Honu - A CryptoKitty Charity Auction

I am excited by the potential of cryptocurrencies and cryptogoods to change, and hopefully improve, the way we raise funds for charity.

Cryptogoods are particularly interesting as they are scarce and unique digital goods.

AVC community member Arnold Waldstein tipped me off to a really good example of this:

Little Honu (Hawaiian for turtle) is part kitten, part sea turtle. Honu is the first of a lineage of CryptoKittens ‘hatched’ to both raise funds and be ambassadors for their causes and to be bought, sold, and bred within the game itself.

Honu will be auctioned to raise funds for charity. The auction starts today, on Monday the 9th, ends Sunday the 15th.

Auction proceeds go directly to two sea turtle conservation projects in the Caribbean: Operation Jairo and Unite BVI.

Previous CryptoKitty charity auctions have raised in excess of $140K.  Donations are tax exempt for the winner if a US citizen.

This is part of a pilot for CryptoKitties, tied to their KittyVerse partner program and their Kitties-for-Good initiative.

CryptoKitties teamed up with Bill Tai and his ACTAI community of activists, athletes and investors, and Ocean Elders, a conservation group headed up by Sir Richard Branson, Jane Goodall and others to make this happen.

And Arnold is the quarterback of this initiative, creating and orchestrating a mashup of traditional, web, crypto and event-based grassroots marketing and partnerships.  It’s a first step in a broader project he is developing with Bill Tai to bring together incentivized communities through unique cryptoassets into a larger framework for non-profit projects everywhere.

I just bid on Honu and am currently the leading bidder, which I expect won’t last for long.

#crypto#hacking philanthropy

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Thanks Fred!Hatching Honu is a great project and I think has real legs moving forward to make a difference!It took a community of support and hats off to all supporters and especially to the working team at CryptoKitties, ACTAI GLOBAL and Ocean Elders.

  2. LIAD

    Kittiverse…Kitties-For-Good.Easy fodder for people to disparage but important for them to remember, when a wise man points at the moon, the fool looks at the finger .

    1. JamesHRH

      Great one.Most of people’s lives are still a brick and mortar experience. This is very niche, despite how good the execution appears.William is constantly begging for more of these examples…..why is that? Rhymes with demand.

      1. Pointsandfigures

        Technology is often a Trojan Horse. Looks like a game, or something silly, then upends a business vertical.

        1. JamesHRH

          I have never believed that.Message boards looked like losers, not a game. If you looked at the fundamentals, you saw all the drivers of the email & websites.Oracles first website looked like a phone directory, it was a big clue to the power of search.Now FB/Igram/Snap/Twit make the power of messaging obvious & mainstream.People forget that all the internet jobs were being done – poorly & expensively – by things like Airmail, interiffice memos ( remember the envelopes with the grids) & Long Distance ( remember when your Mom would say ‘we better hang up, this is expensive LD?)…..Digital goods? No fundamental job being done here that can be expanded past hopeful speculation.Love Willi & Freddy, but it’s a Greater Fool Play.

          1. Pointsandfigures

            I don’t think blockchain is a panacea. I do see where it’s super efficient and can streamline a lot of things driving more goods and services to more people efficiently raising standards of living for everyone. I also see ways for crypto to allocate capital and match it to the highest risk/reward places better than a centralized bureaucracy could.

          2. awaldstein

            There are things you can program into a smart contract that you simply cannot do any other way. Powerful enabler that of course augments not replaces behaviors.

          3. JamesHRH

            I have never doubted it’s a better mousetrap.I see no demand & no fudnamental job to be done in an exponentially improved fashion……why would I rip out cloud based clearinghouses that work for a 10-15% performance uptick?

