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AUDIO is the Ethereum-based token that supports Audius, and with the community’s support, will likely leverage 3rd-party stablecoins as well as artist-specific tokens to unlock additional functionality in future.
Audius platform tokens (ticker $AUDIO) have three prongs of functionality within the protocol unlocked by staking:
Audius tokens are staked as collateral for a valueadded services. In exchange, stakers earn ongoing issuance, governance weight and access to exclusive features.
Audius tokens are staked by node operators to run the Audius protocol, and by artists and curators to unlock exclusive features and services. Any $AUDIO staked within the protocol is assigned governance weight, used to shape future iterations of the protocol.
Audius tokens will serve as collateral for artist-based tooling as well. Early examples incubated by the community include artists tokens, badges and earnings multipliers. In the future, fans may delegate tokens to specific artists and curators to share in their growth on the platform and the issuance of future tokens.
Node operators must stake Audius tokens to operate a discovery node or content node, with a larger stake correlating to a higher probability of being chosen by fan clients. Node operators receive direct upside from seeding in the form of $AUDIO and the possibility for future protocol fees for actively seeding the protocol.
A community goal, via governance, is to ensure that Audius tokens are always being funneled to the most value-added actors by using onchain metrics as a measurement, rather than simply to those staking the most tokens but not actively participating in the ecosystem.
Audius token will be distributed with fixed genesis allocation and by ongoing issuance modifiable by governance.
The choice to launch with ongoing issuance is grounded in the desire to continually align the network’s growth with new actors and their relative contributions, rather than concentrating governance power in the hands of early actors.
Should the community see fit, a portion of ongoing token issuance will be allocated to the most active users of the protocol, dictated based on platform metrics and varying contributions in the form of discoverability, streams and platform engagement.