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An Anonymous Bitcoin Millionaire Is Donating Their Fortune To Charities ( 98

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Tis the season for giving, and one Bitcoin investor claims to be giving away the majority of their cryptocurrency holdings after experiencing an incredible year. The unnamed donor has set up a fund to hand out $86 million worth of Bitcoin to various charities, and they've already started listing the donations and providing receipts. If this whole thing works out, you can just call this mystery person the Bitcoin Bill Gates. So far, The Pineapple Fund claims to have distributed just over $6.5 million in Bitcoin between eight charities. Its website provides links to the blockchain transactions under the name of each charity. These transactions are in a public ledger, but the sender and recipient are only identified by a long string of digits. We contacted the Electronic Freedom Foundation to ask if the two transactions that were purportedly sent to the activist group were indeed legitimate. A spokesperson confirmed via email that the EFF has "been in touch with the Pineapple Fund and are in the process of receiving the donation." The anonymous founder writes: "Sometime around the early days of bitcoin, I saw the promise of decentralized money and decided to mine/buy/trade some magical internet tokens. The expectation shattering returns of bitcoin over many years has lead to an amount far more than I can spend. What do you do when you have more money than you can ever possibly spend? Donating most of it to charity is what I'm doing. For reference, The Pineapple Fund is bigger than the entire market cap of bitcoin when I got in, and one of the richest 250 bitcoin addresses today."
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An Anonymous Bitcoin Millionaire Is Donating Their Fortune To Charities

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  • by Selur ( 2745445 ) on Saturday December 16, 2017 @09:06AM (#55750839)

    Respect to the donator.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Respect to the donator.

      Instead, the author chose to insult the donor by comparing him to Bill Gates.

    • Respect to the donator.

        Assuming he knows about it, of course.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We contacted the Electronic Freedom Foundation to ask

    Really Slashdot? What has happened to you? Its the Electronic Frontier Foundation dumbasses.

    • Other: "so, I heard you got a large donation, is that true?" Electronic Freedom Foundation: "wow, someone is going to give us a large donation? Awesome, thanks. We really need this, everyone donates to the Electronic Frontier Foundation" . Other: "oops, wrong guys, I meant to call Electronic Frontier Foundation, they got the large donation" Electronic Freedom Foundation: "Fuck you!"
  • Tis the Season (Score:5, Informative)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Saturday December 16, 2017 @09:25AM (#55750885) Journal

    You don't need to be a Bitcoin millionaire to make a difference. Some difference makers:

    Charity Nerds [] donate games to hospitalized children.

    The Shriners [] help transform the lives of children scarred by burns.

    Your local Salvation Army [] chapter has a great track record of helping those least blessed.

    • Re:Tis the Season (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Saturday December 16, 2017 @09:41AM (#55750925) Homepage
      Your choice of charities optimizes for charities which maximizes how much one personally feels emotionally good about it, rather than maximizing the amount of good done per a dollar. For those who want to maximize utility increased, here are some others to consider, based on the Givewell ratings which tries to maximize things like quality adjusted life years per a dollar donated []. Their most effective charities are the Against Malaria Foundation [] and the Malaria Consortium [], which are so effective in part because malaria is such a huge problem but treatment for it is very cheap. If one wants to help deal with global warming then Cool Earth is the most optimal [], with other good ones including Everybody Solar [] and the Solar Electric Light Fund [].
      • All good charities, though I suspect your choice of charities optimizes for how much one feels smugly good about it.


      • Re:Tis the Season (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Saturday December 16, 2017 @10:19AM (#55751019)

        Was going to make a cheap swipe against utilitarianism, but this is dead right. Bang for buck, theres little more important than trying to solve malaria. It, along with HIV has put such a massive strain of Africa , that even putting aside shitty dictators and corruption, its hard to see how Africa can get out of its poverty without solving Malaria and HIV. These two diseases put huge sections of the adult population in bed sick (And trust me, Malaria is no joke) instead of working, and thats *terrible* for keeping people fed and housed. HIV is a hard one, although it CAN be neutralized with good meds, but Malaria is straight up preventable, and yet its ignored

        • its hard to see how Africa can get out of its poverty without solving Malaria and HIV.

