This week we have a real treat of an article: HBG’s Associate Director for Consulting, Tara McMullen-King, interviewed Amy Begg, former NEDRA board president and an Ann Castle Award recipient. Amy is also an active cryptocurrency miner (with a heart of gold!). Tara and Amy had a fascinating discussion about crypto mining, and Amy generously shared her knowledge and experience about what it means to mine cryptocurrencies. Huge thanks to Amy for taking the time to explain it all for us! ~Helen
It is clear that the demand for cryptocurrency and crypto mining is not subsiding any time soon – as of August 2021, the combined value of the world’s cryptocurrencies stood at about $2 trillion. Not only are more people investing in crypto, but an increasing number of donors are using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to fund their charitable contributions. According to a recent article in the New York Times, there has been a significant increase in cryptocurrency donations to donor-advised funds – for example, Fidelity Charitable received $150 million in cryptocurrency in 2021, up from $28 million in 2020 and only $13 million in 2019. And in May 2021, it was reported that a $5 million anonymous gift in the form of Bitcoin had been made to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania – the largest cryptocurrency gift ever made to the University.
While many nonprofits are still not set up to accept gifts of cryptocurrency, more and more are beginning to put the internal infrastructure in place to do so, or signing up to accept crypto gifts through donation platforms like The Giving Block – in part because of some of the benefits. Donors can benefit from tax write-offs since cryptocurrency is classified as property (which means no capital gains tax and a fair market value deduction). They are also cost-efficient for organizations involved in international transactions since they eliminate the usual costly associated international banking fees. And with close to half of Millennial and Gen-Z investors owning cryptocurrencies, making the choice to accept crypto donations will also potentially provide an opportunity for nonprofits to engage with a new generation of younger donors in the future.
But how does cryptomining work? How do people get started in the field? And what even IS cryptocurrency? To try to get some answers to these questions, I sat down for a conversation with Amy Begg, Managing Director of Prospect Management at Harvard University, who is a miner with a wealth of knowledge and insight about all things crypto! [Read more…]