A new charity to help people affected by the pandemic hopes to capitalise on the enthusiasm for cryptocurrency by auctioning a non-fungible token (NFT).
The charity, covid:aid, has registered with OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator, and plans to launch next month.
It has been inspired by successful auctions that have raised millions through selling digital artwork. For example, in March Christie's auctioned digital art by Beeple for $69m (£50m).
NFT’s are unique, or one-of-a-kind, digital assets that can be bought or sold, with the record of ownership stored on a blockchain ledger.
Michael MacLennan, founder of covid:aid, said: “It has been suggested that if an NFT of a piece of art sold for $69m, then surely a charity NFT ought to raise more! However, at this stage even 1% of that amount would be an amazing sum for covid:aid. It would allow us to launch the charity and provide life-changing services to support all those across the UK affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are looking to launch in early May with a limited range of services and expand these as we build our community and attract support – any financial assistance at this stage will make a huge difference. Any philanthropists who bid will be putting themselves into the history books, and doing so for a great cause.”
It has listed its first logo, designed by James RE Boynton on Foundation, a platform for NFT auctions.
The auction will run for 24 hours once a minimum bid is received. The minimum bid is listed at 0.10ETH, the Ethereum cryptocurrency, and is the equivalent of nearly £190. It was initially listed at 1.0ETH, which would raise close to £2,000 but was later reduced.
Other charities have previously benefited from the sale of NFT’s, but covid:aid believes it is the first charity to create its own token.
Covid:aid plans to offer a range of support for people affected by Covid-19, including Long Covid, and their families. This could include setting up support groups, advocating on behalf of people and developing new services where there are gaps.
The charity is also seeking traditional donations through its website.