Metagood Uses NFTs for Social Good

The for-profit, philanthropic company is in the running for "Web 3 Pitch Fest," with winners to be announced at Consensus.

AccessTimeIconJun 3, 2022 at 9:53 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. UTC
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Danny Yang was part of the team behind what he calls a historic crypto transaction, when his profile pic project became the first to mint 10,000 non-fungible tokens (NFT) with all the images and metadata on chain in a single go. Although the project, called OnChainMonkey, aped the format of many so-called “profile picture” NFT series before it – including the massively popular Bored Apes – this was a technical achievement for blockchain efficiency.

And it served a social goal, Yang and his co-founder Amanda Terry, said in an email. The monkey-themed NFTs were meant for charity, and minting them all in a single blockchain transaction helped to reduce fees. That means other charities looking to dip into crypto would have a more cost-effective way to do so.

This article is part of Road to Consensus.

“We actually have technologies that can solve problems,” Yang told CoinDesk in an interview. “We really [can] align people.”

Yang, a Harvard graduate with a Ph.D in computer science from Stanford University, worked in crypto for a long time before pivoting to NFTs. He helped build what is now one of Taiwan's largest crypto exchanges, he said. His latest company is now participating in the inaugural Web 3 Pitch Fest, which is being hosted by Extreme Tech Challenge and CoinDesk and which is part of the Consensus Festival in Austin, Texas.

“The big vision and goal is to really make an impact and solve some of these exponential problems that we're facing,” he said, mentioning climate change and COVID-19 in particular. “These are problems that start small but quickly consume the whole world.”

Though geared toward philanthropy, Metagood is a for-profit company. Yang said those sometimes-contradictory goals are easy to achieve using crypto, because of NFT's ability to open investment opportunities to anyone and to form digital communities.

"In Metagood's case, blockchains and NFTs are being used to build and align a community around doing good," Terry and Yang said.

He said OnChainMonkey was one of the “most profitable” NFT collections based on the percentage of its profitable trades. The startup has contributed a portion of its revenue to a number of charities through its Metagood Giving Fund.

It has donated to UNICEF and other United Nations causes, provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine and helped finance the evacuation of Sharbat Gula, a famous female Afghan refugee.

Metagood, which is now a one-year-old company with 15 employees, may have a real claim at defining what “community” means. It’s backed by an extensive network of crypto experts, award-winning artists and social impact professionals, including Litecoin creator Charlie Lee as well as Sebastien Borget and Jeffrey (Jiho) Zirlin, co-founders of influential NFT projects The Sandbox and Axie Infinity, respectively.

Further, Bill Tai, a venture capitalist, kite surfer and environmental conservationist, serves as chairman. (Tai is the co-founder of Extreme Tech Challenge.) Other well-known people, including actors Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson and Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, Randi, are also backers.

As for its near-term plans, Metagood will focus on its decentralized autonomous organization and upcoming Karma NFT mint this month.

UPDATE (JUNE 7 – 12:00 UTC): Adds that the OnChainMonkey transaction was the first to include all photos and metadata related to an NFT project, as well as information pertaining to Metagood's co-founder Amanda Terry.


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Daniel Kuhn

Daniel Kuhn is a deputy managing editor for Consensus Magazine. He owns minor amounts of BTC and ETH.

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