Certificate of impact

In late July, a group of authors in collaboration with Vitalik Buterin proposed a model called retroactive public goods funding (Wang et al. 2021). The model consists of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), called "the Results Oracle", that funds projects considered to have high social value. The funding is done retrospectively rather than prospectively, by assessing the value of the project after it has been completed. Once the Results Oracle evaluates a project, it can send the reward to the person or group responsible for the project or, alternatively, it can use the funds to establish a price floor for a token associated with the project. As the authors note, rewarding via a project token in effect creates a prediction market for the amount of funding the Results Oracle will decide to allocate to the project, and allows the same project to be funded multiple times, or by other sources other thanbesides the Results Oracle.

In late July, a group of authors in collaboration with Vitalik Buterin proposed a model called retroactive public goods funding (Wang et al. 2021). The model consists of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), called "the Results Oracle", that funds projects considered to have high social value. The funding is done retrospectively rather than prospectively, by assessing the value of the project after it has been completed. Once the Results Oracle selectsevaluates a project, it can send the reward to the person or group responsible for the project or, alternatively, it can use the funds to establish a price floor for a token associated with the project. As the authors note, rewarding via a project token in effect creates a prediction market for the amount of funding the Results Oracle will decide to allocate to the project, and allows the same project to be funded multiple times, or by sources other than the Results Oracle.

CertificatesRelated models

Recently, a number of impact and non-fungible tokensrelated funding models have been proposed.

In late July, a group of authors in collaboration with Vitalik Buterin proposed a model called retroactive public goods funding (Wang et al. 2021). The model consists of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), called "the Results Oracle", that funds projects considered to have high social value. The funding is done retrospectively rather than prospectively, by assessing the value of the project after it has been completed. Once the Results Oracle selects a project, it can send the reward to the person or group responsible for the project or, alternatively, it can use the funds to establish a price floor for a token associated with the project. As the authors note, rewarding via a project token in effect creates a prediction market for the amount of funding the Results Oracle will decide to allocate to the project, and allows the same project to be funded multiple times, or by sources other than the Results Oracle.

Wang, Jinglan et al. (2021) Retroactive public goods funding, Ethereum Optimism Blog, July 20.

A Certificatescertificate of impact (also known as an impact certificatescertificate) areis a kind of altruistic instrument at the center of a funding model proposed by Paul Christiano. Certificates of impact attempt to harness the benefits of the price system in altruistic contexts, where prices are usually unavailable.

In early May 2021, the organization Noora Health—which implements educational programs for mothers of newborns in South Asia—launched a non-fungible token (NFT) which may in some respects be regarded as a certificate of impact. TheirThe auction opened with a list price for the auction wasof $2.5 million, and as of 5 May 2021, computer scientist and tech entrepreneur Paul Graham—a long-time supporter of the organization—had placed the highestwinning bid of ETH 1337, at the time worth $5.23 million (Noora Health 2021; Graham 2021). A difference between this use of NFTs and certificates of impact as conceived by Christiano is that those bidding in the NFT auction are paying for the prospect of future impact, whereas an impact purchase is a transaction involving the transfer of past impact.

In early May 2021, the organization Noora Health—which implements educational programs for mothers of newborns in South Asia—launched a non-fungible token (NFT) which may in what maysome respects be regarded as a kind of certificate of impact. Their list price for the auction was $2.5 million, and as of 5 May 2021, computer scientist and tech entrepreneur Paul Graham—a long-time supporter of the organization—had placed the highest bid (Noora Health 2021; Graham 2021). A difference between this use of NFTs and certificates of impact as conceived by Christiano is that those bidding in the NFT auction are paying for the prospect of future impact, whereas an impact purchase is a transaction involving the transfer of past impact.

In early May 2021, the organization Noora Health—which implements educational programs for mothers of newborns in South Asia—launched a non-fungible token (NFT) in what may be regarded as a kind of certificate of impact. Their list price for the auction was $2.5 million, and as of 45 May 2021, computer scientist and tech entrepreneur Paul Graham—a long-time supporter of the organization—had placed the highest bid (Noora Health 2021; Graham 2021). A difference between this use of NFTs and certificates of impact as conceived by Christiano is that those bidding in the NFT auction are paying for the prospect of future impact, whereas an impact purchase is a transaction involving the transfer of past impact.

casebash (2020) Making impact purchases viable, Effective altruism forumAltruism Forum, April 17.

Kuhn, Ben (2015) I just sold half of a blog post, Ben Kuhn’s blogBlog, April.
A good intuitive description of the idea of impact purchase.

Linsefors, Linda (2020) The case for impact purchase | part 1, Effective altruism forumAltruism Forum, April 14.

Noora Health (2021) Save thousands of lives, OpenSea.

Rose, Eli (2020) Do impact certificates help if you’re not sure your work is effective?, Effective altruism forumAltruism Forum, February 12.

In early May 2021, the organization Noora Health—which implements educational programs for mothers of newborns in South Asia—launched a non-fungible token (NFT) in what may be regarded as a kind of certificate of impact. Their list price for the auction was $2.5 million, and as of 4 May 2021, computer scientist and tech entrepreneur Paul Graham—a long-time supporter of the organization—had placed the highest bid (Noora Health 2021; Graham 2021). A difference between this use of NFTs and certificates of impact as conceived by Christiano is that those bidding in the NFT auction are paying for the prospect of future impact, whereas an impact purchase is a transaction involving the transfer of past impact.

Certificates of impact and non-fungible tokens

In early May 2021, the organization Noora Health—which implements educational programs for mothers in South Asia—launched a non-fungible token (NFT) in what may be regarded as a kind of certificate of impact. Their list price for the auction was $2.5 million, and as of 4 May 2021, computer scientist and tech entrepreneur Paul Graham—a long-time supporter of the organization—had placed the highest bid (Noora Health 2021; Graham 2021). A difference between this use of NFTs and certificates of impact as conceived by Christiano is that those bidding in the NFT auction are paying for the prospect of future impact, whereas an impact purchase is a transaction involving the transfer of past impact.

casebash (2020) Making impact purchases viable, Effective altruism forum, April 17.

Christiano, Paul (2014) Certificates of impact, Rational Altruist, November 15.

Christiano, Paul & Katja Grace (2015)(2015a) Why certificates?, The Impact Purchase.
An explanation of the benefits of certificates of impact.

Christiano, Paul & Katja Grace (2015b) Certificates of impact, The Impact Purchase.

Graham, Paul (2021) An NFT that saves lives, Paul Graham’s Website.

Hoffman, Ben (2016) Minimum viable impact purchases, Compass Rose, August 29.

Kuhn, Ben (2015) I just sold half of a blog post, Ben Kuhn’s Blogblog, April.
A good intuitive description of the idea of impact purchase.

Linsefors, Linda (2020) The case for impact purchase | part 1, Effective altruism forum, April 14.

Rose, Eli (2020) Do impact certificates help if you’re not sure your work is effective?, Effective altruism forum, February 12.

Certificates of impact (also known as impact certificates) are a kind of altruistic instrument at the center of a funding model proposed by Paul Christiano. Certificates of impactsimpact attempt to harness the benefits of the price system in altruistic contexts, where prices are usually unavailable.