These crypto-influencers have distributed over $ 20,000 worth of crypto to the ‘homeless’ on Wall Street

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Token model architect Eloisa Marchesoni and growth hacker Giacomo Arcaro took to Wall Street in New York to gift Ether crypto to the homeless to fund potential ‘street startups’

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Imagine that two people approach you and offer you not a common currency, but hundreds of dollars of crypto with no strings attached. What would you do? This is exactly what Giancomo Arcaro and Eloisa Marchesoni did on the weekend of March 27-28 in New York City, for the homeless and those hard hit by the lockdown who needed help funding their startup ideas. , or “street startups” as Arcaro called them.

Marchesoni, a 23-year-old crypto-influencer and entrepreneur, remembers the occasion fondly while chatting with The Hindu on a call.

How it worked

In a series of Instagram stories, Arcaro took posters with large block letters “Free crypto loans for the homeless” and then images of the said posters against the gray stone walls of Wall Street skyscrapers. . Arcaro and Marchesoni certainly followed the poster’s offers, handing out around 12.5 ETH (around $ 22,600 at the time of writing) with an average of 0.5 ETH (around $ 900) per person.

Of course, many homeless people preferred to receive funds for necessities such as food, blankets or health care, while others requested funds for resources such as equipment such as computers. and microphones.

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“The New York Stock Exchange, as I know it, has not been effective in representing the value of some companies, even digitized,” says Marchesoni. “It has also not been effective in helping the mass adoption of financial instruments that should serve the very purpose of triggering financial inclusiveness, on a global scale.” She adds that he has in fact built “an elite of people who have been speculating for many decades.”

So Arcaro and Marchesoni wanted crypto to challenge this conversation around complex financial and market systems. “So we ventured out on the weekends from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, put up these posters and did this whole micro-credit business from 0.01 ETH to 1 ETH for every homeless person who wanted to have their own. startup, or even someone who had a job before the pandemic and is now on the streets. Many of these people couldn’t even open a bank account and access credit or qualify for loans or mortgages.

Marchesoni points out that most of them were vetted and then funded had smartphones, and getting them to download Coinbase or Binance (the cryptocurrency exchange platforms) apps was certainly a process. She explains that they first had to break down the concept of decentralized, non-tangible currencies that are still valid and legal – and the duo only proceeded if the launchers were comfortable and feeling secure with crypto. .

The project attracted many curious eyes and phone cameras, for which Marchesoni and Arcaro are grateful, she says. Social media posts of what they were doing helped draw more attention not only to funding these “street startups,” but also invited wider conversations on Wall Street, the financial world. , the reach of crypto for good, and more.

Inspired by r / WallStreetBets?

The inspiration for this unusual initiative is an amalgamation of real world and philosophical veins. Marchesoni refers to the 2020 headlines around r / wallstreetbets and it was “mind-boggling to see people and tech giants listed on that same exchange challenging it, showing that” Wall Street is dead. “If you were listed in the NYSE you were afraid that they would do their due diligence on you or correct your value at any time, but now you actually don’t care.

Read more | WallStreetBets: Disruptors in the street of money

Philosophically, it seems to stem from the concepts of microcredit and microfinance by Bangladeshi social entrepreneur Muhammed Yunus which were popularized in the 1970s and 1980s, which won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

Marchesoni insists: “It doesn’t stop there. Arcaro and Marchesoni are keen to stay in touch with those they have funded to help them with any technical or logistical problem, offering them advice if they need it. They want to continue doing this in different parts of New York, and as travel normalizes, different parts of the world such as Dubai, Thailand and, who knows, maybe India too, depending on the government’s position. on cryptocurrency.

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