Viewers were able to donate in cryptocurrency to the “ColorTheSpectrum” live stream last week thanks to Nexo’s support.
On April 30, a virtual benefit co-hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and NASA engineer-turned-YouTuber Mark Rober raised more than $3 million in donations for NEXT for AUTISM, a charity dedicated to addressing the needs of people with autism and their families across the United States.
The interactive livestream included a slew of well-known entertainers, comedians, musicians, and athletes, including Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, and Charlize Theron.
The virtual benefit has also advanced into the digital currency era, with crypto lender Nexo and The Giving Block providing a payment channel for viewers to donate to the charity using a variety of crypto assets. Donations in Dai (DAI), The Graph (GRT), Litecoin (LTC), Storj (STORJ), Zcash (ZEC), 0x (ZRX), and other altcoins were accepted in addition to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
Now that the livestream has concluded, Nexo has left its crypto donations portal open for viewers to catch up and donate to the charity. The company told Cointelegraph that it was still collecting data from ongoing crypto contributions and would release its final tally soon. Meanwhile, a representative from The Giving Block provided the organization’s own figures for cryptocurrency raised by Color The Spectrum:
“The event raised over $440,000 in cryptocurrency donations from approximately 100 donors. In general, the crypto community remains extremely generous, particularly during bull markets. On a monthly basis, millions of dollars are donated.”
While the event was successful in attracting high-profile celebrities and raising funds, a large segment of the autism community has expressed dissatisfaction with various aspects of the Color The Spectrum initiative. In one open letter, a group of autism activists expressed their concerns about the recipient charity, NEXT for AUTISM, citing its failure to communicate directly with autistic-led organization. There has also been considerable opposition to NEXT’s contentious contribution of funds to the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain. The latter is an organization that studies the causes and “cures” for autism, which the autistic community has condemned as eugenicist and unacceptable.
Mark Rober has responded to the aforementioned open letter and its criticisms, resulting in a dialogue that the authors have described as constructive. Other members of the community have expressed concern that many of the event’s participants have not adequately addressed their concerns. In the meantime, autism activists have created their own hashtag, #FinanceTheSpectrum, to highlight NEXT’s failure to address the persistent under- and unemployment that autistic people face.
The Giving Block is a major crypto donations platform that has previously collaborated with various crypto industry actors. Last month, the organization launched the “Crypto Giving Pledge,” which encourages cryptocurrency investors to donate at least 1% of their holdings to charities each year.
Based on the market capitalization of digital assets in late April, the time of the initiative’s launch, The Giving Block estimates that if every participant in the crypto market donated 1% of their holdings to charities, they could collectively raise $20 billion.