BanklessCard [DRAFT 1]

The Card for DAOs, Built by BanklessDAO.

Spend your crypto. Earn rewards in your token. Increase your token’s value.

What if you could earn cashback in your DAO’s native token, while increasing the value of that token? What if you could use a single card, built and serviced by a DAO, as an on-ramp and off-ramp between your crypto life and the real world? What if BanklessDAO had a flagship product that integrated with and boosted the usage of existing products within the DAO, such as Bankless Academy and Bounty Board?

BanklessCard aims to do all this and more.

BanklessCard is a debit card for DAO contributors, built by DAO contributors. Unlike cards from Coinbase and, gains from BanklessCard go back to the community. It’s the first step a crypto newbie can take to going Bankless, or the first time a DAO veteran can seamlessly spend their ETH while supporting their favorite DAO. A card that allows DAO contributors to earn their governance token of choice, this powerhouse debit card is the answer to BanklessDAO’s crypto-earning and onboarding woes.

BanklessCard will achieve the following goals for the DAO:

  • Increase the value of the BANK token by creating demand pressure.
  • Bridge new users to Web3 by providing a seamless onramp for non-Web3 users.
  • Increase the number of individuals holding the BANK token.
  • Begin building the foundation of a fully decentralized payment system
  • Generate excitement around the BANK token and the community around it, opening up a new onboarding funnel for new talent coming into the DAO. Imagine this as a BanklessDAO marketing tool in real life—you pull out your bDAO card at the cashier, with your shiny bDAO logo on it.
  • Create another avenue for Bankless contributors to earn BANK, and therefore governance power or a faster track to L1, L3 and beyond.
  • Help users ditch their bank and ultimately go bankless by directing fees that normally go to banks to their favorite DAOs.
  • Create another avenue of self-sovereignty for individuals getting deeper into the Bankless movement.

:hushed::thinking::heart_eyes: Interested? Let us know a bit more about what you’d need out of a DAO-first card by filling out this brief tally form.

A mobile app with everything a DAO power user needs

This card will be an affinity card, which is a card co-branded by an organization and a credit network (such as VISA). The card will bear the BanklessDAO branding and logo and be usable anywhere VISA is accepted. Thanks to updates in card issuing technology, we can issue this card WITHOUT a traditional bank—instead, we’ll partner with an affinity card banking-as-a-service organization that will take care of issuing and processing, while VISA will handle the network.

The card will provide rewards in the BANK token. Through a sleek mobile app, users will be able to see their BANK earnings, swap fiat for crypto (and vice versa), and pay for real-world goods and services with their card. Eventually, we could introduce the ability to stake and get loans in BANK.

A product progression could look like this:

  1. Launch a mobile app that allows users to load fiat currency onto a VISA debit and spend like any other card to get crypto rewards.
  2. In-app crypto and fiat swaps.
  3. Option to fund the debit card in crypto from your decentralized wallet.
  4. Staking for BANK, similar to’s CRO staking mechanism.
  5. Loans in BANK, beginning a partnership with the Bankless Loans team.
  6. Integrations to help users further embed themselves in the Web3 ecosystem and BanklessDAO, such as with Academy (to educate) Bounty Board (to find freelance work) and Podcast Hatchery (to get plugged into the community and learn through listening).

We can prove the concept at BanklessDAO before offering the product to other DAOs, providing further on-chain revenue for BanklessDAO. Imagine: Friends With Benefits could provide an FWB earning mechanism. All the top DAOs with the most fervent contributors (especially DAOs that don’t have a tokenomics scheme to boost their token price) could benefit from this product. The options for shipping this card to new DAOs and helping their contributors earn their own governance token and drive the price up are as massive as the DAO ecosystem itself. BanklessDAO would essentially white-label our DAO card for other DAOs, turning BanklessCard into a flagship product of BanklessDAO. If you’re bullish on DAOs, you should see the potential market for this product.

With BanklessDAO as a leading social DAO and a poster-child experiment for the DAO ecosystem, we are likely to see this trend continue into other similar DAOs, especially those that pay primarily in their native token. Let’s lead the way with a solution we can launch and test right here at home.

