Generosity

Cryptocurrency & Giving

What comes to mind when you hear the word “cryptocurrency”? Regardless of what you think of when you hear the word “cryptocurrency,” the form of currency is gaining traction and popularity–and is unlikely to die anytime soon. In fact, it may just become one of the primary forms of making an income, buying, and giving in the future. We cover key things you should know in this newest blog post.


What comes to mind when you hear the word “cryptocurrency”?

Surging profits and overnight millionaires?

A mysterious, impractical form of currency that’s important only to hobbyist investors?

The currency of the future?

Or a silly trend?

Regardless of what you think of when you hear the word “cryptocurrency,” the form of currency is gaining traction and popularity–and is unlikely to die anytime soon. In fact, it may just become one of the primary forms of making an income, buying, and giving in the future. 

That being said, it’s important to understand cryptocurrency–what it is, why it’s so headline-worthy, why it’s popular, and if you’re interested, how to buy and use it yourself.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that’s tied to a centralized online ledger rather than a bank. It functions like money in that it can be used to buy goods and services. 

One of the core differences between cryptocurrency and cash, however, is that transactions involving cryptocurrency are associated with a “key,” or a set of numbers that are public and traceable. 

And most significantly, cryptocurrency isn’t tied to the federal government or a centralized bank–making it a decentralized, “democratized” form of currency. 

To really understand cryptocurrency, you need to understand blockchain. Blockchain is the name of the online ledger that tracks transactions involving cryptocurrency. In a more general sense, it’s the type of technology that makes cryptocurrency even possible. 

A few key characteristics of blockchain: 

  • Blockchain is immutable. Blockchain can’t be manipulated or changed. Part of the reason it’s immutable is that it relies on a function called a hash, which can’t be reverse-engineered. 
  • Blockchain cannot be owned. Blockchain cannot be owned, but anyone can use blockchain to create their own blockchains. 
  • Blockchain is global. Blockchain can be used by anyone, anywhere in the world. This has interesting implications for international trade, among other things!

In theory, blockchain has infinite applications for use. Transactions that are public, secure, and anonymous could involve anything from voting to medical records to supply chain logistics

But for now, the most universally relevant application of blockchain is on cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and more are revolutionizing the way we invest, buy, and give. They’re also making headline-worthy news, fueling hobby investment, and changing the way we use technology and money. 

Cryptocurrency: boom or bust?

According to a report from Business Insider, there were more than 100 million cryptocurrency users at the beginning of 2021

And those users weren’t just limited to the 50 and under crowd. A growing number of Boomers and Gen X-ers are also purchasing and using cryptocurrency. In fact, a survey from a financial advisory group found that 70% of its clients over the age of 55 had invested in cryptocurrencies, or were planning on it. 

What accounts for the new success? Bitcoin–probably the most well-known cryptocurrency–jumped to its highest value ever, $58,000 per coin in February 2021. 

That being said, crypto is known for being volatile, with a value that’s surged and tanked several times over the last decade. Shortly after cryptocurrency was invented in 2009, its value went from a “fraction of a penny” to $0.08 in 2010. Since then, it has continued to yo-yo, creating overnight millionaires...and massive misfortune. 

In April 2021 two brothers invested a couple hundred dollars into a “parody” crypto-investment. “I thought of it as a lotto ticket that wouldn't expire,” said one of the brothers. When the investment shot up to one million dollars in a matter of days, the brothers couldn’t believe their good fortune. 

But cryptocurrency isn’t always a safe bet. If the value tanks, or you lose your password, you could lose money as well. 

And, since Bitcoin’s rise in early 2021, it has dropped back down. In September 2021, the value of Bitcoin dipped dramatically again–bad news for those who invested in response to earlier success. 

In response to this rollercoaster of spiking and dropping value, the average person might avoid cryptocurrency altogether. But despite its volatility, cryptocurrency has some pretty significant benefits that can still make it a worthy investment for the long haul. 

Why is cryptocurrency so popular? 

Cryptocurrency started gaining popularity almost immediately after its conception in 2008. The first type of cryptocurrency–Bitcoin–was released to the public in 2009 by a mysterious person with the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. Right away, new cryptocurrencies were invented, and soon, major platforms like Wordpress were accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment. 

So, why the popularity? What does cryptocurrency have over good old fashioned cash? 

Other than its quickly rising value, crypto has a few significant advantages over cash currency. 

