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Crypto Advocacy: Gitcoin, Coinbase, Zora & Nouns Unlock 150k+ Shields

Coinbase partnered with Gitcoin and Zora to launch the 'Stand With Crypto' campaign, deploying a custom NFT shield to symbolize unity in seeking sensible crypto policy.

TL;DR: 

  • Coinbase partnered with Gitcoin and Zora to launch the 'Stand With Crypto' campaign, deploying a custom NFT shield to symbolize unity in seeking sensible crypto policy. 
  • NounsDAO, one of the most innovative NFT governance communities, joined by minting 5,000 shields and donating $100,000 to the Advocacy Matching Pool
  • To date, over 150,000 NFT-shields have been minted, and at its peak, the campaign accounted for 27% of all NFTs minted on Ethereum
  • Five Advocacy Grantees were funded through Gitcoin and Coinbase’s partnership,  including notable names in the space, such as Coin Center and the Blockchain Association. These grantees were selected due to their work with policymakers to draft clear legislation and provide representation to individuals and companies particularly targeted by recent U.S. federal overreach 

Cryptocurrency stands at a crossroads in the United States. On one hand, the SEC’s regulation-by-enforcement actions against Coinbase, Binance, Polygon and others threaten the presence of innovation. On the other hand, Congress has drafted legislation that could bring crypto within a clear and workable legal framework. 

Adding his voice to this issue, Azeem Khan, Head of Impact at Gitcoin, emphasized the importance of a well-informed policy framework: "The United States has been the center for excellence around the globe because it's allowed for the flywheel of innovation to occur here. The best and brightest come from around the globe to create, capture, and distribute value. What's happening in web3 is where the next generation of this will occur and without successful policymaker education efforts we risk losing the American Dream."

In the midst of regulatory uncertainty, Coinbase, Zora, and Gitcoin have partnered to launch the ‘Stand With Crypto’ campaign to grow a grassroots community to bring greater attention and funding to the discussions going on in DC. This powerful movement has grabbed the attention of many prominent players in the web3 ecosystem in a remarkable display of solidarity and commitment to a decentralized future.

The ‘Stand With Crypto’ Campaign: 

The focal point of this campaign is a collectible NFT of a blue shield which represents the collective need to protect and promote the potential of crypto. This symbol emerged from a genuine desire to foster unity and resilience in the crypto community. As Darin Carter, Coinbase's Web3 Advocacy Manager for US Policy, aptly stated, "The 'Stand with Crypto' campaign showcased the immense capacity of the crypto community to coordinate and drive positive change. The campaign is testament to the power of collaboration and a clear signal that it's time for policymakers to acknowledge that the crypto industry needs regulatory clarity, not regulation by enforcement."

NounsDAO Joins the Movement:

‘Stand With Crypto’ quickly captured the attention of NounsDAO, a prominent and dynamic organization that has been a longtime Gitcoin Grants Matching Partner. Wilson Cusack of Nouns DAO drafted a proposal to mint 5,000 shields and donate $100k to the Gitcoin Matching Pool. Within the proposal, Mr. Cusack wrote “It is a crucial time for crypto, from a regulatory perspective. The work being done by the organizations in this Gitcoin round is important and we all benefit from it."

The Nouns AI tool “Roko” summarized the discussion among DAO members by saying "(Nouns DAO) believes in the importance of supporting regulatory advocacy as a public good. (We) think that such initiatives not only benefit the entire crypto ecosystem but also align with NounsDAO's mission." 

Community Growth:

The response to the 'Stand With Crypto' campaign has been nothing short of extraordinary. Each time a shield is minted, the proceeds grow the size of the matching pool available to our Advocacy grantees. We’ve seen our community respond as events unfold to display their solidarity and support. 

When Coinbase responded to the SEC’s Wells notice, the community rallied to mint over 32k shields. On this day, the campaign accounted for an astonishing 27% of all NFTs being minted on the Ethereum blockchain. 

As of the time this post was written, over 150,000 shields have been minted by more than 55,000 unique wallets. This remarkable achievement makes the 'Stand With Crypto' mint the fourth-largest mint across over 5,500 unique NFT collections on Zora. 

Superphiz, a Gitcoin Grantee and EthStaker steward, conveyed the following comment:

Advocacy Grantees Driving Change:

All funds from the mint and NounsDAO’s donation are going towards impact-driven organizations that are at the forefront of driving change and shaping the narrative surrounding the future of crypto. 

