How much would you pay if you had the opportunity to meet your lifetime hero? And what if you could pay with bitcoin or ethereum? Would you do it?
Online fundraising auction platform CharityStars is now making that possibility a reality after announcing that it’s accepting cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin on its platform for the first time. The platform has already seen a bid of $36,000 worth of bitcoin, awarding the auction winner the opportunity to meet legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. The proceeds will be donated to the Forever Dream Foundation, the association that gives unique experiences to disadvantaged children and families, making their dreams come true through sports and entertainment. The move from CharityStars to accept cryptocurrencies signals a significant step for the platform as it merges with the crypto world.
Speaking with CoinJournal, Francesco Nazari Fusetti, co-founder and CEO of CharityStars, said that the organisation is striving to be at the forefront of the fundraising industry and that it was a natural move to include cryptocurrencies onto their platform.
“This opportunity will change the way we donate funds to our partnering charities and aid us in reaching a new audience of potential donors in the crypto world,” he added. “We believe that allowing people to easily donate with crypto is a significant step forward in the nonprofit sector.”
Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in London and Milan, CharityStars was founded in 2013 by Fusetti, Manuella Ravalli and Domenico Gravagno. Spanning a global network it has established relationships with international charities and the entertainment industry. Through its online platform, auctions are conducted featuring an array of luxury experiences or products that can be purchased at auction with proceeds going to partnering charities.
To date, CharityStars has raised over $9 million in funds, supporting 450 charities, including Unicef, Save the Children and the WWF. On the platform, available auctions include the opportunity to meet Vivienne Westwood at London Fashion Week, Leo Messi at an FC Barcelona Home Game, or have a business lunch with Giuseppe Cipriani.
By providing donors with the opportunity to donate with digital currencies, it adds a new layer of transparency within the charity sector. It also yields the integration of the blockchain technology on the platform, says Fusetti.
“It is quite clear that by using distributed ledgers to track transactions, cryptocurrencies to transfer funds, and smart contracts to ensure donations are spent correctly, blockchain has the potential to bring widespread transparency to the sector.”
Since the announcement, the response that CharityStars has received has been positive with donors bidding in bitcoin and ethereum for auctions.
“CharityStars represents an incredible marketplace where donors spend their money, be it either through cryptocurrency or fiat currency, acquiring unique products or unforgettable experiences that you won’t find anywhere else,” said Fusetti.
At present, donors can bid either through fiat or digital currency; however, Fusetti said that they won’t rule out an auction solely through cryptocurrency in the future.