First, using cryptocurrency is secure. As mentioned above, blockchain cannot be reverse-engineered. In fact, the Bitcoin blockchain has never been hacked

Cryptocurrency is decentralized, as mentioned above. In other words, there’s no major party (such as a bank) mediating transactions. This actually makes cryptocurrency more stable

Next, cryptocurrency transactions are private. Unlike online purchases, transactions don’t require a lot of personal identifying information and are partially anonymous. 

Finally, cryptocurrency comes without bank fees, international transfer fees, and other similar costs. 

These advantages don’t just make cryptocurrency beneficial for the present; they also make cryptocurrency a more attractive option for the future–especially as people are wanting more data privacy, autonomy, and less arbitrary intervention from third parties. 

Types of cryptocurrency

As of 2021, there were 6,500 cryptocurrencies on the market. But there are a few clear leaders in the pack–namely, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Cardano, and Polkadot. 

Here’s a rundown of five of the most popular cryptocurrencies. 

Bitcoin 

The world’s first cryptocurrency remains the most dominant form of currency. At the beginning of September 2021, it had a market cap of $1 trillion. Bitcoin is more accessible than other forms of currency, greater network effect, and has a proven track record of security. 

Ethereum

Ethereum is the name given to the second-most popular cryptocurrency, invented in 2015. Created to offer a full suite of financial products that anyone in the world can use, the ethereum platform uses blockchain technology for more than just cryptocurrency. 

Litecoin

Invented in 2011 as the “lighter” version of Bitcoin, Litecoin is often referred to as the “the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.” Litecoin transactions are processed 4x as fast as Bitcoin. Litecoin is also significantly cheaper than other cryptocurrencies, although it is still the 5th largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization. 

Cardano

Cardano was created by one of the co-founders of Ethereum and works on a “proof-of-stake” rather than “proof-of-work” system. 

Without getting into the technical details, that basically means that Cardano transactions require far less energy than say, a Bitcoin transaction. In 2015, for example, it was estimated that a single transaction involving Bitcoin required the same amount of energy needed to power electricity for more than 1 ½ U.S. households in a single day.  

Cardano is estimated to become a formidable opponent to ethereum, and has the third largest cryptocurrency in the world according to market capitalization

Polkadot

Like Cardano, Polkadot works on a proof-of-stake system (For the record, Ethereum has also transitioned to a proof-of-stake system). Polkadot is one of the more unique cryptocurrencies, as it “shares security,” allowing developers to use its blockchain security to create new blockchain. 

Like other cryptocurrencies, Polkadot can make a good long-term investment...but will still likely show volatility. 

How can I buy cryptocurrency?

If you’re interested in using cryptocurrency, there are of course pro’s and con’s to different currencies. Some may choose to buy and use multiple forms–including Bitcoin and its alternatives–to “hedge” against significant losses.

Regardless of what kind of crypto interests you the most, just about anyone can use cryptocurrency. Coinbase–one of the most popular platforms for buying and selling crypto–sets a minimum of just $2 to buy Bitcoin. 

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular crypto exchanges. 

Coinbase

As mentioned above, Coinbase is one of the most popular platforms for buying and selling cryptocurrency. One of the advantages of Coinbase is that it allows you to invest in a wide range of 50 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Cardano. It also provides up-to-date information on your portfolio value (and of course, can be used on your phone!)

Robinhood

Robinhood might be one of the most well-known investment platforms. Offering commission-free trading, it’s made investment accessible to anyone with a mobile phone and the app store. The downside of that, of course, is also making it possible to make uninformed, poor financial decisions

That being said, Robinhood can still be a great way to buy crypto. Unlike Coinbase, it has zero fees

Bisq

Bisq is a trading network that can be used to buy and trade cryptocurrencies for other cryptocurrencies, or even for national currencies. For example, you can trade your Bitcoin for USD on Bisq. 

Bisq is not an application or centralized network; it’s an open-source, decentralized network that runs on the hardware of your device. One advantage of that is that you own your own data.

A disadvantage of Bisq is that you can’t actually purchase Bitcoin on this platform; you’ll have to obtain Bitcoin elsewhere, and then you can use it to make trades on Bisq. 

eToro

eToro is an Israeli investment platform that allows users to trade cryptocurrencies. With 17 different cryptocurrencies, it has a smaller range of coins than Coinbase, for example. However, it does have some cool features–such as a virtual portfolio of $100,000 to allow you to practice strategy before diving in. Finally, it’s easy to open an account, making this a good choice for beginners. 

What can I use cryptocurrency for? 

