We think that there’s a great opportunity here to engage the crypto community with effective altruism, and you can help us make EffectiveCrypto.org a success.
If you have friends or contacts in the crypto community who you think might find EffectiveCrypto.org valuable, or you’re active in the crypto community, it’d be great if you could share the website. We think that there’s a huge amount of potential for engagement here, and you can make a big difference by helping us to get the word out.
Some things that would be really helpful:
Tweeting about EffectiveCrypto.org. You could talk about why giving crypto effectively is personally motivating for you, or about the benefits of focusing on effectiveness. Any time is fine, but bonus points for tweeting this Thursday (Dec 2 2021). Here’s a sample tweet to get you started.
Posting in relevant crypto Telegram groups/Discords/subreddits that you’re a member of, and who would be interested
Talking about it to EA-adjacent friends in the crypto community
Dank memes??? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If you’d like to take a more active role in helping us promote the site, or you have ideas for how we could promote this more widely/go viral, please comment below, or email email@example.com.
EffectiveCrypto.org is an experiment. We built it quickly to test out the hypothesis that there’s a market for a crypto-focused website that encourages people to donate effectively. However, this means that there’s probably a lot we could do to improve the site in terms of the information we present, the design, and the overall user experience.
If you’re someone in our target audience (or you feel like you can get in the right mindset), please feel free to comment below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions.
Motivation and Goals
At the moment, many cryptocurrencies are at all-time high prices, and many people who hold crypto are looking to donate some of their holdings. Donating appreciated crypto directly is often more tax-advantaged than converting the crypto into a fiat currency first, because doing so avoids capital gains tax in many jurisdictions.
There is already a fair amount of overlap between the crypto community and EA (cf. Sam Bankman-Fried/FTX, Lantern Ventures, etc.), and it seems like the quantitative mindset that many EAs exhibit is also a trait found in many crypto early adopters. We think that a lot of people who hold crypto would probably be interested in donating effectively. However, there aren’t currently many places that are trying to build this bridge explicitly. There are many websites aimed at making it easy to donate crypto (e.g. The Giving Block, Endaoment etc), but typically give a huge range of donation options, with no particular focus on effectiveness. EffectiveCrypto.org makes it easy to give crypto, but aims to showcase a smaller number of donation options that are informed by the principles of effective altruism (basically, the funds and non-profits supported by EA Funds).
Our two main goals for the project are:
Increase overall counterfactual donations to effective charities, by making it quick and easy for people to make effective donations using crypto (who might otherwise have defaulted to less-effective options).
Introduce members of the crypto community to effective altruism, by providing engaging information that piques users’ interest, and allows people to ‘fall down the EA rabbithole’ if they want to.
To make it easier, we’ve grouped some selected charities (and some of the EA Funds) into ‘bundles’ that cover a specific cause area. We’ve chosen causes and charities that we think people without too much background in EA would find appealing, and to avoid decision fatigue associated with choosing between the ~40 charities supported by EA Funds (although we do provide donors with the option to ‘build their own bundle’, and choose from the full set of charities).
In the EA community, it's somewhat common to use "effective" in a jargon-y sense to mean "effectively improving the world", but that's not at all the standard meaning of "effective". "Effective crypto" sounds like crypto that works really well; "effective thesis" sounds like a thesis that is persuasive, well-reasoned, and successful. In general, I think "impactful" would be better for conveying the meaning of "effectively improving the world". I don't think renaming "EffectiveCrypto.org" would be worthwhile, but I'm curious about your thoughts about naming it that.
I agree with others that this is great and much needed! I'm curious how you chose the recipient charities for the different bundles, which seem to be a select few for the different issue areas. For instance, I would think that the ACE Recommended Charity Fund might be more aligned than their relatively speculative Movement Grants. Important disclosure, however: I'm on the board of an ACE recommended charity and am inherently biased.
I had a similar idea regarding the crypto community as a great potential source of EA funding but I'm thinking more for-profit than strictly donation. It might be possible to tie crypto profits to EA funding by creating an impact certificate DAO.
I have a working project proposal I've been getting feedback on, if anyone is interested in reading it and giving me their thoughts just message me and I'll send you the link!
I would love to connect with the EffectiveCrypto.org team to see if we can bounce some ideas off or learn from each other.
I think this platform is absolutely fantastic and much needed. I haven't made a donation yet, but it seems like the user experience is very smooth.
Just one note: the link on the notification "Donations to Effective Crypto may not be tax deductible where you live. We think that you shouldn't worry too much about this, but just so you know." is broken.
Interesting. One thing I would mention, which I suspect this site has overlooked, is the value of computing power to altruistic projects - Cryptocurrency is quite unsustainable at the moment due to being essentially a 'print money using huge numbers of computers and huge amounts of electricity' industry, but if someone could figure out how to change those crypto rigs into more general-purpose supercomputers, or even just write some conversion algorithms?
We could get cheap protein folding out of it.
This is such a big deal to medical research; I don't think I can articulate how big a deal it is. (Quite frankly, I do not know. But.)
Renting consumer hardware is more expensive than cloud usually. And you do need to pay for the hardware either way. I assume you're going to create a memecoin to pay them? (Cause if so you can also first create the memecoin, profit off of it, and then buy compute as an individual)
Just to give you picture of the market - mining market is mainly bitcoin and ethereum. Bitcoin mining is dominated by ASICs which are custom-designed hardware for the sole purpose of cranking out SHA256 hashes. Ethereum mining is mostly still done by GPUs, and these are going to flood the market as ethereum shifts to proof of stake. I have no idea who is buying second-hand GPUs at scale, but as long as somebody buys them, it is possible that the cost of compute goes down a tiny bit.
I don't have the money to buy up secondhand GPUs, but that's absolutely an underexploited market. Mainly because my pop-culture side hears 'GPU' and thinks 'gaming computer', rather than 'the sort of computer part that can help biologists and filmmakers'.
I looked this up a bit more and I guess you're right, it is underexplored.
I'm hoping the larger mining farms have found people to sell their GPUs to, it's free money. (Although it wouldn't surprise me if they're stuck with legal or other issues.) It shouldn't be too hard to get contacts from top pools and ask them. I used to be in touch with a couple of people but not anymore.
Hobbyist miners definitely do not have any standard way of disposing / selling their GPUs, it might make sense for someone to start an online marketplace for them.
One issue with buying/selling second-hand is verifying quality, idk how this is solved.