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GiveCrypto Monthly Update — January 2021

Pivoting from the marketplace and an emigration loan update

Pivoting from the Crypto Donation Marketplace

We spent the second half of 2020 developing a crypto donation marketplace. Our hope was that the marketplace would give any person the ability to request help and allow anybody else to provide it — all in the form of cryptocurrency.

We now realize that our decision to jump right into the donation marketplace project was overly ambitious. Unfortunately, the service didn’t generate any meaningful donation volume, so we’ve come to the realization that it isn’t working as intended. Though it’s perhaps obvious in hindsight, the lesson we learned is that it is difficult to convince people to give money to strangers.

Rather than continue tilting at windmills, we have decided to shift our focus to a new service. We have already started working on an automated version of the ambassador program that we ran in 2019 and 2020. The goal will be to help people in need via ambassador-directed crypto transfers, all completely funded from GiveCrypto’s treasury. Aside from directly helping folks in need, this service will also have a secondary goal: to generate tangible evidence of people who are being helped with crypto.

We believe that the goals of the automated ambassador program are not only achievable, but that they’re also a necessary prerequisite for our progress. We should be able to prove that we truly are helping people before we can expect others to donate. Since we’ve already learned a lot about how to run an ambassador program, we’re confident in our ability to realize these goals, and frankly, we’re excited.

Details of the Automated Ambassador Program

The challenge with this new initiative will be to automate many of the activities that we previously handled manually. The good news is that, in the process of developing the ambassador program and building the donation marketplace, we already laid much of the groundwork for this automation.

User flow for automated ambassador program

The initial version of this service will focus on automating the following steps:

  • Ambassadors inviting recipients
  • Ambassadors approving recipients
  • Sending funds to recipients’ wallets
  • Generating evidence of how the crypto was used
A Loom of Jake going through a mock-up of the automated ambassador program

When it comes to automating the generation of evidence, there’s a lot of room for creativity. We want to make it as easy as possible for ambassadors and recipients to create compelling content together. The idea is that this content will clearly demonstrate the ways in which crypto has helped the recipient. Over time, this content will form a narrative about the recipient:

  • What was their quality of life before contact with GiveCrypto?
  • What problems have prevented them from realizing their goals?
  • Did the funds help them alleviate any of their struggles?
  • How has their life changed as a result?

We intend to share these stories across our website, social media and blog. We want to show our supporters how crypto can actually help people in need.

The ambassadors are critical to this program. Ambassadors will be expected to provide real transparency into their lives and how they’re operating. This includes where they live, who their recipients are, why they selected those recipients, how many people they’ve helped, and how much money they’ve distributed.

Additionally, we will allow users to interact with ambassadors via a Q&A feature. We believe that being as transparent as possible about our ambassadors will help us build trust with users. If users can see that the ambassadors are acting in good faith, they’ll be more convinced that the money is being used efficiently.

Update on Emigration Loans

We began experimenting with emigration loans at the end of 2019. These loans were given to twelve Venezuelans to help them leave their country. We estimated each loan would be enough for a one-way flight and three months of room and board in a new location. The idea was that we could significantly improve a person’s life by allowing them to emigrate from Venezuela in a safe and dignified manner. We incentivized the repayment of the loan by deliberately baking nepotism into the terms. If the recipient repays their loan, they get to choose who gets the next emigration loan.

The COVID crisis hit shortly after the recipients emigrated. Due to COVID, we decided to halt the creation of new loans, and we didn’t require repayment from any of the initial recipients.

Emigration loan recipients

We recently checked in with all of the recipients and were pleasantly surprised by how well they are doing. All but two of them (10 out of 12) have found jobs in their new location and they all feel that they are better off than they would have been had they stayed in Venezuela.

We are still very excited by the promise of emigration loans. We believe they’re an example of an incredibly impactful financial service that wouldn’t be provided by for-profit financial institutions. With that said, due to COVID, it is still premature to restart the program. But, we will continue to monitor the situation and may resume when appropriate.

Staying Connected

As always, we love to hear from supporters. Please follow along on Twitter and our blog for information on our programs.



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