starbeam.one is the name of a starship. It's actually
starbeam-1. It's the first of several in a fleet of starships (
starbeam-3), and there's a whole universe behind the ships and their mission.
The challenge, of course, is that for the past three years it's only been me behind this product so I can only get so much done with one person. Functionality is the primary goal, general world-building is secondary. Nonetheless, world-building is still a focus and desired quality of this project, and now that we're building a community around it -- especially with other creatives, which I am more than elated to finally connect with -- maybe we'll start fleshing this out in earnest.
As such, there are a few terms in this world that seems foreign -- because it's a different world indeed. This document attempts to capture these terms in a central location so you can refer to them and know what the heck we mean when we're using them on the site and in Discord.
A Resalable Digital License (RDL -- pronounced "Real Deal") is the centralized (non-blockchain) equivalent of non-fungible token (NFTs). As there isn't a "fungible token" to starbeam.one (or any centralized system), there is no non- version (ah, negation) of it to be had. Thus, we simplify things here a bit and call them more succinctly what they are: resalable digital licenses.
The most often term you'll hear or see with starbeam.one is Flare. What the heck is Flare? It's the name of the digital currency used on the starbeam-1 starship. Why don't we just call it a dollar? Because it's world-building! Does a dollar belong on a starship? Besides, it's a digital dollar anyways, stored on a proprietary internal ledger in starbeam.one. So why not have a little fun with it? It's a "Flare" because the flares of the sun, or the flare of the star. Some flare for your flair (that's right, a Mike Judge association cemented it for me, deal with it).
How Do I Get Flares?
Flares are acquired two ways:
- 1.Selling digital licenses. As an artist, you can produce digital licenses to your works of art and sell them on the primary market. Upon sale your account will be credited with Flare
- 2.Purchasing the Flares directly. As a collector, you can purchase Flares directly here. Upon purchase, the Flares will be deposited into your account and you can then purchase digital licenses available on either primary or secondary markets.
The primary market is where sales directly from artists to collectors occur. Artists publish issuances of licenses (found below) via provide storefront (also below) and collectors buy these licenses on the primary market.
The secondary market is where transactions occur after they are purchased on the primary market. This is where resales occur and any collector that has purchased a license on the primary market (above) can then create a resale listing where another collector may purchase it.
starbeam.one uses a publishing model. What does that mean? The focus is on higher quantities and lower prices. This is the inverse of a typical cryptocurrency-based solution which is higher prices and lower quantity. Why the difference? In a word: efficiency. starbeam.one does not use a blockchain so there is no need to spend energy (or time) solving a riddle to verify a transaction. That means many more operations and scale.
That doesn't mean it's incompatible with cryptocurrency-based solutions, it just means it's different. Cryptocurrency-based solutions can be seen as an art gallery model (few pieces, higher prices) and starbeam.one can be seen as a publishing model (many, lower prices.
With starbeam.one, every artist is given their own personal printing press and they are able to issue as many licenses (below) to their works as they can prove that they can sell. Every artist starts out as an A-wave creator, which means they can issue (and sell) one license per product. They can have as many products as they would like available at any given time (there may be a limit imposed on this at some point), but each of those products can only have one license available for sell. Once one of those licenses sell, they have proven themselves capable of selling that license and their total allowed amount to sell increases.
Going back to the idea of a personal printing press, the printing press needs printing plates loaded into it so it knows what to print. Printing plates define exactly the content that is going to printed and what it looks like. In starbeam.one, those printing plates are known as product definitions and are the first thing an artist uses to create an issuance (next) of licenses (after that).
A walkthrough of the process can be viewed here:
One of the properties of product definitions (and issuances, below) is a beneficiary. A beneficiary is someone who you assign as an artist to split your proceeds with whenever a primary or secondary market transaction occurs. If you make a product and there is someone who inspired you (or is the subject of the work), then they can be a beneficiary and can be assigned to the product. You can assign up to 12 beneficiaries to a product definition (or issuance).
A beneficiary does not need to be a starbeam.one user. When assigning a beneficiary, you can identify them by social media handle (i.e. Twitter) or by email address. When your beneficiary signs into starbeam.one and prove that they own that resource (e.g. signing in with Twitter or verifying an email address), then they "unlock" that account and receive the money assigned to it.
A benefactor is the other side of a beneficiary. This is the source of the proceeds. If you are a beneficiary and are receiving proceeds, then the benefactor is the one who is issuing them to you. With starbeam.one, the benefactor is always the artist that creates the product definition and assigns the beneficiary. Once a beneficiary has connected and is receiving proceeds, they have the ability to view their benefactors and manage them accordingly.
Once an artist loads their personal printing press with their printing plates (product definition) it is time to publish their product. But what are they publishing? They are publishing a set of licenses known as an issuance. An issuance is one or more licenses to a work created by an artist that are subsequently made available for sale on starbeam.one's publishing system. When a product definition is loaded into an artist's personal printing press and they hit the publish button, the following significant activities occur:
- 1.Licenses get generated and numbered. Each issuance contains a set of licenses that are to be issued. These get created and saved to the database. They then get numbered based on their created index (unique database number).
- 2.Content is generated. Each license gets its own generated website that is associated with it. The user account that possesses this license is allowed to view that content.
- 3.A storefront is created for the issuance to display the current license for sale. Only one license at a time is available for sale, starting with the first and moving through to the last. This is a first-come-first-served model.
Each license (below) gets its own generated website which is defined by the product definition (above) as defined by the artist. The website is stored in Azure and can only be viewed by the account that possesses that license. In a way, the license acts as a key that allows the holding account owner to view that content. Each created license gets its own website. If there are 100 licenses issued in an issuance, then there are 100 websites that are generated and sent to the cloud for storage and subsequent access.
License is the product of starbeam.one. It is the "thing" that is sold by artists and purchased by collectors. It is also the "thing" that is further resold and exchanged hands on our provided secondary market. "License" also historically implies legal connotations, although that is not a focus with starbeam.one. For starbeam.one's purposes, a license can be seen as a key that allows the account that possesses it to perform certain activities.
For the starbeam.one alpha, there are two activities that a license allows:
- 1.View the associated content generated for the license (this occurs during the issuance process)
Storefront is the location where an issuance is sold. It is provided to the artist by the starbeam.one publishing process when a publishing occurs and an issuance is created. A website is created for the issuance and prospective collectors can visit to learn of pertinent information and to make a purchase.