Help Test the HODLscore Beta 👀
And reflections on what HODLpac seeks to become
Keep scrolling for more on the HODLscore Beta launch, reflections on HODLpac’s mission, and the best tweets, reads, and listens from this week in crypto-related politics and policy.
HODLscore Beta Testing
We’re excited to announce that the HODLscore Beta is ready to share with those interested in helping us test it out and ideate on what we’re missing.
Join the Discord or reply here if you want to get involved over the next week as we work out the kinks and get ready to release it on our main website. We’re really excited to share it with you, the community we’re building it for.
A reminder on what HODLscore is all about from our newsletter a couple months ago:
How can a decentralized political organization be as effective as a traditionally-controlled PAC when it comes to strategically supporting the right candidates?
The answer: by arming our community with the data they need to make decisions and activating the wisdom of the crowd via community governance.
That’s why we’re building HODLscore - a resource for the HODLpac community to learn about (1) where Congressional candidates and legislators stand on crypto-related policy and (2) the strategic value of supporting them in the 2022 election cycle.
HODLscore will feature the following data about candidates and legislators:
Basic biographical information, Congressional committee assignments, and Caucus memberships;
Legislative data (such as bill sponsorships and voting records) on crypto-related bills;
Crypto-related press releases, public statements, quotes in news media, Tweets, podcast recordings, and more;
Data from Bitcoinpoliticians.org;
Campaign finance data to track which industries support them; and
Electoral data about their district and/or state.
This information will help HODLpac donors make individual donation decisions but it is also the raw material for members of HODLpac to make institutional decisions through community governance.
Special thanks to the DeFi Education Fund, which awarded a HODLpac a grant to fund the data and development that’s gone into building HODLscore. We’re not done yet but we’re thrilled to reach a point where we can build in public alongside the HODLpac community.
If you donated to HODLpac and have not yet registered your wallet address to receive governance tokens and membership NFTs, please do so at the link below. Note: This applies to every one who donated in 2021!
Donations are still being matched! Donate now and receive 1.5x the governance tokens. The next $68k will matched with a $0.50 donation to our community-governed Super PAC for our every $1 donated.
Reflections on HODLpac’s Mission
HODLpac got its start in early 2020. Back then, besides a non-operational PAC created by Coinbase, no one had tried to build a PAC on behalf of crypto. Organizations like Coin Center and the Chamber of Digital Commerce had been around for a few years, organizations like the Bitcoin Foundation had come and gone, and the Blockchain Association was just a few months old; but their main focus was (appropriately) elsewhere as they built out key pillars in crypto’s presence in DC.
The motivation for starting HODLpac was to add a grassroots-focused political fundraising operation to the crypto advocacy toolbox. The idea was (and still is) to:
Build an organization focused on enabling the average, pro-crypto/Bitcoin/Web3/etc. American to have a political voice and make it heard using their votes and their wallets.
And do so in a way that reflected the technologies that we are advocating for. In other words, to build HODLpac as a decentralized organization/DAO.
When we first launched, it was harder than it is now to make the case to the crypto community that we needed to get serious about engaging with policymakers. But, after events like the proposed self-hosted wallet rule at the end of the Trump administration (which our community deterred with grassroots effort) and the infrastructure bill fiasco (which was a stark reminder about the damage misguided policymakers can do), the tide has turned.
We now find ourselves in the era of the "single issue” crypto voter. Or, at least, in an era where a politician’s stance on crypto matters to a large set of voters. After all, 16% of Americans have participated in the cryptoeconomy in some way - that’s approximately 50 million people.
Fast forward to today and there are now several more organizations in the crypto advocacy ecosystem, e.g. the Association of Digital Asset Markets, the Proof of Stake Alliance, the DeFi Education Fund, the Bitcoin Policy Institute, and so on. Some have entered the scene very recently - like GMI PAC and the Digital Freedom Alliance - and share similar goals to HODLpac.
This is a very good thing.
The presence of other organizations with similar goals does not imply competition. Crypto can have more than one PAC and grassroots-focused organization.
Indeed, the evolution of the crypto advocacy ecosystem has proved that HODLpac is on to something. The negative take, perhaps, is that HODLpac missed it’s “first mover advantage” in becoming the grassroots political organization. But such a take would be just that: negative. And it would miss the bigger picture.
What we’re building with HODLpac is a community-driven organization, one that takes the best lessons from the things we’ve learned about the advantages of DAOs and cryptonative organizations over the past few years and applies them to building a powerful political coalition.
Specifically, those things are: the power of community ownership and the value of credible neutrality.
Community Ownership: Donors - and, soon, others who contribute to HODLpac in other ways - earn governance tokens and thus have ownership and a say in what HODLpac does. The bedrock of HODLpac is that there is no better approach to building a grassroots political organization for the crypto community in the United States then to do so in a decentralized way, one that incorporates community governance and participation whenever possible as long as it doesn’t become actively detrimental to HODLpac’s mission.
Credible Neutrality: We’ll have more about how this applies to HODLpac in next week’s newsletter (stay tuned). But, to get the basic idea about “credible neutrality,” a term coined/popularized by Vitalik Buterin, see the following quote from his January 2020 article on the topic in Nakamoto:
[There is a] very important principle that is at play, and one that is likely to become key to the discourse of how to build efficient, pro-freedom, fair and inclusive institutions that influence and govern different spheres of our lives. And that principle is this: when building mechanisms that decide high-stakes outcomes, it’s very important for those mechanisms to be credibly neutral.
In the case of HODLpac, the “high-stakes outcome” is deciding which candidates receive donations from us. A PAC built in the ethos of the crypto community should be credibly neutral in that it’s built in a way that recognizes the political diversity of its members while allowing them to speak in a unified, pro-crypto voice. Pro-crypto Americans might be Republicans, they might be Democrats, they might feel politically homeless - HODLpac’s donation tools are being built with this in mind so that no individual is forced to support a candidate that they would not otherwise support, if they don’t want to.
Again, more on this next week in the newsletter but if you’re interested in learning more now, join the Discord or reply here to chat.
If you’re still reading - and whether you’ve donated or not - thank you for your contributions to HODLpac thus far. Hopefully, you’re excited as we are about what we’re trying to build here.
📚 Good Reads
“From This Week’s Stablecoin Hearing: Concentration and Competition,” Nick Anthony, Cato Institute
“House Stablecoin Hearing; Senate Spot Market Hearing; Staking Taxes,” DeFi Education Fund, DEF Newsletter
“Andrew Yang: We Must Avoid Politicizing Crypto, Web3,” Ben Strack, Blockworks
“The Crypto Backlash Is Booming,” Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic
“Are Democrats Against Crypto? These Two Congressional Candidates Say No,” Laura Shin, Unchained Podcast
“Emmer Questions Under Secretary Liang at Hearing on Stablecoins,” Rep. Tom Emmer, Youtube
What’d we miss? Join our Discord and help curate this newsletter!
Disclaimer: HODLpac is FEC-registered hybrid political action committee and is not legally affiliated with any party, party committee, candidate or candidate committee.