The anonymous founder of bitcoin charity Pineapple Fund struck it rich investing in bitcoin, and now they are using that wealth to help rural Kenyans trapped in extreme poverty.
On Friday, “Pine,” the alias of the Pineapple Fund’s founder, announced on the Basic Income subreddit that the fund had donated $5 million to GiveDirectly, a charity that is financing a 12-year basic income experiment for impoverished rural Kenyans and also distributes unconditional lump-sum cash transfers to residents of the communities it serves.
GiveDirectly confirmed the donation on its Twitter page, adding that it accepts bitcoin donations through its Coinbase account.
Established earlier this month by a bitcoin millionaire who wishes his or her identity to remain a secret, the Pineapple Fund has committed to donating more than 5,000 BTC — the majority of the founder’s newfound crypto wealth — to worthy charities operating across the world.
To date, the Pineapple Fund has donated more than $15 million to 14 different charities. The $5 million donation to GiveDirectly was the largest that the fund has made public, and its previous donations have ranged in size from $50,000 to $1 million and have been distributed to a variety of different charities and research organizations.
Last week, the Pineapple Fund gifted $1 million to the Internet Archive, and it has also donated $500,000 to cryptocurrency-focused non-profit BitGive — the largest individual gift that the organization has received.
But while the Pineapple Fund represents one of the most visible expressions of goodwill one could conceive, even it has been unable to avoid stirring up controversy in the intensely-partisan cryptocurrency community.
Frustrated by slow confirmation times and high transaction fees, Pine published a post on the BTC subreddit — the de facto forum for bitcoin cash supporters — urging charities to accept bitcoin cash and cryptocurrency payment processors to support BCH as a payment option. Unsurprisingly, this stoked the flames of the bitcoin scaling debate, leading at least one bitcoin cash critic to make the dubious accusation that the Pineapple Fund is actually a marketing ploy for bitcoin cash.
Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)cryptocoinsnews.com.
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