Web3 Impact No. 4
Web3 Impact - a briefing on how Web3 technologies are creating social / environmental impact.
For the next few issues of the Web3 Impact newsletter, we’re excited for Dave Kim to join Banks and Kyle as a guest contributor. Dave has a long history of working on financial products for the poor at the Gates Foundation and leads the Future Foundation. We’re sure you’ll love his perspective.
Aping into Progress: A Report on Crypto Philanthropy
What is crypto philanthropy and how might it be a force for good? There are two ways to view crypto philanthropy: (1) First-order crypto philanthropy is about using blockchains and their cousin technologies as tools themselves to achieve impactful outcomes. (2) Second-order crypto philanthropy is about using crypto to generate wealth and then reallocating those funds to initiatives that don't necessarily have anything to do with crypto. Additionally, a player in the crypto philanthropy ecosystem is the crypto-native charitable middleman. This person straddles the crypto and philanthropic worlds, and builds bridges to usher well-intentioned donors toward the most impactful outcomes. Other Internet (28 minutes)
Roe v. Wade Activism in the Age of Web3
A new group of activists are minting non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and creating decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to raise capital for social causes. In May, activists formed Cowgirl DAO, a DAO that sells digital art NFTs of cowgirls to fund abortion rights groups. DAOs raise capital denominated in cryptocurrency by selling NFTs, convert cryptocurrency into fiat and then make donations to abortion rights groups. Ukraine DAO employed a similar Web3 fundraising model when it raised $6 million from selling NFTs of the Ukrainian flag to fund groups on the ground in Ukraine. Washington Post (6 minutes)
While crypto may be the first application that uses a blockchain, what comes after crypto could be more important. Here are three clear changes that blockchains enable: (1) The decline of platform lock-in. The blessing (for the company) and curse (for the customer) of most Web2 businesses is lock-in—your most important data stays on the platform where you created it. The market power of the Meta/Facebook universe relies on these dynamics. In contrast, Web3 data, for the most part, is platform-agnostic. Most actions taken on Web3-native tools result in some token or recognition appearing in your digital wallet—a secure folder that’s permanently yours and interoperable with other sites and platforms. (2) Distributing ownership and influence outside of traditional companies. Platforms and networks built on the rails of blockchains are able to distribute tokens of ownership to anyone they wish, whether they’re a founder, a full-time employee or a valuable community member. (3) Permanent agnostic archiving. Not everything should be permanent, but a lot—including the catalogs of things creators have made—should. As Vitalik Buterin notes in a recent essay exploring non-financial use cases of crypto, “blockchains are just a really convenient place to store stuff.” FWB (7 minutes)
Earthbanc offers audited and verified carbon offsets by using artificial intelligence models trained on satellite remote-sensing data to study images of land regeneration projects and automatically auditing their carbon reduction impact to verify carbon credits. Earthbanc uses blockchain technology to keep a transparent record of carbon reduction to securely and directly link the regenerative work of farmers and land managers to the companies buying carbon credits. The company has audited the carbon stocks of more than 13 million hectares of forest globally using satellites and proprietary remote-sensing technology. Forbes (7 minutes)
Web3 Impact is a briefing about leveraging Web3 for positive social and environmental impact by Banks Benitez and Kyle Westaway. This month, we’re lucky to have Dave Kim as a contributor as well. Photo by FLY:D.
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