1. How much money have you spent so far? Have you gotten more funding from other sources? Do you need more funding?
I have spent ~$10,000 in the last 6 months, with travel to conferences, design and some development work being the biggest expenses.
I am getting additional support from the following sources
Gitcoin : My project received $280 in community contributions in the beta round, which unlocked nearly $2000 in matching funds. Gitcoin Grants Round 18 ended earlier this week and my project received $500 in community contributions from 75 people, which I estimate will be another $2-3k in matching funds.
I was selected as a next billion fellow by Ethereum Foundation! Among many forms of assistance, they are helping support my travel later this month for Berlin Blockchain Week and the Global Investigative Journalism conference in Gothenburg (Sweden).
The Plurality Institute gave another $2k earlier this year to support the creation of journalism hypercerts.
We are finally at the stage where our blueprint is ready and now need resources to bring it to the world.
2. How is the project going? (a few paragraphs)
Pretty good actually! 3 citizen journalism media outlets in India (CGNet Swara, Video Volunteers and Gram Vaani) want our help converting their past database of 10,000 impact reports into hypercerts on a public blockchain. These impact reports are stories from their network of rural reporters who narrate longstanding community problems, such as absentee government teachers , unpaid wages to laborers & lack of clean water or electricity. These are shared by the newsroom with senior government officials, mainstream media outlets and urban activists ; if they get resolved, it counts as an impact report.
Only yesterday, we completed code enabling these newsrooms (and any web2 nonprofit really) to convert their past database of impact into hypercerts (a web3 primitive for impact certs) on Goerli testnet
You can see the completed output here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uTXcOefrEmtOOQwsaqprHJ-WMEi3W6tJP7nE6uPIAQc/edit#gid=544952228
We also had to do some thinking around the customer profile for journalism impact certs, as they do not have an obvious customer base like carbon credits. We decided to target the gifting market, to tap into the growing trend of donation cards commemorating a special occasion (such as Save the Children's Gift Catalogue.)
In our design, hypercerts remain locked when there are 0 contributors. The first contributor gets their congratulatory wishes engraved into the cert, while comments from follow-on contributors are ordered underneath the engraving according to most recent and amount given. After the cost to create that impact is met, the hypercert is again locked
To identify cases where an impact cert is double sold, each hypercert has a unique tokenID on a public blockchain. We also give every customer a ENS sub-domain upon registration, with their contributions converted into units of the hypercert & transferred to them on a public blockchain.
YouTube link with explainer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4upwjTiz_Jc
3. How well has your project gone compared to where you expected it to be at this point? (Score from 1-10, 10 = Better than expected)
I would say a 8//10, with 2 points subtracted for not completing a prototype and getting a few sales of journalism impact certificates by now.
At the same time, figuring out how to build something is less challenging than knowing what to build in the first place. I am overall happy as we have our figma flow in place alongside a script to convert private databases of impact into hypercerts on a public blockchain. It's now only the implementation details that need to be looked into
4. Are there any remaining ways you need help, besides more funding?
Scott offered to let ACX grantees write on his blog - would love to take him up on that after launch!
Some insight on customer segmentation, we haven't yet tested the waters on product-market fit. Would appreciate suggestions on forums we can write our ideas in to get feedback on our design for an impact certificate marketplace.
Presenting at an EA conference early next year (I was rejected from EAG Boston and EAGx Berlin)
When I now look back at my earlier comments/updates, I am amazed at how many pivots we've made. If this were a regular grant, funders would be aghast at how far what we ended up building is from our initial proposal.