Cryptocurrencies have grown from their speculative use case to become a significant asset class for charitable donations. However, just as it is with other assets, their use could be affected by market forces as well.
Last month, Fidelity Charitable, the humanitarian arm of Fidelity, revealed in its annual report that it had received over $106 million worth of cryptocurrencies since it started accepting crypto donations back in 2015.
Not long after the charity arm started accepting cryptocurrency donations, they grew to become the fastest growing and widely accepted asset type that it received. As at 2017, crypto donations amounted to $69 million. However, things seemed to slow down a bit in 2018, as the annual report showed just $30 million in donations.
Amongst other things, the decline in donations could have stemmed from the bear market that engulfed the crypto industry in 2018. Assets saw a decrease in value, with many Bitcoin trading aficionados and investors scrambling to dump their holdings in a bid to salvage what they could. Fewer assets in the hands of people mean that they won’t be able to use them for charity, even if they want to.
A company representative seemed to agree with this premise, saying that the company has noticed an uptick in cryptocurrency donations whenever the values of the assets on cryptocurrency exchanges start to rise. In addition to that, Amy Pirozzolo, the Head of Marketing at Fidelity Charitable, opined that people are less likely to offload their crypto assets for charity whenever the market faces a downturn.
Pirozzolo also shed some light on the tax implications of Fidelity Charitable, as she claimed that the entire reason for starting the charity organization was both to help make philanthropy easier and to use market incentives as well.
According to her, cryptocurrency investors who donate their proceeds will be able to evade capital gains taxes on them, and they can also write these donations off against their income tax as well. She added that the firm encourages investors to give their assets with the highest depreciations first, as both the donor and charity could benefit from the tax advantages provided by these as well.
She said, “One thing we’re committed to is helping donors choose the most tax-efficient asset to give to charity,” adding that the firm is just trying to keep its finger on the pulse of the crypto market. The Marketing Head stated that the firm is always looking to add the top performing crypto assets. With this in mind, it formally announced in the release that it would begin accepting payment-focused asset XRP for donations as well.
While it has hinted at its acceptance of XRP for a while, the annual report made this support official, and donors now have a wider variety to choose from.
A representative of the company revealed that their donation portfolios in Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash have been increasing. While Bitcoin remains top, this could hint that people seem to be donating more altcoins. XRP is a top altcoin, so it’s only logical that support for it should be provided as well.