RootProject Year in Review 2018

Nicholas Adams Judge
Feb 8 · 4 min read

RootProject uses blockchain to bring the power of markets to nonprofit fundraising. Our crowdfunding platform facilitates a new form of campaign design that maximizes rewards to supporters and beneficiaries, creating replicable and recurrent paths to funding.

With the turn of the year, it’s a good time to reflect back on milestones and lessons learned. 2018 has been tough for many reasons. The down market that mapped so well onto 2018 has challenged but also proved the resiliency of so much of crypto.

RootProject has made progress toward achieving its goals, something we couldn’t have done without the ongoing support of the RootProject community. We have a ways to go, and have learned some hard lessons, but are looking forward to a 2019 that builds on what we have done since our token was distributed in May. We will publish a year ahead next week, but first, here’s a look back on 2018. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

It wouldn’t be a year end review without a “best of” list. In case you missed them, here are our most read pieces of 2018.

Most Read Blogs
Fixing the Data Problem in Police Accountability:
The Simple Precedent RootProject is Building:
RootProject’s Token and the Economics of Tokenized Decentralization:
RootProject Joins Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition:

Top Media Mentions
Stanford Business School Cites RootProject in Case Study:
RootProject Funds First Three Projects:

New Look
To better highlight our past and upcoming crowdfunding campaigns, we launched a new look for our website in November. If you haven’t been to our site in a while, it’s definitely worth a click:

In July we launched RootShop and brought on cofounder Ethan Mevi. RootShop is a crypto + environmental, social and governance (ESG)-focused dev shop focused on assisting ecosystem nonprofits build tech and navigate the world of blockchain. RootProject is RootShop’s first client and is behind the creation of RootProject’s mainnet, set to launch in Q1 2019 despite having to slow down, and operate very carefully to ensure our token falls clearly into the utility token category.

Vadim Naryenko came on board as lead developer and launched the test network in early November, right according to schedule. You can access the test network here, follow our progress on Github here, and get weekly updates by joining our Telegram Room here, subscribing to our weekly newsletter here, or by following us on Medium.

Pilot Cities
Owing to being short-staffed during a project-critical period during the second half of the year and a subsequent staff restructuring, we have had to postpone the pilot city launch in Seoul to 2019. We know many of our investors are Korea-based and are disappointed with our progress. As the Seoul launch was to precede and guide in many ways the launch of the New York Pilot City, we are behind on both fronts. Behind, but building something better and much stronger. We look forward to much progress here in 2019 and to keeping you updated as we rebuild.

Pilot Project Campaigns
Our traditional crowdfunding campaigns allow partner nonprofits to fundraise at zero fee; they are a vital part of our early ecosystem build. We do this by allocating a portion of a project’s crowdfunded proceeds to ROOTS token purchases, driving currency demand. The currency’s supply is hard capped, so each project reduces liquid token supply. After a defined period of time, usually 1–2 years, in which the allocated portion of funds are held in a smart contract, the amount is returned to the nonprofit partner.

This year, we funded our first wave of pre and post-ICO crowdfunding campaigns with nonprofit partners across the country and announced the pre-launch of three more. The goal of these first four campaigns was threefold: drive attention and traffic to our platform; start building the token feedback loop, and test our platform and partner engagement framework.

We are grateful to have been able to support the missions and visions of our partners at the Numi Foundation, Tech Goes Home, Cocoon House, and Cycle Kids and look forward to building on these first wins in 2019. You can read more about each past and upcoming campaign here:

Numi Foundation:
Tech Goes Home:
Cocoon House:
Cycle Kids:

RootProject is building a decentralized ecosystem that uses a token to provide full crowdsourced solutions, not just crowdfunding. That means a nonprofit community project can be created, governed and funded by the crowd — at scale. It is an easy idea to think about, but it requires advanced economic modeling to actually work. Judge Research is built to do just that. December brought the launch of the long-awaited research group and there is much more to come from this part of the RootProject ecosystem in 2019. Stay tuned!

If you have any questions about RootProject, RootShop, or Judge Research, send them to


A new way to change the world.

Nicholas Adams Judge

Written by

Cofounder of the nonprofit PhD from UW-Madison. Political economy and research methods. Bostonian in New York.


A new way to change the world.