Join us for our weekly Startup Story featuring Alex Wilson of The Giving Block. Startup stories showcase local innovators, startups and small businesses with their own session dedicated to sharing what they've learned with the Venture Café Community.
The Giving Block was founded in 2018 after seeing hundreds of millions of dollars in Bitcoin being donated to the few nonprofits that were equipped to accept those donations. Our founders came from cryptocurrency as well as nonprofit fundraising and operations backgrounds.
With the cryptocurrency bull market of 2017-2018, millions of people around the world made a fortune investing in and trading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether. Because the IRS treats cryptocurrency as property, these investors had a huge tax incentive to donate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies directly to nonprofits. In short, 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? 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, starting at Pat’s old stomping ground the Lupus Foundation. Now, donors have over 200 nonprofits to choose from and it's easier than ever to begin accepting cryptocurrency donations.