In early 2022, Watsi was approached by Stripe, our donation payment processor, to partner with them for a first-of-its-kind charity launch on Nifty Gateway, a leading platform for digital art non-fungible token (NFTs). While Nifty Gateway was known in the Web3 and art world for NFTs by Beeple, Pak, and Refik Anadol, this would be the very first corporate brand + nonprofit drop they've hosted. Stripe planned to launch a new suite of Web3 services and committed to donating 100% of the proceeds of the drop, plus a portion of secondary sales, to Watsi to celebrate the big launch.
Philipp Antoni, a digital art creator who works for Stripe, made three different NFT “cube thingies,” for the launch. The NFT art was termed a “gobble-dee gook cube thingy,” representing a digital parallelepiped (try saying that 5 times fast). Each cube thingy took the artist about 20 hours to hand-render, and the prices were set at $242.42 for cube thingy 1 and 3 and $424.24 for cube thingy 2.
Anyone in the world would be able to mint as many editions as possible during the two-hour launch on March 10th. Any proceeds raised would benefit Watsi’s mission to expand access to healthcare across the globe. While we were excited that the collaboration would enable a community of people to come together to celebrate the future of art and technology while also providing critical support to deserving patients in need of life-changing healthcare, we also knew it was entirely possible that all the effort could result in $0.
Watsi has always strived to be an early adopter of unlocking the full potential of technology and innovation to maximize impact. The team has attracted some of the world's best engineers, the crowdfunding platform brings people together through technology and dignified storytelling to raise funds, and the organization was one of the very first nonprofits to accept cryptocurrency donations. By being part of this innovative collaboration with Nifty Gateway and Stripe, Watsi displayed a new, powerful way to disrupt traditional philanthropy and leverage technology for good.
The NFTs dropped and we held our breath. 🤞
What happened turned out to be remarkable. During the launch, 174 editions of cube thingies were minted, meaning this collaboration raised $50,544.80 in just two short hours. We were blown away by the enthusiasm and support that came in during such a short amount of time. Although we had already seen proof that technology is a powerful tool, we were amazed to see the energy for this entirely new way to support social impact causes and are excited for all the potential it holds for the future.
The support from this campaign provided critical funds to help Watsi grow our medical programs, build new community features on our donation platform, and test out new ideas to help deepen our impact in the years ahead. We've also been excited to see that every time a secondary sale of a cube thingy NFT takes place, Watsi receives another donation to help expand access to healthcare. Imagine all the impact that is possible with this new way of giving.
Watsi is a global tech nonprofit that enables anyone to directly fund surgery for people in need around the world. Combining data and storytelling with an innovative platform, Watsi helps unlock the generosity that lives in all of us and is bringing people together to make healthcare a reality for all. To date, Watsi has reached 25,000+ patients across 29 countries with life-changing healthcare.
Watsi has been recognized by CNN as one of its Top 10 startups to watch, The White House as a "Champion of Change", and The New York Times, which wrote that, "Watsi represents the next generation of charities." Watsi was also the first nonprofit selected for the startup accelerator Y Combinator.
The Watsi Team
Everyone deserves healthcare.