An on-ramp for DAO-curious consumers

In addition to other DAOs, we can use the Bankless brand’s reach to entice non-DAO crypto-curious consumers to adopt our card to dip their toes into the Web3 world, creating a new onramp to pursue our mission of onboarding the masses. The market of DAO-curious people who don’t know how to buy governance tokens but are on the cusp of joining the Bankless movement, or any other DAO’s movement, is massive.

Through a survey we conducted, we found that DAO leaders want to provide easier on-ramps for individuals to hold their token. 100% of respondents said that on-ramps for new contributors are a top concern. Onboarding is paramount to the success of DAOs—whoever gets the best talent wins. Contribution is the currency of DAOs, and there’s a whole wide world of not-yet-crypto-natives ready to start contributing.

But how do those individuals make the first step toward contributing—holding some of our token? Right now, it’s very difficult to buy a small-cap DAO token if you’re not crypto-native.

Here’s the non-crypto-native journey for buying BANK: Here’s how that could be simplified with a Bankless credit card:
1. Find out what the Bankless mission is. Get interested and decide to jump in to learn about the space. 1. Discover the Bankless mission. Get interested and download the BanklessCard app
2. Figure out what a wallet is. Download one. 2. Get the BanklessCard through the easy-to-use app.
3. Follow the process of storing your seed phrase and figuring out what a public key is. 3. Put money on the card (again, through the app).
4. Try to buy BANK on one of those platforms you saw advertised during the Super Bowl. Turn up empty-handed. 4. Spend that money by using the card. Get BANK rewards.
5. Google around until you find out what a DEX is, because BANK isn’t on any centralized exchanges.
6. Find that DEX. Try to make a swap, then realize you have to pay money to do so.
7. Google around to figure out what gas is.
8. Set up an account at a centralized exchange. Put some money in and wait five days for the money to clear.
9. Buy some ETH and transfer it to your wallet.
10. Go back to the DEX and buy BANK.

The onboarding friction to join a DAO is insane right now, and we want to open it up to a wider net of talented contributors. BanklessDAO is a common first step into crypto for many people. Let’s make the onramp simpler, faster, and more intuitive than any other DAO out there.

Concepts for the BanklessCard mobile app interface designed by NFThinker and IsraelRex

How it earns money

When you use a credit or debit card, the store you’re buying from (the merchant) pays an interchange fee to the network (VISA, MasterCard, etc). Part of this fee goes to the network, part goes to the card issuer, and part goes to the transaction processor.

By using a banking-as-a-service provider to issue our own card, WE can claim some of those interchange fees – fees normally collected by banks and centralized organizations. We’ve calculated an approximate revenue of $7 USD per user per month based on average transaction volumes.

Our financial projections and bullish outlook are based in part on the following data:

  • DAOs are growing in number and influence. The top 196 DAOs now control $8.8B in their treasuries and have 1.8M people involved.
  • Crypto credit cards have exploded in availability and reach in the last year. VISA alone reports $2.5B USD in volume for their crypto-linked credit cards during Q1 2022, on pace to triple the volume from 2021.
  • The affinity credit card market has proven to be a stable, lucrative business for traditional banks for decades, generating ~$1.8T in 2018 and growing at a steady rate of 2.9% annually.

The squad

links#7868: Project champion
A 15-year seasoned development manager, product lead, and startup executive.

0xRene#6523: Project management and operations
An experienced change manager in the finance space; passionate about people, big ideas and technology.

NFThinker🏴#2814: Design, UX, and relationships
Designer, communicator, tech geek. Obsessed with improving the Web3 user experience.

IsraelRex#3613: UI/UX and Interface Designer
A Web3-focused interface and product designer skilled in 3d designs and motion graphics

Samanthaj#8487: Freelance writing
Freelance writer with a background in content strategy, user experience, and branding.

The plan

  1. Make changes to the proposal based on your feedback.
  2. Share the project specification, which includes seed funding from BanklessDAO.
  3. Get funding via a project proposal
  4. Execute and launch within BanklessDAO.
  5. Bring the credit card program to other DAOs so they can earn rewards in their governance token.

:rotating_light: :rotating_light: :rotating_light: BanklessDAO members, help us shape the product by filling in this form. :rotating_light: :rotating_light: :rotating_light:

Poll: How do you feel about launching a DAO credit card in BanklessDAO?

