We’re often told there is strength in unity. That many drops make an ocean. But our belief in this ideal is often questioned, and we feel powerless as individuals to bring change. However, the stories of communities banding together to achieve a greater purpose, can restore that faith. The story of the Crypto Relief Fund is one such story.
Online communities aren’t a new concept. We’re social creatures, and with the age of the Internet came new ways to connect with each other. You could be interested in anything, from Marvel movies to mechanical keyboards. If you can Google it, chances are you’ll find a community of like-minded people.
The crypto community is no different. Thousands of people, each with their own stances and strategies debate fundamentals on reddit, Twitter and the rest of the internet 24*7*365.
Sometimes it’s like having thousands of siblings spread all over the world. You joke and banter and make memes together. Sometimes there are more serious arguments about shilling tokens, or promoting FUD. But at the end of the day — we all care for crypto’s common good.
So what happens when these like-minded people rally together in the real world?
Enter Sandeep Nailwal.
Sandeep is the founder of the Polygon Network. Initially known as MATIC, it is an Indian blockchain project that aims to enable Ethereum to become a full-fledged multi-chain system.
Amid the peak of India’s second wave of COVID19 cases, Nailwal committed to creating a fund dedicated to supplying medical supplies to those in need. Crypto heavyweights Vitalik Buterin and Balaji S Srinivasan were quick to endorse the fund. Donations poured in, crossing $3 million in donations across all crypto assets in our first 72 hours.
(Vitalik would make headlines less than two weeks later, with a donation of $1 billion in SHIB memecoins.)
One thing sets this initiative apart from others. All its funding activities are completely transparent. Crypto Relief actively invites people to audit the funds it holds, and where it plans to use it.
Crypto Relief Today
Today, the community is all but completely a decentralised autonomous organisation. It is a 1,000+ members strong, all united by a singular mission:
To reduce the immediate suffering of Indian citizens, by:
> connecting those in need to the verified sources of aid,
> sourcing essential supplies and equipment from across the globe and providing them to the overwhelmed and under-resourced facilities,
> setting up oxygen plants and dedicated COVID-centers in remote and underserved areas of the nation.
Community consensus decides which NGOs to partner with. All partner organisations are selected via consensus of the community. Naturally, this has become more centralised given how quickly the community has grown. However, there are plans to implement more formal processes to select organisations via social consensus.
One of their first grants was a $1 million transfer to support ACT Grants’ #OxygenForEveryone campaign of providing 50,000+ oxygen concentrators across the country.
A group of volunteers were also able to find out about an Indian Navy ship carrying oxygen under Operation Samudra Setu-II. They found that there was still vacant space for 3,000 more cylinders, and joined hands with the Indian Embassy in Kuwait and other groups to ensure it set sail at 100% capacity.
So — want to volunteer? Join the community server here, and introduce yourself on #intros 👋