ASU Foundation now accepts cryptocurrency gifts

November 1, 2021

The ASU Foundation for a New American University now accepts cryptocurrency options as a philanthropic payment method.

Arizona State University’s nonprofit fundraising arm can accept over 90 different cryptocurrencies from donors, allowing them to connect with a wider range of donors.

Stock image of Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin, three of the more than 90 cryptocurrencies that the ASU Foundation will now accept as gifts.

“We recognize that Millennials and Gen Z, some of whom are ASU alumni, want the ability to facilitate cryptocurrency giveaways,” said Samuel Michalove, director of investment strategy and management. portfolio for ASU Enterprise Partners, parent organization of the ASU Foundation. “We are open for business and want to be able to engage in new ways with individuals and facilitate the ways they want to give.”

ASU donors could already donate through a variety of options beyond cash, including stocks, bonds, fine art, real estate, private companies and life insurance. The additional donation option allows the foundation to accept assets that donors own and wish to donate.

“We need to be forward thinking about alumni and new ways we can engage with them,” said Jazmin Medina, ’09 BS, director of NewView Capital and member of the Next Generation Council of the ASU Foundation. “That’s what we strive to do. As members of the Next Gen Council – find meaningful ways to connect with alumni and make their giving experience as smooth and easy as possible.”

The Next Generation Council has been instrumental in adding cryptocurrency options. Members are entrepreneurial alumni who have graduated since 2002 and seek to create ways for fellow alumni to be meaningfully engaged.

“Crypto has changed the world in many ways since I bought my first Bitcoin ten years ago,” said Daniel McAuley, ’09 BS, data scientist for Instagram and member of the Next Generation Council. “Making it easy for alumni to donate their crypto wealth will help the ASU Foundation continue this trend. I also think it’s a strong signal to the young alumni that ASU sees where the world is going and can be tasked with putting their capital to work. shape it. “

When donors donate cryptocurrency to the ASU Foundation to support ASU students, research, and programs, the currency is transferred through Coinbase, a third party that facilitates the transfer on behalf of the foundation. The foundation recognizes the currency and the quantity of the transferred currency.

Cryptocurrency is treated as a real estate asset under the Internal Revenue Services tax code. Some suggest it looks like publicly traded stocks, which are also property under IRS guidelines; However, when it comes to tax deductions, it’s more about real estate, arts, or private companies, said Brian Nielson, estate and giveaway advisor for the ASU Foundation.

“The amount and how and when it was acquired all affect potential deduction and documentation requirements,” he said. “Because this is a new type of asset, the laws and IRS forms haven’t completely caught up. The foundation can help navigate the requirements of donors who would like a charitable tax deduction. “

Other benefits may include lower taxes on capital gains.

“Like publicly traded stocks, donors can potentially avoid paying capital gains taxes if their cryptocurrency has been acquired as an investment, has been held for more than a year, and is donated directly. as cryptocurrency to a charity such as the ASU Foundation, ”Nielson said. .

Cryptocurrency is not widely used to settle transactions that can be settled by other means, said Dragan Boscovic, ASU professor of computer science and director of the Blockchain Research Lab.

“People are still quite used to using credit cards, sending wire transfers, or just paying with cash. Nonetheless, there are some advantages to paying with cryptocurrency,” he said. “It’s more instantaneous, you don’t pay high transaction fees, and it’s used around the world, so you don’t have to exchange your dollars to make international payments.”

Accepting cryptocurrency for philanthropic purposes may lead to further partnerships for ASU that would allow the university to participate in a blockchain network and receive utility tokens in exchange for participating in various network activities, a said Boscovic.

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