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Cryptocurrency has developed rapidly over the last few years among people looking for alternative ways to invest and use their money. Since the introduction of Bitcoin in 2008, it went from a concept only discussed amongst academics to a reality on the path to entirely changing the world. One of the advantages of cryptocurrency is that it can’t be counterfeited, and it has the capability of avoiding fraud and chargebacks. Plus, in a world with roughly 2.2 billion people having internet and mobile phones, cryptocurrency can be accessible to everyone, including the population of developing countries that don’t generally have access to regular banks, even while needing them most.
However, investing in cryptocurrency has its risks. According to Caroline Healey and Natalie Ross from the Council on Foundations, “It’s estimated that users have lost over 3 million Bitcoin because of forgotten passwords—that’s $20 billion dollars at Bitcoin’s peak market value.” In December 2017, one bitcoin traded at $20,000; however, as of Dec. 24, 2018, its value dropped to $4,010.99. Though the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies hit peaks and valleys, people, private companies, and even government organizations across the world continue to buy, trade, and use cryptocurrencies. And while some use cryptocurrency solely for profit, others focus on using the power of it for good. In light of Coinbase founder & CEO becoming the first crypto billionaire to join The Giving Pledge started by Gates and Buffett, let’s take a closer look at some of the crypto-centered philanthropic projects.
How it works
Concentric Sky was founded in 2005 by Wayne Skipper and has grown to be an award-winning software development company. In 2008, Centric Sky partnered with GoldMoney to create an iOS app in which users could transfer digital units of gold. Shortly thereafter, Concentric Sky and Encyclopedia Britannica partnered to release several educational apps for children from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Additionally, Concentric Sky has created the KidCoin platform – a new curriculum concept tying up a Blockchain course of study with an in-browser cryptocurrency mining tool, all made available for free. Within the program, students can participate in the cryptocurrency mining process while their lab computers are not at work, and all the proceeds are distributed among participating schools as their revenue.
Along with those partnerships, Concentric Sky has partnered with NASA, PBS, World Bank, National Geographic, United Nations, Cengage Learning, Oregon State University, and more. As of 2018, the company has launched more than 300 successful projects.
Originally a software development company, Transmute has gone a long way to support philanthropy and give back to the community with the help of cryptocurrency. One of the projects they’re most proud of is helping Habitat Texas to accept crypto-donations and help rebuild homes after Hurricane Harvey in the fall of 2017. The project was so successful it allowed Habitat to continue accepting charitable contributions in cryptocurrency through today.
To follow this giving path, earlier this year, Transmute started working on another socially-centered project. Though not a lot of details are currently available to the public, reportedly, it’s the identity management program built on Ethereum and aimed at helping refugees throughout the world.
In late 2017, the “Pineapple Fund” was created when an anonymous donor, Pine, donated more than $55 million to organizations and charities across the globe. According to the Pineapple Fund’s website, they donated $55 million of Bitcoin to charities “because once you have enough money, money doesn’t matter.”
The fund was an “experiment in philanthropy” using cryptocurrency. According to Pine’s statement, they “…decided to donate the majority of cryptocurrency to charities around the world, with an open application process and funding charities big and small.”
“I focused on causes I believe in or causes I know I will work from my experiences. Timed with the 2017 crypto bubble, 5104 BTC was turned into $55 million for charities,” Pine stated.
The Pineapple Fund has supported more than 60 charities, such as Watsi, the Water Project, BitGive, Charity: Water, Pencils of Promise, Hearts & Homes for Refugees, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Women Who Tech, and more.
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