Cryptocurrency isn’t just for investment (although that’s a good starting point). It can also be used to make purchases and even tithe to your church using Tithely Giving + Engiven.

Invest

As described above, you can buy different types of cryptocurrency as an investment. While this certainly carries a degree of risk–given crypto’s volatility–it can also yield an awesome return. 

Starting with a small amount on one of the platforms described above could be a good way to get a feel for how investing with cryptocurrency works. 

Shop

Cryptocurrency isn’t exactly ubiquitous. Most retail platforms don’t accept the currency as payment (yet). Still, crypto is accepted by some major corporations, including Microsoft, Overstock, AT&T and Expedia. In 2017, over 100,000 merchants accepted Bitcoin

Give, tithe, or make a donation 

According to a study from a research group at the University of Chicago, 13% of Americans purchased or traded cryptocurrencies from July 2020-July 2021. Can we assume there’s overlap between that 13% and the roughly 50% of churchgoers who tithe?

Probably so!

Cryptocurrency isn’t typically associated with making a donation, financial giving, or tithing–but it could be. Providing an option to give with cryptocurrency could have several significant benefits for the giver and the recipient. 

  • The giver has the option to remain anonymous–perfect for those who want to maintain privacy for any reason. 
  • Churches or non-profits that offer multiple options for giving tend to see an increase in donations. 
  • Giving Bitcoin, for example, as a charitable donation can help givers receive a larger tax deduction. 
  • Recipients will also receive more, as donations in Bitcoin (for example) do not incur capital gains taxes. 

Finally, offering an option to give cryptocurrency could attract the attention of new donors. Millennials, for example, trust cryptocurrency more as a long-term investment–and may be more likely to jump at the opportunity to give with crypto. 

Give with Tithe.ly + Engiven 

Tithe.ly is a giving platform that allows church members to give in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Via text message
  • Via check scanning 
  • Through the Tithe.ly app
  • Through a church website
  • And more…

Now, Tithe.ly is partnering with Engiven to allow churchgoers to give cryptocurrency as a gift. Engiven accepts 39 different types of crypto and then converts those gifts to USD–creating a win-win for both donors and recipients. 

To learn more about how to use Engiven with Tithe.ly for your church, click here

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Blog

Cryptocurrency & Giving

Cryptocurrency & Giving

What comes to mind when you hear the word “cryptocurrency”? Regardless of what you think of when you hear the word “cryptocurrency,” the form of currency is gaining traction and popularity–and is unlikely to die anytime soon. In fact, it may just become one of the primary forms of making an income, buying, and giving in the future. We cover key things you should know in this newest blog post.

Show notes


What comes to mind when you hear the word “cryptocurrency”?

Surging profits and overnight millionaires?

A mysterious, impractical form of currency that’s important only to hobbyist investors?

The currency of the future?

Or a silly trend?

Regardless of what you think of when you hear the word “cryptocurrency,” the form of currency is gaining traction and popularity–and is unlikely to die anytime soon. In fact, it may just become one of the primary forms of making an income, buying, and giving in the future. 

That being said, it’s important to understand cryptocurrency–what it is, why it’s so headline-worthy, why it’s popular, and if you’re interested, how to buy and use it yourself.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that’s tied to a centralized online ledger rather than a bank. It functions like money in that it can be used to buy goods and services. 

One of the core differences between cryptocurrency and cash, however, is that transactions involving cryptocurrency are associated with a “key,” or a set of numbers that are public and traceable. 

And most significantly, cryptocurrency isn’t tied to the federal government or a centralized bank–making it a decentralized, “democratized” form of currency. 

To really understand cryptocurrency, you need to understand blockchain. Blockchain is the name of the online ledger that tracks transactions involving cryptocurrency. In a more general sense, it’s the type of technology that makes cryptocurrency even possible. 

A few key characteristics of blockchain: 

  • Blockchain is immutable. Blockchain can’t be manipulated or changed. Part of the reason it’s immutable is that it relies on a function called a hash, which can’t be reverse-engineered. 
  • Blockchain cannot be owned. Blockchain cannot be owned, but anyone can use blockchain to create their own blockchains. 
  • Blockchain is global. Blockchain can be used by anyone, anywhere in the world. This has interesting implications for international trade, among other things!

In theory, blockchain has infinite applications for use. Transactions that are public, secure, and anonymous could involve anything from voting to medical records to supply chain logistics

But for now, the most universally relevant application of blockchain is on cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and more are revolutionizing the way we invest, buy, and give. They’re also making headline-worthy news, fueling hobby investment, and changing the way we use technology and money. 

