We ask builders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space for their thoughts on the industry…and throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!
This week our 6 Questions go to Pat Duffy, co-founder of The Giving Block – a crypto donation solution that provides an ecosystem for nonprofits and charities to fundraise for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Pat is co-founder of The Giving Block and has raised over $100,000,000 in crypto for nonprofits in the past year. From 2020 to 2022, Pat and co-founder Alex Wilson have grown The Giving Block from a four-person team to one of the fastest growing companies in the nonprofit sector, with thousands of clients. nonprofit and the world’s largest crypto donor community.
1 — What is the main obstacle to the mass adoption of blockchain technology?
People talk about education, and I think that’s wrong. When people say “education,” I think it gets people to get on stage and explain blockchain to people who don’t even understand how their microwaves work. This seems very puritanical to me and it has slowed down adoption progress. I think people are too addicted to decentralizing everything, including crypto adoption, which leads to a lot of people creating “educational” content instead of creating intermediary companies and encouraging ownership of Beginner-level crypto that does not require staking yams. I would love to see people stop trying to explain how the pistons fire in the engine block so we can focus more energy on creating a level of crypto access that doesn’t require any technical understanding.
2 — What has been the most difficult challenge you have faced in our industry so far?
Teaching young crypto owners the tax incentive to donate crypto. It’s so hard to explain to a group of people who hodl at all costs that they actually end up with bigger crypto positions when they donate crypto rather than donate money (they donate the crypto, then use the dollars they would have donated to buy crypto at today’s prices Voila – they owe no tax on the appreciated crypto they donated to charity, and the new crypto they donated bought today resets their tax liability). It’s been a real uphill battle, because these people haven’t been educated about it like older people who donate stocks every year for the same reason.
3 – Does it matter if we ever find out who Satoshi really is or was? Why or why not?
I don’t care, but a lot of people seem determined to figure it out. I don’t see the point of it, and I think it just allows people to be made to invest or not to invest based on the moral advantages and disadvantages of the individual. Ideas are no longer true or false, no matter who developed them. I would fear the same thing happening that we see in politics, where people support ideas based on the person saying them rather than the merit of the idea itself.
4 — What do the people closest to you blame you for? Feel free to offer more than one answer.
It’s a wild question, but I dig it. I would say the main thing I hear is “It’s not funny” when I take a risk with a crazy joke. Which obviously makes it funnier. I’ve never taken heroin, but I guess the closest thing to an opiate high would be telling jokes that drive my mom a little crazy while everyone else is laughing.
5 – What makes you angry and what happens when you get angry?
I’d say the main driver of bubbling rage these days would be seeing people I care about having heated discussions about things they’re not actively working on (and never will be actively working on). Watching friends and family get upset about political situations or cultural shifts that they aren’t personally trying to influence is a weird self-destructive obsession that occasionally blasts me at the dinner table. Whenever someone complains about something, I like to ask them, “What are you going to do about it?” If the answer is that there’s nothing they can or will do about it, I think we all have an obligation to beg them to stop reading about it.
There is a lot less time in the day than people think. All the time people spend “staying informed” directly takes away from the time they spend improving their lives or the lives of those they care about. I would love to see more people obsessively learn about topics that they actually use to make things better.
6 – What is the dumbest conspiracy theory and which one makes you think for a moment?
The flat earth theory is the funniest right now. Right at that perfect intersection where just enough people are bought off to make you think the end of the world is near. “Birds Aren’t Real” would be my favorite if there were any NBA players who were fired up. The ones that give me pause aren’t all off the beaten path — usually they’re suicides or assassinations where there’s a lot at stake. When there are obvious reasons some people might want you dead, it doesn’t take a leap of faith for you to start thinking there could be more to the story.
A wish for the young and ambitious blockchain community:
I hope you are all using what you learn to improve the lives of those you care about. It can be by making transformative money, solving important problems, building important businesses, or making important connections. Either way, you are in a position to do something important, so make this opportunity count.