In May 2021, we announced the launch of Coinbase Giving. Coinbase Giving is the operational embodiment of our commitment to Pledge 1%: our promise to dedicate 1% of Coinbase profits, equity, and employee time toward charitable activities that leverage the power of crypto to increase economic freedom in the world.
Where we are
In the past 7 months we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished:
Coinbase Giving is the largest charitable organization focused on Crypto (>$500M endowed at the time of post)
GiveCrypto, founded in 2018, has been brought officially under the umbrella of Coinbase Giving to enable scale and maximize social impact
We have launched 7 programs, supported 410 organizations, deployed ~$2M, and are impacting 2K+ lives
We are only at the beginning of this journey. 2021 has been a test and iteration year — our impact is still modest. The purpose of this post is to share progress and lessons learned.
Areas of focus
In 2021 our focus has been to support endeavors that align to three broad categories:
Increasing education around, and access to, crypto
Accelerating the development of crypto protocols that underpin the cryptoeconomy
Fostering the next generation of crypto talent, no matter where they are located
Highlights from 2021
GiveCrypto is our nonprofit that enables crypto based direct giving to some of the most needy people in the world. In doing so we also educate them about crypto and give them an alternative to their broken financial systems.
GiveCrypto has been one of Coinbase Giving’s largest investment areas in-house. GiveCrypto is a two-sided market. First, donations are driven by donors who are inspired to give charitably. Second, from these donations, crypto is put directly in the hands of people in need through our on-the-ground Ambassador program.
Bringing GiveCrypto directly within Coinbase has accelerated our ability to integrate donation collection within the consumer experience. As such, 2021 has been a critical year of rebuilding and integration. As the #1 crypto exchange in the US, we see this connection as a huge step forward in enabling public donations using crypto and Coinbase products. We have taken this chance to revamp our Ambassador program — our system to distribute funds directly into the hands of the most needy. In 2021, we were purely testing our distribution system and only reached 246 recipients. However, with those tests now under our belts, we feel ready to scale distributions dramatically in 2022.
Already we are seeing how crypto possesses unique characteristics that make it suitable as a cross-border donations mechanism. For example, it allows donors to avoid disintermediation by bad actors, who often take a cut at the expense of the recipient. Crypto adoption is growing, particularly in Latin American countries where hyperinflation can be devastating. Our independently validated randomized control test shows that direct giving continues to demonstrate high real-life impact, whether in enabling individuals to pay for food, education, or other day-to-day needs.
Developer Grants2.0 to accelerate the development of crypto protocols.
In August, we launched the second iteration of our Crypto Community Fund whose goal is to make the cryptoeconomy safer and easier to access for everyone. We selected 6 developers to fund across 3 thematic areas: (1) Scalability; (2) Privacy, identity and zero knowledge research; and (3) Protocol security and other foundational infrastructure.
Grant terms are typically 1-year and we will share progress on their journeys throughout 2022.
Base 11 partnership to foster the next generation of global and diverse crypto talent.
Earlier this year Coinbase announced our three-year partnership with Base 11. Together, our goal is to develop the next generation of diverse crypto talent. In early October, Base11 hosted the Next Frontier Conference & Expo, which featured a fireside chat with Alesia Haas, CFO at Coinbase and Landon Taylor, Founder & Chairman, Base 11.
At the conclusion of the conference, the Coinbase Giving team launched our first ever Open Innovation Challenge, giving away over $10,000 in prizes and an exclusive NFT. The Open Innovation Challenge called for participants to focus on four key pillars: environmental sustainability, healthcare, education, and financial inclusion. The call to action has drawn hundreds of participants from all over the world and dozens of quality submissions that address the key pillars described above. We’re excited to enter the judging phase and will announce the winner in Q1 2022.
The crypto-forward charitable ecosystem — like the crypto ecosystem — is still nascent. That said, there are a growing number of novel partnerships between established non-profits (who deeply understand the social sector) and technical partners (who get crypto/blockchain) trying to better solve old problems with new solutions. We’ve learned this is Coinbase Giving’s sweet spot for grant-making.
As more people hold crypto, more people want to give in crypto. “45% of crypto holders donated $1,000 or more to charities in 2020 compared to 33% of all investors”, according to a new report by Fidelity. We have engaged in many conversations with potential partners exploring the role Coinbase Giving could play in connecting nonprofits and endowments with the infrastructure they need to accept and hold crypto as an endowment (only ~2% have the ability to do so currently).
Without education, there is no access. As the crypto market has heated up in 2021, so has the call for Coinbase Giving to provide more educational resources and support. Non-profits, NGOs and education leaders increasingly see crypto literacy as a next-generation skill required for the future success of their communities and constituencies. Coinbase’s investment in Crypto Learn and other initiatives distinctly well position Coinbase Giving to address this educational need. We look forward to exploring more in 2022.