Cryptocurrency: boom or bust?

According to a report from Business Insider, there were more than 100 million cryptocurrency users at the beginning of 2021

And those users weren’t just limited to the 50 and under crowd. A growing number of Boomers and Gen X-ers are also purchasing and using cryptocurrency. In fact, a survey from a financial advisory group found that 70% of its clients over the age of 55 had invested in cryptocurrencies, or were planning on it. 

What accounts for the new success? Bitcoin–probably the most well-known cryptocurrency–jumped to its highest value ever, $58,000 per coin in February 2021. 

That being said, crypto is known for being volatile, with a value that’s surged and tanked several times over the last decade. Shortly after cryptocurrency was invented in 2009, its value went from a “fraction of a penny” to $0.08 in 2010. Since then, it has continued to yo-yo, creating overnight millionaires...and massive misfortune. 

In April 2021 two brothers invested a couple hundred dollars into a “parody” crypto-investment. “I thought of it as a lotto ticket that wouldn't expire,” said one of the brothers. When the investment shot up to one million dollars in a matter of days, the brothers couldn’t believe their good fortune. 

But cryptocurrency isn’t always a safe bet. If the value tanks, or you lose your password, you could lose money as well. 

And, since Bitcoin’s rise in early 2021, it has dropped back down. In September 2021, the value of Bitcoin dipped dramatically again–bad news for those who invested in response to earlier success. 

In response to this rollercoaster of spiking and dropping value, the average person might avoid cryptocurrency altogether. But despite its volatility, cryptocurrency has some pretty significant benefits that can still make it a worthy investment for the long haul. 

Why is cryptocurrency so popular? 

Cryptocurrency started gaining popularity almost immediately after its conception in 2008. The first type of cryptocurrency–Bitcoin–was released to the public in 2009 by a mysterious person with the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. Right away, new cryptocurrencies were invented, and soon, major platforms like Wordpress were accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment. 

So, why the popularity? What does cryptocurrency have over good old fashioned cash? 

Other than its quickly rising value, crypto has a few significant advantages over cash currency. 

First, using cryptocurrency is secure. As mentioned above, blockchain cannot be reverse-engineered. In fact, the Bitcoin blockchain has never been hacked

Cryptocurrency is decentralized, as mentioned above. In other words, there’s no major party (such as a bank) mediating transactions. This actually makes cryptocurrency more stable

Next, cryptocurrency transactions are private. Unlike online purchases, transactions don’t require a lot of personal identifying information and are partially anonymous. 

Finally, cryptocurrency comes without bank fees, international transfer fees, and other similar costs. 

These advantages don’t just make cryptocurrency beneficial for the present; they also make cryptocurrency a more attractive option for the future–especially as people are wanting more data privacy, autonomy, and less arbitrary intervention from third parties. 

Types of cryptocurrency

As of 2021, there were 6,500 cryptocurrencies on the market. But there are a few clear leaders in the pack–namely, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Cardano, and Polkadot. 

Here’s a rundown of five of the most popular cryptocurrencies. 

Bitcoin 

The world’s first cryptocurrency remains the most dominant form of currency. At the beginning of September 2021, it had a market cap of $1 trillion. Bitcoin is more accessible than other forms of currency, greater network effect, and has a proven track record of security. 

Ethereum

Ethereum is the name given to the second-most popular cryptocurrency, invented in 2015. Created to offer a full suite of financial products that anyone in the world can use, the ethereum platform uses blockchain technology for more than just cryptocurrency. 

Litecoin

Invented in 2011 as the “lighter” version of Bitcoin, Litecoin is often referred to as the “the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.” Litecoin transactions are processed 4x as fast as Bitcoin. Litecoin is also significantly cheaper than other cryptocurrencies, although it is still the 5th largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization. 

Cardano

Cardano was created by one of the co-founders of Ethereum and works on a “proof-of-stake” rather than “proof-of-work” system. 

Without getting into the technical details, that basically means that Cardano transactions require far less energy than say, a Bitcoin transaction. In 2015, for example, it was estimated that a single transaction involving Bitcoin required the same amount of energy needed to power electricity for more than 1 ½ U.S. households in a single day.  

Cardano is estimated to become a formidable opponent to ethereum, and has the third largest cryptocurrency in the world according to market capitalization

Polkadot

Like Cardano, Polkadot works on a proof-of-stake system (For the record, Ethereum has also transitioned to a proof-of-stake system). Polkadot is one of the more unique cryptocurrencies, as it “shares security,” allowing developers to use its blockchain security to create new blockchain. 

