As the world’s top digital assets flirt with new all time highs charities are receiving multi million dollar donations in crypto.
Fidelity Charitable, the US’ largest grantmaker, has received more than $274m (£203m) in cryptocurrency contributions so far this year — nearly quadruple its prior record of $69m in 2017 according to a company spokesperson. Meanwhile cryptocurrency donation platform Engiven last month said it had accepted a single donation of $10m Bitcoin which was gifted to an undisclosed faith-based group.
Large charities and international aid agencies, such as The American Red Cross and Save the Children, have set up mechanisms to accept cryptocurrencies or are using platforms that help them convert them into cash right away.
It comes as Bitcoin last week reached a new record value of $69k pushing the global crypto market capitalisation above the $3tn mark. Just six days later, however, Bitcoin is trading down 11 per cent compared to its recent high.
Given the volatility of crypto assets smaller organisations remain skeptical about accepting digital asset donations. Nonetheless, increasingly NGOs are assessing the risks and benefits accepting crypto currency donations according to Rick Cohen, the chief communications and operating officer at the National Council on Nonprofits.
“For a lot of organisations, it feels a little bit scary because it’s not the contribution of dollars that they’re used to,” Cohen said.
“It’s not something that’s free and easy” to set up, he said. “And they need to figure out if there’s even demand from their current donors to be able to do it.”
A Pew Research Center survey released last week indicated 16 per cent of Americans have invested, traded or otherwise used cryptocurrencies in some way.