        2. LE

          is often aAnyone ever do a statistical analysis of how many times this hasn’t happened? [1]Like the live Springsteen concert song where he stops playing and talks mid song about how his Dad didn’t want him to play guitar but instead become a lawyer. Some teen in the audience just thought it was so wonderful that Springsteen followed his passion and became Springsteen. And obviously ‘your Dad and therefore all parents are wrong’.[1] Other example are when you hear some big established company passes on an idea how stupid they are. Like when HP passed on what Wozniak wanted to do. How many ideas did they pass on (or IBM) that never went anywhere.

      2. Richard

        Improving the trust of a Databases using private blockchain via the blockchain algorithm should solve some assets authentication issues going forward. Watched Blood Diamonds last night and one could see a use case here. The communities obsessesion, however, on the coins and their values is simply one motivated by greed.

    2. Richard

      There is no better example of Charlie Munger’s warnings of authority bias than the marketing and wealth transfer from Crypto Currencies. Charitable auction writeoffs are the difference between the bid amount and the fair market value of the item auctioned? Just what is the fair market value of the kitty?

      1. creative group

        Richard:what else would the smart money do with their time and money. Why spoil a feel good endeavor/pastime?Party pooper! (Total Sarcasm)Idle Rich……Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

      2. jason wright

        engineered scarcity and the plutocracy were made for each other.

    3. jason wright

      to the moon! (it’s made of cheese, and this is crypto).

  3. William Mougayar

    We need many more such initiatives to make a big difference. Maybe one day, there will be a Sothebys of valuable cryptogoods and crypto art.

    1. awaldstein

      I am very certain there will be more initiatives that tie cryptogoods to projects for social good like this one and just maybe, a new set of tokens specific for this type of cause.How interesting it would be if the smart contract allowed for every time one of these objects were sold to continuously give back to the cause?

      1. Eric Satz

        Awesome job Arnold

        1. awaldstein

          Thanks.This one most certainly took a global village to pull together.

      2. JamesHRH

        Congrats on this Arnold. You & Bill Tai seem an obvious partnership, now that it has happened.

        1. Arnold Waldstein

          Just the beginning of this but we go back a long way.He is an amazing talent, deeply intelligence and a huge heart.He btw brought together the deal that took Creative public.

      3. William Mougayar

        yup. good ideas.

        1. awaldstein

          you have a lot of expertise here and glad to here your thoughts sometime if you care to.

  4. Tom Labus

    Congrats, Arnold. Wishing you great success for this and future projects!!

  5. jason wright

    “part kitten, part sea turtle”Digital Darwinism has arrived, but he might be spluttering on his genetically modified muesli this morning.

    1. awaldstein

      Ha!I honestly find it exciting that a digital cryptogood as an icon can bridge the gap to these quite amazing endangered sea turtles (lifelong scuba diver here) and impact and protect them in the real world.

      1. jason wright

        it’s a worthy endeavour.Fred – “Cryptogoods are particularly interesting as they are scarce and unique digital goods.”my quip poses a question. this contradiction of Darwinism gives rise to a near infinite number of hitherto impossible combinations. there will be individual uniqueness but will there be market scarcity? price elasticity of demand has to kick in eventually.

  6. bsoist

    Great work, Arnold! I was just reading something the other day about the disconnect between digital and non-digital assets. It made me think of you and our previous conversations on that subject. I am very interested to learn more about the broader project.

    1. awaldstein

      when ready certainly will let you know.

  7. JoeK

    How does this work exactly? Cryptokitties are supposed to appreciate in value if rare. What stops Fred from paying X bitcoin for Honu, receiving a tax deduction for it, and then going on to breed a litter of Honu babies that he sells on for 5X bitcoin?

    1. awaldstein

      Thanks!I’m quite excited about this.