The funds will be split among these organizations according to the Quadratic Funding results from our latest Gitcoin Advocacy round

  • Coin Center, a leading nonprofit focused on cryptocurrency policy issues, speaks out against stifling laws and regulations. Their impactful work has garnered significant support including raising over $1 million dollars on Gitcoin. Neeraj Agrawal, Communications Director at Coin Center, highlights the importance of this funding, stating “Gitcoin has become the easiest vehicle for cryptocurrency users to support us directly in a crypto-native manner.” Their extensive work includes filing briefs against the SEC, providing knowledge through testimonies before Congress, suing OFAC for sanctioning the code known as Tornado Cash, and challenging the Treasury Department for unconstitutional financial surveillance. 
  • Fight for the Future, a prominent digital rights nonprofit, is dedicated to mobilizing people and advocating for legislation that aligns with user interests. With a focus on open-source software, privacy, and democratizing the internet, they have spearheaded some of the most impactful campaigns in the field. Their notable campaigns, including "Don't Kill Crypto" and their instrumental role in the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), have successfully halted bills that threatened the crypto ecosystem and protected human rights in the digital realm. Sarah Roth-Gaudette, Executive Director of Fight for the Future comments on the impact of this round to her organization saying it is “enabling our team to advocate for regulations that don't limit the First Amendment right to code, undermine core digital and human rights like privacy, or chill the development of meaningful alternatives to Big Tech.”
  • The DeFi Education Fund (DEF) is dedicated to promoting and safeguarding decentralized finance (DeFi) through education and countering regulatory threats. DEF actively fights against overreach and unconstitutional proposals while engaging policymakers in constructive discussions about the benefits of DeFi. Miller Whitehouse-Levine, CEO of the DeFi Education Fund, highlights the critical role of Gitcoin campaigns, stating, "Gitcoin serves as a crucial bridge, connecting crypto users with organizations actively working for meaningful change." Through their unwavering efforts, DEF aims to shape a policy landscape that nurtures innovation within this transformative sector.
  • The Blockchain Foundation emphasizes the need for 21st-century financial literacy education, integrating digital assets into the K-12 public school curriculum. Led by executive director Cleve Mesidor and advisor Monica Talan, they empower the public with trusted content, fostering informed decision-making. Their engagement with leaders, policymakers, and mainstream audiences shapes the dialogue surrounding decentralization.
  • The Blockchain Association represents over 100 leading crypto companies including Kraken, Filecoin, Uniswap and Consensys. It stresses the importance of having a voice in policy discussions and proactive educational initiatives. Their communication and messaging efforts reshape public opinion on cryptocurrencies, influencing policy decisions in Washington. Kristin Smith, the CEO of Blockchain Association, provides insight into how the funding from this round will be utilized. She states,  “With the help of this grant, we will continue our work in Washington, D.C., advocating for sensible crypto policy now and in the future.” Their continued growth allows them to become an influential voice in shaping the crypto industry's future.

Gitcoin Grants Stack:

All five of these grantees were quadratically funded on Gitcoin Grants Stack. Powered by Allo Protocol, the product suite enables a streamlined management process for grants program managers. 

With Gitcoin Grants Stack, anyone can:

  • Launch and manage a Quadratic Funding round
  • Empower applicants to mobilize their community and build onchain reputation
  • Enable supporters to vote with their dollars on which projects they care about
  • Distribute matching funds to the most popular projects that receive the most support

Conclusion:

The 'Stand With Crypto' campaign has ignited a powerful community movement and the funding of exceptional organizations that will continue the crucial fight for regulatory clarity and change in Washington. The Blockchain Foundation, Fight for the Future, Coin Center, the DeFi Education Fund and the Blockchain Association are well-positioned to drive positive change through education, court battles and engaging with lawmakers to shape legislation. Through Gitcoin Grants Stack, the community mobilized around them to give and allocate support.

But the movement is just starting. As the future of American Crypto increasingly picks one of two paths between regulation and enforcement, you have the opportunity to influence this journey. By reaching out to your local representatives and minting a shield you not only symbolize your commitment to unity, and provide crucial resources to the organizations fighting for your rights, but add your voice to an important discussion. 

By advocating for regulatory clarity, you play an active role in shaping the future of the crypto industry. Join the movement, stand with crypto and make your voice heard. The time for change is now.

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