Hi there! I am Zefram, representative of WhalerDAO, and I have come here to ask for your opinion on using DeFi, and specifically yEarn, for funding charity as well as public goods.
DeFi are uniquely capable of funding good causes
We believe DeFi protocols will be the first for-profit entities in history capable of doing massive amounts of good.
Why do traditional corporations not donate significantly? Let’s look at an example: Facebook and Twitter (and many other such platforms) started out as completely different products, but now they share many features, such as livestreaming and chatting. Why are they “borrowing” features from each other? Because an hour spent on Facebook is an hour not spent on Twitter, which equates to ad revenue earned by Facebook instead of Twitter. As these platforms optimize for revenue, they start building walled gardens containing all the features a user would conceivably want, so that users stay on their platform rather than go use something else.
Thus, traditional corporations are locked in a zero-sum game, an arms race, a battle royale, whatever you want to call it, because they all eventually compete for the same scarce resources, be it time, attention, energy, or land.
DeFi is different. DeFi protocols mostly compete for liquidity, and liquidity is composable. Your money in Uniswap can be in Aave at the same time. Your money in Aave can be in yEarn at the same time. Your money in yEarn can be in Curve at the same time. This means that DeFi protocols are outside of the battle royale. While direct competition between protocols doing similar things will still exist, we believe the reduced competitive pressure will be enough to bring about charitable DeFi protocols that can still thrive. Given that DeFi has the potential to capture the multi-trillion dollar financial market, it is, at the very least, worth a try.
How can you help?
It’s awesome to see YFI holders supporting giving 1% of protocol income to Gitcoin for funding Ethereum public goods. It shows that it is possible for DeFi to be altruistic, so kudos.
While this is a great first step, it’s also most likely not enough. We need to fund not just Ethereum public goods, but public goods and charities in general. And we need to devote a larger percentage as well.
Of course, I understand that DeFi is still early, and yEarn needs all the money it can get to propel itself into mainstream. However, if we all waited until DeFi is managing trillions of dollars to try and coopt it for charity, it would be far too late, as its workings would’ve long been optimized for value extraction and shareholder profit. DeFi would be an unprecedentedly efficient tool for making the rich unimaginably richer, and the world would still be in deep shit.
We need to act now, while the leviathan is still leashed.
What we could do is sign a Windfall Clause. Rather than redirecting 10% of income to charity right away, we instead set a schedule: for instance, donate 0% when the total value locked < $1 billion, 1% when TVL < $10B, 10% when TVL < $50B, and so on. This way, small and early DeFi protocols can grow at full speed, while established protocols with plenty of money to throw around are bound to donate their fair share to saving the world; either way, they get free PR. And because we have the magic that is smart contracts, we can enshrine and enforce this windfall clause directly in the protocols.
So what do you think? Should DeFi be turned into an engine for saving the world, or should it be a tool for enslaving humanity to the whims of a few whales? It’s literally your decision. And it shouldn’t be a hard one.
Can DeFi really help?
You might still have doubts about whether DeFi can really save the world. Well, it already kinda can. yEarn currently get ~$70k of income per day, which is ~$25.6M/year. Let’s say we use 10% of it for charity. What kind of impact can you get for $2.56M per year?
- If donated to the Clean Air Task Force, who can avert CO2 emission for $1/ton, we can offset $2.56M tonnes of CO2. The average person emits 4.8 tonnes per year, which means we can offset the emissions of 532,000 people.
- If donated to the Sightsavers’ Deworming Program, who can deworm a kid for $0.37, we can prevent 6.9 million kids from blindness every year.
- If donated to the Against Malaria Foundation, who can save a child under 5 years old for $3500, we can save 730 children every year.
That’s honestly quite a lot of good for an experimental financial protocol that’s “intentionally complex, deeply broken, and dangerous”. Imagine how much good we can do in 5 years.
It also puts things into perspective. The difference between 1% and 2% is not just some abstract number, it’s 73 lives. When yEarn manages 10 billion dollars, do you want us to save 7300 lives every year or 730 lives?
We at WhalerDAO pledge to turn DeFi into an economic power house for doing good and saving the world. If you like what we are doing, here are some links: