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Des Femmes newsletter - Issue #10

Des Femmes newsletter
Des Femmes newsletter
Hello and welcome to the Des Femmes newsletter! 👋

Our first print magazine is officially scheduled to be on shelves at Barnes & Noble, Chapters, and Books-A-Million bookstores across North America at the end of December. We are also accepting preorders for the magazine launch here (we take Bitcoin ;) ).
This week we wanted to address one of the most common questions we get asked about the Des Femmes community. What does a bitcoin “DAO” mean anyway? 
In our case we mean a community-managed wallet utilized for a specific purpose, like creating a magazine! We’re currently experimenting with wallets like Trezor and Ledger hardware devices and we may also explore bitcoin software apps. 
This post was sponsored by Sphinx, the privacy-friendly bitcoin chat app. Our DAO (an ambitious term which stands for decentralized, autonomous organization) accepted bitcoin as part of a advertising program for Sphinx and, as of January 2022, will be managing that first bitcoin stash together, as community key-holders. Until then, enjoy this user guide written for the by Nigerian bitcoiner Teju Adeyinka.
Group Chats 
Group messaging is a core part of how online-native organizations like DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) coordinate and carry out day-to-day activities. While they use smart contracts on blockchains to manage treasury, enforce decisions, and split financial upside, most DAOs depend on centralized platforms like Discord and Slack for communication among members. These platforms own and control all communication and data that are shared over their network. They can intercept messages and documents, trade user data, and censor content if they want. If they ever decided to withdraw support for crypto, they could simply prevent users from accessing their accounts or channels.
Some services like WhatsApp and Telegram offer end-to-end encryption for messaging, but because these encrypted messages still have to go through their servers, it is unclear how much of the data they store. Recently, there have been interesting blockchain-native explorations that use peer-to-peer communications on decentralized networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum to offer private and secure messaging. Because it would be expensive to chat over these networks directly, these applications are usually built on “layer-two” networks that make transactions cheaper and faster. This intersection of money and messaging makes for exciting possibilities.
Enter Sphinx Chat, an application that enables people to send messages and make payments over the Bitcoin layer-two network, Lightning. These transactions eventually settle on the Bitcoin network and can happen between any two parties with computers that can access and interact with the lightning network (nodes). Transactions on lightning are typically settled within a few seconds and cost as little as [1 sat (0.000001 Bitcoin) or 0.12 cents today]. When you send a message (text, photo, audio, video, or other forms of media) on Sphinx, your content is sent as an actual peer-to-peer transaction on the lightning network. It is encrypted and sent through a secure channel, so only the sending node and the receiving node can view it. As such, it doesn’t go through any central servers, and the Sphinx team cannot access, intercept, or store your data. 
Visit and download the app.
Visit and download the app.
If you’re new to lightning and don’t already run your own node (discussed in our last newsletter!), Sphinx lets you access a shared “Lite” node or rent a “Dedicated” node for a small fee. While you can send and receive messages and payments to individuals with the Lite node, having a dedicated or self-hosted node enables you to create a Tribe (a group chat to connect with multiple people) and host podcasts.  Even with a rented node, the app doesn’t collect personally identifiable information (PII) such as your email address or phone number, so it cannot share your data with anyone else.
Once you have set up a channel for the Sphinx chat with your node, you can set up a Tribe, Sphinx’s equivalent of a server or “group chat”. You can invite members to join the group and chat over text, share images, videos, voice messages, Gifs, Files, and have voice and video calls. You can find links to set up a channel with your self-hosted node here. For rented nodes, all you have to do is scan the QR code that pops up after you complete your payment.
Next, you just set up a name and a profile picture, and you’re good to go!
As mentioned earlier, a huge advantage of using a blockchain-based service like Sphinx for communications is that payments are native to it. You can send payments to anybody that has a lightning wallet as quickly as sending a text. 
This has exciting implications for both individual creators and content-creating DAOs and presents different, easier ways to monetize content. You can sell to your audience directly without any middlemen or intrusive ads. 
For now, our community is experimenting with bitcoin wallets and nodes. We’ll continue to share with all of you how those experiments are going, and continue these helpful insights from Adeyinka in our January newsletter! You can follow her on twitter here in the meantime. 
Thanks, Teju!
Highlights of the month:
  • The first annual Metaverso NFT conference took place in Puerto Rico on December 7th. It welcomed 700+ guests from all over the world to discuss topics such as contemporary brands entering the NFT space, DeFi’s intersection with NFTs, P2E using NFTs, and much more. You can find out more about the speakers and the events here.
  • Our very own Allie Ruiz (along with her business partner Sean Klim) celebrated the launch of their very own crypto tax accounting firm, RKO Tax, with a banging article published by LuckyTrader on December 14th. Read more about what RKO has to say about tax planning prior to 12/31 here…you won’t want to miss this!
Community spotlight - Des Femmes Mentorship Program:
Hey Des Femmes readers! My name is Caitlin Eckvahl and I’m the Communications Lead at the Stacks Foundation, and this week I am making strides toward achieving one of my mentorship goals, writing my first newsletter. If you’re not already familiar with the Des Femmes mentorship program then I will change that very quickly!
Sometimes work gets tough and when you work in a completely remote setting, it can be even tougher. You miss out on those fun in-person happy hours, the water cooler talk, and some of the comforts of just having a work BFF. That’s why a few months ago, Des Femmes launched its first matchmaking mentorship program with the goal of bringing women together to connect, learn from one another, and forge career paths together. 
The Des Femmes mentorship program pairs mentees with mentors who have experience navigating the professional waters. Each month, mentees are assigned a written exercise to help drive the conversation between mentee and mentor, get aligned on goals, and give you the boost of confidence that you need to reach your goals and reach the next step in your career. Whether it be starting your own business, asking for a raise, making a career change, or finding your strengths, there is no path that these powerful women haven’t traveled and they are here to share their stories and secrets. 
To give us a glimpse of what it’s like to be a mentor, we’ve tapped Sterling Schuyler, a copy and content writer for emerging fund managers and crypto enthusiasts. 
Like many of the powerful and ambitious women at Des Femmes, Schuyler was interested in helping other women thrive in crypto. “I just want to help more women build their businesses, get interested, generate wealth, and anything that helps them become more financially independent.” 
She was paired with a mentee who is working to relaunch their Youtube channel and create educational crypto content in Spanish. “I’ve realized even more so how much content about crypto is needed that isn’t in English. I think it’s just so crucial that she’s doing the work that she’s doing,” said Schuyler.
Mentorship cohort meeting
Mentorship cohort meeting
It was clear that the mentees gained a lot out of the partnership, especially in Schuyler’s case, but mentees were not the only ones to benefit from these exercises. She reflected that “being a mentor has really helped [her] reflect on how far [she has come and also understand the value that [she has] to offer other people. Which in itself is super valuable.”
If you are interested in joining the next round of mentorship matchmaking, reach out to us on Twitter @desfemmesmag and come join us for the official launch of Des Femmes Magazine on December 15 via Twitter Spaces. 
If you have any questions about our Des Femmes community, have any tea in need of a shoutout in our highlights, or know someone worthy of a community spotlight, reach out to us via Twitter or Instagram via @desfemmesmag.
Until next time, stay curious!
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