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Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have been making headlines in very recent years. Their contributions in faster technology-based financial transactions as well as in amassing fortunes by those who have the wealth mindset have earned the digital money and its underlying technology the spotlight.
The Technology of Blockchain: Is It Just for the Self-Interested?
Blockchain technology has apparently propelled the ascendancy of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is considered as a breakthrough for being a modern kind of ledger for financial transactions maintained and owned by all the participants in the cryptocurrency world, instead of being under the control of a powerful authority.
Bitcoin is the popular cryptocurrency and has been reckoned as the future of money. It has been used in contemporary transactions. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have lauded Bitcoin for being independent and not tied to any central bank or government institution.
Bitcoin millionaires also do exist and have their own testimonies on how they reached the path to crypto-wealth. Considering these natures of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, it seems like these futuristic concepts of financial exchange would massively attract the self-interested.
These are the people who are driven by human nature of just wanting to take, take, take and not give anything back to society. However, is blockchain technology really just contrived for the self-serving? The answer is an absolute no. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the ledger technology and its by-product can be employed in altruistic purposes.
After quite some time, there has been an increasing interest in employing the technology for philanthropy.
Current Scenarios Enshrouding Philanthropic Giving
Charitable organizations have been existent since time immemorial. Helping orphans and humanitarian catastrophes’ victims, supporting scientific researches and environmental causes have been their chief raison d’être.
It is common for these institutions of philanthropy to reveal their multimillion-dollar fundraising events. Nevertheless, in spite of the altruistic contributions given by donors worldwide, faith and public trust in these charities have been nosediving.
For instance, in the United States, the impeccable reputation of charitable groups has been in question. As per research in recent years, one in three American citizens has lost his confidence in non-profit organizations.
The supposedly charitable public no longer believes that these philanthropic organizations are directly channeling the money to help others or for causes meant to uphold the common good.
In the same vein as in the US, in the United Kingdom, of the more than 1,000 survey participants queried by charitable group, UK Fundraising, it has been discovered that faith in philanthropic organizations have declined.
In 2014, these were marked by the figures 6.7 out of 10 which seriously plummeted to 5.7 out of 10 two years later. People are said to distrust charities when it comes to how they use the donors’ money.
In addition, the coverage by the media which serve as critiques of philanthropic activities and the lack of awareness about where the proceeds really go are among the grounds for the conspicuous decadence.
As charitable donations have been in the form of money or fiat currencies, is there a way on how such scenarios can be turned around by the employment of blockchain technology? Apparently, blockchain-based systems could positively contribute in revamping the tainted reputations of philanthropic organizations.
Operational Definition and Nature of Crypto-Philanthropy
Crypto-philanthropy is a concept that is borne out of consolidating blockchain technology and altruism. It appears to be the answer to the inquiry pertaining to how the technology can make sense in helping the needy as well as selflessly supporting social and environmental causes.
Coinbase chief executive and co-founder Brian Armstrong reckons crypto-philanthropists as wealthy individuals who have amassed wealth through their ownership of cyber-currencies. Saturated of being self-absorbed and having the vain sense of being successful, they turn to philanthropy to achieve a win-win situation with others.
Jeremy Epstein, head of Never Stop Marketing and a blockchain enthusiast, view crypto-philanthropy advocates as ambitious individuals possessing passion, energy, and financial capital helping international entities.
Anonymous Pineapple Fund benefactor, who was only identified as Pine, described how it is like to be a crypto-philanthropist. He shared that, although he may have reached the fullest financial potential, he encountered feeling massively worthless and empty.
The feeling was so consuming that the only way to escape it was to share his substantial financial gains derived from cryptocurrency to others. Crypto-philanthropy is currently realized through events and ventures like virtual currencies for charitable purposes, social impact initial coin offerings, and Bitcoin fundraising.
All of these endeavors underline the transparency of financial donations in philanthropic efforts. They help assure donors that their altruistic financial contributions are heading to the right people or causes.
12 Examples of International Crypto-Philanthropic Entities
Mindful that blockchain technology can be employed in helping the impoverished, individuals and organizations worldwide are starting to engage in crypto-philanthropy. Aside from monetary donations, they organize charitable projects and innovative, philanthropic platforms.
This is a crowdfunding platform that enables charitable givers to donate in Bitcoin form. BitHope’s fundraising activities support selected philanthropic causes.
2. Clean Water Coin
This charity digital currency was designed to raise funds for the non-profit cause, Charity: Water, which delivers potable water to families worldwide.
3. Pineapple Fund
Dubbed as the “crypto-foundation,” an anonymous investor who has been only identified with the code name “Pine” is behind this philanthropic organization.
Its guiding ethos is: “Because once you have enough money, money doesn’t matter.” Moreover, the Pineapple Fund has contributed over $56 million to 56 chosen charities.
Being a philanthropy token, it enables investors to help charities and gain returns for their investments. Pinkcoin is listed in mainstream virtual currency exchange listings. Additionally, it has done well versus commercially traded digital currencies.
This Scandinavian country has led efforts in making humanitarian and charitable money transfers employ cryptocurrencies. It champions heightened transparency of charitable donations.
6. Fidelity Charitable
As a $16-billion donor-advised philanthropic venture, its 2017 Giving Report has concluded that donations made in Bitcoin had surged to over $9 million in the initial half of 2017.
This is a blockchain technology-supporting philanthropic platform. It enables philanthropic organizations to increase financial aid. Donors benefit as they are able to see the results of their charitable contributions.
8. The Ixo Foundation
This organization based in South Africa leverages the blockchain technology to optimize the impact of sustainable development. Donors can access information about government subsidies and bonds impacting the society through what the establishment calls “proof of impact.”
This fund collects donations made in Bitcoin. Save the Children is a cause which has benefited from BitGive’s help. Other non-profit causes which they have supported include The Medic Mobile, TECHO, and The Water Project.
Headquartered in Rome, Italy, it is an online environmental catastrophe management platform. Helperbit facilitates blockchain technology-based philanthropic donations.
Based on the Ethereum blockchain technology system, this platform connects charitable donors worldwide. It facilitates the discovery of and engagement in philanthropic projects. Complete transparency is facilitated by AidChain, enabling the benefactors to trace where their financial aid goes.
This platform helps in tracking donations from the time they have been given to when these financial help are actually been used. Recently, it partnered with The English Heritage, the British charity which maintains historical heritage destinations like the Hadrian’s Wall and the Stonehenge.
Apparently, the blockchain technology and its cryptocurrency offshoots are not just for the takers. Their use in philanthropic activities through the creation of virtual currencies, platforms, and organization of events and causes all demonstrate that altruism is naturally a component of the human DNA.
Although blockchain-anchoring charitable systems and awareness of the technology are still nascent, it is highly likely that digital currencies and platforms would be employed by philanthropic organizations and foundations in the years to come.
As humans are naturally innovative and curious, blockchain technology and its related components would considerably be employed to supplant or disrupt traditional forms of helping the needy and supporting altruistic causes.
Finally, as values of transparency and accountability are reverberating worldwide when it comes to charity, the current bleak scenario in the philanthropic realm may witness a revolutionary transformation.
Through the use of blockchain technology in achieving integrity, charity would regain its ideal definition.
Image Courtesy: SuperstarsLiteracy, Bitcoinist, DailyDot, Wild Apricot, Ice3x, Getway, and Forbes.