Bitcoin gets first IRS tax exempt status charitable organization

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Last updated on August 25th, 2014 at 03:33 pm

The BitGive Foundation announced Monday that it will become the very first non-profit organization in the bitcoin industry to receive 501(c)(3) tax exemption status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This means that any charitable contributions it generates will not be taxed and instead be allocated to more supported bitcoin and cryptocurrency causes.

“One of our first goals was to secure our 501 (c) (3) status, which enables BitGive to provide US donors a tax deduction for their donation and provides a number of legal and financial benefits to the organization,” said Connie Gallippi, BitGive executive director, in a statement. “We are very grateful for the expert legal team we have at Perkins Coie, LLP, who provided pro-bono services to establish the Foundation and apply for this tax exempt designation.”

BitGive is an entity that maintains an initiative of improving environment and public health organizations and projects by providing these endeavors with funds it receives. The organization accepts private and corporate donations. It has listed BitPay, Xapo, LibraTax and Roger Ver as founding donors.

Its long-term aim is to launch a multi-million-dollar investment trust fund in bitcoin that can be given to certain causes and pauses (think of something similar to an endowment). With the tax-exempt status it can now start building towards launching that fund.

“We have the resources, we’re evaluating organizations and providing essentially grants,” Gallippi said in an interview with CoinDesk. “We want to be doing our mission-based work – that’s the whole point – but, until we have built the ‘endowment’, we have to sort of do it in a different way right now.”

On the same day it announced its tax exemption status, BitGive established two new programs: Founding Donors Campaign and a membership program for individuals – both can be used by international contributors.

BitGive is currently in the midst of The Water Project, an endeavor that is meant to construct new water wells for communities and schools in Kenya and other areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. Its objective is to raise $10,000 and has met 75 percent of that – it kicked off the campaign with two bitcoins from its primary fund.

The non-profit organization has previously raised money for victims of the Philippines’s Typhoon Haiyan and the Midwest United States tornado.

BitGive’s Board of Directors consists of Stephen Pair, co-founder and CEO of BitPay; Patrick Murck, legal counsel at the Bitcoin Foundation; Madeline Finch, a former Administrative Officer of a community foundation; Curtis Alling, Principal and CEO at Ascent Environmental; and Karsten Behrend, Chief Compliance Officer at Xapo. The organization was supported in its first year by donations and in-kind support from KnCMiner, Bitcoin Development Fund, BitPay, Perkins Coie, LLP.


CoinBuzz provides news and analysis on Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Founded in 2014, the site has quickly become a leading source of information on digital currency technologies, businesses, markets, and regulation.

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