Between Bitcoin (BTC) breaking the $50,000 hurdle and the upswell in the altcoin markets, crypto has never been more appealing to speculators. But, stacking profits through trading is worthless unless that money is spent. Luckily, charitable organizations are waking up to the possibility of crypto donations as the world embraces crypto. For blockchain entrepreneur Wendy O, when a local gym was in jeopardy, she knew to tap into crypto Twitter for help. Using social media, her YouTube channel and Tik-Tok, the influencer sent out the call to save a business dear to her heart.
The Self Care Lab is a boxing gym located in Pomona, CA which caters to underprivileged and at-risk youth. Owner Nita Watson recently discovered that the ownership of the gym’s building had changed hands and she had a mere 30 days to vacate and find a new home for a community she had spent years building up.
Thankfully, Wendy O is a long-time client of the gym and a strong proponent of using physical fitness to uplift the youth. Wendy tapped into her network of blockchain enthusiasts, traders, entrepreneurs and self-declared “degens” to raise the funds to not only move locations but upgrade various, worn-down pieces of equipment. While the gym’s Go Fund Me page has not reached its final goal, there have been enough donations in fiat and crypto to secure a new location. Wendy O told Cointelegraph:
“This gym has been such a massive part of my life and I can’t imagine where I’d be without it. It’s more than boxing, it’s about self-care and therapy. And a lot of these kids need a positive place like this to keep them focused and out of other less-productive activities. As someone who’s made a living in crypto, I knew I could count on my friends to step in and make a difference.”
However, the innovation didn’t stop at allowing crypto donations. To capture the attention of the nascent blockchain art community, Wendy O successfully launched a series of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on the Theta blockchain, with thousands sold so far. Two of these NFTs are redeemable for consulting sessions with Wendy O, injecting some utility into the donations. Bridging the gap between speculators and charity is a relatively new phenomenon in the decentralized asset ecosystem, though it will likely be more popular as more well-known names in the space begin leveraging crypto for charitable causes. By avoiding payment operators, middle-men and third-party processors, more of each crypto donation is able to be received.
Related: Prioritizing humanity ahead of profits through NFTs
Other projects have long accepted donations in Bitcoin including the Kessler Foundation and the Dementia Society of America. Most recently, the PAWS Animal Rescue in Chicago began accepting donations in Dogecoin (DOGE). Even though there are no NFTs involved in the case of PAWS, the appeal of helping dogs with such a popular canine-themed token seems undeniable.
Most recently, the blockchain sector has been supporting charities focused on assisting humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan. As thousands of refugees seek new homes all over the world, nonprofits are stepping up to take action. Consulting firm Visualize Value recently joined forces with CARE to sell NFTs that cover a family’s emergency needs.
Related: Digitizing charity: We can do better at doing good
As impactful as these donations are, it may be the convenience of crypto that ultimately drives more users to send funds. Generally speaking, the traditional route to donate online includes filling out a lengthy form, manually inputting credit card info and other steps to complete a donation. In contrast, for crypto investors comfortable making blockchain transactions, sending BTC or Ether (ETH) is second nature. Instead of bidding on penguin NFTs, in this case, they are helping a just cause.
A casual glance at some of the posts on Crypto Twitter may seem a bit strange. Timelines are filled with random shills, various scams, traders celebrating their wins and stories of people losing untold sums due to bad trading practices. While it may seem like a rough crowd to an outsider, however, those who can navigate the space are able to find charitable diamonds in the rough.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.
Kaltoro is the senior social media manager at Cointelegraph.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.