Conjure (CJR) - An Incentivized, Decentralized Content Platform with Search Models Based Upon Taxonomy
The current climate of the creative Internet is skewed in favor of gigantic tech corporations, most
notably YouTube and parent company Google Inc. These companies have complete control on
the monetization of creative content and subject matter on their platforms.
Content creators, who largely ignited the growth of these platforms, have voiced their concerns
regarding unstable advertisement revenue, mass demonetization of content, and the general
direction of the platform - only to receive silence in response. Despite the media market trending
away from TV networks and toward authentic, online video platforms, YouTube management
appears to be rebranding the platform as a "New TV" service to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and
Amazon Prime Video.
In an effort to return control to the independent content creators who led the expansion of
YouTube, we are building a platform that addresses all of these problems. In addition to fixing
YouTube’s problems, we have developed a full litany of tools for content creators to use. With
these tools and monetization power, content creators will have the ability to compete with
traditional corporate media.
Content creators are dependent upon ad platforms to monetize their content. Ad platforms are
centralized autonomous entities that can change the rules at a moment’s notice – often to the
detriment of the creator. The problem that needs to be rectified is the dependence on these
The Adpocalypse, YouTube Heroes, and the Whitelist
In early 2016, Google’s algorithm placed advertisements on a racist video; many advertisers were
justifiably outraged and began withdrawing their advertising campaigns. Google quickly
instituted new guidelines on monetizable content. They set “family friendly” rules to ensure
advertisers of the wholesomeness of the content. Google’s updated rules brought with it a huge
amount of subjectivity, wherein lies the issue. This subjectivity can be used as justification to
condemn any type of content.
After YouTube's new rules were put into place, complaints surfaced across the platform.
Creators, large and small, reported mass demonetization, decreased revenue, and less traffic.
The Adpocalypse caused irreversible damage to the YouTube platform and brand, and continues
to negatively impact creator revenue as much as 80 percent today.1
Community Policing Effort Failed
In an effort to further its crackdown on inappropriate content, YouTube sought help from its user
base through a new initiative: YouTube Heroes. The program gave approved users the ability to
police content throughout the site, collecting rewards and unlocking more abilities through the
hero leveling system. The most alarming part of the program came in the form of the powerful
"super tools" given to the heroes - including the ability to mass flag videos and report negative
content. Due to an extremely negative reaction from the creator community, YouTube backed
off. The program has since been renamed YouTube Contributors, and remains in beta while the
original Heroes campaign was quietly removed in early 2018.
Demonetization Based on Size: ‘Whitelisted’ Partners
In October 2017, a YouTube Vlogger with over 8.5 million subscribers uploaded a video regarding
the Las Vegas Shooting and stated that ad revenue generated from the video would be donated
to the victims of the tragedy. The video gained over 1.2 million views, but YouTube demonetized
it and shut down the fundraising effort. Paradoxically, it was discovered that Jimmy Kimmel's
video titled Jimmy Kimmel on Mass Shooting in Las Vegas was monetized and running ads. This
discrepancy was picked up by media outlets, who reported that ‘whitelisted’ partners are allowed
to run partner-run ads on the website. That means they aren’t flagged by YouTube and use
external sale forces to sell the advertisement for them.
The Creator Community Has Been Abandoned
The Adpocalypse, the Whitelist, and the YouTube Heroes are all symptoms of a much larger
problem. The Whitelist and Adpocalypse work in conjunction to distance the creators from the
platform as a whole, pushing creators down while pulling big networks up. In October 2017, The
Hollywood Reporter featured YouTube and their future strategy, in which YouTube announced
its arrival into the New TV market.
The creator community is what made YouTube the goliath it is today; it's the one factor that
differentiates it from any other website.
YouTube doesn’t care about the
creator community. In fact, the
Adpocalypse was a calculated move
dictated from uppermanagement.
If YouTube's goal is to become a
player in the New TV market, a
rebranding helps distance the
company from its creators – the push
needed to enter the ring with Netflix,
Hulu, and Amazon.
