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Cryptophilanthropy: boom or bust?

In this episode we take a look at the opportunities and challenges that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology bring for giving and ask: is cryptophilanthropy a boom market, or a busted flush? Including:

  • Is the resurgence of interest in cryptophilanthropy  in the last 18 months partly to do with the enforced digitisation many of us went through during the pandemic?
  • At the same time, what do recent decisions by organisations like the Wikimedia Foundation and WWF to dial down or abandon their cryptophilanthropy activities tell us about the state of the market?
  • Who are the crypto-donors? Is it mostly platform/exchange owners, early adopters who have made millions, or are those with more modest crypto holdings also getting involved?
  • Can we tell anything from the culture and ideology of crypto communities about their approach to giving and their views on charities?
  • Is crypto genuinely useful as a way of getting resources into difficult places (e.g. Ukraine), or is there always a “last mile” problem?
  • Does crypto bring the possibility of radical transparency? Is this a good thing?
  • Is cryptophilanthropy sometimes used as a tool to drive wider crypto adoption that benefits the donors?
  • Are NFTs just a bubble that charities should avoid, or is there something genuinely interesting about unique digital objects?
  • How can charities avoid the volatility risks of crypto?
  • What new challenges does the semi-anonymous nature of crypto bring when it comes to donations?
  • Should environmental concerns be a reason for charities to avoid crypto?
  • Is the crypto world just too full of “general scaminess”?
  • Does the crypto world view promote the idea that we can do without trust, and should civil society instead be trying build trust?
  • Can blockchain overcome the known limits of non-hierarchical organisation, or are we simply going to rediscover old problems in new guises?

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