Fund one full time lobbyist for the European Blockchain Association to boost PoS and Rocketpool at EU level


The European Blockchain Association is seeking funding in the sum of 1,538 RPL from Rocketpool. This will constitute part of a syndicated funding raise to support 1 full time policy staffer and bootstrap public affairs capacities for pushing Proof of Stake relevant policy work and education with a particular focus on policy makers in the EU. The proposed personnel would engage in a mixture of policy work at the local, EU and community levels. We are already in talks to fund the additional amount from other sources and Rocketpool would by no means be fronting this out of pocket by themselves.

Some background on who we are and what we do

The European Blockchain Association combines, synchronises and leverages blockchain-related activities of European corporations, start-ups, scientific institutions and DAOs. It is active in education, policy advising, lobbying and setting techno-legal standards. The association is made up of five working groups including the Proof-of-Stake Working Group, the Tokenization Working Group, the Custody Working Group and the Self-Sovereign Identity Working Group.

We are currently engaged in different verticals including EU Commission studies, replies to multilateral institutions on crypto regulation, large multi-stakeholder working groups at EU level with established players in the automotive, supply chain, capital markets and blockchain space working on DLT solutions, and our Senior Policy Fellow is also directly advising national governments in Europe on decentralized finance.

Why is this important for RP?

At present there is a knowledge gap among lawmakers setting down European regulations in understanding what the Proof of Stake Industry does, where the value add for the overall economy lies and what sensible regulatory models for protecting that value might look like. The European Blockchain Association is in a good position to fill this void to produce the required impact at EU level.

New regulations are being proposed in Europe and elsewhere that could significantly impact the future development of the industry. As the ink is still proverbially wet on MiCA, the European Central Bank has come out publicly in favor of MiCA 2.0 - one that would more concretely bring DeFi and NFTs under the regulatory perimeter. They are currently in backchannel talks with the Commission to put pressure on such an outcome - which already shares the tacit support of Commissioner for Finance, Mairead McGuinness. Second, the European Commission has recently put forth a public tender on TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) to engage relevant stakeholders on providing technical solutions for on-chain compliance (embedded supervision)aimed specifically at the Ethereum public blockchain. The Commission is putting up EUR 250,000 for this endeavor.

The FTX fallout is only going to lead to stricter calls for regulation and its not a stretch of the imagination to say that bringing DeFi under the regulatory chopping block will start with staking and lending protocols.

What problem does this solve? What is the expected outcome for RP?

Rocketpool has a lot to gain from sensible ex-ante regulation at European level given the size and reach of the Single Market. Europe is home to a diffuse network of talent both front and back end which provides fertile ground for continued expansion into untapped markets. In the end, sensible regulatory approaches and better educated public representatives provide a whole-of-industry net benefit by cultivating a proactive growth environment, where Rocketpool can continue to carve out its competitive advantage. Regulators in Europe (like their counterparts in the United States) are taking more ambitious strides to pin down staking with regulations that are increasingly difficult to reconcile with the ambitions of the industry. Exerting an influence to make these outcomes as balanced as possible has never been more important.

Full Description

Commentary, Undertakings and Education:

  • Creation of Educational Materials for policy makers and the public including (but not limited to) MiCA, PSD2, MiFID II, SFD, UCITS, DLT Pilot Regime, AIFMD, DORA and other legislative initiatives slated to touch on blockchain within the ambit of the EU Single Market.
  • Impact assessment reports and commentary related to complementary regulatory proposals stemming from the FSB, BIS, FATF, G20 and IMF which have a direct impact on the legislative language of EU blockchain inclusive regulatory initiatives.
  • Lobbying activities including joint activities with other policy groups such as INATBA, Blockchain4Europe, and the Digital Euro Association.
  • Official responses to governmental requests for public input from the DLT industry.

Events and Outreach

  • Organizing workshops between industry stakeholders and regulators at EU level including online/in-person workshops on the PoS industry and future challenges to Web3 adoption in the Single Market.
  • Leveraging policy group partnerships to hold joint-initiative events in Brussels to showcase the value add of the blockchain industry by bringing an annual convention style event for public-private partnerships to the EU bubble.
  • Continuing/extending the EBA’s presence at leading international blockchain conferences by partnering with and representing our members through booths, on-site lobbying and outreach, alongside speaker contributions and fire-side chats.

Reporting and communications:

  • Outcomes associated with this work will be communicated through our communication expert Heidi Schall (who is already working with the EBA part time)
  • Additionally to ensure value for money quarterly reportings will be made available to the members of the PoS working group and to Rocketpool in particular. This reporting will be synchronized with communications across our socials.

Estimated cost

This would be a grant totaling 1,538 RPL in total. There is no additional cost needed from Rocketpool to maintain the proposal.

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I appreciate the effort put into this proposal. I’m left wondering if a super decentralization-focused protocol like Rocket Pool should be the one directly sponsoring lobbying activities. Protocols tend to work best when ‘sticking to their lane’ and I think lobbying is no different.

The goal is valiant, but Rocket Pool is going to thrive with or without regulatory support. I would prefer that protocols designed around lobbying/activism/fundraising handle this as they are better and more efficient allocators of capital for political impact than we are.

Perhaps Rocket Pool could sponsor more concrete items, such as staking conferences or direct educational materials, however, an employment position seems over the top to me.