Opportunities Expand for Psychedelic Cryptocurrency Philanthropy

PRESS RELEASE: Opportunities Expand for Psychedelic Cryptocurrency Philanthropy

August 13 cruise on the San Francisco Bay to benefit MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD research

Brad Burge, Director of Strategic Communications, MAPS
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SANTA CRUZ, CALIF. — This month, the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) expanded opportunities for cryptocurrency-based philanthropic giving by adding Ethereum and Litecoin to its accepted donation currencies, in addition to Bitcoin.

To celebrate these expanded opportunities for cryptocurrency philanthropy, on Sunday, August 13, DecentraNet and HSW are hosting a cocktail cruise and art auction on the San Francisco Bay to raise funds for MAPS’ research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For more information and to request an invitation, please visit decentranet.com/cruise.

MAPS was an early supporter of cryptocurrency donations, first accepting Bitcoin donations in December 2013. The cryptocurrency community has been eager to contribute to MAPS’ work, donating more than 115 BTC to date, valued over $64,800. These gifts have helped fund MAPS’ international psychedelic research, public education, psychedelic harm reduction, and advocacy projects.

This year, working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), MAPS is initiating Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. These trials will build on the results of MAPS’ completed Phase 2 trials, in which two-thirds of participants with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD no longer had PTSD after just two sessions of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. MAPS anticipates FDA approval for the prescription use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD by 2021—provided the research receives the necessary funding.

As a non-profit with no government funding for psychedelic research, MAPS relies on contributions from individuals, businesses, and foundations to make psychedelic therapy a legal treatment. MAPS estimates that Phase 3 clinical trials will cost $25 million. With $12.5 million already raised or pledged, MAPS still needs $12.5 million to make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy legally available to millions of people suffering with PTSD.

The steep growth in the cryptocurrency market has created a promising new source of support for non-profit psychedelic research, having grown almost 10,000% since 2013 to over $100 billion in June 2017, surpassing major companies such as Ford and Delta Airlines.

Cryptocurrencies use encryption and digital technologies called blockchains to create an anonymous, distributed, peer-to-peer monetary system that is resistant to censorship and fraud, limiting the need for third parties and associated fees.

“Cryptocurrencies have brought creative innovation to the financial market and increased the potential for accessible, secure banking to benefit communities and people around the globe,” says MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D. “Like psychedelics, cryptocurrencies are innovative technologies with the potential to empower individuals and communities when used for those purposes. Also like psychedelics, cryptocurrencies have risks, and must be used with care.”

MAPS will use the income generated from selling MDMA once it is an FDA-approved medicine to fund further research, train therapists, and build treatment clinics around the world. “The cryptocurrency community’s investment into making MDMA a legal medicine will be leveraged into a permanent income stream for MAPS, increasing our ability as a non-profit to heal suffering in the world,” Doblin says.

Founded in 1986, MAPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. Since its founding, MAPS has raised over $43.8 million for psychedelic psychotherapy and medical marijuana research and education.