Barriers to entry for creators continue to grow. In the past year alone, we've seen two big jumps
in monetization requirements. When analyzing the evidence as a whole, the Adpocalypse begins
to look more like a purge than a mistake.
Traditional Content Discovery
Most web platforms use centralized advertising to generate revenue. For a single entity to run
ads throughout their platform, an algorithm must be utilized to facilitate placement and targeting
of these ads. This system relies on search engine technology, which offers users a way to find and
locate content and enables advertisers to place ads on that content.
The system acts as a link between users and advertisers, where the advertisement process is
facilitated through an algorithm comprised of a complex code of inputs.
Results are not curated based on quality, but rather by adherence to the algorithm’s rules.
Adherence to the search algorithm is vital for visibility. Results are spawned by an entire industry
in response to the ever-evolving criterion: Search Engine Optimization, or “SEO.” Experts in this
industry react to the shifting criteria - helping companies get to the front page of a google search
The important takeaway is that the central entity, Google and YouTube, is most concerned with
increasing the amount of time a user spends on the site. This increases the rate of advertisement
consumption, which increases the revenue the central entity will generate.
Conjure is building a content platform that intends to reward those who participate on the
Conjure platform with cryptocurrency. Conjure is designed according to four guiding principles:
1. The discovery of the content must be based upon transparent open source algorithms
and taxonomies. These algorithms for discovery will be governed by consensus of the
2. Governance and monetization on the Conjure platform should be based upon a series of
smart contracts and cryptocurrencies.
3. The platform for the distribution of content should be governed by the users of the
platform, not a central authority that has an economic incentive to enable people to
consume content. We’ve already seen what transpires when a centralized organization
who has economic incentive distributes content. The centralized organization becomes
wealthy, while the content contributors starve.
4. The people who participate on the platform should be rewarded for their participation.
The creators who spend time producing the content will be rewarded. The consumers of
the content should be rewarded for engaging with or liking the content provided by the
platform. The developers who keep the system alive by writing code to facilitate content
delivery should also be rewarded.
Transparent Open Source Algorithms and Taxonomies for Content Discovery
In the last 30 years alone, we’ve invented the world wide web, refined it, and put it in our pockets.
We live in an era of discovery and innovation unlike any other.
Consider another age of discovery, almost three hundred years ago. This era wasn't marked by
technology, but rather biology. When Europeans ventured outside their native lands to explore
the world, they encountered many foreign plants and animals along the way. Over time, the
number of new organisms grew overwhelming - without a method of organization.
Enter Carolus Linnaeus, who solved this problem in 1735 with his magnum opus, Systema
Naturae. In this book, he outlined a system which classified every living organism on earth:
Initially, Linnaeus realized the need to encompass a wide range of organisms: everything from
the gentle sunflower to the humpback whale. He started with a wide range of inputs, or
"kingdoms" - plants, animals, fungi, etc. These categories existed on a horizontal axis: breadth.
Linnaeus knew that if he stopped there, Taxonomy would simply take the already big list and
divide it into smaller lists. To encompass every living thing on Earth, he would need to get
creative. He added a vertical axis: depth. With the combination of breadth and depth, Linnaeus
was able to extend the reach of Taxonomy to capture any living organism on planet Earth.
Breadth and depth worked in conjunction to provide pathways of specialization, and established
context between closely related organisms: from the wolf, to the dog, to the dachshund. The
framework was flexible; additional organisms easily slid into their logical locations.
Linnaean Taxonomy has traditionally been used to sort organisms by characteristics, but its
methodology is highly adaptive to any set of data. With some adjustments, this framework can
be used to enable discovery of user generated content.
Conjure’s content platform will make use of Linnaean Taxonomy to enable users to discover new
content. The software component that performs this organization of content is the Depth Engine.
The Depth Engine is comprised of 4 separate components, each of which provide unique
functionality on their own. Together, they work in harmony to dynamically organize content
throughout the platform.
