- The Pineapple Fund, a bitcoin charity project, has announced a $US5 million donation in bitcoin to GiveDirectly.
- GiveDirectly is a charity that conducts a basic income experiment in Kenya and issues cash transfers in other East African countries.
The Pineapple Fund, a charity project started by a bitcoin millionaire, has committed $US5 million worth of bitcoin to GiveDirectly, an organisation that is currently running the largest basic income experiment in history across dozens of villages in rural Kenya.
GiveDirectly will split the money between its core model of issuing lump-sum cash transfers and the 12-year basic income experiment, the organisation told Business Insider.
The Pineapple Fund announced the news on the basic income subreddit. In committing to supporting basic income, the fund adds GiveDirectly to a list of initiatives focused on giving people access to clean water, research into the use of psychedelics as medicine, and cures for ageing.
Pine, the alias of the person who started the fund, found fortune through early investments in bitcoin. The Pineapple Fund has said it will give away nearly all of the $US86 million it has amassed through bitcoin ownership.
GiveDirectly has been running its full basic income experiment for just under a month. In mid-November, the charity announced it had started enrolling the 120 villages set to receive basic income. Of those, 80 will receive $US22 monthly for 12 years. The remaining 40 will receive the same amount, but for two years.
The charity has also picked 100 villages to serve as the control group and receive nothing.
GiveDirectly said it’s been accepting donation in bitcoin since 2014 and has already liquidated the 320.8 bitcoin the Pineapple Fund has donated.
For 13 months before GiveDirectly launched the full study, it had been conducting a pilot study in just one village. Like the full study, it will also continue for 12 years. Early results have been promising. Business Insider recently visited the village and spoke with nearly a dozen recipients, many of whom said the money was life-changing.
They have been able to spend the money on things like food, school fees, home repairs, and investments in their business. If they need to borrow money from neighbours, they no longer have fears about paying back the debt.
“If this money were to be given to everybody, this would be a very good thing,” Edwin Odongo Anyango, a 30-year-old day laborer, said. “What this money does is it creates hope. And when people have hope, they are happy.”
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