The number of cryptocurrencies on the market skyrocketed from 500 in 2014 to nearly 7,000 just seven years later, in October 2021 14% of the people in the United States – which equates to roughly 21.2 million people – have purchased some form of cryptocurrency, with an estimated 300 million cryptocurrency owners worldwide.
It’s clear: cryptocurrency is here to stay, and its journey to global recognition and success has only just begun. I shared earlier how and why innovative longevity and biotechnology sectors should partner with digital currency visionaries to future-proof their work. Crypto founders, CEOs and buyers are already breaking down barriers and contributing to a more decentralized future in their everyday lives. By giving individuals access to a variety of assets and investment opportunities outside of traditional financial offerings, the cryptocurrency industry is creating a future that is focused on innovation.
I see no reason why this innovation should remain in these technology-oriented sectors – the philanthropic world can and should benefit from it too. Accepting donations in crypto is an easy first step that shows the wider community that an organization recognizes its importance and is ready to take advantage of disruptive technology.
Several philanthropic initiatives in our longevity area have already done so. The SENS Research Foundation is a leading longevity research organization dedicated to researching, developing and promoting comprehensive solutions to age-related diseases. By educating the public about new developments and attracting trained donors, the SENS Foundation supports projects aimed at curing heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. In particular, it has made cryptocurrencies an integral part of its business. SENS accepts donations in 72 different cryptocurrencies, starting with Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) to Dogecoin (DOGE) and Aave (AAVE).
In 2018 Vitalik Buterin donated $ 2.4 million to ETH to the Foundation, and other crypto visionaries have followed suit. Richard Heart, the founder of HEX, started an airdrop in collaboration with SENS asking users to donate part of their cryptocurrencies and to participate in Heart’s new cryptocurrency PulseChain. PulseChain’s Airdrop has raised over $ 25 million to support the work of the foundation, which is clear evidence that the collaboration between cryptocurrency and longevity can be an incredibly powerful tool.
I would be remiss to overlook the newly announced Longevity Science Foundation, which I help lead. We accept donations in all major crypto currencies and plan to work closely with leading companies in the crypto industry to establish a decentralized and transparent financing method. With all donors, including crypto leaders, given voting rights in the foundation’s funding decisions, the foundation is committed to supporting projects that reflect the world’s most visionary viewpoints.
But of course, accepting cryptocurrency donations isn’t a phenomenon limited to long-lived nonprofits and foundations. Other founders and fundraising teams are waking up to the incredible power of cryptocurrency and the decentralization that comes with it. For example, The giving block provides tools for any nonprofit to accept donations in cryptocurrency, and makes it easy for philanthropists to make donations in their favorite digital currency to over 400 organizations such as the American Cancer Society and No Kid Hungry.
Several other global nonprofits, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and World Relief, are following suit. If these global institutions, known for their community service and admirable goals, can embrace the cryptocurrency and the donors behind it, so should other nonprofits.
Call to action
It is time for the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to recognize the potential of digital currencies. Longer human lifespans and many other important advances are within our grasp, but the support of diverse industries and minds is vital.
Adopting principles from the crypto industry such as decentralization and tokenization can enrich these foundations and modernize their operations, while accepting donations in cryptocurrencies helps innovators and change makers make great advances. Together we can build a better future with all the means (and currencies!) Available to us.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Garri zmudze is a managing partner at LongeVC, a Switzerland and Cyprus-based venture capital company that accelerates innovative start-ups in the field of biotechnology and longevity. He is a seasoned economist and angel investor with several successful exits from biotech and technology companies. He’s a long-time supporter and investor in biotech companies like Insilico Medicine, Deep Longevity, and Basepaws.