The core of the Depth Engine is built around community. This is where our friend Linnaeus makes
his influential contribution of Taxonomy. Broad communities splinter into more specific
communities, yet still remain connected to the platform as a whole.
Like Taxonomy, the first level of community is broad; the deeper a user travels, the smaller the
communities get. But no matter how small a community gets, quality content is brought to the
surface through an aggregative system - a perfect complement to the Taxonomic structure.
Conjure opens the field up for creators, applying vertical depth the static nature of the traditional
search engine model. Creators will finally have communities to operate in and call home, while
still maintaining connection to the rest of the platform.
With the aggregative system spread across the platform, a creator that operates within a specific
space can still reach larger audiences and connect to the entire platform. Trending creators and
content will appear in larger communities above. For example, a user exploring the music
community will see the feed from all genres underneath, ranked relative to one another. A
trending band that operates within the “rock” community will appear in the above in the parent
community, “music.” And if it continues to trend, the band will make its way onto the front page
of the entire platform.
A community is a reflection of the interactions of its participants; however, the nature of this
interaction differs. One concept of community is topic-based, where creators regularly engage in
various areas, debate and discussing ideas. News, for example, covers a wide range of topics. An
independent news commentator may talk politics one day, but environment the next. On the
other hand, a community can serve as a home. Podcasts, for example, coexist alongside one
another in genres: comedy podcasts, political podcasts, music podcasts, and so on. To reconcile
these different characteristics, pages can launch content collections that act as “subpages.”
These are streams of content that are regularly updated by the creator, which link to surrounding
communities. These serve as a way for creators to distribute their content throughout
communities according to the subject matter of their content.
Through content collections, creators have the ability to link their content to relevant areas
within a community. Creators have the agility to scale the reach of their channel with their
content, extending their web of influence throughout.
Content creators come in all shapes and sizes to provide substance to the platform. They are the
heart of the platform, pumping content throughout the body and into communities.
Pages are community specific. They can be channels, blogs, podcasts, magazines, and more.
Pages can be operated by an individual or a team.
Networks are collections of pages. This collection can jump across multiple communities, or just
exist within one community. The group that operates the network can do so in whatever capacity
they choose, whether casual or professional. Networks serve as a way for similar creators and
channels to team up and leverage their collective audience.
People are fluid within the Conjure ecosystem. An individual can post from their personal
account, operate multiple pages, or join pages with other creators to build a network. People can
leave networks at will, taking their content with them. No network will be able to exclusively own
a person’s content.
A single creator possesses all the abilities of a network, but in an individual capacity rather than
collective. All works are bound to a person under their user name.
Content Consumers - Users
Users build their content feed and shape their experience through following creators and joining
Whenever a user finds an item of content originating from an individual, they can click
underneath a person's nameplate to explore the rest of the creator's content with ease. Conjure's
architecture enables an individual to extend their web of influence across multiple communities
while still retaining centrality. No matter how unique a creator is, everything they do and make
leads back to them.
Interaction between individuals is one of the main drivers of content discovery. When one
creator contributes content to another's page, a link is generated as a byproduct of their
collaboration. This helps creators leverage their collective audience. For users, it establishes an
unofficial "network" that can be used as a map to explore similar creators and content, fostering
an environment built around creative contribution.
The Depth Engine is broad enough to cover the diverse range of interactions on the web, and
deep enough to accommodate the diversity of participants. Recall from Linnaean Taxonomy that
breadth is the X-axis, and depth is the Y-axis. All life on earth is sorted through pathways that
specialize an organism. Within the Conjure architecture, this same system is applied to
Communities exist on a layered X-axis system. The first level is broad: news, music, podcasts,
gaming, etc. When a user chooses to travel to a more specific community, from music to rock for
example, he descends down the Y-axis, and conjures the corresponding X-axis below.
The Z-axis binds the X and Y axes together, providing a way for the user to refine their search
through logically venturing down different pathways. It reconciles the breadth and depth of the
results, and returns content based on this combination.
By decentralizing the advertisement model and allowing individuals to utilize the Conjure
blockchain to monetize their own content, quality creators will breakthrough on merit - not
through exploitation of a centralized algorithm.
