Invisible Giving as the key action of a GreenPill Movement

Inspired by Toby Shorin’s recent appearance on GreenPill, here’s a proposal:

The key activity of the GreenPill Movement is to make direct positive impacts on people well outside of the world of web3 through supporting systemic initiatives that make giving invisible.

We believe that as people hear about how web3 makes giving invisible, more and more people will choose web3 over the traditional finance system.

We host the raddest meetups and parties exclusively for those that engage in web3-powered invisible giving.

Invisible Giving platforms

We define a platform as enabling invisible giving if:

  • It preserves or grows an end user’s nominal balance. The cost to the user is simply an opportunity cost.
  • Once coins are swapped/staked, there is absolutely nothing more for the end user to do for impact to occur.


  • Glo (USDC/USDT equivalent that donates profits from US Treasury T-bills to GiveDirectly)
  • Spirals Protocol (Allows PoS validators to direct a portion of their block rewards towards the Spirals Treasury to fund impactful projects)
  • UBI Vaults (can’t link, new user so max 2 links): (Uses 50% of the interest from Yearn Vaults to automatically buy and burn UBI tokens)

really excited about Glo. am having them on the GP pod soon

i wonder why the keyh here is making giving invisible. like whats the a priori reason why the invisibility is the key

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At minimum, a movement needs a:

Case study: Extinction Rebellion

Target: UK Government

Demand: Net zero by 2025

Tactic: Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse.

Principles: bottom of About Us - Extinction Rebellion UK

“Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion.”

The GreenPill Movement

Target: The traditional finance system

Demand: A financial system that that provides for everyone within the carrying capacity of the planet, 𝜪xp? (zero extreme poverty)

Tactic: Invisible Giving stimulating the adoption of cryptocurrency as a kind of propaganda of the deed

Principles: wip

At this point crypto is absolutely not associated with regeneration/poverty reduction (in fact, it’s probably more closely associated with the opposite). It’s vital for a GreenPill Movement to show how crypto can do good – now, and for real people/places, not just in the abstract.

At the same time, many parts of the world are experiencing a cost of living crisis with record high fuel costs and soaring inflation. It’s not a great time to be asking people to donate.

I think centring Invisible Giving could be a solution.

  • It directly benefits people and places in need
  • It shows how crypto technology can enable something genuinely different to the existing financial system
  • It doesn’t cost the participants anything (apart from an opportunity cost)

(…continuing to think out loud…)

Love these ideas!

One clarification though:

These strike me as “frictionless” or “passive” or “set-it-and-forget-it” approaches to giving, not necessarily “invisible” ones. To me, “invisible” implies that no one else would know that I’m supporting a project.

Stoked to see Spirals on here! And excited for Glo’s launch.

I would point out that this is the endowment model that universities and some nonprofits use (read all about it). On the donor side, it would be called a charitable trust. Admittedly these are not easy to set up in many countries, so smart contracts could certainly be democratizing here.

Whether it’s a good idea ties in to the “give now vs give later” decision that comes up all the time in “effective altruism” as well as the broader philanthropy community. Both nonprofit plays and for-profit plays ideally create positive feedback loops. Broadly, the way you would think about it is comparing discount rates.

Is the giving opportunity urgent or can it slow roll into perpetuity?

Look at the 30y or 100y risk-free discount (these are significantly less volatile compared to near-term rates). Ask whether giving now would yield more or less compounding return over that timeframe for the recipient community. If more, give now; if less, give later; if about equal, consider endowing.

One could even define “regenerative” giving as giving that has a lasting and compounding long-term impact, and non-regenerative giving as giving that has an impact which fizzles out and fails to break the cycle. Under this financial framework, an outstanding regenerative giving opportunity should be spent all-in on immediately, whereas a non-regenerative giving opportunity should perhaps never be given to.

There’s a psychological aspect that I haven’t mentioned, of course. Some people, for whatever reason, gravitate to certain fixed-income structures such as trust funds, annuities, and prize-linked savings accounts even at worse Net Present Values. Perhaps they serve as spending guardrails for the less disciplined. So you may be able to get outsized allocation from these people by structuring things this way.

The endowment model has been an important foundation of the nonprofit economy. But I hesitate to say whether it’s unilaterally the future of giving. I would at least urge caution in terms of rebranding it (in the long term, it will get found out).

Noting @natvancleve’s tweet that “We need the exact opposite!” to this

and dropping his two excellent articles


@cerv1 I did consider the term ‘frictionless giving’ and on reflection/integration of Nate’s ideas I think it is more appropriate.

This kind of frictionless/set-and-forget giving is actually highly visible-

  • In the first instance because you can simply demonstrate that you have a certain amount of Glo/Spirals/etc in your wallet
  • Beyond that, potentially Glo/Spirals/etc could credit holders with impact certificates

Also dropping @owocki’s post on The Meta Trap 🪤 - #5 by ZER8 - 🤖 DAO Governance and Vision - Gitcoin Governance

It’s useful for providing context for why I think it’s important a GreenPill movement includes an element “to make direct positive impacts on people well outside of the world of web3” (original post)

And finally this very impact cert-flavoured innovation from GiveDirectly…

An NFT could be issued for each individual funded.

So it’s looking something like:

  • GreenPill movement focuses on getting people to hold Glo/Spirals/etc
  • Glo/Spirals/etc fund individuals on GiveDirectly or similar and receive impact certs
  • Glo/Spirals/etc pass impact certs back to holders

So your wallet gets filled up with impact certs with touching stories of real individuals simply by holding Glo over USDC… not bad eh?

(edit - tree equivalent:


Hi everyone! Seth from Glo here. Very glad to be considered in your initiatives and mentioned in such outstanding company! Happy to answer any questions you might have about how the coin works, our plans, etc.

Here’s a ten minute written overview and a ten minute presentation from our co-founder Jasper Driessens.

We’re excited to see what emerges from this :smiley:


Noting that Jasper & Garm from Glo appeared on the GreenPill pod 0 Extreme Poverty with Jasper & Garm of Glo Dollar | Green PIll #89 - YouTube

There they use the term ‘embedded philanthropy’ which has a similar meaning to what I was getting at with ‘invisible giving’

One way you can make giving ‘invisible’ is actually by way of a fiat-crypto bridge. The recipient can actually know who made the gift, but on-chain it’s the payments provider to recipient making the transfer.