  • Yes, move forward to the next step: providing budget and specifics.
  • No, don’t move to the next step.
  • Maybe, comment below.

0 voters


Interesting idea. AMEX spends thousands of dollars (in perks etc) to entice users to sign up for their cards. Curious to find out what would be the value proposition for the users?

While it is a great branding opportunity, I"m not sure what other benefits does it bring to the BDAO.


Thanks for the feedback @Ethan.

The value proposition for users would be similar to existing crypto cards, with the added bonus of supporting your favourite DAO. At first that means BanklessDAO, but eventually you’d be able to choose any DAO you like. To be clear: we’re talking about direct, on-chain revenue to the DAO’s treasury.

The fact that there are tons of crypto cards shows how much value users see in them. Directing some of the revenue towards your favourite DAO creates value for the DAO. In addition, providing rewards in BANK (or any other social token) creates demand-side pressure for the token, increasing the value over time.

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When I saw the headline, I thought that this was an April Fool’s joke, and I was expecting to read a The Rug kind of proposal. But then I started reading and I quickly realized that you have a very serious proposal and you’ve really thought this through!

I am so, so glad that you are serious about this.


A flagship financial product to actually onboard people to going Bankless? Sign me the fuck up.

Do not underestimate the possibilities of the whitelabel from first movers!!

The options for shipping this card to new DAOs and helping their contributors earn their own governance token and drive the price up are as massive as the DAO ecosystem itself. BanklessDAO would essentially white-label our DAO card for other DAOs, turning BanklessCard into a flagship product of BanklessDAO.

Awesome shoutouts to some other projects in the DAO too, @links is on it :ox::ox:

Some unanswered questions:

  • Are there extra txn fees for the user at time of purchase versus using a strictly dollar-based card?

  • How are you all planning to address the tax and legal implications of operating what’s effectively a CEX?

  • Are there possibilities of splitting rewards between different tokens?


btw, @links your async exp is showing :laughing: this is an excellently organized forum post – used headers, bullets, pictures, not too much detail, and even an appropriate table :joy:


Yeahhh…the timing was unfortunate. We’ve been working on validating this for awhile and were excited to get feedback.

There likely will be, but we hope to minimize them. As an example, Coinbase Card charges 2.5% to convert your ETH->fiat (and then they give you some cashback). We’re hoping to make these fees transparent, lower, and potentially allow individuals to collect the fees for swaps via staking mechanisms.

We’ll have to create a fiat entity (corporation). It’ll be a subDAO structure similar to Fight Club or Bankless Consulting.

Definitely! We’re planning on iteratively improving the product in the open, so expect the first launch to be BANK only, with new tokens coming up over time.

The indomitable @samanthaj wrote the post, so you should give your kudos to her ;).


:bowing_woman:to @samanthaj :bowing_woman: for great formatting :rofl:


I generally find this idea entertaining, at the same time I love the irony that we are a community which wants folks to become Bankless, but we still want spend resources on meatspace banking narratives.


Not that we want to spend resources on meatspace banking narratives, more like we’re utilising the tools available to help bring more people into Web3. In essence, we’re creating a wider onramp. We are determined to make best use of any decentralised tools as they become available.


My very first question when I got into Bankless was…

Ok, I’m in! I wanna go Bankless, now HOW?

This answers that question and solves that problem from Day 1. Just wondering in what countries would this work.

For example in Chile does not exist, and I don’t think I’d be able to go Bankless if I was still living there. It took me a while to #gobankless for the first time, had to figure out tons of things and if our mission is to educate people to do so, and if our main message is #gobankless, it only seems natural that we can offer that solution 100%.

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" In-app crypto and fiat swaps.
Option to fund the debit card in crypto from your decentralized wallet."

Is there any ready 3rd party we are going to integrate with or we need to build this by ourself.?

I love this idea overall!

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The irony isn’t lost on me. The question we started with to reach this point is: how can we reduce the UX barriers to web3? The card is a natural bridge - it’s partly digital and partly physical, people are used to using them, and the technology now exists to bridge to cryptocurrencies.

Most orgs are using this technology to maximize revenue from degens using hidden fees and complicated financial mechanisms. Sounds kinda like a traditional bank, doesn’t it?