Capital in the Conjure Ecosystem
The Conjure Ecosystem will leverage cryptocurrency for governance and monetization.
The fundamental unit of commerce on the Conjure platform is CONJURE, a NEP-5 asset residing
on the NEO blockchain. Conjure will operate on the basis of one CONJURE, one vote. CONJURE
will be a liquid currency that can be bought and sold on the exchanges. For governance, those
users who own the most CONJURE according to account balance will have the most influence
over the community.
Governance by the Community
Those users who own the most CONJURE according to account balance will have the most
influence over the community. Voting input from community members is critical for Conjure to
function. Voting is a crucial contribution and worthy of rewards on its own. Conjure chooses to
reward those who contribute the most to the total promotion of a piece of content and rewards
the voters proportionally to the ultimate reward paid to the content creator.
Conjure is built upon a free market foundation that prioritizes the community. The CONJURE
token is the main currency of exchange on the platform. Users of Conjure can generate, consume,
and advertise content.
Users of Conjure
Content creators will create content which may be valuable to users who consume Conjure
content. To create content for Conjure, the content creator must possess CONJURE tokens.
Afterward, their content will be available for others to consume. After some time, content
creators will be able to collect a reward for the content they’ve submitted, based on relative
Users will consume content created by content generators/creators. They have the option to
upvote content that they like. We have explored the options of micropayments extensively, and
concluded that micropayments place a burden on the content consumer, which we’d prefer to
Micropayments have long been considered a viable way to monetize content on traditional webbased platforms. This method has been tried repeatedly, with minimal success. It has been
proven to be ineffective, biased and costly.
First, the transaction fees become burdensome on such small payment amounts, outweighing
the whole concept of rewarding the content creator for their work, and denying consumers the
value they are expecting for their micropayments. Making people pay five cents or ten cents per
article or video is not a profitable system.
Second, the idea that a person’s decision to pay is based on a small teaser of a video or article,
places the onus of whether the content is worth even a micropayment on the viewer. Most will
reject the payment due to having to make a split decision based on a small sample of the
Third, people are used to consuming their information for free. Imposing a scheme such as
micropayments is off-putting, and pushes consumersto search other avenues to find the content
they requested for free. We need to ‘chalk up micropayments as an idea that seems really
appealing but just doesn't work in the general case.’ 2
These users offer their advertisements to content creators. Every advertiser who wants to
advertise on the Conjure platform must place their stake on Conjure in order to use the platform.
To create advertisements for Conjure content, they must include a deposit in Conjure tokens.
Content creators are then able to view prospective advertisements for their payout.
This user is essentially a moderator who can step in to resolve mistakes. For example, if someone
accidentally sends another type of token to the Conjure contract, the Conjure admin will be able
to refund the user.
Conjure enables users to utilize several diverse methods of monetization by providing tools that
match their creative works. These methods will be a part of the MVP discovery process.
Conjure rewards content creators and content consumers accordingly for viewing Video Ads and
Banner Ads. The reward consists of a fraction of the CONJURE token payout made from content
advertisers to content creators for each video ad impression and view.
Video ads enable content creators and consumers to generate revenue through short
advertisements played prior to their own content. Conjure will enable a creator to set their own
rules on advertising: maximum length, play frequency, and company type. This gives creators the
ability to support certain companies over others, and allows advertising to be based on the merit
of the advertisements.
Banner ads support text-based content. One of the issues with modern digital advertising is
saturation directly within the content field, which interferes with the user experience. Banner
ads come in different shapes and sizes. They can be displayed on the sides of content or above,
not within the content itself.
To incentivize quality content throughout the platform, creators will be rewarded for their
content contribution through the Conjure Rewards System. The Rewards System will distribute
an amount of CONJURE throughout the platform in fixed intervals to Creators based on their
relative contribution – a value based on a formula of views, likes, comments, time, among other
factors. The rewards system will be sourced from the Conjure Reserves, as well as from
advertising. A small percentage of ad revenue will be directed into the Rewards System, which
will be redistributed back to the users of the platform based on their creative contribution.
