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NFTs as a Public Record of Accountability

Ryan Cowdrey
3 min read
NFTs as a Public Record of Accountability

The greatest form of giving is anonymous to anonymous. Aren’t NFTs the ideal technology for facilitating this highest form of charity?

NFTs for Lobbying

Earlier this month, many of us were impressed by the launch of Lobby Lobsters. The 10k project features quirky Lobsters all ready to head to Washington and push decentralization further. Of course, you cannot lobby in Washington without funding. And jpegs cannot talk to our representatives.

However, the 1,000 ETH they raised on the initial sale is all going to Coin Center – a leading non-profit focused on the policy issues facing cryptocurrencies. They engage in research, educate policymakers, and advocate for sensible regulatory approaches to this technology.

More than anything, Coin Center is working to keep blockchains and our identities anonymous. Arguably the most special thing about the technology.

Now, since the initial minting price at 0.1 ETH, the public demand for these has dropped quite significantly to a floor price of 0.01 ETH. But that’s not the point.

This Tweet from Santiago really opened our eyes to a different light:

Love that middle point: NFTs as a public record of accountability.

The initial sale is where the bulk of the funding for this project occurred. While the resale market still captures a few percent for donations, the purpose was to raise 1,000 ETH on the minting. Not to make buyers rich on the resale market.

Therefore, the Lobby Lobsters have now become a badge of honor. A Public Record of their Donation to the cause, if you will.

Your Public Accountability Record

Today, it may not be relevant. But as more and more NGOs, charities, and other social initiatives begin shifting their fundraising and awareness efforts toward NFTs, it’s going to become a measure of your generosity, your virtue, and your morality.

“Oh, you bought 6 CryptoPunks?! But how many Lobby Lobsters do you have? How many Rewilder NFTs are you holding? What pieces in your collection represent something bigger than you, bigger than your wallet?”

The NFT market is still forming and stabilizing. And this idea of NFTs as a Public Record of Accountability is many steps ahead of where we’re at now.

However, the moment that one of these charitable-giving NFT projects really catches steam and becomes a status symbol akin to a Bored Ape, a MetaHero, or a CryptoPunk, is the moment that charitable status in the real world correlates to the NFTs we want to hold in the digital world.

And that will be a special moment.

PleasrDAO cannot go unmentioned, either. They’ve single-handedly funded years of operating runway for the Tor Foundation, Freedom of the Press, and Stop Asian Hate through the NFTs they’ve purchased from those foundations.

Many “social cause NFTs” will incorporate an element of DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) into them. Your duties only just begin once you’ve bought the NFT. It’s your reservation for a seat at the table, giving you a say in how the funds are used.

Rewilder is preserving wildlife one NFT at a time, showcasing how NFTs can not only be your record of donation, but also a programmable update on how your funds are being used.

As I scroll through the recent buyers of the Lobby Lobsters, many wallets are anonymous. They know the cause they’re contributing toward, but the don’t necessarily know the recipient.

We could be the beneficiaries of laws enacted in the next year thanks to Lobby Lobsters. The benefactors might be one generation, maybe two generations removed. Regardless, it’s a true case study in large scale, anonymous to anonymous giving on the blockchain.