          Without Malaria and HIV, they'd have even more population growth and more poverty.

          • His argument is that the current workers don't contribute anything and just take resources until dying. It's like having no bread winners then going to winners all the way down.
          • Without Malaria and HIV, they'd have even more population growth and more poverty.

            Africa doesnt have a population problem. Theres enough resources to feed everyone very well. In fact all the evidence points to population growth correlating positively with economic growth (Well by definition really, more actors in an economy means more producers and more consumers). Thats why immigration actually lowers unemployment. Its not immediately intuitive, but it makes sense when you remember mouths to feed=jobs. Or

    • Your local Salvation Army has a great record of paying ridiculous salaries to their "Captains" and "Generals" as well as giving them lavish homes to live in and nice new cars to drive, as well as exploiting addicts actually. I'm not sure where you got the idea they did much for those in need.
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Saturday December 16, 2017 @09:40AM (#55750917)

    What do you do when you have more money than you can ever possibly spend?

    I have always said to myself that if I ever got a lot of $$, I would start an effort to declare a major American city homeless free.

    It's shameful that we have folks that are homeless in a country as rich as the USA.

    It's even more shameful that so much cash is spent on [useless and unproductive] campaigns oversees, with no hope of ever stopping.

    Let me add: I wouldn't mind getting some of those bitcoins either. I have major financial problems of mine.

    • by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Saturday December 16, 2017 @09:43AM (#55750931)

      I would start an effort to declare a major American city homeless free.

      Sounds like a South Park episode.

    • Utah actually did something very similar and it found that it not only worked well it almost paid for itself [].
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Homelessness cannot be cured by money. Most homeless people are mentally ill.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        ..... and what do you think would be used to pay for their diagnosis and medication?

        • Money. But you cannot force people to seek diagnosis and medication. It is against the law now. So money isn't the problem.
      • Homelessness cannot be cured by money. Most homeless people are mentally ill.

        Yes and no. Yes, most homeless people are mentally ill, but their illness doesn't make them want to live on the streets, it just makes them unwilling or unable to do all of the things required to obtain and maintain a residence. Money can address this by giving them a place to live, fully paid for and furnished, including utilities and maintenance, no strings attached and with no requirement that they get along with others or do anything else they're unable to do. On top of that, money can provide counseling and health care. In such an environment, many of the homeless do get better, at least somewhat.

        This is an approach that has proven to work quite well with the chronically homeless. Very few of them choose to return to the streets. Many of them kick their addictions. Some of them get jobs. A few actually build back up to self-sufficiency.

      • That is an interesting fact. Unfortunately you just pulled it out of your ass.
        • And pulling facts out of your ass is exactly what a mentally ill person would do.

          And if we want more proof, check out his username: 110010001000. You have to be mentally ill to use 12 bits.

      • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Saturday December 16, 2017 @11:14AM (#55751209) Homepage Journal

        The fact we saw a giant rise in homelessness during the 1980s in virtually every country that implemented Thatcherite/Reaganite economics (don't come back at me talking about Reagan's closure of mental hospitals, that didn't happen in most countries that saw the same thing) suggests that mental illness isn't what makes someone homeless. Unless you're suggesting that Thatcher went around putting lead in Coca-Cola.

        The mentally ill were disproportionately affected by economic policies that cut safety nets because they, as a group, are less able to support themselves than others.

        Want to end homelessness? The only way you're going to substantially reduce it is by improving welfare services and providing more social housing.

        • Which specific government safety net had funding cut in the 1980s which impacted the level of homelessness?

          The Democratic Congress at the time which controlled the purse strings spent more money on most everything, so your theory seems like it contradicts reality.

          However, I'm always willing to be proven wrong, so please give us the specifics of the non-mental illness-related safety net program which was actually cut in a budget which was enacted by Congress during that time. I'll be waiting, but not holding

    • I don't think it's always a lack of money, it's a lack of workable solutions. If you got a great plan, I'm open ears. My town is considered to be in homeless crisis for a few years and there's provincial and federal money, just nobody wants the housing in their backyard. One of the best places closed some years ago due to lack of funding that was a little out of town with gardening and minor work with counselling and drug detox. The former worker gave a very good breakdown of what they did and why people
      • When this letter to the paper from the former worker was printed, local politicians had a photo op saying they were giving millions to that organization, which turned out badly since the place closed like 6 years before due to lack of funding. They didn't even bother to look into this place, probably just heard about the former workers letter and missed the part where they closed for lack of funding. I never voted for those politicians the next election.
  • My favorite charity is the Glitter Factory
  • Many, such as mega millions lottery winners, blow it all in a few years in selfish wasteful pointless-glitter spending, Very few are good stewards, providing for their own and others long term interests.