The Conjure monetization platform is comprised of two decentralized layers detailed below:
1. Data Layer
2. Application Layer
The data layer is the foundation of the Conjure monetization platform, concurrently
communicating with the application layer and transparently maintaining all incoming data in the
Conjure ledger. The data layer maintains a ledger of all Conjure payouts, Conjure token stake
balances, and all Conjure transactions via the application layer.
On the NEO platform, the data layer will be comprised of two smart contracts: the ICO smart
contract and the stakeholder/transaction contract. The ICO smart contract will be used to create
the CONJURE token. The second smart contract will be used to manage payouts from content
advertisers to content creators and content consumers.
The application layer is the Conjure user interface, which enables all of the users of Conjure to
interact with the platform. The application layer registers and reports all monetization activity
back to the data layer, to facilitate Conjure transactions.
On this layer, content creators are able to upload their content to find a monetization strategy.
Content advertisers are able to offer their advertisements by using the CONJURE token. Content
consumers are able to consume quality content that has been upvoted.
How It All Works
A content advertiser creates a Conjure account. The advertiser connects their cryptocurrency
wallet to our system, enabling Conjure to confirm the amount of CONJURE that has been
deposited. The advertiser then has access to a dashboard that enables them to manage their
campaigns and upload their video and banner ads. The advertiser can customize their profile,
selecting communities that best embody their brand and marketing message. The advertiser then
designates their preferred targets and determines how much ad spend to allocate to their
campaign, which is automatically pulled from their Conjure wallet on a daily basis. When the
campaign is ready to begin, the advertiser hits the “Start Campaign” button. From there, the
application layer has access to the advertiser’s ads for placement in content creator inventory.
When content creators sign up for Conjure, they begin by connecting their cryptocurrency wallet,
so we can confirm how much CONJURE is held. The content creator starts to create and classify
their content. The Conjure Depth Engine indexes that content according to community, matching
advertisements according to best fit.
Rather than facilitating advertising entirely through a centralized, keyword-based algorithm,
Conjure takes advantage of its unique Depth Engine architecture to facilitate advertising primarily
Placement is facilitated through a queue system, which matches ads with content in specific
communities. For an advertiser, entry order into the queue is determined by their “weight,”
calculated by amount of CONJURE held in their wallet and their campaign budget. The greater
their weight, the higher they enter the queue. On the other side of the queue, creators enter the
based on their following size, average views, like to dislike ratio, and community rank. To keep
the queue moving, time works in favor of smaller creators and brands, ensuring they get matched
and not buried underneath the big players.
The advertiser dashboard also allows a company to research the performance of their campaign
within each community, helping them tweak and shape their campaigns to become more
This gives advertisers surgical accuracy when it comes to choosing an outlet for advertisements.
Companies can take a broad approach or choose to market to select communities. It enables a
company to build its marketing campaign unique to their brand and audience, maximizing reach
while minimizing waste.
The content creator has a similar dashboard to that of the advertisers, where they can see all of
the indexed content. The creator dashboard enables them to add advertisers to their content.
When the user navigates to the content creator’s content, the appropriate advertisement is
displayed. The application layer records the amount of time that the video or banner ad was
displayed. The application layer then reports the transaction to the data layer’s smart contract
for calculation of the CONJURE payout to the content creator and content consumer. The content
advertiser’s CONJURE token balance is credited at the end of the day based upon performance.
Why the Neo Smart Economy?
NEO is a non-profit, community-based blockchain project that utilizes blockchain technology and
digital identity to:
• Digitize assets,
• Automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts, and
• Realize a “smart economy” with a distributed network.
In combining digital assets, digital identity, and smart contracts, NEO plans to build a secure
blockchain that is recognized by enterprises and governments, which is core to Conjure’s guiding
premises. NEO is the first platform to offer a set of features focused on enabling a regulatory
compliant smart economy.
