Yesterday, one post set the Bitcoin subreddit on fire: An anonymous Bitcoiner who goes by the name of “Pine” announced that they are establishing the Pineapple Fund to donate 5,057 BTC, worth about $86 million at today’s exchange rate, to charitable causes.
“I’m very happy that I have held on to most of my bitcoins until today,” Pine told Bitcoin Magazine. “Most early adopters of bitcoin actually don’t have much. They’ve sold to pay bills and expenses.”
Indeed, last week it was revealed that Bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos was one of those who had not been in a position to hold his early coins long enough to reap the rewards. In a subsequent outpouring of appreciation, Bitcoin enthusiasts sent him donations of more than 100 BTC, equivalent to more than $1.7 million.
In this same spirit of giving back, Pine is sharing their own newfound wealth.
“Sometime around the early days of bitcoin, I saw the promise of decentralized money and decided to mine/buy/trade some magical internet tokens,” states the Pineapple Fund website. “The expectation shattering returns of bitcoin over many years has [led] to an amount far more than I can spend. What do you do when you have more money than you can ever possibly spend? Donating most of it to charity is what I’m doing.”
Some charities that are already receiving donations from the Pineapple Fund include Watsi, The Water Project, EFF, MAPS, SENS Research Foundation, charity: water ($1 million each), BitGive ($500,000) and OpenBSD ($50,000).
Have you heard?! Yes, it's TRUE! We received an extremely generous donation of $500K from the Pineapple Fund!! HUGE THANKS!! Pineapple Fund has announced the most significant #philanthropic gesture EVER in #bitcoin to donate over 5,000 BTC! pic.twitter.com/fRL8NL3YzI
— BitGive® (@BitGiveOrg) December 14, 2017
Pine has a long history in the cryptocurrency world and started out mining on an old home PC. “I discovered bitcoin back when it was a small community of people trying to turn a toy project into a new decentralized monetary paradigm,” they told Bitcoin Magazine.
“It’s shorter to list the things I haven’t done in the cryptocurrency space. I’ve even created my own cryptocurrency; however, I can’t name it.”
The Pineapple Fund is planning to work with a nonprofit to help administer the fund. In spite of recent trends toward various forms of decentralized, crowdsourced decision-making, that’s not in the plans.
“We’re not huge fans of the crowdsourcing approach,” explained Pine. “It does not solve a problem we’re facing now, and there would be many challenges we’d have to solve with crowdsourcing decision making.”
Pine is convinced that what the world needs is peace, love, unity and respect. They listed medical research, mental health, wildlife and environmental conservation, fighting domestic violence and sexual abuse, sustaining basic necessities, and technology-related causes (advocacy and open-source projects) as main areas of focus.
“Why these? Well, it’s not that I think they are the most important or have the highest impact, because I think everyone has a different set of values,” explained Pine. “They align with my values, and I think any contribution to those causes will bring some good to this world we all share.”
Pine said they won’t become actively involved in the charities and projects they support: “As much as I would like to, I have other ventures that I’m busy with,” they said.
Will Pine ever share their real identity? That’s unlikely. “I prefer keeping my identity a mystery. The Pineapple Project isn’t about publicity. In fact, zero people in my life know that I'm behind it. It’s better for people to think you are well off than super rich.
“But I can share my love for pineapple,” they added. “I once ate so much pineapple that I suffered an allergic reaction and had to go to urgent care! Don’t do that.”