Sunday, August 14

It’s time for the philanthropic industry to embrace digital currencies

The number of cryptocurrencies on the market has skyrocketed from 500 in 2014 to almost 7,000 just seven years later, in October 2021. It was reported that 14% of people in the United States, which is equivalent to roughly 21.2 million people , has bought some form of cryptocurrency, with over 300 million estimated cryptocurrency owners worldwide.

It’s clear: cryptocurrency is here to stay, and its path to global recognition and success has only just begun. I’ve shared before how and why the innovative longevity and biotech sectors should cooperate with digital currency visionaries to prepare their work for the future. Cryptocurrency founders, CEOs, and buyers are already breaking down barriers and contributing to a more decentralized future in their everyday lives. By empowering individuals with access to diverse assets and opportunities to invest outside of traditional financial offerings, the cryptocurrency industry is creating a future built with innovation in mind.

I see no reason why this innovation should remain blocked in these tech-oriented sectors – the philanthropic world can and should benefit as well. Accepting donations in crypto is an easy first step that demonstrates to the wider community that an organization recognizes its importance and is ready to embrace disruptive technology.

Philanthropic initiatives

Several philanthropic initiatives in our longevity field have already done so. The SENS Research Foundation is a leading longevity research organization that aims to research, develop, and promote comprehensive solutions for aging-related diseases. By educating the general public about new advancements and attracting informed donors, the SENS Foundation supports projects that work to cure heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. In particular, it has made cryptocurrencies an integral part of its operations. SENS accepts donations made in 72 different cryptocurrencies ranging from Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) to Dogecoin (DOGE) and Aave (AAVE).

In 2018, Vitalik Buterin donated $ 2.4 million in ETH to the Foundation, and other crypto visionaries have followed suit. Richard Heart, the founder of HEX, launched an airdrop in partnership with SENS that asked users to donate a portion of their cryptocurrencies and enter to win Heart’s new PulseChain cryptocurrency. The PulseChain airdrop raised over $ 25 million to support the Foundation’s work, which is clear proof that the collaboration between cryptocurrency and longevity can be an incredibly powerful tool.

Related: Cryptocurrencies can make a difference by helping people

It would be remiss to overlook the newly announced Longevity Science Foundation, which I helped run. We accept donations across all major cryptocurrencies and plan to work closely with leaders in the crypto industry to build a decentralized and transparent mode of funding. Because all donors, including crypto leaders, receive voting rights in the Foundation’s funding decisions, the Foundation is committed to supporting projects that reflect the most visionary ways of viewing the world.

But of course, accepting cryptocurrency donations is not a phenomenon limited to longevity foundations and nonprofits. Other founders and fundraising teams are realizing the incredible power of cryptocurrency and the decentralization it offers. For example, The Giving Block provides tools for any nonprofit to accept cryptocurrency donations and makes it easy for philanthropists to donate in their preferred digital currency to more than 400 organizations like the American Cancer Society and No Kid Hungry.

Several other nonprofits around the world, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and World Relief, are doing the same. If these global entities known for their charitable work and admirable goals can embrace cryptocurrency and the donors behind it, so should other nonprofits.

Related: Digitization of charity: we can do better by doing good

Call to action

It is time for the philanthropic and non-profit sectors to realize the potential of digital currencies. Longer human life expectancy and many other important advancements are within our grasp, but the support of diverse industries and minds is critical.

Adopting crypto industry principles such as decentralization and tokenization can enrich these foundations and modernize your operations, while accepting donations in crypto will help ensure that innovators and changemakers can contribute to breakthroughs. Together, we can build a better future with all the tools (and coins!) At our disposal.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Garri zmudze is Managing Partner of LongeVC, a Swiss and Cyprus-based venture capital firm that accelerates the creation of innovative companies in biotechnology and longevity. He is a seasoned business savvy and angel investor with several successful exits in biotech and technology companies. He is a long-time supporter and investor in biotech companies, including Insilico Medicine, Deep Longevity, and Basepaws.