Accelerating and building infrastructure is more than open source code. There are many barriers to the simple and secure use of crypto and blockchain that are just as much about infrastructure development as having the right protocols. There are also many more applications for blockchain to solve social problems than have yet been envisioned or realized. This is all infrastructure. We can do better to support a flourishing ecosystem.
With 2021 as a foundation-building (half) year, we are looking forward to incorporating what we’ve learned and to drive the social impact of crypto in 2022. We’ll keep the community up to date on what’s happening with a quarterly blog. Stay tuned!
Bitcoin continues to underperform as a general “risk-off” sentiment has investors driving toward gold as a safe haven asset.
Not Risking It
Concerns about the Russo-Ukrainian war continue. The U.S. inflation struggles at a four-decade high and Fed rate hike fears prevail. The uncertainty extends to the world economy as a recession is expected instead of a recovery. The IMF’s managing director Kristalina Georgieva called it “a crisis on top of a crisis.”
“The war is a supply shock that reduces economic output and raises prices. Indeed, we forecast inflation will accelerate to 5.5 percent in advanced economies and to 9.3 percent in emerging European economies excluding Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. ” The IMF stated last week.
Reuters recently quoted Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann, who talked in a note about the factors that have “lent buoyancy to gold in recent days,” mentioning the “strong buying interest on the part of ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) investors” and news about the Ukraine war.
“Russia appears to be preparing to launch a major offensive in the east of the country – that is generating considerable demand for gold as a safe haven,” the analyst said.
This summarizes the “risk-off” sentiment at the moment. As expected, equities suffer as investors are selling risky assets and purchasing the ones negatively correlated to the traditional market. Thus, the crypto space is struggling alongside de stocks market and gold is rising.
Bitcoin Outperformed By Gold
Data from Arcane Research’s latest weekly report notes that it has been a gloomy year for the “digital gold.” In the first three weeks of 2022, Bitcoin sank 25% and it is still down by 18% in the year despite its slight recovery.
Similarly, Nasdaq records a 19% decline in the year, having underperformed against bitcoin “by a small margin,” notes the report, adding that “This is surprising given that bitcoin has tended to follow Nasdaq, albeit with higher volatility.”
The general fear over geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty has given gold the safe-haven asset spotlight once more. The asset outperformed all the other indexes seen below with a 4% gain.
Meanwhile, the currency market is performing with “the same risk-off patterns.” The Dollar has been proving its “risk-off” dominance as the US Dollar Index (DXY) is up 7%. The Chinese yuan has taken a hit over concerns about the country’s “zero-covid” policy –which creates issues for the global supply chain– and the slowing down Chinese economy. In contrast, investors have been running to the US Dollar for safety.
Bitcoin supporters usually refer to the coin as “digital gold” alleging it is a safe haven asset, and this narrative had held well while BTC had been “uncorrelated with most other major asset classes,” but the tide is shifting with the 2022 scenario as investors are rather placing the coin “into the risk-on basket”.
A previous Arcane Research report indicated that bitcoin’s 30 -day correlation with the Nasdaq is revisiting July 2020 highs while its correlation with gold has reached all-time lows.
A pseudonym traded noted that “As Bitcoin adoption goes on and more institutional investors enter the market, the correlation of BTC and stocks becomes more and more tight. That is a paradigm that the crypto world struggled to come to terms with in the past but is now more real than ever. A healthy stock market is good for Bitcoin.”
Meanwhile, the general sentiment of traders seems to be bearish, with many saying that the coin could visit the $30k level soon.
The crypto community headed to Nassau in the Bahamas this week for the inaugural Crypto Bahamas conference.
Like most conferences, panels fill up the agenda and on Wednesday the topics at Crypto Bahamas ranged from NFTs to crypto in sports and to asset allocation in Web3. During one particular conversation, titled Evolution of NFTs: Culture, Utility and Regulation, panelists had some insightful musings on the NFT market.
To put the Crypto Bahamas conference into context, Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange FTX moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to the Bahamas in Sept. 2021. It recently inked a multi-year partnership with Anthony Scaramucci’s investment firm SkyBridge Capital, and its events arm SkyBridge Alternatives, or SALT. They jointly presented the conference.
That’s why the NFT panel consisted of multiple perspectives from Tristan Yver, head of strategy at FTX U.S., Joseph Doll, attorney at Fenwick law firm, Roham Gharegozlou, the chief executive officer at Dapper Labs, and Sarah Hammer, the managing director of The Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance at The Wharton School. Zack Guzman, writer for the Meta-owned newsletter platform Bulletin, moderated.
