Heifer International Acquires Cryptocurrency Platform
The non-profit organization BitGive has agreed to transfer all of its intellectual property and financial assets, including its crypto donation platform, GiveTrack, to Heifer International in Little Rock, Ark.
BitGive executives have been in talks with Heifer for nearly a year. The platform recently stopped accepting donations of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and this week announced the transfer of assets that include GiveTrack technology, brand name and logo.
The GiveTrack transfer has taken place, said Harper Grubbs, Heifer’s senior director of digital marketing, BitGive founder and CEO Connie Galbee. But, BitGive’s remaining financial assets, which include Bitcoin and other digital currencies, will be transferred within a few months, after BitGive has completed filing 990 forms over the past two years with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Grubbs estimated that the bitcoin still held by BitGive is currently around $100,000. Depending on market forces, the value can go down or up, and any remaining funds will be returned to Heifer after BitGive pays final dissolution fees, payroll, and operating expenses, said Grubbs.
Heifer, whose mission since 1944 has been to help farmers and people in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Central and South America sustain food, is not interested in leftovers, but instead to the JeffTrack platform because managers want to expand Heifer’s capabilities to accept bitcoin and other digital currencies, Grobs said. Heifer currently accepts digital currency through its website through charitable wallets and QR code scanning, but managers believe GiveTrack, which uses blockchain technology, has more, more secure and transparent options.
“With donors, we have been experimenting with new ways of giving and how we can be more innovative. Blockchain technology for accepting cryptocurrency is key. Donors expect and deserve greater transparency,” Grubbs said.
Blockchains are shared, tamper-resistant digital ledgers that make it easy to record transactions and keep track of assets. As assets (in this case, donations) are added, new blocks are formed in the data series. Corrections or changes are added as new blocks so that the original data cannot be changed.
Groups said Heifer executives won’t activate GiveTrack until 2023 as they evaluate its capabilities further, absorb the technology and decide which cryptocurrencies to accept. BitGive’s Gallippi and the other BitGive technical and financial managers will act as advisors to Heifer during the learning process.
Galbei said that BitGive’s philanthropic goal — which was founded in 2013 in Sacramento, California, to encourage charitable bitcoin donations to sustainability and hunger causes — has been met. She said Heifer has better resources and is measured to run Jeff Track.
“This transfer of assets is a means of what we have worked so hard to build into a reality and scale to a level we probably wouldn’t have done on our own. If you look at a small non-profit startup like BitGive that has been in this nascent industry versus Heifer that has been around for 78 years with global operations and a brand A business with an incredible reputation and donor-based resources, there is no comparison,” Gallippi said.
Heifer first experimented with GiveTrack in 2020 by launching a small fundraising campaign of $10,000 to help an Arkansas farming community buy a tractor. Grubbs said that blockchain technology clearly shows the progress of the donation in real time.