Reimagining DAO membership: Season Pass NFTs

DAO operations are a massive experiment. There is no right answer to just one question. Feedback—implementing it, iterating it, and re-implementing it—is the way we choose to lead our onboarding in the Protein Community. We’ve changed the way we give access to members almost every season and this season, we’ve arrived at our “Season Pass” NFTs.

We airdropped these Season Pass NFTs to every new member for full access to the Protein Discord, IRL and URL Events, and more. This article is a case study for other DAOs who are continually experimenting with access and membership models.

Token Gating

We have been airdropping 5,000 $PRTN to grant access to our server to the people who have been green-lighted by our membership screeners. Having  5.000 $PRTN in your wallet means that you are a Protein Community member.

We’ve airdropped 5,000 $PRTN to 500 amount of new members—greenlight by our membership screeners—for exclusive access to our server. Here’s our timeline of how we’ve arrived at this version of token gated access:

Sending a claims link to selected members didn’t adhere to our “good growth” value which is “intersectionality” so we decided to airdrop these tokens to everyone instead.

👉 Iteration #2: Etherium Cost

Airdropping hundreds of people on Etherium was too costly so we bridged all our tokens to Polygon and have been airdropping all member contribution compensations on Polygon since.

👉 Iteration #3: Engaging the Community

Our Treasury Team has pointed out the fact that airdropping 5K tokens to members who we are %100 percent not sure will join the community will impact the tokens worth when we implement a liquidity pool. So we had to think of another way to approach our membership.

We looked at qualitative and quantitative insights to make a decision moving forward.

💡 Insight #1: Idle Wallets with PRTN

At least 508 wallets hold 5,000 $PRTN. However, only 260 of these wallets were connected to our guild to access the server. The 248 wallets idle with 5,000 $PRTN pose a challenge with a future liquidity pool.

💡 Insight #2: Members who just want to look around // Membership Guest Pass

A substantial amount of people who apply to Protein Community through our form state that “they want to just hang and look around” to see if Protein Community is a place they would like to contribute. To aid this want, we introduced Protein Guest Passes. The passes didn’t work because of operational reasons so we decided to discontinue this approach.

To address both of these insights and to take a bold step forward into reimaging DAO membership for Protein Community, we introduced “Season Pass NFT” for Season 3.

We introduced Protein Guest passes for the substantial number of members who were interested in the Protein Community on a trial basis. Due to operational reasons, we ultimately decided to pause this approach and discontinue the Guest Passes.

What is a Season Pass NFT?

Using Passage Protocol’s Membership NFT portal, we created an NFT that grants you access to Protein Community for the span of a season which is nearly 3-4 months.

✅ Benefits

Creating and Distributing this NFT on Polygon has drastically reduced airdrop transaction costs

A Season Pass NFT allows New members a trial period into the DAO

Our Cohort Based Onboarding lowers the barrier of entry while leading a path into deeper education and contributing to Protein and Good Growth

Members who choose to continue, earn their way into full Protein Membership through contributing and earning 5,000 $PRTN in that given season

🔴 Risks

Members may not earn 5,000 $PRTN in one season. As a solution, members will be able to request an extension of their pass into the next season.

A conversation about the consent to airdrop tokens and NFTs to wallets came to light. Protein has not yet faced backlash from the decision to airdrop NFTs but this area of consent is a factor we hold deeply for our future iterations of this process.


At Protein Community, we enjoy taking bold decisions and iterating our implementations according to qualitative and quantitative data we accumulate with time. At the end of the day, that is what being a DAO operator is, never adhering to conformity and constantly thinking of ways to create the right structures that suit the ever-evolving needs of DAO contributors.

If you are also been thinking about NFT memberships for DAOs and share your feedback on the way we approached this topic as outlined above, please reach out to me via twitter.

Last but not least, I would like to thank you Ime for editing this article and Harry for the lovely cover artwork.


If you’d like to become a Member, you can apply here.

If you’re interested in what we’re building, make sure you follow Protein Community on twitter.

We at Protein enjoy taking action on new, bold decisions and creating new iterations of the process according to the data we accumulate over time. A DAO operator never adheres to conformity and the less imaginative solutions. We are constantly creating new structures that suit the ever-shifting needs of DAO contributors.

If you’d like to become a Protein Community Member 🌱apply now.

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