How the cryptocurrency boom is helping make MDMA a legal prescription drug
Over the last few months, hundreds of billions of dollars have been made in the incredibly dynamic and volatile cryptocurrency market. It's hard to know how close this new crypto-bubble is to bursting but one thing is for sure, there are a lot of new millionaires in the world right now and some of them are choosing to donate some of their new-found wealth to charitable causes. One of those new crypto-millionaires has anonymously launched a philanthropic fund dedicated to distributing millions of dollars to charities around the world, including a major contribution to the upcoming final phase clinical trials of MDMA to treat PTSD.
The Pineapple Fund appeared mysteriously on Reddit in December 2017, announcing plans to donate US$86 million in Bitcoin to charitable causes around the world. The user, nicknamed Pine, claimed to have been in the Bitcoin trading world since the early days, watching the currency move from cents to dollars to the extraordinary figures it has now reached.
"Today, I see $17,539 per BTC," the mysterious figure wrote on Reddit in December. "I still don't believe reality sometimes. Bitcoin has changed my life, and I have far more money than I can ever spend. My aims, goals, and motivations in life have nothing to do with having XX million or being the mega rich. So I'm doing something else: donating the majority of my bitcoins to charitable causes."
Over the following weeks, different charities began appearing on the Pineapple Fund's website. From donations to several organizations that bring clean drinking water to people in developing countries, to big contributions to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Internet Archive, the crypto-money spread to a variety of worthy causes.
One of the biggest donations the Pineapple Fund revealed was to MAPS, an organization working to turn MDMA into a legal, prescription drug for the treatment of PTSD. MAPS has spent the last 35 years pushing medical research into MDMA forward, and is finally closing in on FDA approval for the drug to be legally used in a psychotherapy context to help those suffering from PTSD. The last hurdle is Phase 3 clinical trials that will cost an estimated $26 million dollars.
MAPS has long been a progressive supporter of cryptocurrencies, accepting donations in Bitcoin since 2013. The donation of $1 million in Bitcoin from the Pineapple Fund in December kicked off a wave of cryptocurrency donations to MAPS from anonymous donors, including another million in Bitcoin and over $700,000 in Lunyr tokens.
More recently, the Pineapple Fund revealed it will increase its contribution to match all new donations dollar-for-dollar up to $4 million. With MAPS needing around $8 million more to fully fund the upcoming trials, this announcement looks set to fully fund this final stage of development.
"I believe we, the cryptocurrency community, can fully fund Phase 3 trials," Pine wrote on Reddit just a few days ago. "Prescription MDMA could be a gift to this world from the bitcoin community."