Bitcoin is red hot these days. The price of the cryptocurrency is up about 140% since the beginning of this year. And now it looks like bitcoin’s popularity among the charitable is also on the rise.
According to the recently released Fidelity Charitable 2017 Giving Report, donations made in bitcoin to Fidelity Charitable, a $16 billion donor-advised philanthropic fund, grew to about $9 million in the first half of 2017. That’s about $2 million more than what bitcoin donors contributed in 2016.
The report paints a picture of the nearly 150,000 people who donate to the fund in order to illustrate trends in charitable giving, according to Fidelity Charitable’s site.
Donors to the fund have been able to give in bitcoin since 2015, according to a media representative at Fidelity, after joint collaborations between Fidelity Charitable and Fidelity Labs, Fidelity’s emerging technology incubator.
Fidelity’s CEO Abigail Johnson is a bitcoin enthusiast. In May, The Wall Street Journal reported that Johnson voiced her support of the cryptocurrency in a speech at a conference hosted by CoinDesk, a cryptocurrency news site.
“Some of you might be wondering: Why am I here today?” Johnson said, according to the Journal.”I’m here because I love this stuff… all that the future might hold.”
Not everyone in the financial world is as bullish as Johnson. Morgan Stanley, for instance, recently said that merchants don’t think cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have a viable future. Here’s Morgan Stanley:
“Most regulators and investors view cryptocurrencies more as assets than actual currencies. Their values are too volatile and too hard to actually use for payment for most to consider them currencies. Our conversations with some merchants indicate that, while cryptocurrencies might actually be attractive for them to operate their businesses, they find that the cryptocurrencies are far too volatile to be used.”