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Crypto philanthropy hits new peak

October 15th, 2021

A $4.9 million gift to international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has become the largest known cryptocurrency charity donation realised from a non-fungible token (NFT) project.

The donation was made from the auction of NFT artworks, by a digital artist, and was made in Ethereum (ETH).

 The artist, supported by the Generative Art and Art Blocks communities, donated 25 percent of the sale of the artworks to MSF. The Giving Block, which aims to make cryptocurrency fundraising easier for not-for-profit organisations, processed the ETH gift to Australian dollars.

MSF Australia Executive Director Jennifer Tierney thanked the Generative Art and Art Blocks communities for their generosity. “This game-changing donation comes at a time where the COVID-19 emergency has compounded the already urgent medical needs of people around the world,’’ she said.

MSF Australia has been accepting cryptocurrency donations since March, working with The Giving Block on more than a dozen transactions. Cryptocurrency donations are exempt from capital gains tax, which enables donors to maximise the value of their contributions.

Pat Duffy, Co-Founder of The Giving Block, said: “This is the type of transformational crypto philanthropy that gets the world embracing the technology. It’s donors like this that are making crypto the most charitable industry on the planet.’’

The use of cryptocurrency as a new way of donating is becoming more prevalent in Australia, but the pace is measured. There were reports earlier this year of a charity for homeless people in the Tweed Shire of northern NSW receiving a cryptocurrency donation, but organisations including the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation have also received cryptocurrency donations.

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