On April 30, a virtual benefit co-hosted by American TV star Jimmy Kimmel and NASA engineer-turned-YouTuber Mark Rober raised more than $ 3 million in donations to support NEXT for AUTISM, a charity dedicated to meeting the needs of people with autism and their families across the United States.
The interactive livestream featured a wide range of well-known artists, comedians, musicians and athletes, including Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler and Charlize Theron.
The Virtual Advantage was also a step forward in the digital currency age, with crypto lender Nexo and The Giving Block providing a payment channel for viewers to donate to the charity using a wide range. array of crypto assets. Besides Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), donations in Dai (DAI), The Graph (GRT), Litecoin (LTC), Storj (STORJ), Zcash (ZEC), 0x (ZRX) and other altcoins have been taken care of.
Now that the live stream is over, Nexo has left open its crypto donation portal allowing viewers to catch up and donate their funds to the charity. The company told UKTN that it is still collecting data on ongoing contributions from crypto contributors and will release its final tally soon. A representative from The Giving Block meanwhile provided the organization’s own figures for crypto raised by Color The Spectrum:
“The event raised over $ 440,000 in crypto donations from approximately 100 donors. In general, the crypto community continues to be incredibly generous, especially during bull markets. We see millions of dollars donated on on a monthly basis. “
Although the event was successful in mobilizing high profile stars and raising funds, much of the autistic community criticized multiple aspects of the Color The Spectrum initiative. In an open letter signed by a group of autism activists, they raised concerns about the recipient charity, NEXT for AUTISM, highlighting its inability to communicate directly with organizations run by autism. There has also been a high level of dissent regarding the controversial contribution of NEXT funds to the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain. The latter is an organization that researches the causes and “cures” autism, an approach that the autistic community has condemned as eugenic and unacceptable.
Mark Rober engaged with the aforementioned open letter and its critiques, leading to a dialogue that the authors described as good faith. Other community members pointed out that they felt their concerns had not been adequately addressed by many attendees at the event. At the same time, autism activists have also broadcast their own hashtag #FinanceTheSpectrum, which aims to highlight NEXT’s inability to tackle the persistent under-unemployment and unemployment that people with autism continue to struggle with.
The Giving Block is a major crypto donation platform that has partnered with various players in the crypto industry in the past. Last month, the organization launched an initiative called “Crypto Giving Pledge,” which encourages crypto investors to pledge at least 1% of their holdings to charities each year.
According to The Giving Block’s estimate, if each crypto market participant donated 1% of their holdings to charities, they could collectively raise $ 20 billion, based on the market capitalization of digital assets. at the end of April, when the initiative was launched.