CoinDesk isn't just hosting its Consensus: Distributed virtual conference this week – it's also raising money for COVID-19 relief, and doing so in an innovative way.
The donation project makes use of quadratic funding, the fundraising model developed by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and Harvard researcher Zoë Hitzig. The method uses a simple mathematical formula that rewards matching grants to causes that attract the broadest spread of contributions across the largest number of participants — essentially enabling small donations to count just as much as large ones.
CoinDesk is partnering with Ethereal Summit, Gitcoin and The Giving Block to match donations, aiming to raise $100,000 during Consensus, which is part of New York Blockchain Week. The campaign is using the hashtag #NYBWgives.
In addition, New York-based abstract artist Mr. Star City created an original piece of artwork, shown above, as a part of Consensus: Distributed. The art, inspired by love, unity and technology, will be up for auction this week. Follow @coindesk on Twitter to find out how to bid — the proceeds will go to the same cause.
Buterin and Glen Weyl, founder of the RadicalxChange Foundation think tank, stopped by Consensus: Distributed to talk more about quadratic funding and the importance that the cryptocurrency community give back in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
"So many of the artists and cultural leaders depend on in-person performances to earn a living, and in this period that's not possible," Weyl said. "Yet, we need cultural production more than we've ever needed it.... Quadratic funding provides a really powerful mechanism for smaller individuals to support the community organizations they need."
The charities in the fundraising drive include: Operation Masks, Action Against Hunger, Save the Children, Meals on Wheels, Médecins Sans Frontières, SOS Children's, Villages, The Water Project, International Medical Corps, United Way, Team Rubicon, No Kid Hungry, and International Rescue Committee.
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