This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

April 10, 2013

Alternative Fundraising

Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bitcoin is an alternative digital currency, an Internet protocol, and a software system that enables instant peer-to-peer financial transactions, and worldwide payments with low or zero processing fees. The concept has become so popular that there was even an episode of "The Good Wife", the television drama with Juliana Margulies, about it.

In fact, in its incarnation as a digital currency, bitcoin has become increasingly accepted as a means of amassing funds. Now there's an organization, The Lifeboat Foundation (TLF) that has established the world's first bitcoin endowment fund, and it is doing quite well.

TLF is an organization dedicated to safeguarding humanity against futuristic threats, like bio-and nano-weapons. As a leading-edge organization, it is fitting that TLF is the first non-profit to base its endowment fund on a futuristic currency---bitcoins.

The organization began amassing this endowment with a goal of $80,000, but the fund quickly surpassed that goal and is now at $114, 310. The key event that precipitated TLF's move to bitcoins was the European Union-International Monetary Fund's grab of bank accounts in Cyprus that held government-backed money. TLF's advisory board includes Ray Kurzweil and Nobel Laureates.

If you would like to contribute to this worthwhile endeavor, visit One of TLF's members, Brian Cartmell, has offered to match the donation coin for coin. Every donation will be gratefully accepted.

This kind of innovation not only makes sense from a pragmatic point of view, but it also attracts attention to the cause. Expect more fundraisers to jump on this bitcoin bandwagon to help them the open wallets of potential donors. The ones most likely to be first are space-connected organizations and those involved with sustainable technologies. What's next? We anticipate seeing crowd-funding sites operating on bitcoins.

For more information about bitcoins, visit

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