Defend Crypto: Expanding the Reach and Impact with the Blockchain Association

Tanner Philp
Jun 28 · 4 min read

On May 28, 2019, Kik launched DefendCrypto.org. This was an important moment for us, not because we wanted other people to contribute to our legal bills, but because it gave us an opportunity to tell our story publicly. It gave us an opportunity to share what we have been working through behind the scenes, and show that we are serious about this fight by committing $5MM to take the SEC on in court. We also recognize how foundational this case will be for the industry, so we invited others to join the movement and make contributions to the fund.

Since then, the SEC filed their case against Kik and we look forward to taking them on in court. This case will be precedent setting and could serve as the new Howey Test. We appreciate the support from the industry and we will continue to be as open, transparent, and collaborative as possible as we fight for the future of crypto.

What has been most impactful since launching Defend Crypto is that it started a discussion. The SEC has been very effective in keeping everyone in different corners of the room, making it feel like their challenges with the SEC are unique to them, like they are going it alone. We know how this feels — which is why we decided to make our Wells Notice and Wells Response public in January — we knew we couldn’t be the only ones. What we didn’t anticipate was just how many have been affected by the cloud of uncertainty.

It was never our intention for Defend Crypto to be just about Kik. We launched Defend Crypto to show that we are serious about taking on this fight, and to show that others don’t have to go it alone. In the last four weeks we have had many projects reach out privately to share stories very similar to ours. They see the timeline of Kik’s battle on DefendCrypto.org and can see themselves on a similar path. This showed us that although Kik is first, there are many more to come. The challenge is that many of these projects do not have the resources to take on the SEC by themselves. So while they want to stand up and fight, many have no choice but to fold. This is setting a dangerous precedent for the industry and killing innovation. In the midst of one of the most fundamental advancements of our time, many promising projects are being forced to simply walk away.

If we are going to Defend Crypto, we need to do it as a collective. So today we are announcing that going forward the Defend Crypto fund will be used to support other projects fighting their own battles and litigation that impacts the broader crypto industry.

Since launching Defend Crypto, Kik’s initial $5MM commitment and the additional outside contributions have appreciated by $1.6MM, bringing the total size of the Defend Crypto fund to $6.6MM. Going forward, Kik will separate its initial $5MM contribution into a separate account to support our fight in the ongoing case and will dedicate the additional $1.6MM to the Defend Crypto fund to help other projects fighting for the future of crypto. Kik will also be making an additional $500k contribution of Kin to the fund, bringing the total to $2.1MM.

Additionally, we are excited to announce that the Defend Crypto fund will be governed by the Blockchain Association. They have been a strong advocate for the industry — led by a strong team and backed by some of the most important builders in the space — and will be in the best position to objectively allocate the resources to the highest impact initiatives. There will be more details to come on governance and how the Defend Crypto fund will be allocated. In the interim, if you are another project that is going through your own fight that could have industry-wide implications, please reach out to defendcrypto@theblockchainassociation.org

DefendCrypto.org remains open for contributions indefinitely, so please, if you want to be part of the movement, contribute to the fund and help those building the foundation of the next wave of innovation in crypto.

In addition to the support of the Blockchain Association, Defend Crypto has been supported by organizations like Messari, Arrington Capital, and ShapeShift who have taken an active role in defining ways to deliver the highest impact through Defend Crypto. It has been through this collaboration that this next phase of Defend Crypto took shape. We look forward to their continued support and encourage any others who want to get involved to also reach out.