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HODLpac Donation Round #1 - April 5-19, 2022
Our first donation matching round and initial endorsements
Last week, we shared two exciting developments at HODLpac:
First, we released V.1 of HODLscore for you all to experiment with and provide feedback on. Big thank you to all who asked helpful questions and contributed ideas. If you haven’t yet checked it out, click here:
Second, we announced the HODLpac Endorsement Committee for the 2022 election cycle:
Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association
Ryan Selkis, CEO of Messari and founder of the Digital Freedom Alliance
David Zell, head of policy at BTC Inc and founder of the Bitcoin Policy Institute
Dennis Porter, Bitcoin-focused public policy advocate and podcast host
John McCarthy, general counsel at Wicklow Capital
Julian Fletcher-Taylor, HODLpac
Tyler Whirty, HODLpac
Today, we’re keeping the ball rolling with another announcement:
Our first HODLpac Donation Round will start at 12pm ET on April 5th and run through 12pm ET on April 19th, 2022.
What does this mean exactly?
For a full answer, see our newly-revamped Docs to learn more about how HODLpac’s quadratic funding donation system is going to work in 2022.
Or keep reading…
HODLpac Donation Rounds
During the 2022 election cycle, HODLpac’s donation decisions will be made by the community, algorithmically, according to the quadratic funding formula. Quadratic funding is the mathematically optimal way to fund public goods in a democratic community. For an example of how quadratic funding works, check out Gitcoin Grants or this website www.wtfisqf.com.
Here’s how it works in the context of HODLpac:
During HODLpac’s Donation Rounds, crypto voters like yourself will be able to give, through HODLpac, to any candidate in the country using fiat or crypto.
Each Donation Round will have a certain amount of matching funds from HODLpac’s PAC treasury.
Based on the distribution of direct donations made by crypto voters, HODLpac’s funds will be sent to campaigns as donations!
The core tenet of quadratic funding is that matching totals are determined by the number of contributors (in this case, to a certain politician) moreso than the amount funded.
This means that someone who gives $10 to a candidate (or multiple) and gets two or three friends to join along has a bigger impact on how HODLpac is donating than one person who gives $100. Depending on how (and how many) others donate, you could direct thousands of dollars of HODLpac funds to your candidates of choice!
However, we have a few modifications to how we’re doing our quadratic funding matching. Here are the two notable ones:
HODLpac funds will only match donations to endorsed candidates.
We’re modifying the quadratic funding formula (very) slightly so that matching is boosted to candidates to certain states during each Donation Round. This is so that we can try to get money to candidates in advance of their primary elections. See here for a schedule of planned Donation Rounds and boosted states.
This first Donation Round is two weeks long to kick things off right and to boost donations for endorsed candidates from Ohio (pending redistricting drama), Indiana, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Alabama, and Georgia. These states are the first primary states and all taking place in May. Our Friday newsletter will share details on the size of the matching pool.
Endorsement Round #1
Reminder #1: Only endorsed candidates are eligible for HODLpac matching funds. All donations to non-endorsed candidates will still be passed through HODLpac to the candidate, they just won’t be matched until that candidate is endorsed.
Reminder #2: HODLpac governance token holders will have an opportunity to weigh in on endorsement decisions via community governance. Token drop coming soon ™.
Any questions or thoughts? Reply here or join our Discord.
Before we get into the list of endorsed candidates, a quick note on process:
The HODLpac Endorsement Committee meets weekly on Thursday afternoons to review HODLscore data, consider developments in elections around the country, and deliberate about which candidates to endorse.
Broadly speaking, the Endorsement Committee evaluates candidates on two tracks - Champion Score and Return on Investment Score.
Champion - how good is this candidate on the issues we care about? If they’re an incumbent, have they been actively pro-crypto in Congress?
Return on Investment - does this candidate have a good enough chance to win such that it is not an obvious waste of money to support them?
Note: this is not the same as the HODLscore system, which is a topic for another day (or whenever you want to hop in the Discord and ask).
In the coming weeks and months, the EC plans to make endorsement announcements on a roughly weekly basis as it makes its way through races around the country and as HODLpac questionnaire responses roll in. Moreover, we’ll be detailing how HODLpac governance tokens can take part in this process. For now, however, we want to hear from you! Email us by replying here, tweet at us, join our Discord, send smoke signals or carrier pigeons - please tell us what you think!
Anyway, the list we’ve all been waiting for:
The HODLpac Endorsement Committee is pleased to include the following House candidates in our first round of endorsements.
Rep. Tom Emmer, Republican Party, incumbent from Minnesota’s 6th district
Rep. Tom Emmer has been a staunch supporter of pro-crypto policy for several years. He is the co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and a member of the House Financial Services Committee where he has co-sponsored 10 bills related to crypto, having to do with everything from clarifying the tax treatment of crypto assets to creating a federal safe harbor for blockchain developers. He is an incumbent running in a safe district with no major challengers and has served as chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee since 2019, meaning he is a rising leader in his party.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, Republican Party, incumbent from North Carolina’s 10th district.
