Coinbase Giving: Half Year in Review

In May 2021, we About the launch of Coinbase Giving. Coinbase Giving is the operational embodiment of our commitment to the 1% Pledge: our promise to dedicate 1% of Coinbase profits, equity, and employee time to charitable activities that harness the power of crypto to increase economic freedom in the world.

Where are we

In the past seven months, we are proud of what we’ve accomplished:

  • Coinbase Giving is the largest crypto-focused charitable organization, with over $500 million committed through our 1% equity commitment, to be distributed over the next 10 years.
  • GiveCrypto, founded in 2018, is officially put under the Coinbase Giving umbrella to enable expansion and increase social impact.
  • We’ve Launched 7 Programs, Supported 410 Organizations, Posted Nearly $2 Million and Impacted Over 2K Lives

We are only at the beginning of this journey. 2021 was a year of testing and iteration – our impact remains modest. The purpose of this post is to share progress and lessons learned.

Focus areas

In 2021, our focus has been to support endeavors that align with three main categories:

  1. Increase education about and access to coding
  2. Accelerate the development of cryptographic protocols that support the crypto economy
  3. Fostering the next generation of crypto talent, no matter where they are

Highlights from 2021

GiveCrypto It is our non-profit organization that enables direct, crypto-based grants to be given to some of the world’s most needy people. By doing so, we are also educating them about cryptocurrencies and giving them an alternative to their crippled financial systems.

GiveCrypto has been one of the biggest areas of investing in Coinbase Giving internally. GiveCrypto is a two-sided market. First, donations are directed by inspirational donors to charitable donations. Second, from these donations, the encryption is put directly into the hands of people in need through the Ambassador on Earth.

Bringing GiveCrypto directly to Coinbase has accelerated our ability to integrate fundraising into the consumer experience. As such, 2021 was a critical year for rebuilding and integration. As the #1 cryptocurrency exchange in the US, we see this connection as a huge step forward in enabling public donations using crypto and Coinbase products. We took this opportunity to renew our Ambassador program – our system of distributing money directly into the hands of those who need it most. In 2021 we were fully testing our distribution system and only reached 246 recipients. However, with these tests now under our belts, we feel ready to expand the distributions significantly in 2022.

We are already seeing how cryptography has unique properties that make it suitable as a cross-border donation mechanism. For example, it allows donors to avoid lack of mediation by bad actors, who often take a cut at the recipient’s expense. Cryptocurrency adoption is growing, especially in Latin American countries where hyperinflation can be devastating. An independently validated randomized control test shows that direct giving continues to show a significant impact on real life, whether in enabling individuals to pay for food, education, or other daily needs.

Developer Grants 2.0 to accelerate the development of encryption protocols.

In August, we launched the second edition of the Crypto Community Fund that aims to make the crypto economy more secure and accessible to all. We selected 6 developers for funding across 3 thematic areas: (1) scalability; (2) Privacy, identity and zero-knowledge research; (3) Security of the protocol and other foundational infrastructure.

The scholarship term is usually one year and we will share the progression of their journeys throughout 2022.

The Foundation 11 partnership to foster the next generation of diverse, global 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 and Exhibition, which included a live chat with Alesia Haas, CFO at Coinbase, and Landon Taylor, founder and president of Base 11.

At the conclusion of the conference, the first-ever Coinbase Giving team launched Open Innovation ChallengeDonate over $10,000 in prizes and exclusive NFT. The Open Innovation Challenge invited participants to focus on four main pillars: environmental sustainability, healthcare, education, and financial inclusion. The call to action has attracted hundreds of participants from around the world and dozens of high-quality submissions addressing the key pillars outlined above. We are excited to enter the judging phase and will announce the winner in the first quarter of 2022.


  1. The crypto philanthropic ecosystem – like the cryptocurrency ecosystem – is still emerging. However, there is a growing number of new partnerships between well-established nonprofits (which have a deep understanding of the social sector) and tech partners (who have access to crypto/blockchain) in an effort to better solve old problems with new solutions. We have learned that this is the ideal place for Coinbase Giving to give grants.
  2. With more people holding cryptocurrency, more and more people want to give in to cryptocurrency. According to a new report from Fidelity, “45% of crypto holders donated $1,000 or more to charity in 2020 compared to 33% of all investors.” We have engaged in several conversations with potential partners to explore the role Coinbase Giving can play in connecting nonprofits and giveaways with the infrastructure they need to accept and hold cryptocurrency as a gift (only 2% are currently able to do so).
  3. Without education, there is no access. As the cryptocurrency market heats up in 2021, the call for Coinbase grants to provide more educational resources and support has also increased. Nonprofits, NGOs, and education leaders increasingly see coding 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 is clearly well positioned at Coinbase Giving to meet this educational need. We look forward to exploring more in 2022.
  4. Accelerating and building infrastructure is more than just open source code. There are many barriers to the simple and secure use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain that are as much about developing infrastructure as they are about getting the right protocols. There are also many more applications of blockchain to solving social problems than has been imagined or realized. This is all infrastructure. We can do better to support a thriving ecosystem.


As 2021 is the (half) year of foundation building, we look forward to incorporating what we’ve learned and driving the social impact of cryptocurrencies in 2022. We’ll keep the community updated on what’s happening in a quarterly blog. Stay tuned!

Coinbase Giving: Half Year in Review Originally posted on the Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people continue the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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