Cryptocurrency was once an asset unknown to the world. Now, with the capabilities decentralized finance (DeFi) brings to the table, it is nearly a mainstream financial tool. With more institutional money flooding into the market, the question of the ability of the asset to do good and better the world remains. A reality, after many experienced the devastating impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, reminds us that people are not masters of the planet but have a responsibility to sustain the place they live.
Institutional investors are already building portfolios that address environmental, social and governance concerns in the traditional market; therefore, the expectation is there for this advent to be carried over in the cryptocurrency market. While considerations have already been made about the impact of digital currency mining, the market is much more expansive, with current projects just scraping the surface.
Popcorn is marrying these two concepts with the slogan “Do good with Defi.” At its very basics, users gain the opportunity to earn a high yield on their crypto assets while simultaneously creating a real-world impact. By developing yield-generating DeFi products that can allocate fees to public benefit organizations, social good becomes a part of the industry at its core, without costing a premium, further leveraging the power that comes along with the community.
In evaluating this gap in the market, a member from the Popcorn team shares,
“If TradFi is experiencing this tectonic shift in investment strategy, with ESG assets expected to exceed $50 trillion by 2025, what does that mean for ESG in DeFi? Currently, there are only a handful of impact-driven projects that have launched and only account for a sliver in total TVL. Assuming the current growth rate in TVL with ESG DeFi increasingly developing and evolving in the ecosystem, what can we expect from doing good projects? Will they be responsible for onboarding the next 100M users to DeFi? If ingenuity and authenticity were indicators in measuring success, then WAGMI.”
The project has raised $6 million to date from Jump Capital, New Form Capital, Kenetic Capital, Cakebox Capital, The LAO, Impossible Finance, The Crypto Founders Network, Big Brain Holdings, Hestia Holdings, Amino Capital, Drop Ventures, XTBO Humla Ventures as well as angels from MakerDAO, IBM, NASA, Google and Deloitte, to name a few.
Striving for social impact
In operation, this is executed through the decentralized autonomous organization or DAO model. Unlike DeFi, DAOs look at the community rather than the financial industry, transferring the ability to drive decisions away from the organization and towards the people.
Popcorn is kickstarting its project with Butter, a basket of wrapped yield-bearing stablecoins made with DAO treasuries and gas-conscious users in mind that is estimated to yield 20% APY on Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Dai (DAI), or LP 3pool Curve (3CRV), along with a social impact stablecoin. The coin is not only the first of its kind but will allow users to create an impact just by holding the coin. In practice, the stablecoin is the product of an overcollateralized loan and repayment process that operates through smart contracts on Popcorn.
As users extract value, a portion of the fees — anywhere from 20-50% — is redirected towards organizations striving for social impact, some of which are nominated by the token holders themselves. The team currently invites social organizations to learn more about becoming a beneficiary.
The network has integrated with Patch, an API-first platform focused on removing carbon emissions and the neutralization of them through high-impact carbon removal projects.
Popcorn has since partnered with organizations like the Crypto Climate Accord, a public commitment for net-zero emissions, The Giving Block and the Vanderbilt University Blockchain Club.
Deployed for future impact
The network plans to initially deploy Popcorn on Mainnet and Polygon (MATIC), with future plans to deploy on Fantom Opera (FTM), Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Solana (SOL) and Avalanche (AVAX). Their abilities as a multi-chain yield optimizer are met with other future plans to onboard anchor beneficiaries, continue with mobile app development and eventually become a fully-fledged decentralized exchange.