystream was founded by JSgenesis 1, a company, registered in 2014 in Oslo, Norway 2. Its core members are Bedeho Mender15 (Founder, CEO), Martin Wessel-Berg17 (COO), Mokhtar Naamani16 (Co-Founder, CTO).


Joystream valuation is estimated at $60 million10, with more than 30 investors, including Digital Currency Group (DCG, the parent company of CoinDesk), Hypersphere, Defi Alliance and D1 Ventures.


The startup, which has been around since 2015, was originally building atop the BitTorrent protocol. It pivoted to creating a video platform in 2018 and has been preparing for mainnet launch ever since.
The Joystream project was launched by Jsgenesis (Blog post 3), JSG was created from inception to focus on the coding and system elements of the platform, while the running of the platform was entrusted to users under the motto "We are building Joystream to set it free"
Various testnets were launched over this time period (Mesopotamia, Sparta, Athens, Acropolis, Rome).
All incentives were directly paid in USD (XMR) for work performed on the network. This meant that none of the balances on the testnet were of much consequence.
Constantinople testnet was launched (Blog post). This for the first time created the concept of tJOY and a fiat pool allowing for testnet participants to be directly incentivized by tokens on the testnet and have their incentives be impacted by the DAO and community's decisions. The network was initially backed by a pool of $2500 USD that was managed by Jsgenesis (Blog Post4).
As of early 2022, the fiat pool had increased from the intial $2500 USD to over $65,000 USD, paying out more than $93,000 USD in incentives to users.
The tJOY balances were exchangeable into USD by exchanging them for Monero and eventually Bitcoin Cash.
This release also introduced KPIs which were a set of goals for each council to work toward to gain more incentives (First KPI blog post5).
As of early 2022, the potential weekly KPI rewards had increased from $200 USD to as much as $4800 USD.
The Founding Members program was launched11. This program offered mainnet tokens to platform participants for the first time, in addition to the more immediate financial incentives available via the incentivized testnet. It was intended for this program to run up until mainnet launch of the project, however in early 2022 it was discontinued in favor of the new system.
Participating users were required to produce a document outlining their activity on the testnet which would be graded and given points, and unlike many programs within cryptocurrency projects, only gave actual allocations to those inducted as Founding Members (selected by JSG based upon the quality of their participation and contributions over time). In addition to monetary incentives, a unique hand crafted avatar was granted to every inducted Founding Member.
Up until this point, no mainnet tokens were offered to users, they were collecting points. Regardless of this, a few users had participated heavily beyond the immediate USD incentives by producing bots, scripts, documents, driving activity and growth as well contributing feedback, ideas and improvements to the platform. Jsgenesis selected 5 of the most valuable contributors as Initial Founding Members and gave them a generous allocation of mainnet tokens. This was explained further here.
None of the tokens given to community participants had any value attached. Jsgenesis had recieved investments from various firms however did not disclose any information regarding any valuation of the project.
Jsgenesis announced the discontinuation of the the points system for the Founding Members program.
All points were converted into token allocations and given a potential USD value based on the valuation of the project. A deadline of 26/01/2022 was also given for any final reports to be submitted. The KPI system was also going to be discontinued upon launch of the new incentives system.
The valuation of the project was made public for the first time giving users an opportunity to see for the first time the potential financial value of their contributions so far as well as the potential future rewards available by participating further.
Users who were not inducted as Founding Members also had all of their points converted into potential token allocations, however they would still be required to contribute more to obtain FM status from Jsgenesis.
The old Founding Member program officially came to an end.
With Olympia (the largest testnet release to date) and a new Founding Member program launching, it would also involve wiping some amount of content from the testnet.
Prior to this upgrade, the testnet, incentives, FM program, KPI system had come together around a nascent, dedicated community and managed to produce a truly staggering amount of activity--including more than 1,400+ on-chain proposals, 3,400+ on-chain memberships, 11,000+ on-chain forum posts, 90+ on-chain forum threads, on-chain elections involving more than $16,000 USD worth of stake, more than 85 workers concurrently working on-chain and being paid automatically by a DAO maintained by more than 50 validators. While also sustaining a storage and distribution network serving more than 5,500 video uploads managed by the DAO.
23/03/2022 The announcement9 was made that Joystream had raised additional $5.85 million, which brings the total fundraise to roughly $13m at a $60m valuation from over 30 investors, among them Digital Currency Group (seed round), Hypersphere, DefiAlliance, and D1 Ventures.
23/03/2022 The new testnet, Olympia, started. Its launch was announced by JSgenesis in the blog6 as "our biggest update yet". It introduced major Runtime, Governance, Onboarding, and Incentives improvements. Pioneer V2 (Governance app) with a new improved interface was released.
Here are the members of the first elected Council in Olympia:
With Runtime upgrade, additional features and NFTs were added to the blockchain, as well as the bounty module where any member can add a bounty. A new program Incentives 3.0 was launched, which is the new version of the Founding Members Program.
Rhodes was released. Rhodes is not a new blockchain, only an update. Rhodes released the ability to buy and sell video NFTs. Video NFT sales can be set up using 3 types of purchase auctions: English (predefined end date), Open (no predefined end date), and "Buy now" (auction concludes immediately upon a bid matching a predefined asking price). The first NFT8 on Joystream was created, followed by many others.
Was the last day tJOY could be exchanged for BCH by all Joystream community members via cashout tool.
The last testnet, Carthage, was launched; and the announcement7 was made by JSgenesis. Allocations of testnet tokens were distributed to all FMs, according to their earnings in the Founding Member Program, and nomination of the tokens started for everyone. For some time, Pioneer and Atlas were unavailable due to the network upgrade. Gateways were introduced. FM program still continued, with mainnet scheduled for December, 2022.



