Chances are you’re giving more to charities this year. Mostly you’re forking over cash. Maybe you do it through a credit card. But maybe you also have some cryptocurrency lying around, and you’d like to donate that.
Engiven lets non-profits take that crypto and even move it around the economy. Those who want to invest in Engiven stock are contributing to good causes.
Engiven charges non-profits $10/month to become members. They connect to the platform, and can then accept donations in Bitcoin or Ethereum, the two most popular cryptocoins.
Why Invest in Engiven Stock? What Is It?
Engiven is the creation of James Lawrence, and Matt Hayes, who previously acquired a mobile text-to-give platform called Mogiv.
Engiven was founded in May 2018 and has registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). They’re also seeking capital on SeedInvest, collecting $61,000 so far at a valuation of $5 million. Their goal is to raise $1 million on the platform over the next month.
An example of what they can do is Bitcoin Beach, in El Salvador. There, it has partnered with missionaries to create a village economy around Bitcoin, using a donation of coins found on a thumb drive last year. Instead of cashing out the donation, a payment protocol called the Lightning Network let villagers move the Bitcoin around at low cost, using the Wallet of Satoshi. The village now has a Bitcoin ATM.
The Church Connection
Both Engiven founders are members of an evangelical church in San Diego called the Rock Church. The church was founded by Miles McPherson, a former football player. It has distinguished itself during the pandemic not just through food donations, but moving their services online.
That is thanks, in part, to the efforts of the Engiven founders. Lawrence is the church’s “executive pastor of innovation.” Hayes is its chief technology officer.
It’s important to note, however, that Engiven is not affiliated with the church. A story about Engiven last year at VentureBeat did not mention the church at all.
So while Engiven’s efforts were built around religious groups, it’s not limited to them. In a piece he wrote for NextBillion, Lawrence writes about Engiven as an entry point toward making non-profits more transparent. Systems like Bitgive and Alice are bringing non-profits into the world of fintech, he writes. Those which join it now can benefit.
Engiven illustrates many of the trends that are moving both for-profit and non-profit businesses toward fintechs and cryptocurrency.
As the El Salvador case illustrates, blockchain benefits can be delivered at low cost. Most people in the developing world now have phones. Fintech offers simplicity and transparency. When there is a funding source behind it, fintech can even enable a Bitcoin economy.
Non-profits have long used technologies like text-to-give. Fintech and blockchain are merely extensions of what they have begun to do. In theory, these technologies can make non-profits more transparent, even more honest.
Engiven says it has partnered with 25 non-profits as a beta group to market its system. The aim is to educate non-profits on cryptocurrency, learn the technology, and gauge donor demand.
The Bottom Line
As this was written the total market cap of Bitcoin and Ethereum was about $260 billion. This represents 71% of the total cryptocurrency market.
When you invest in Engiven stock, charities can use Bitcoin as an entry into the world of fintech. The promise of fintech is to lower the cost of collecting and spending money, especially across international borders. This in turn can increase the power of money in the hands of a non-profit, allowing more to go into its mission.
Whether the Engiven platform unlocks the power of Bitcoin for non-profits and delivers a profit to its investors, is unclear. But it’s a noble effort.
Dana Blankenhorn has been a financial and technology journalist since 1978. He is the author of the environmental thriller Bridget O’Flynn and the Bear, available at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned no shares in companies mentioned in this story.