Now that we’ve reached the end of 2022, let’s celebrate the people who have achieved “crypto hero” status, for their generosity and efforts to open the door for more charitable giving in the crypto space. In no particular order, here are just a few of the many, many individuals who have made a positive impact with crypto in the past year.
1. Inna Modja
Inna Modja is an artist, singer-songwriter, actress, and activist for women’s rights and climate change—and she was recently tapped to be a land ambassador for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. As the founder of the mission-based organization CodeGreen, she has mobilized donors, collectors, artists and projects in the web3 space to tackle issues like social justice, climate justice, gender equality and humanitarian emergencies.
2. Rasmus Scheuer
While many people in the web3 community talk about changing the world, Rasmus Scheuer uses his platform to make a genuine, real-world impact. As the Chief Charity Officer at Pawthereum, a community-run charity cryptocurrency project, Scheuer has directed more than $400,000 to charities all around the world that support animal welfare, including the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.
3. Vitalik Buterin
From funding Ukrainian aid to supporting COVID-19 relief efforts, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has shown himself to be a thoughtful philanthropist. This year, Buterin made an historic donation in USDC stablecoins valued at $9.4 million to the University of Maryland to fund groundbreaking medical research that could help prevent future pandemics.
4. Avery Akkineni
As Vayner3’s President, Avery Akkineni ushers some of the world’s biggest brands into the world of web3, crypto, and NFTs. Under Akkineni’s leadership, Vayner3 (formerly “VaynerNFT”) launched an NFT charity auction with Stella Artois to benefit charity partner Water.org. The water-inspired art pieces certainly made waves, selling out in just a few hours.
5. Deepak Thapliyal
As the CEO of Chain, Deepak Thapliyal leads a team building ledger systems that help traditional businesses take advantage of blockchain innovations. He’s also doing his part to help nonprofits embrace crypto philanthropy. Thapliyal’s generous donations to food banks in places like Chattanooga, Tennessee have helped address food insecurity in the United States.
6. Yam Karkai
Yam Karkai has not just built one of the most successful and recognizable NFT projects with a huge mainstream appeal. She and the World of Women team have also used their platform and success to demonstrate the charitable impact of NFT projects. Karkai has directed millions of dollars worth of crypto to nonprofit organizations, including Outright International, whose missions align with the collection’s values of creating inclusivity for everyone and championing equal opportunities.
7. Keith Grossman
As the President of TIME Magazine, Keith Grossman pushed the 99-year-old brand to embrace web3. In his role as a board member of the charity New York Cares, Grossman helped organize a wildly-successful NFT fundraiser that raised $200,000 towards providing school supplies and bolstering schools and enrichment programs in the New York area.
8. Charles Hoskinson
Charles Hoskinson’s Input Output Global is the force behind Cardano. Its foundation has also been a notable force for good, funding educational initiatives like a blockchain innovation lab and math center at well-known universities. This year, Hoskinson worked with The Giving Block to donate 500,000 ADA (worth ~$250,000 at the time of the donation) to nonprofits providing real-time humanitarian aid in Ukraine, including Save the Children.
9. Ashley Duncan
NFT creator Ashley Duncan has launched multiple projects that have caught the attention of both mainstream media and the crypto community. Through her first NFT project, Duncan donated roughly $30,000 to support the American Cancer Society which was taken from her NFT sale royalties. With her new collection, She Survives NFT, Duncan is pledging more donations. She also launched one of the first crypto fundraisers on The Giving Block’s platform.
10. Jack Butcher
Few design agencies enjoy the kind of social media following that Visualize Value does. Behind the success is Jack Butcher’s keen understanding of how to embrace and empower digital communities. This fall, Butcher sent out a tweet with the caption “1 NFT = 100 Meals,” and about a week later he had raised enough ETH to provide more than 47,000 meals to those in need through the nonprofit Feeding America.