Bitcoin equals big-bucks in 2018. Soaring past the $19,000-mark last year and comfortably hovering around $10,000 level as we speak, the value in Bitcoin is clear for all to see. What’s got lost in the shuffle as the price of Bitcoin has dominated the headlines is the charitable side of the crypto community. Thankfully, the giving nature of Bitcoin is back under the spotlight, as a new case of donating to good causes is arguably changing the face of philanthropy.
The gift of giving
Back in January, a small medical-research charity would be changed forever in a flash. Linda Tannenbaum clicked on an email that said that her charity would receive a $1 million donation to use as the organization saw fit. Over the weeks that followed Tannebaum would exchange emails with an anonymous donor that simply went by the name of “Pine” – that was operating via the mysterious Pineapple Fund. Informal – almost jovial at times – these emails would soon become serious once again, with Pine promising to make an extra $4 million donation on top of the $1 million already gifted. Changing the future of the Open Medicine Foundation, what is known about Pine is that he made his fortune via Bitcoin, with the individual going on a donation spree unlike anything the world has seen before.
According to reports, Pine has donated a huge amount of money to charitable causes, with gifts ranging between $50,000 and $5 million in size. Starting back in December, the spree has been something for the record books, with it showing the true power of Bitcoin from a charity perspective. In an anonymous interview given to Phliaphopory.com, Pine revealed that he planned to donate a large percentage of his newly-minted crypto fortune to good causes. Through a series of social media and Reddit posts he appealed to charities to apply for donations, with it certainly looking like he acted on most of them. Pine has donated more than $53 million in gifts, leaving a trail of stunned and delighted nonprofit leaders to praise his unbelievable generosity.
Looking to the future
Pine’s charitable nature has rightly been labeled as refreshing, largely as philanthropy is usually attached to big-time corporations that use it as a PR move. This spree of donations – which has seen Pine donate to 28 organizations launched in the past ten years – has seen upstart causes be given a fantastic boost. What’s important to know is that Pine has been giving to causes that have relatively young leaders at the helm specifically. Just look at Sustainable Ocean Alliance for example, a cause that that was only started back in 2014. Run by Daniela Fernandez, a former Georgetown University student, this charity advances the impact of start-ups, social enterprises, and youth-centered initiatives that work to sustain and protect ocean life.
The core of Pine’s giving strategy had somewhat expected causes at its core. More than two-thirds of the causes strived to help those living in poverty, with many having an impact on African shores. Fifteen originations were focused on advancing medical research and health care. Organ Preservation Alliance received $2 million, which will help support a collective of scientists that are studying how to make tissues and organs more widely available for research, regenerative medicine, and transplants. Conservation was also on the menu, as seven donations were made to conservation groups, including Dutch charity Wings for Conservation.
An outpouring of support
Looking at what Pine’s donations meant to people, the outpouring of thanks has been amazing to see. Chase Adam – co-founder of an international health group Watsi – revealed that “it just felt like a miracle” when he received news of the $1 million gift. It’s even triggered copycat donations, as others have been inspired to give, with Watsi receiving a further $500,000 in anonymous cryptocurrency donations. Showing the world that the cryptocurrency community can come together for a good cause – with Pine leading the way – plenty of charities are now feeling the effect of Bitcoin’s generous side.
Short, sweet, and simple
Pine has admitted that he or she is completely new to philanthropy, so there wasn’t really much of a plan in place when the donations started, “I was just thinking that I wanted to use my bitcoin for good in this world.” The donator’s behavior was also that of a person that had no intention of being in the limelight. Pine carried out brief email conversations, before making a donation within minutes, keeping the process short and sweet. Pine said, “I wanted them to spend less time on administrative work and more time on programs.”
The donation process was deliberately kept simple and streamlined. Those receiving donations from Pine did so via Bitcoin deposits that were processed by third-party agencies like BitPay, which then transferred cash to the charity’s bank account. The gifts had minimal conditions attached, with Pine only asking for occasional updates on how it was being used. Chase Adam has spoken on how he sees the beauty of Pine’s donations being within its simplicity, “Some people can see it as too simple, but in reality, I think it’s actually the most sophisticated way to give — picking organizations they believe in, giving money with few strings attached, and letting organizations focus on their mission.”
The new anonymous face of philanthropy
While the donation spree has stopped for now, according to reports Pine will start giving again when the price of Bitcoin returns to form. Declaring that this is not a “one-time thing”, he or she has big plans to give more money away in the future. It’s always great to hear about somebody making huge charity donations, but it’s even better to hear that it’s come from inside the Bitcoin community. Arguably putting a new face on philanthropy, our hats are off to Pine and all that he or she has done for some seriously worthy causes.