Atlas12 is a gateway framework, the easiest way to launch a gateway today. It’s like a software package with tooling and standards, which people in Joystream community can take as an easiest way to build their own video community.
You can customize, without coding:

  • Name and Logo
  • Content Categories
  • Featured Content
  • Terms and Content Policy.


Pioneer13 is the place to participate in community governance and operation. It also has a Forum, where participants discuss topics related to Joystream, as well as other topics. Every action is recorded on blockchain, which makes governance transparent and allows to store the history of membership actions.
Via Pioneer you can create your membership in Joystream network, transfer you tJoy tokens, apply for working groups and Council, create proposals, vote for them if you are a consul, create Bounties and participate in them, vote for Council candidates on elections, write messages on forum. 
To start using Pioneer you need to create a Joystream membership. This, in turn, requires you to create a Polkadot account using Polkadot.js app first.


Gleev14 is the video platform currently under development, run by JSgenesis. It is aimed to be specifically about web3, crypto and blockchain related topics.


Gateways are apps, built on the Joystream system. They re-use the same content, creator pool and assets as Joystream. One of the most powerful features of Web3 in Joystream is that it unlocks the ability for third party developers to build their own apps, using open source tools and APIs, and the network effect is already there. As a gateway operator, you will be able to get paid for the content and for the creators you onboard, because there will be an attribution system.
Whenever someone makes a channel with some content, the application that publishes that content will be able to buy the metadata that says that this was through app A, B or C. Then the Council will review the implicit revenue that comes from the NFT fees and the Creator token fees, and decide to subsidize the content production through payouts. So it can be a business launching an application and acquiring users and content creators.
Each gateway can have its own:

  • Recommendations and search
  • Viewer monetization
  • Product experience
  • Content focus
  • User acquisition
  • Terms.


The valuation of $JOY stands at $60M USD as of the last private transactions for mainnet $JOY, subject to vesting schedules19. The initial total supply is 1,000,000,000 $JOY, with no supply cap.
The base unit is called Hapi, equivalent to Satoshis in Bitcoin. There are ten billion (10,000,000,000) Hapi in each $JOY, and hence at genesis there will be 1,000,000,000x10,000,000,000=10^19 Hapi.
There are two sources of inflation, staking rewards for validators and nominators, and the council minting new tokens out of it's budget, however both are dynamic and constrained.

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Joystream DAO

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November 14, 2022

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