  8. JLM

    .”Donations are tax exempt for the winner if a US citizen.”Donations are never taxable. Ever. Think about it for a second. If I write a check to the American Cancer Society, it is not a taxable event.The better question is – “Is a winning auction bid tax DEDUCTIBLE?”Since you receive something of value, the winning bid is not tax deductible in its entirety.When I donate something of value to a charity to be auctioned off, there may be a charitable deduction available to me as the donor (the rules for unoccupied real estate are very complicated), but the successful bidder does not get a tax deduction.JLMwww.themusingsofyhebigredca…

    1. LE

      Exactly. But the question is also what is the base value (charity ball example below). I think you could argue that the base value is nowhere near what you actually paid for the sea turtle. Current high bid is $2200. It’s not worth that much. Period.https://tax.findlaw.com/fed…The amount of your donation might be reduced by contributions from which you may benefit. For example, if you pay $250 for the price of a $50 ticket to a charity ball, only $200 is tax-deductible, whether or not you attend the eventAlthough donations are often an audit flag in many cases I can see this type of thing easily falling into a category of something so new and hard to understand that someone wouldn’t think that you actually received anything of value. And in my example if you said it only had nominal value I am not thinking jail time just a penalty. And that assumes an audit. Agree?

      1. JLM

        .Different kettle of fish when dealing with something of determinant value like a ticket.The numbers are not going to attract any undue attention.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. JamesHRH

      Ha!Great point.

  9. Peak Crypto Nonesense?

    “I am excited by the potential of cryptocurrencies and cryptogoods to change, and hopefully improve, the way we raise funds for charity.Cryptogoods are particularly interesting as they are scarce and unique digital goods.”**************************Are you serious Fred? Or are you simply “clowning us”? Your assertions I quoted above are remarkably ridiculous. I keep thinking we’ve reached “Peak Crypto Nonesense” but then someone plays, “Can you top that?”As Warren Buffet likes to say, “A pin lies in wait for every bubble.” When this Crypto bubble bursts Fred, you are going to end up looking bad. Very bad.Like I keep asserting, crypto is a fad Fred. Think beanie babies and pet rocks. How you keep failing to grasp this simply boggles my mind.

    1. LE

      I actually enjoy your comments they are funny. Assuming Fred is ok with it keep it up.That said I think you are contradicting yourself.On the one hand you seem to be saying that Fred is shilling something (which he stands to gain by). But then you are also saying that you can’t believe that Fred is shilling something (which by your inference he is gaining from in some way) and that he will look bad at some point. Note that plenty of people made money off of pet rocks, beanie babies and the smiley sign. I remember when that rolled out. I was actually around at that time. I brought the man who popularized that in to a class in college to speak to the entrepreneurial students. He later sold his gift company for hundreds of millions of dollars. His daughter is now A list in our city.Fred really does believe in this by the way he is not shilling.

      1. Fred is clearly a crypto shill

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…A shill, also called a plant or a stooge, is a person who publicly helps or gives credibility to a person or organization without disclosing that they have a close relationship with the person or organization. Shills can carry out their operations in the areas of media, journalism, marketing, confidence games, or other business areas.*********************Everyone in their right mind realized Pet Rocks were obviously kitsch. I never heard of people “investing” in Pet Rocks. It was a harmless fad like, saying, Flying Toaster screensavers. That is not how crypto is being marketed by Fred and other shills. Crypto is being marketed as something truly worth investing in. As you probably know, many people, believe it or not, invested in Beanie Babies too. Fads are inherently “bubbly”: they grow, grow, grow and then suddenly that pin lying in wait which Warren Buffett likes use as a metaphor punctures them and, then, well, Andy Gibb and the Bee Gees are suddenly faced with “Disco is Dead.”Fred is an investor in Coinbase but normally fails to mention that fact in blog posts on AVC.com about crypto. The more credible crypto becomes the more Coinbase benefits and the more Fred profits. Fred very clearly meets the definition at of a shill the top of this comment.That a guy has sharp as Fred might somehow fail to see that crypto is essentially a fad boggles my mind. Many people who invest in crypto are going to get hurt financially. But Fred will have likely have profited immensely. Fred might seem like a nice guy. But that’s not what nice guys do.

