221A announces the initiation of the Non-Profit Crypto Finance Working Group. With a network of cultural, educational and non-profit partners, the working group will gather and develop the knowledge about crypto finance needed to benefit the non-profit, educational and cultural sectors. The group is assembling a cross-sector team of organizations, from the worlds of visual art, design, film, architecture, music, and digital culture. The questions the group will research—e.g., fiduciary duties, risk/reward equations, governance mechanisms, regulatory environment—will comprise a basis of knowledge that can be further disseminated across sectors. The real stakes initiative that drives the first project of this working group is to collectively research and prototype a collaborative cryptocurrency staking pool. Together, we will begin the process of creating a playbook for how our sectors can navigate the complexities of the still emerging world of crypto finance.
A longer term outcome of 221A’s own digital strategy, Blockchains & Cultural Padlocks, could be the establishment of an Institute of Crypto Finance for Nonprofits. As far as we know, no such organization currently exists in the world. This working group will lay the ground for this planning. In the knowledge we disseminate, the partnerships we forge, and the future organizations and infrastructure we build, the working group will continue to promote the values that have informed 221A’s approach to operating equitably within digital culture. This is important because an equitable, values-based approach isn’t always a priority in the business and tech communities. Blockchain applications will form the basis of web 3.0, enabling communities to get far greater benefit from daily internet use—through new means of data sovereignty and emerging forms of peer-to-peer collaboration. 221A is working to be a leader in helping communities better understand and adopt web 3.0.
The working group’s research investigates the potential for staking pools as tools for data equity and sovereignty, as well as a source of sustainable revenue for nonprofit, cultural and educational pursuits. Our first public outcome is to produce a report, to be published on our website in late 2022, with an associated events series to disseminate learning across the sector. Cryptocurrency networks are building the foundation for the next era of the internet. The first internet was built through mass collaboration. Open-source software allows developers to opt in to projects they want to collaborate on. Facebook users mass-collaborate on the content that makes it the world’s most populous and valuable online community. What if communities were better able to harness the value created through their collaboration? With this potential, communities can now redistribute this collaboratively generated value amongst the community itself, in order to advance its own self-organized goals.
Cryptocurrencies are also open-source and a product of mass-collaboration. The cryptocurrency innovation is to use the network’s data to create value (cryptocurrency tokens). Blockchain technology makes this possible by replicating the record of each unit of value across its network, and then reconciles all data in the network at regular intervals. The first generation blockchains (e.g. Bitcoin on the proof-of-work protocol) are energy-intensive, but the next generation (e.g. Ethereum transitioning to proof-of-stake protocol) point to a more computationally and energy efficient future for this technology.