A charity auction that’s billed as the largest philanthropic event for non-fungible tokens in history closes on Christmas Eve at noon. If crypto is burning a hole in your pocket, splurge on digital collectibles for a good cause—right on time for the holiday season.
The five-day crypto auction—which began Monday and is called Right-Click, Give!—benefits the Brooklyn-based Blankets of Hope, a nonprofit launched six years ago by
that teaches kindness in classrooms and distributes blankets across the U.S. to the homeless. A note from the students accompanies each blanket.
“My brother and I are avid NFT collectors,” says Mike Fiorito, 25. “We became obsessed after buying our first one. We just quickly noticed how welcoming and how kind everyone in the NFT community was.”
More than 50 members of that growing community have rallied their support for the auction by donating digital collectibles and works of art. That roster includes Nicole
Merry Modz, plus such brands as GutterCatGang, PixelVault, and World of Women.
The “dream number” the event aims to raise between the auction and donations is 250 Wrapped ETH, about US$1 million, according to Fiorito. “Right now the current bidding sits at 50 ETH (about US$200,000),” he says.
In the collection of works on the block, VeeFriends’ Gracious Grasshopper, as of Thursday afternoon had the highest bid of 8.5 Wrapped ETH, or US$34,569.25.
Buffett, 45, a painter and NFT artist and
granddaughter, says she’s impressed with what’s up for bid.
“I’m in excellent company. The spirit of the crypto space is really about redefining how we create abundance for ourselves and each other,” she says. “It’s about spreading the wealth.”
Buffett’s donated NFT, Spirit Coin, is a mandala, she says, that “symbolizes how energies and people come together.”
This NFT charity auction comes as interest in the tokens are rising faster than Santa Claus up a chimney. NFT sales surged to more than US$10.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021, according to an industry report from market tracker DappRadar.
As with any charitable giving, the auction comes with tax implications. “There is a super cloudy area around donating NFT’s,” Fiorito says, adding that individuals who donated NFTs and those bidding on them “are not expecting a tax deductible donation.”
That said, anyone who owns crypto can still make a tax deductible donation directly to Blankets of Hope, according to attorney
Phillip C. Berg,
chairman of corporate practice at the New York City-based Otterbourg P.C.
“By donating crypto directly,” he says, “you’re going to get a tax deduction for the value of their crypto on the day you donated regardless of how much you paid for their crypto.”
The notion of old and new as well as warm and fuzzy charity and intangible crypto hasn’t been lost on Mike Fiorito. “Giving is this a universal thing that’s been around since the beginning of time,” he says, adding the cryptocurrency is relatively new on the scene.
In the end, he says, it’s all about community and the spirit of giving whether you’re donating “fruit baskets or NFTs.”
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