By Adam King, Programs Manager
By now you almost certainly know what bitcoin is and maybe even some of its background. You probably know that it is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, is built upon distributed ledger technology called the blockchain, and maybe even know that it was created by the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto, whose real identity remains a mystery. As the price of bitcoin has grown, hitting a high of over $19,000 at the end of 2017 and fluctuating between $6-10,000 for most of the first half of 2018, interest has grown to a fevered pitch and expanded far beyond those in the payments or tech industries.
Yet this increased interest in bitcoin begs the question: what can you actually do with it? The most common reason to obtain bitcoin is as an investment, as most owners buy bitcoin and hold on to it, hoping to achieve future gains. Another reason is to buy things; Expedia, Overstock, and even the Sacramento Kings accept bitcoin payments for certain purchases. Yet bitcoin’s volatility and non-acceptance by most retailers means the third major use for bitcoin deserves more attention: as a vehicle to donate to charity.
Reasons to Give Bitcoin
Donating bitcoin to charity has a number of benefits, but three in particular stand above the rest:
- Tax deductible – If given to a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the entire U.S. dollar value of a bitcoin donation is tax deductible, enabling the donor to enjoy significant tax benefits.
- No capital gains tax – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies an asset, thus, they will be subject to the capital gains tax when sold. When donating assets such as stock, real estate, or yes, bitcoin, to a charity, the capital gains tax does not apply, enabling the donor to avoid it completely. As an asset that has appreciated significantly over the past several years, the capital gains tax will certainly have bite for owners selling their bitcoin for profit.
- Do good! – Once transformed into U.S. dollars or another currency, nonprofit organizations can use the money for whatever projects they specialize in, whether it be improving early childhood development for families in need, supporting a shelter that protects victims of domestic violence, helping communities prepare for or respond to disasters, or any other charitable project. All you need to do is identify an organization, such as Give2Asia, that fits your philanthropic goals, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and accepts bitcoin donations.
Donating Bitcoin Across the Asia-Pacific
Give2Asia now accepts bitcoin donations — through BitPay — as a tax-deductible gift on behalf of its extensive network of nonprofit partners across the Asia Pacific region. If you have bitcoin, donating is simple and can be done on Give2Asia’s BitPay donation page. Before or after making a donation, make sure to reach out to Give2Asia to discuss how you'd like the gift to be put to best use, such as towards an advised grant, a particular fiscal sponsorship partner, a disaster relief effort, or to support Give2Asia itself.
Support for local nonprofit organizations in the Asia Pacific is as needed as ever. Give2Asia's extensive network of vetted nonprofit partners, built over the course of 17 years in the field, provides donors with trusted pathways to reach the causes and groups that they value most - in whatever currency bests suits them.
Give2Asia, which strengthens communities throughout the Asia-Pacific by building trusted networks for charitable investment, features a network that includes 2,000 grant recipients and 15,000 donors. Contact us directly at 415-967-6300 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about bitcoin donations or grantmaking in Asia.