We’d like to use the technology to serve contributors and reduce UX frictions in pursuit of BanklessDAO’s mission. When you look at it like that, it’s less ironic and more natural, at least, to me.

According to our banking-as-a-service provider, North America, EU, and some Asian countries can be available « off the shelf ». The rest we’d have to work at from a compliance perspective. It’s all do-able, but it’ll take time and effort from people who care (which I hope is our fellow DAO members)

The answer is: both. There are lots of potential ways to offer something as simple as in-app swaps, and each have their pros and cons:

  • we could handle swaps in a centralized way like coinbase or Shakepay, but it requires a lot of upfront capital
  • We can use a DEX, but then get less revenue and also have to worry about gas.
  • We can create our own LPs, but this is more upfront work and requires significant mobilization of people.

Which route we will take depends on what is most important to our potential market (you!) so please fill in this form to help us figure out the path: Bankless Card Feedback


I was for this in Season 0, and made my own Bankless card at the time


@links This is really interesting as I suggested it when I was back on the Academy team and my husband worked at a company that makes cards like this and we had connections. I suggested every card came with our Academy content.

I was brushed off…

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Wow, I really like the idea of the BanklessCard, funded by the Bank tokens. this could act as a forerunner for providing bankless Bank accounts and other infrastructure to bank the unbanked while making interesting Defi products.
And about the BanklessCard, I think we shouldn’t copy tradFi and issue Cards with a central custodian, since we act as the advocates of being our own ‘bank’. We should take the approach of and make non-custodial cards.

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Thank you very much for this proposal. I feel very excited after reading it. It’s a great effort in the right direction to expand our community and create a new revenue stream.

I have a few questions and thoughts that I would need your help to clarify.

  1. Is it a debit or credit card? It’s a bit confusing whether the Bankless card is a debit or credit card in the proposal. This is important as the debit card has fewer eligibility requirements but is also less attractive to users (need to deposit first and no credit line). However, a credit card may require KYC/credit check.
  2. Is this project more for brand marketing or to generate revenue? In my opinion, I’m willing to bear more costs if the Bankless card creates a new revenue stream. So we need to analyze if it can or cannot.
  3. Based on the questions above, we need to ask how much the project cost is. We need to compare the benefits/cost to decide whether to go for this project. For instance, if it’s a less attractive debit card, the potential users might be likely the current bDAO members who want to show their loyalty and shill. Then we need to see if the revenue generated from the card is sufficient to cover the cost.
  4. About the branding: From the design, it’s hard to tell if it’s for BanklessHQ or BanklessDAO. I know HQ and bDAO are very close, but we need to think about it when designing the logo, marketing, etc., to make sure the funnel is created for bDAO.

Overall, I fully support this effort to explore the Bankless card project. If this product becomes successful, it would be substantial for our community. Thank you again for creating such an excellent proposal.


The technology allows for both, but as you stated, debit is easier to launch for a number of reasons, including compliance and upfront capital.

We plan to launch with debit and offer credit when possible.

The project is to ease the UX friction of web3. Brand marketing and revenue will be critical for us to achieve the goal of improved UX, so this proposal hopes to create benefits in both areas. We’re hoping to be able to create revenue for the DAO and reward users while sustaining a project team for long-term product execution.

That’s the step we’re on now, which is why we are posting this proposal to the forum and asking people to fill in this survey: Bankless Card Feedback

Based on the feedback, we will spec a product progression with costs and revenue. This is part of the validation process.

The feature set is still up in the air, but I think most DAO contributors (our first market) will want to ensure we’re true to their web3 principles. That being said, we want to ease UX frictions like gas fees, so we’ll need to experiment to figure out how to do that with the technology available to us.

I’ll add to my list to see how they accomplish their card - thanks for the tip!

Great minds think alike :wink: I definitely think the card could be a gateway into our content!

Would love to be connected to your husband if you feel comfortable with that. We already have a service provider who will work with us but would love and insider perspective.


Sweet piece of work @chrisfcrypto :point_up_2: :+1:

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Thanks for the clarification. Good to know the survey is for further investigation. I thought I didn’t need to do the survey since I read this proposal. Will do it shortly.