        1. LE

          Well isn’t there a point where something if pumped enough will develop lift and then become a real thing?For example let’s say you are a developer. You have an idea to bring expensive housing to a shitty section of Brooklyn. So as a developer you shill and shill and get stories placed and get investors and build housing (in, again, a shitty part of Brooklyn). Then low and behold restaurants decide to locate there (they are bitten by the shill and stories in the NYT that the shill got placed) and people pay large sums for the apartments (once again in the shitty part of Brooklyn) and finally after a long time the fantasy becomes the reality because others invest and now people really do want to live there. Primarily because it has nice restaurants. Also Chinese money that is priced out of Manhattan.But more importantly let me ask you this. If Fred were to start this post by simply saying ‘I have an investment in Coinbase and stand to profit by Crypto in many ways’ would you then not charge him with a crime?

          1. Calling 'em like I seez 'em

            >> Well isn’t there a point where something if pumped enough will develop lift and then become a real thing?You thinking is muddled. The answer is: for some things yes and some things no.Look. Things like bird feathers (and beads and sea shells) used to be used as currency here in North America. So yeah, the feathers developed lift (feathers, lift, Lyft, take someone for a ride, shill). But I would not recommend “investing” in feathers as a currency here in the USA these days.So yeah. If enough people take leave of their senses for long enough then crypto can lift off… for a while. But “Warren Buffet’s Pin” will eventually cause it burst, leading to a concomitant panic,and loss of nearly all of its value.US dollars, so-called “fiat currency” (government issue money), are in very high demand here in the USA because in the USA the various governments accept tax payments and government fees with US dollars but not with crypto.>> But more importantly let me ask you this. If Fred were to start this post by simply saying ‘I have an investment in Coinbase and stand to profit by Crypto in many ways’ would you then not charge him with a crime?I have not charged Fred with anything. I am in no position to do so. I have accussed Fred of acting as a shill. Acting as a shill in the way Fred has done might actually be legal in the USA these days.But no, if Fred disclosed his investment in Coinbase then he certainly would not be a shill according to the definition above. If he were to do so then would be “talking his own book” and, in my opinion, giving people poor investment advice due to his bias, but he would not be a shill according to the definition above.Defintions matter. I did not invent the concept of a shill. Instead, I am merely “calling ’em like I seez ’em”Fred keeps trying to “dance between the raindrops” regarding proper disclosure. And, unsurprisingly, he keeps coming out “all wet.”

          2. Richard

            Fred’s call on in 2014 was that bitcoin was the solution to micropayents. Given his inside knowledge of the blockchain in 2014, it is a legitimate question to ask early investors of bitcoin what was behind this technologically impossible call and when they knew it to be so.https://uploads.disquscdn.c

          3. Incoherent non-sequitor

            What were you trying to explain with your incoherent non-sequitor?

    2. jason wright

      the technology is not a fad. some of these early implementations have a goofy faddishness about them. they will fade, but be iterated upon, and eventually something more universally useful will emerge from the swamp.

      1. Making proper distinctions

        I agree. The technology is not a fad.But crypto is a fad.Printing on text on images on cardstock is not a fad. Greeting cards and cereal boxes have text and printed on them. But baseball cards were a fad.Making proper distinctions is important.

  10. Frank W. Miller

    Anyone remember pet rocks?

  11. mplsvbhvr

    Congrats Arnold 🙂

  12. awaldstein

    Wanted to bring to the attention of the AVC community how large a team effort the Honu Project was.Cross many communities and partners but with a special shout out to Cassidy Robertson, lead of the Kitties for Good initiative, Bill Tai, Sabine Schindlauer and Gokce Gizer of the Actai Global group and Gigi Bresson of Ocean Elders.It takes a village to get this done and these are the leaders that have worked hard and smart to make this happen and are still at it.

    1. Richard

      it’s is great to see so many cultures protecting the turtle.