NEO is different from other blockchain smart contract competitors, as it provides the following
• Aims for Regulatory Compliance - For large companies and governments to operate on
the blockchain, these institutions will require the ability to audit digital assets and
transactions. Digital identities will need to be known and verifiable. NEO is committed to
making use of the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) X.509 standard for identity, which means
that NEO will have the ability to issue and confirm digital identities. NEO is building this
digital identity mechanism into their ecosystem.
• Utilizes a Superior Consensus Mechanism - NEO uses an improvement to the Proof of
Work (e.g. Bitcoin) and Proof of Stake (e.g. NXT) consensus mechanisms, entitled
Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT). The dBFT is a modification of the Proof of
Stake protocol, in which holders of NEO tokens vote for delegates, and the delegates must
reach a consensus on acceptable transactions.
• Processes Transactions Faster - NEO’s use of dBFT means that its architecture does not
require thousands of machines mining to complete a resource-expensive algorithm to
verify transactions. NEO’s consensus mechanism enables the blockchain to process in
excess of 10,000 transactions a second without transaction costs.
Regulatory compliance, consensus mechanism, and the speed at which transactions can be
made, are three attributes that make NEO the ideal platform for a secure wallet utility token.
These features are in alignment with Conjure’s mission to ensure that consumers are transacting
business on the blockchain in the most secure and efficient way possible.
Token Sale Procedures: Regulatory Compliance
Know Your Customer (“KYC”) and Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) are regulatory processes that
are mandatory in most countries and required by banks and other financial institutions to verify
the source of funds. The primary reasons for KYC and AML are to combat illegal activities – drug
trade, terrorism, money laundering, white collar crime, etc.
Because we need to convert a portion of the raised funds into fiat (cash) to develop the platform
and achieve our goals, we must comply with KYC and AML regulations and verify all Token Sale
participants. This same process is used to get accounts on the larger, regulated cryptocurrency
exchanges to enable the buying and selling of crypto.
In order to pass the KYC verification, you will need 1 (one) of the following 2 (two) documents:
Proof of Identity
For INDIVIDUALS, this must be a valid government issued photo ID. The following forms of ID are
• International Passport (photo and signature page)
• National ID Card (front and back)
• Permanent Driver’s License (front and back – must show signature and photo)
• Official State/Province ID (front and back – must show signature and photo)
For COMPANIES that participate in the Token Sale, we require:
• Company Name
• Certificate of Registration
• Authority of the Company
• Passport copy of the authorized person acting on behalf of the company
Proof of Address
This must show your name and address, the issuing organization/company name, and a date that
is no older than 3 months at time of submission. The following documents are acceptable:
• Bank statement
• Utility bill
• Tax return, property tax bill
• Election/Voters ID
• Official Government letters
This sensitive information is stored exclusively and securely by Conjure and will only be reviewed
and verified by employees directly employed by Conjure. These documents are only used for the
purpose of verification and regulatory compliance for the Conjure Token Pre-Sale and Token
Pre-Registration and Whitelist
Pre-Sale whitelisting is available to prospective purchasers on the Conjure website
(https://conjure.network) – follow the link to access the whitelisting form. Upon completion and
approval, you are officially whitelisted, and your KYC requirements are fulfilled prior to the Token
Current Progress and Roadmap
Conjure Network LLC is a Delaware limited liability company. A forthcoming decision will be made
shortly on where Conjure will incorporate. For full transparency, we plan to incorporate in a
jurisdiction that is fully compatible with our long-term goals and philosophy.
Our legal counsel and management team is actively working to determine the best fit for the
company and will soon provide guidance on the matter.
We are in the process of developing a minimum viable product of the Conjure Content Platform
described in this paper. See our GitHub account for updates and information:
We propose the following preliminary release schedule:
• Q1 2018: Start of Proof of Concept (PoC).
• Q3 2018: Conjure PoC delivered
• Q1 2019: Conjure Token Sale
• Q1 2019: Conjure Alpha Launch
• Q3 2019: Conjure Beta Launch