ConstitutionDAO, a ‘crypto red alert’ and other cases of crypto-powered social action in 2021

Since the beginning of the cryptocurrency movement, the societal potential of Bitcoin (BTC) has been one of its primary selling points. The decentralized design of crypto-based systems offers the ability to bring people together to work toward common goals, as well as enabling them to pool resources while remaining free from external control. 2021 saw a number of cases that could serve as evidence of this liberating power of digital assets.

ConstitutionDAO: Raised $49 Million in a Few Days

Arguably, the most famous case of a massive fundraising effort enabled by a decentralized autonomous organization in 2021 was ConstitutionDAO. The group was formed in November with the sole purpose of purchasing an original copy of the United States Constitution, which was up for auction at Sotheby’s.

DAO approached its target. The artifact was sold for $43.2 million, and while DAO was able to raise about $47 million in Ether (ETH), its display by Sotheby’s was eventually limited to $43 million to account for taxes and costs required for protection, insurance, and moving the constitution. After the auction, DAO offered full refunds to anyone who had donated. Those who did not take refunds kept the PEOPLE Governance Tokens they received in exchange for their contribution.

As a statement from ConstitutionDAO He said, “Although this was not the outcome we were hoping for, we are still making history tonight.” It’s hard to argue, as it only took a week to collect money from 17,437 backers.

BlockbusterDAO: Enable decentralized streaming

In December 2021, the founders of BlockbusterDAO announced that they had formed a new decentralized independent organization with the goal of acquiring Blockbuster – an American brand that originally operated as a video rental company. At its peak, Blockbuster had 6,000 stores globally and was valued at more than $8 billion. It closed almost all of its operations in 2014 and currently operates only one store in Oregon. Strictly speaking, this initiative is not expected to be fully realized until 2022.

DAO explained in tweet It plans to mobilize a popular effort to buy Blockbuster by raising at least $5 million through a minting event (NFT), with each NFT valued at 0.13 ETH. BlockbusterDAO plans to turn Blockbuster into a decentralized movie streaming studio. There are currently more than 20,000 online users participating in the project on Twitter and Discord.

Fortune Journalism PleasrFund: Upholding Journalism Integrity

In September 2021, American business magazine Fortune, along with artist NFT Ppleasr, launched a decentralized voluntary fund, with proceeds going to freelance journalists and programs that promote journalistic integrity.

The Fortune Journalism PleasrFund was launched on the Ethereum blockchain by Endaoment, a DAO-focused charity. It has allocated 214.55 ETH, valued at approximately $680,000 at the time of writing, which is half of the proceeds from the sale of a limited edition Ppleasr NFT that was commissioned by Fortune.

The first four recipients of the fund are Report for America/The Ground Truth Project, the Nonprofit News Institute, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders. Each organization received an initial distribution of approximately $165,000 from Fortune and Ppleasr.

Infrastructure bill battle

Sometimes, a lost battle makes the history of a war victorious. Hopefully, this is how we will remember the fierce resistance the crypto community has mounted against last-minute crypto-related additions to the sweeping $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.

Interestingly, the new tax reporting requirements for cryptocurrency brokers were an integral part of the bipartisan agreement that made the ambitious federal spending project possible — with some estimates suggesting that this new tax base would help the Internal Revenue Service increase federal revenue by nearly $28 billion. More than 10 years.

In response, the technology advocacy group Fight for the Future launched a counter-initiative urging American voters to contact their representatives to object to the bill’s crypto provisions, something it called a “crypto red alert.” Senate offices were filled with phone calls, and the list of influencers who vocally opposed the proposed measures included the likes of Jack Dorsey, who heads Twitter and Block (formally Square), and Brian Brooks, the former acting currency monitor. Now on Bitfury.

The retreat led to a days-long stalemate in the legislature. And despite the fact that the infrastructure bill ended up being passed and signed without any changes to its crypto-related language, the upheaval that the crypto community has been able to spark illustrates its growing pressure.

As Mick Mulvaney, who served as chief of staff to former President Donald Trump, said:

What I think you’re seeing is the maturity of the industry — you see that crypto people now understand how Washington can affect their world and Washington is learning a little bit about technology.

What then?

Of course, the above examples hardly exhaust all the crypto-based social and political initiatives we saw in 2021. For one, there were several examples of philanthropy, such as the NFT Trippy Bunny project that donated all of its mint sales proceeds to the American Foundation to Prevent Suicide and the American Cancer Society’s Crypto Cancer Fund in January 2021. These examples represent an additional area where cryptocurrency can make a difference.

In 2021, it becomes clear that the potential for decentralized autonomous organizations and crypto-driven political action is truly enormous. But we’re just getting started, and there are many reasons to believe this trend will get stronger in 2022.

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