We ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!
This week, our 6 Questions go to Alex Wilson, co-founder of The Giving Block — a crypto donation solution that provides an ecosystem for nonprofits and charities to fundraise Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Alex is a co-founder of The Giving Block, a Shift4 company. The Giving Block is a leading crypto philanthropy platform that makes accepting and fundraising cryptocurrencies easy for nonprofits and empowers donors to give crypto to their favorite causes. Alex oversees The Giving Block’s growth in several areas, including technological innovation, crypto and financial partnerships, and institutional giving.
Alex’s background is in management consulting, where he worked with Fortune 500 companies to develop strategies for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, blockchain and cryptocurrency. As he went down the cryptocurrency rabbit hole, he and co-founder Pat Duffy discovered a need for nonprofits to tap into the growing crypto donor demographic.
Alex graduated from Wake Forest University School of Business with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Enterprise Management specializing in International Business.
1 — What has been the toughest challenge you’ve faced in our industry so far?
The biggest challenge is educating those we speak with about the benefits of the industry. I believe that cryptocurrency is one of the greatest forces of good on the planet, but there are many people we speak with who have misconceptions about crypto — from its impact on the environment to the quasi anonymity behind it.
2 — When you tell people you’re in the blockchain industry, how do they react?
I’ve found that most people are really receptive to what we are doing at The Giving Block. All too often, people hear that you work in crypto, and they have a preconceived idea of what that looks like. Then I go on to tell them what it is that we do and that we’ve raised over $100 million in cryptocurrencies for nonprofits, and their reaction softens. I think our use case is much more tangible to people than many others, which makes it easier than most to understand and relate to.
3 — Have you ever bought a nonfungible token? What was it — and if not, what do you think will be your first?
Yes, but only ones that benefit charities. The first I bought were from Nifty Gateway as part of a COVID relief campaign called COVID Heroes.
4 — Which two superpowers would you most want to have, and how would you combine them for good… or evil?
If I had to choose two superpowers, they would probably be teleportation and flying — that way I can have more face-to-face time with the nonprofits we work with without having to wait in TSA lines.
5 — Tell us about a hidden talent — and give us a link to prove it!
I’m bilingual — I grew up speaking both English and German equally.
6 — What talent do you lack, and wish you had? How would you use it if you had it?
I’ve always wished that I could speak a third language. I think speaking fluent Spanish would be a really helpful talent to have.
„In a world of cryptocurrency and blockchain possibilities, the possibilities for charitable giving seem infinite. Alex Wilson, co-founder of The Giving Block, is at the heart of it all, working with charities to help them accept donations in cryptocurrency. Here are 6 questions we asked Alex Wilson of The Giving Block.
Q1: What is The Giving Block and how does it work?
A1: The Giving Block is a donation platform that helps charities accept cryptocurrency donations. We provide a comprehensive suite of services including education, white-label donation pages, tax & legal guidance, and other best-in-class support services. Our mission is to make donating crypto to charity as easy and transparent as possible.
Q2: Have we seen a rise in donations since you first founded The Giving Block three years ago?
A2: Absolutely! We’ve seen a huge influx of donations since our founding in 2018, and the trend is only continuing to grow. We’ve seen a ten-fold increase in donations year-over-year and expect that to accelerate as more charities become comfortable with accepting cryptocurrency donations.
Q3: What types of charities have you seen the most success stories with?
A3: We’ve seen a great diversity of successes with both small local charities and larger international organizations. There really isn’t one type of charity that’s best suited for crypto donations. We’ve seen many success stories with animal welfare charities, college funds, and youth development organizations.
Q4: How do you think cryptocurrency can help combat global poverty and assist the world’s underserved populations?
A4: The use of cryptocurrency and blockchain in charitable giving offers immense potential for good. With cryptocurrency, donations can reach those who would be otherwise unable to access aid due to lack of infrastructure, or those living in areas where traditional banking is inaccessible. Additionally, the transparency and immutability of the blockchain ensures that funds are allocated efficiently and in a much more transparent manner.
Q5: What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing the adoption of cryptocurrency in charitable giving?
A5: As with any new technology, there are always challenges to adoption. We believe the biggest barriers right now stem from the legal and regulatory frameworks. There are still many questions around the taxation of crypto donations and lack of uniform regulation across countries. Overcoming these challenges and providing a better understanding of the process will be key to wider adoption.
Q6: What should potential donors know before they begin giving cryptocurrency donations?
A6: Before giving cryptocurrency donations, potential donors should understand the tax implication of their donations. Depending on the country, donations may be subject to capital gains taxes. Donors should consider their donations and the relevant tax consequences before donating. Additionally, the donor should ensure that the charity they are donating to is registered and compliant in their jurisdiction. The Giving Block can help with this process by providing legal and tax guidance for donors and charities.“