Give like Warren Buffett
Obligatory Disclaimer: To modify a quote from Tim Ferris, “I am NOT a financial advisor, and none of this advice should be taken without speaking to a qualified professional first. Also, my results [are most likely] due to pure luck and zero skill.”
In 2006, billionaire Warren Buffett announced he would gradually start giving away the majority of his vast wealth. Over the span of 10 years, he’s kept that promise, giving away nearly $27.54 billion.
My investment idol isn’t alone in the way he handles his wealth. Many other billionaires are following suit, opting to give to charity instead of leaving their fortunes to their children. But why?
Perhaps these high net-worth individuals put some stock (pun intended) into the old saying “to whom much is given, much will be required.” Or maybe they want their lives to mean more than money. Or maybe, these living legends want to give back to the world that has treated them so well. The crypto community could take a lesson from these people.
Cryptocurrency is extraordinary. It is doing something that the world has seldom seen. Crypto is taking normal, everyday people, and making them wealthy. Not just in money, but also in relationships — in connections.
Some people in the crypto-world are squandering this gift. They get fabulously wealthy, buy their lambos, and leave the rest of the world behind. It’s not their problem anymore. Other people though, don’t so quickly forget their origins.
Much of the crypto community is dedicated to giving back to the world that made them. They are using their newfound wealth to support charity (Earn.com, formerly 21.co, encourages all its users to donate Bitcoin to their charity of choice), and they are using their new relationships to create new solutions to ending poverty.
People like Vinny Lingham are developing identity solutions that will drastically change the lives of millions of refugees for the better. Teams that are familiar with Ethereum are helping the UN distribute aid that is transparent and fully accountable. My friend Fraser Brown is developing a decentralized system for raising awareness and funds at the grassroots level. The list goes on.
But we could do more. The current global market cap for all of cryptocurrency combined is $229.6 billion — almost 10 times what Buffett has given to charity over the past 10 years. Why should legacy billionaires give more than us? Do we have any excuse?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the cryptocurrency community is one of my favorite places in the world. We’ve made waves. People are taking notice. Now it’s time to really blow their socks off.
In the last 30 years, we have reduced global poverty by more than half. But that was before crypto was around. Keep working on your awesome projects. Keep making money like few people have before you. And start finding new ways to help people. Here are a few suggestions:
- Invest and innovate in decentralized energy. Puerto Rico is still without electricity after recent hurricanes — the system is in need of a substantial upgrade, and we need new ways to harness renewable energy. There are already several great projects underway that could use your help!
- Get involved in the development of a decentralized supply chain. Transparency, accountability, and corruption have been issues for foreign aid between governments for years without change. Crypto could be the driving force behind radical reform in this area.
- Give voice to the voiceless. The number of people globally who own a smartphone is projected to increase to 2.9 billion by 2020. That’s 2.9 billion people who could be their own bank, protect their identity and property, and have their rights protected, all through crypto and blockchain.
- Get involved in your local government. Governments rarely look favorably on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. It’s up to people like us to show the world the great good our community can bring.
- Don’t give cash, give Bitcoin. 501(c)(3) charities are not required to pay a capital gains tax on donations made in Bitcoin. Think creatively about how you give, and who you give to, and encourage your favorite charity to start accepting crypto. It could be as easy as installing the Shifty button.
Yes, Warren Buffett has given $27.54 billion to charity in the last 10 years. But with crypto’s help, we could nearly eliminate poverty in our lifetime. We could radically improve the standard of living for millions of people around the world. This isn’t just our idea, it’s our responsibility. How can you give back today?
If you’d like to join the cryptocommunity, an easy way to begin is through Coinbase. Get $10 of free Bitcoin when you use this link — it’s my referral link — and get started now!