Rep. Patrick McHenry is a reliably pro-crypto and powerful member of Congress. He is a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and minority ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, where he will serve as chairman next year if the House goes to the Republicans. He is the main sponsor of two crypto-related bills, including most recently the Keep Innovation in America Act, which seeks to remedy the shortcomings of the anti-crypto Infrastructure Bill.
Rep. Darren Soto, Democratic Party, incumbent from Florida’s 9th district.
Rep. Darren Soto is a legislative workhorse when it comes to crypto-related policy, having sponsored or co-sponsored 25 relevant bills in the 116th and 117th (current) Congresses. He is also a co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has increased relevance for crypto as regulatory attention turns to proof-of-work mining energy expenditure.
Rep. Warren Davidson, Republican Party, incumbent from Ohio’s 8th district.
Rep. Warren Davidson has built his pro-crypto bonafides over the years as a strong defender of Bitcoin and innovation in the broader crypto space. He also gave us this sound bite a few years ago when he got the word “shitcoin” in the Congressional Record. He is a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and the House Financial Services Committee, where he has sponsored or co-sponsored 13 crypto-related bills, including the Token Taxonomy Act.
Rep. Ro Khanna, Democratic Party, incumbent from California’s 17th district.
Rep. Ro Khanna, Silicon Valley’s congressman, has proven to be a pro-crypto stalwart in the Democratic caucus. He has sponsored or co-sponsored 9 bills related to crypto since the 116th Congress, including the Keep Innovation in America Act. He is a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and the House Agriculture Committee, which oversees the crypto-relevant CFTC.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer, Democratic Party, incumbent from New Jersey’s 5th district.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer is another representative for sensible crypto public policy in the Democratic Party. He is a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and the House Financial Services Committee and has co-sponsored three bills related to crypto. His office is also pushing forward a respected piece of legislation on stablecoins that has not yet been released to the public.
Rep. Ritchie Torres, Democratic Party, incumbent from New York’s _ district.
Rep. Ritchie Torres is a new entrant into the crypto in congress club but a welcome one. His level-headed questioning of Brian Brooks, pro-crypto former OCC chair, a couple months ago before the House Financial Services Committee helped to shape a liberal case for support of this new technology. Indeed, he recently penned an op-ed with that title, “A Liberal Case for Cryptocurrency.”
Aarika Rhodes, Democratic Party, challenger candidate in California’s 30th district.
Aarika Rhodes needs no introduction to the crypto community. She’s running against Brad Sherman, crypto’s starkest opponent in the House, and has embraced Bitcoin and the crypto community wholeheartedly. Aarika did a Twitter Space with HODLpac a few months and was gracious, open-minded, and fired up to take down Sherman, who not only is bad on crypto policy but has neglected his district for years.
However, Rhodes faces an uphill battle to win against Sherman. She must first get through an open primary (i.e. R’s and D’s on the same ballot) in California’s 30th district to advance to a two-person runoff with Sherman, who has lots of money and name recognition. Nonetheless, the Endorsement Committee feels she is absolutely worth supporting in 2022; if she’s elected, we can wave goodbye to Brad Sherman and say hello to a new supporter in DC who will help persuade other Democrats to join our cause.
Matt West, Democratic Party, open seat candidate in Oregon’s 6th district
Helping Matt West win his election means helping put a former DeFi developer in Congress. West is a strong candidate running in an open seat in Oregon’s newly created 6th Congressional district. He has been laying the groundwork for his run by getting his name out to the community and building a strong campaign.
West was one of the first respondents to HODLpac’s Candidate Questionnaire, through which he made his case to the crypto community, “Web3 has the potential to completely revolutionize the internet and give power back to the users - but too often it's being discussed as though it's just shadowy super-coders in basements writing nefarious code. Make no mistake - many folks in power want to shut down our industry, and they'll keep coming for us until we stand up and prove that we're willing to fight to defend what we've built. We need defenders inside the halls of government who will fight for us.”
So, what do you think? Tweet at us.
Stay tuned for a Friday newsletter with additional endorsements running for the House and Senate and details on our Donation Round #1 matching pool size.
📚 Good Reads
“Gillibrand, Lummis plan new regulatory framework for crypto,” Sam Sutton & Katy O’Donnell, Politico
“The Unnoticed OFAC Budget Ask in Last Week's Crypto Congressional Hearing,” Nikhilesh De, CoinDesk
“Biden White House anticipates $10 billion in revenue over next decade from crypto tax rules updates,” Kollen Post, The Block
“Introducing Disclosure NFTs, Disclosure DAOs, and Disclosure DIDs,” Chris Brummer, Medium
“Bitcoin Is for Anyone with David Zell,” Peter McCormack, What Bitcoin Did Podcast
“Legal and crypto exchange experts weigh in on how to navigate sanctions,” Aislinn Keeley, The Block’s Policy Scoop Podcast
What’d we miss? Join our Discord and help curate this newsletter!
Disclaimer: HODLpac is a FEC-registered hybrid political action committee and is not legally affiliated with any party, party committee, candidate or candidate committee.