Gharegozlou pointed out how new the NFT market truly is when “most people have only been thinking about it for a year and a half,” making valuations “very immature.” As the CEO of Dapper Labs, the company behind NBA Top Shot, Gharegozlou recognized that “utility, rewards and the how you value and NFT is primarily based on the strength of that of the community.”
He added that a good way for an NFT collection to build a strong community is to have multiple tiers of scarcity. In the case of NBA Top Shot, at the higher price end there is extreme scarcity, but there are also millions of “common” moments so that people can “get their first NFT and see how it feels without breaking the bank.”
Tristan Yver echoed that the current valuation and pricing model for NFTs is based on a collective perception on value based on the amount of people willing to buy an asset for a certain amount. He anticipated a “movement away from this consensus view to a more unique singular view where people buy things that resonate with them rather than what resonates with a larger community.”
Joseph Doll chimed in to say that “communities need to be thoughtful about democratizing access.” There are some “massive” barriers to entry to certain projects, he said, including not being early enough or not having enough capital at the time. He questioned, “That’s not what crypto is about, right? It’s kind of about the exact opposite of that.” Democratization, he suggested, can come in the form of derivative projects at better price points.
Another important point brought up by Yver was the reality of scams, especially on Discord and Twitter. He said that “weneed to move past security aspects to be able to really bring in the next large mass of users.” He recommended talking among family and friends or asking a Discord moderator to make sure “you click the right link when minting that NFT” because “wallet security sucks right now.”
Gharegozloueven said thatElon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, should use Web3 to fix Twitter’s fraud problem, just as Discord should use Web3 authentication and verification as well. “Once NFT’s are the sort of identity bridge across all these different social networks, identity and assets, authenticity, provenance,” then the system can be more resilient he added.
When asked what “main alpha” the audience should bear in mind, Doll said to engage with and be part of these NFT communities even if it’s “scary,” because getting scammed is a “part of the journey.”
Sarah Hammer, who leads the Cypher Accelerator at Wharton business school, said that the school is launching an incubator specifically for NFT projects in partnership with Dapper Labs because the “NFT model is a business model for the future.” She emphasized that the greatest way to grow and innovate in the space is to increase education efforts in order to get more people learning and working together.
22 days ago, Bitcoin.com News wrote about a Coin Insider trends study that combed through Google Trends data in the United States. According to the report, dogecoin was the most Googled cryptocurrency in the country. Another study — published by askgamblers.com — has covered similar data, but concentrated on the U.K.’s and Europe’s Google searches. According to the report, while bitcoin is the most popular crypto asset in Europe, the study of the trends shows that the meme token shiba inu is the most popular in the United Kingdom.
Trends Study Highlights the Most Popular Crypto Assets in Europe, UK — Bitcoin Reigns in Europe, While Shiba Inu Takes the UK
This week Bitcoin.com News was sent a report from askgamblers.com that analyzes Google Trends (GT) data over the last year in order to find out what the most popular crypto assets are in the U.K. and Europe. According to the findings, bitcoin (BTC) is the most popular digital currency in Europe as it was the most searched crypto in 21 countries. BTC outpaced the competitors in the askgamblers.com study, as the leading crypto asset rules the roost in countries like Germany, Finland, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Belgium.
While bitcoin (BTC) was the top crypto across Europe, shiba Inu (SHIB) is the most popular cryptocurrency in the U.K., according to the researcher’s collected Google searches. The meme token SHIB saw a significant increase in popularity during the last 12 months. The study’s findings show SHIB commands six different countries and the United Kingdom. In fact, SHIB is huge in Russia, France, Spain, Ukraine, Italy, Hungary, and Switzerland, in terms of GT searches.
Additionally, ethereum (ETH) was the third most popular in the study capturing interest from Sweden, Czechia, Latvia, and Slovenia. Then cardano (ADA) held the fourth position in terms of GT search data, as Andorra, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria showed a lot of interest in ADA. With dogecoin (DOGE) being the most popular in the U.S., it is the fifth in Europe as the meme crypto is popular in Albania and Greece.
“With 38 million crypto users in Europe, and thousands of cryptocurrencies on the market to choose from, it is fascinating to see which one people are the most interested in investing in,” a spokesperson from askgamblers.com told Bitcoin.com’s newsdesk. “Although bitcoin is the most popular overall, the interest in shiba inu has grown to surpass bitcoin in major countries such as Russia and the U.K.”
In the U.S. research study published by Coin Insider, shiba inu (SHIB) only captured seven states across the country. Dogecoin was named the leader in that study as DOGE was the most popular in 23 states in the U.S., in terms of GT searches. SHIB’s popularity in the U.S., according to the data in that specific report, was ranked the fourth most popular crypto in the country.
What do you think about the popularity of bitcoin in Europe and the shiba inu interest in the U.K.? Let us know what you think about this research study in the comments section below.
Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.
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