    In contrast, those who worked for their riches, tend to either do a Scrooge McDuck, hanging on to every dime, dedicating their life to growing their net worth, defining their self-worth by their net worth, or create meaningless vanity charities (Calico Cat Benevolence Society, etc) in their own name.

    My favo

  • I hope someone actually tries to cash out their bitcoin. Then we can see if he can actually find $85m worth of buyers.
    • by Megane ( 129182 )

      There are a large number of bitcoins siezed in an illegal (prescription) drugs case, that the government is about to put up for sale. I think this was actually a Slashdot article in the past week or two. Once that hits, it could cause a shake-up.

      Anyone who has bitcoins from way back when they were cheap, and refuses to sell any of them now, is an idiot. At least try to sell a few of them to make sure that you even know how to do it! Otherwise you might as well forget that they are worth anything. If you ca

  • They have pitfalls.
    Isn't it at least interesting to note that a charity serving the third world probably pays for its executives to live a significantly above average first-world life?

    Many of the biggest charities clearly have something improper going on.
    Choose your source, here is one:
    https://www.charitynavigator.o... []

    In any case, suffering cannot be simply alleviated with no alternative in place to prevent the forces that caused the suffering to begin with from returning. The suffering will simply return.


  • These transactions are in a public ledger, but the sender and recipient are only identified by a long string of digits.

    But but but...the bitcoin apologists keep saying that bitcoin payments are fully traceable and that it's trivial to tie a person to a wallet address!

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Saturday December 16, 2017 @02:22PM (#55751821)
    Real economic activity generates productivity - added value. The mining company digs rocks out of the ground, and sells the ore for more than it cost them to dig. The refinery smelts the ore, and sells the resulting steel for more than it cost them to buy and smelt the ore. The tool company buys the steel and forms tools out of it, and sells the tools for more than it cost to buy the steel and form it. The tool store buys the tools and transports and arranges them in a retail display, and sells them for more than what all that cost it. The carpenter buys the tool, and uses it to create furniture whose sale value more than makes back the price of the tool. The homeowner buys the furniture, because the value it provides in organizational efficiency outweighs its purchase price. In each step, the value of the item increases because productivity was added, making it worth more than the acquisition cost and the cost of the improvements the temporary owner made.

    I'm having a difficult time seeing where the productivity gain in bitcoin is. All that happened is someone mined/bought some bitcoin, then sold it at a higher price to someone else, who sold it at a higher price to someone else, etc. just because people keep expecting its value to rise. With stocks, at least the first person to buy the stock was contributing capital to the expansion of the company (which must have used it well if their stock is still worth something). With bitcoin, the only thing the first person to acquire it did was turn a bunch of electricity into heat to calculate some numbers with special mathematical properties.

    If there's no productivity gain, then the process is zero sum or negative sum, and there is no net productivity gain for society (e.g. someone got some furniture which didn't exist before). In that case this is basically like a lottery, and one of the winners is donating some of his winnings back to society. Well, considering the money for those winnings came from society in the first place, there's no net good being done here. You're just moving money around.
    • Bitcoin seems to reward just wasting energy. Can a new version require useful computing work?
    • by amorsen ( 7485 )

      Bitcoin is a currency. A store of value. Currencies do not cause production or wealth, they just move it around.

      It is sad that you are disappointed that Bitcoin does not cause production or wealth. However, it is fundamentally unfixable, so I hope you feel better about it soon.

      (The real problem with Bitcoin is that it is a lousy currency because it is so illiquid. The whole point of a currency is to be liquid. 4 transactions a second is a joke.)

  • Really should have called it 'Banana Stand Fund'

  • Bitcoin transactions are NOT Anonymous.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.