Universe.xyz donates $4M to Coin Center to foster crypto lobbying
Universe.xyz, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) for launching NFT projects, has donated $4 million to give crypto a voice in Washington. A report unveiled this news earlier today, noting that the DAO used the funds obtained from the sale of its Lobby Lobsters NFT collection to fund this course.
According to Mark Ward, the Head of Operations at Universe, the organization wanted to do something good, and the perfect opportunity presented itself. Ward referred to when crypto proponents joined hands to fight the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which many considered a threat to the future of the crypto industry in the US.
The Senate proposed the bill, which included a section on crypto reporting, noting that crypto brokers should pay taxes. However, the Senate’s definition of a crypto broker was vague and potentially included even crypto miners. As such, crypto enthusiasts voiced concerns over passing the bill into law, claiming that it might stifle crypto growth in the US.
Crypto advocacy groups like Coin Center and the Blockchain Association lobbied Washington to revise the description of a broker. However, their efforts bore no fruit. As a result, Uniswap creator Hayden Adams and Synthetix founder Kain Warwick took to Twitter in August to discuss the potential of raising funds for lobbying by selling NFTs.
The birth of Lobby Lobsters
Universe decided to bring Adam’s and Warwick’s ideas to life by creating the Lobby Lobsters collection. The organization staged the collection’s first sale a month later on September 5. The collection, which features 10,000 unique suit-wearing lobsters, sold out in less than 30 minutes.
Each NFT in the collection went for 0.1 ETH (approximately 0.1 ETH). The sale generated 1,000 ETH (approximately $4 million). Seeing as Universe is governed by a DAO, the company created a DAO proposal on September 7, suggesting that the 1,000 go to Coin Center. The voting was unanimous, with members agreeing that the company should transfer the funds to Coin Center.
With the community being completely aligned, as Ward would have it, Universe transferred the funds to Coin Center in what became the single largest donation the group has ever received. With an annual budget of $1.3 million, this donation represented up to three years’ worth of funding.
A war chest for crypto advocacy
Commenting on the donation, Coin Center Communications Director, Neeraj Agrawal, said,
That’s huge. Obviously, it’s a massive increase to our runway.
Through this donation, Coin Center got more flexibility to expand and meet the growing and evolving needs of crypto advocacy in the US.
Agrawal added that,
It has become clear that some of the challenges that we have with policy may have to be resolved in the courts.
He further pointed out that Universe’s donation is a war chest that will help Coin Center fight court battles as they appear. Agrawal added that the funds would help the group hire new talent.
While Universe has already played a massive role in helping crypto go mainstream, the organization seeks to exploit the Lobby Lobsters collection further by diverting royalties from the secondary sale of the NFTs to support other crypto advocacy efforts. The company is also mulling to create a separate DAO community that focuses on crypto lobbying.