A Conversation with Project Sunshine's First Crypto Donor

In just our first year exploring crypto-giving through The Giving Block, Project Sunshine has been lucky enough to experience the generosity, optimism, and efficiency of the cryptocurrency and NFT community. We sat down with our first crypto-donor to learn more about the community and what inspired them to support our mission.

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Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

"Absolutely. I am a 26 year-old cryptocurrency enthusiast, investor and programmer. I also create and sell generative art, which is just a fancy way to say I code programs that run and output unique pieces of art based on a big list of parameters and inputs. I’ve been involved with the crypto community since mid-2017 when I was first introduced to the idea and technology behind it. I'm passionate about the digital transformation that we find ourselves in, and how we can bridge the gap between traditionally tech savvy people and the non. Outside of that, I'm just an average guy, I love skiing and hiking. It’s always good to get a break from being behind a screen."

Do you have any previous connection to the non-profit world?

"I do, actually. I used to work for a local non-profit that helped kids and adults with developmental disabilities learn skills to help them be more independent
and lead a fulfilling life. I think in a way, that experience greatly shaped my view of charity and all the good that people are willing to do for others. To this day, I think those people are some of the most kindhearted and selfless people I’ve ever met, and feel very blessed to have had that experience. It helped shape me into the person I am today."

Crypto and NFT’s have made their way into the mainstream lexicon this past year—in what ways do you think the narrative around crypto to the greater public is correct or incorrect?

"That's a great question, and truly, I think there is a ton of misconceptions about what crypto currency and the blockchain technology is. To some extent, it's like what happened with the birth and rise of the internet in the early 90’s (granted this was a bit before my time) but many people saw it as a fad or a passing trend which now we can obviously look back on and say they were quite wrong. Of course, it’s easy to say in hindsight.

In the same way that the internet allows seamless flow of information anywhere around the world in mere seconds, and gives most of us access to a wealth of information at our fingertips with smartphones and the like, crypto can be thought of doing the same sort of democratization of ideas and information but with finance, money and digital ownership. In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, whether it be through social media, video games, or other forms of digital communication, crypto, and by extension NFTs and digital goods are the currency that an increasingly digital era is bound to run on. For some people this may seem a bit absurd, but for a younger generation such as myself and many others, it's the natural evolution of life in a world where things like your presence online are just as important if not more important than your real-world presence, and an upgrade to the traditional world of banking and payments.

Of course it's a bit more complicated than that, but at the expense of boring you with too much technical jargon I’d leave it at wishing more people would be open to new forms of technology disrupting and improving upon ways of life that we find ourselves entrenched in. These sort of things happen slowly then suddenly, all at once, and if done correctly, they can democratize and empower people in a lot of cool and powerful ways."

While there are substantial tax benefits to making crypto donations, it feels as though this community has a dedication to giving back, which is only enhanced by these benefits. As a crypto donor yourself, why do you think the cryptocurrency community is a seamless match for non-profits like Project Sunshine?

"I think that in a lot of ways, and I know for me personally, people in this community come from very humble beginnings and backgrounds. A lot of my close friends in the community share the same ethos of crypto being a great equalizer in giving a voice and opportunity to those who are traditionally not included in the many conversations. I think it attracts a lot of people who aren’t necessarily happy with the status quo of the world they see around them and want to help or change it in some way. So, when I see a charity like Project Sunshine, while our direct communities might not exactly overlap in a ton of ways, we both share that vision and passion for trying to make the world a better place. Being able to see the direct impact of a donation and the lives it can touch is just a natural extension of that ethos that brings a lot of people together in the crypto community to begin with."

Can you tell us something about the crypto community that you think philanthropic individuals should know?

"I think that in the world of philanthropy if you were to ask most people what they thought of when they heard that word, they would think of big donor events and golf tournaments and the like. I think it's important to realize that there are large, highly passionate communities out there that share the same vision and holistic goals of creating a more equitable and happier future for everyone, and while we may not traditionally cross paths very often, the crypto community is made up of tons of great people who don't feel like they fit in the traditional boxes of what it means to be involved in philanthropy or similar. In a lot of the same ways that crypto is potentially changing the way we live our lives; it could be useful in ways to broaden the reach of the ‘traditional’ philanthropic framework."

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