By Darin Carter and Trent Fuenmayor, Coinbase Giving
Tl;dr: We continue to invest in high impact projects that advance economic freedom around the world. We’ve pledged $10M in Q1 and supported more than 20,000 people. More to do.
Coinbase Giving is the embodiment of our commitment to Pledge 1% of profits, equity, and employee time to philanthropic work that advances our mission to increase economic freedom in the world. In Dec 2021, we provided our last update. Here’s the latest and greatest on our efforts so far in 2022.
Where we are
Over the past three months, we have launched 14 new projects, supported 15 organizations, pledged over $10M in philanthropic grants, and are directly impacting the economic freedom of more than 20,000 people.
Areas of focus
In 2022, our focus has been to support high-impact work that aligns with four broad focus areas:
- Crypto-Literacy: Increasing education and access to crypto
- Infrastructure: Accelerating the development of open-source crypto protocols
- Web3 Talent Development: Fostering the next generation of crypto talent, no matter who they are or where they are located
- Global Development: Funding crypto-forward projects that advance global development, as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Investing in and increasing the levels of education and access to crypto
Blockchain curricula is starting to make its way into the classroom and Coinbase Giving has continued to invest in this vital work. To meet the tremendous demand for web3 talent, Coinbase Giving has decided to triple the number of community scholarships that we’re granting this year, from five to fifteen full-ride scholarships. In addition to funding the scholarship program, the Coinbase Giving team has provided grants to accelerate the work of incredible organizations operating at the center of web3. For example, UrbanTxt is building a model to verify skills on-chain via NFTs, allowing students to build an academic history that goes with them. Organizations like CryptoTutors are building educational resources to meet the American Library Association standards, while paving the way for crypto to reach the 160 million Americans who use the resources available at the public library. Finally, Ed3DAO is building DAOs for educators, with the aim of empowering teachers, schools, and school communities with new types of empowerment and creativity.
Accelerating the development of crypto protocols that underpin the cryptoeconomy
Regenerative Finance (Re-Fi) seeks to enable global coordination. One of the core benefits of blockchain is that it empowers any person or entity to coordinate toward a common goal, based on shared rules contained within the underlying protocol. We strive to empower founders and teams that are growing the benefits this space can offer. We are excited to officially announce our collaboration with Toucan, a public infrastructure project for carbon markets running on open blockchains. Their mission is to grow and strengthen the crypto ecosystem while addressing one of the most significant coordination failures of our time — our collective response to climate change. Our grant to Toucan will create a pool of funds available as developer grants to help builders create new sustainability-focused products and services atop Toucan’s protocols. If you would like to learn more or apply, please do so here.
Fostering the next generation of crypto talent, no matter where they are located
Organizations like Code to Inspire, Crypto Kids Camp, Qala, and Summer of Bitcoin are embracing blockchain and web3 technology education, and bringing it to their communities. Code to Inspire and Crypto Kids Camp are teaching girls in Afghanistan and children in South LA respectively. They’re focused on developing coding talent and effectively using crypto as a tool of the future. Qala and Summer of Bitcoin are doing the same for university students in Sub-Saharan Africa and India respectively. And, finally, DreamDAO and Artemis Academy are two more programs that are providing community and job opportunities for the next generation of web3 talent. We couldn’t be more excited and proud to support their missions.
Funding projects that advance global development
Emerging Impact and Mercy Corps are evolving how humanitarian aid is delivered. In Haiti, we partnered with Hope 4 Haiti and Emerging Impact to positively impact roughly 1,500 Haitian citizens by piloting a new model for on-chain humanitarian aid. The pilot program will educate and onboard families to crypto via a digital wallet and a physical card. The impacted individuals will be able to use the funds for goods and services at more than 30 participating merchants in Haiti. Similarly, in Uganda, we are partnering with MercyCorps and Crypto Savannah to build blockchain-enabled digital IDs and crypto transfers for 35,000 refugees over two years. Given the broad range of emerging use cases for blockchain to support unbanked/underbanked and displaced communities, all of these solutions represent major potential for catalytic change, and we’re excited to see our trusted partners pilot them.
- ReFi — Regenerative Finance — is heating up. Coinbase Giving was delighted to attend ETH Denver and Celo Connect, where we met many builders in the ReFi space. But it’s not just carbon credits on new chains that are interesting. Blockchain technology is addressing other sustainability issues, such as water pollution and biodiversity, as well as enabling circular giving and improving economic access. This is an emerging area of best practice and we are excited to support its growth.
- Off-ramps remain integral to social impact. We are seeing increased appetite to distribute aid in crypto, including the over $100M donated by the crypto communication to the humanitarian response in Ukraine. But ways to spend this crypto aid remain crucial, particular for refugees or populations that live in areas without easy access to financial services and fiat rails. We are excited to see initiatives like Connect the World take off, but more needs to be done, such as development on lightweight wallets and working with local merchants to accept crypto.
- Crypto-powered Universal Basic Income (UBI) has enormous potential. Projects such as ImpactMarket are bringing UBI to crypto. Making donations or purchasing tokens enables recipients all around the world to be guaranteed a basic income via monthly crypto transfers and can provide the foundation for recipients to invest via DeFi or other projects.
- Builders from all backgrounds contribute to the ecosystem. Our recent Innovation Challenge proved that the best ideas can often come from outside of the crypto industry. Our participants were teachers, doctors, dentists, psychologists, supply chain workers, and community leaders from all over the world. Unsurprisingly, we found that the people who are closest to the problems worth solving are able to surface the best solutions. You can learn more about our winners here.
We’ll keep you updated on all of our work and please follow @coinbase to provide feedback and input on Coinbase Giving and what we should focus on.