Like other cryptocurrencies, Polkadot can make a good long-term investment...but will still likely show volatility. 

How can I buy cryptocurrency?

If you’re interested in using cryptocurrency, there are of course pro’s and con’s to different currencies. Some may choose to buy and use multiple forms–including Bitcoin and its alternatives–to “hedge” against significant losses.

Regardless of what kind of crypto interests you the most, just about anyone can use cryptocurrency. Coinbase–one of the most popular platforms for buying and selling crypto–sets a minimum of just $2 to buy Bitcoin. 

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular crypto exchanges. 

Coinbase

As mentioned above, Coinbase is one of the most popular platforms for buying and selling cryptocurrency. One of the advantages of Coinbase is that it allows you to invest in a wide range of 50 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Cardano. It also provides up-to-date information on your portfolio value (and of course, can be used on your phone!)

Robinhood

Robinhood might be one of the most well-known investment platforms. Offering commission-free trading, it’s made investment accessible to anyone with a mobile phone and the app store. The downside of that, of course, is also making it possible to make uninformed, poor financial decisions

That being said, Robinhood can still be a great way to buy crypto. Unlike Coinbase, it has zero fees

Bisq

Bisq is a trading network that can be used to buy and trade cryptocurrencies for other cryptocurrencies, or even for national currencies. For example, you can trade your Bitcoin for USD on Bisq. 

Bisq is not an application or centralized network; it’s an open-source, decentralized network that runs on the hardware of your device. One advantage of that is that you own your own data.

A disadvantage of Bisq is that you can’t actually purchase Bitcoin on this platform; you’ll have to obtain Bitcoin elsewhere, and then you can use it to make trades on Bisq. 

eToro

eToro is an Israeli investment platform that allows users to trade cryptocurrencies. With 17 different cryptocurrencies, it has a smaller range of coins than Coinbase, for example. However, it does have some cool features–such as a virtual portfolio of $100,000 to allow you to practice strategy before diving in. Finally, it’s easy to open an account, making this a good choice for beginners. 

What can I use cryptocurrency for? 

Cryptocurrency isn’t just for investment (although that’s a good starting point). It can also be used to make purchases and even tithe to your church using Tithely Giving + Engiven.

Invest

As described above, you can buy different types of cryptocurrency as an investment. While this certainly carries a degree of risk–given crypto’s volatility–it can also yield an awesome return. 

Starting with a small amount on one of the platforms described above could be a good way to get a feel for how investing with cryptocurrency works. 

Shop

Cryptocurrency isn’t exactly ubiquitous. Most retail platforms don’t accept the currency as payment (yet). Still, crypto is accepted by some major corporations, including Microsoft, Overstock, AT&T and Expedia. In 2017, over 100,000 merchants accepted Bitcoin

Give, tithe, or make a donation 

According to a study from a research group at the University of Chicago, 13% of Americans purchased or traded cryptocurrencies from July 2020-July 2021. Can we assume there’s overlap between that 13% and the roughly 50% of churchgoers who tithe?

Probably so!

Cryptocurrency isn’t typically associated with making a donation, financial giving, or tithing–but it could be. Providing an option to give with cryptocurrency could have several significant benefits for the giver and the recipient. 

  • The giver has the option to remain anonymous–perfect for those who want to maintain privacy for any reason. 
  • Churches or non-profits that offer multiple options for giving tend to see an increase in donations. 
  • Giving Bitcoin, for example, as a charitable donation can help givers receive a larger tax deduction. 
  • Recipients will also receive more, as donations in Bitcoin (for example) do not incur capital gains taxes. 

Finally, offering an option to give cryptocurrency could attract the attention of new donors. Millennials, for example, trust cryptocurrency more as a long-term investment–and may be more likely to jump at the opportunity to give with crypto. 

Give with Tithe.ly + Engiven 

Tithe.ly is a giving platform that allows church members to give in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Via text message
  • Via check scanning 
  • Through the Tithe.ly app
  • Through a church website
  • And more…

Now, Tithe.ly is partnering with Engiven to allow churchgoers to give cryptocurrency as a gift. Engiven accepts 39 different types of crypto and then converts those gifts to USD–creating a win-win for both donors and recipients. 

To learn more about how to use Engiven with Tithe.ly for your church, click here

video transcript

(Scroll for more)