Creating a cryptocurrency giving platform
Co - founder Pat Duffy
Pat Duffy and Alex Wilson joined Purposely Podcast to share their founder story The Giving Block has created a solution for cryptocurrency donations used by charities around the world.
Co founders Pat and Alex first met at University with their friendship developing thanks to their mutual interest in cryptocurrency. Alex was an early adopter while Pat was working in a commercial role for the Lupus Foundation and saw cryptocurrency as a potential earner for his charity.
Pat and Alex eventually launched The Giving Block in 2018 after seeing hundreds of millions of dollars in Bitcoin being donated to the few nonprofits that were equipped to accept those donations.
Co-founder Alex Wilson
So the inspiration for The Giving Block was from others giving through cryptocurrency?
‘Yes…in particular the pineapple fund which was a huge inspiration for starting the business and the first major and very public bitcoin donation. They basically posted on Reddit towards the end of 2017 saying
“Hey I've made a lot of money investing in bitcoin I’m ready to give some of that money please apply below”
As you can imagine they got alot of applications although nonprofits were pretty skeptical at the time. This didn’t last long because then the donations started coming and in some cases groups got over a $1 million dollars with the largest individual gift to nonprofit as high as $5 million. In total the Pineapple Fund gave away $56 million worth of bitcoin to about 60 different nonprofits and to this day they're still anonymous and I don't think anyone's really heard anything from them since they made those gift.’
What gave you the confidence to launch?
‘There was always a hesitation to leave a steady paycheck… for a long time we worked nights and weekends eventually transitioning to part time roles at our jobs and then eventually we took a leap of faith and thankfully we were generating revenue from day one and had the ability to bootstrap things. It has grown incredibly quickly from there which is great’
Tax incentives for giving cryptocurrency?
Alex and Pat also cite tax reasons for the starting the platform with the American tax authority treating cyptocurrency as property. Investors have a huge tax incentive to donate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies directly to nonprofits. If donated directly to a nonprofit, they would not be liable for capital gains tax and could write it off on their taxes (similar to a stock donation).
The problem they were solving? Very few nonprofits knew how to accept cryptocurrency donations or were even thinking about this new pool of donors. So Pat and Alex set out to create the only nonprofit specific solution for accepting cryptocurrency donations, Now, donors have over 200 nonprofits to choose from and it's easier than ever to begin accepting cryptocurrency donations.
About the founders
Alex Wilson has a background in management consulting where he worked with Fortune 500 companies to develop strategies around emerging technologies like AI, IoT, blockchain and cryptocurrency. As he went down the cryptocurrency rabbit hole, he began investing in and advising early stage cryptocurrency start-ups.
Pat Duffy began as a federal consultant for pharmaceutical companies, focused on collaboration with nonprofits. He then shifted to the nonprofit sector, focusing on executive leadership and fundraising. Merging his nonprofit experience and passion for Bitcoin trading.