The anonymous benefactor of the Pineapple Fund, a bitcoin wallet with tens of millions of dollars worth of the cryptocurrency, announced a donation of a million dollars worth to the Internet Archive. The funds will go towards maintaining the archive’s vast website records, helping to provide “permanent access to websites, software books, [and] music,” forever.
Created in mid-December, the Pineapple Fund is effectively one bitcoin millionaire’s attempt to spread some of their success. The original announcement for the fund was made on the bitcoin subreddit where “Pine” claimed they had more money than they would ever need thanks to bitcoin, so would be donating more than $80 million worth to various charities and organizations. To date, the fund has gifted a million dollars, or around 66 bitcoins, to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, charities like Watsi and The Water Project, and the SENS research foundation.
Just because the latest donation isn’t aimed at saving lives though, doesn’t mean it’s less important. The Internet Archive has been operating since 1996 and helping to preserve the history of the internet. All encompassed in the “Wayback Machine,” the Internet Archive makes sure we never forget how far we have come since those early message boards and Geocities sites.
As much as that is great for those deep dives you make to remind yourself how terrible web design used to be, as VentureBeat points out, it serves another valid purpose in maintaining the true history of website content. That way companies and governments cannot whitewash history or pretend something didn’t happen. While social media users make sure that’s the case with their screenshot abilities, the Internet Archive is a legitimate source of historical truth on the internet.
The Archive’s Katie Barrett published a thank you message to Pine and said how great it was to see those who originally dreamed so big with bitcoin seeing a return on their confidence.
“We so admire this donor using bitcoin as the currency of giving this season, and are honored to be the recipients of such a gift. Whoever you are, you are doing a world of good. Thank you,” she said.
All of this is only possible as of late thanks to the extreme spike in the value of bitcoin. While the Pineapple Fund’s creator plans to give away more than 5,000 bitcoins in total (see them here), if they had done so at the start of 2017 that would have amounted to just over $5 million. Today, it’s worth more than $80 million and who knows how high it might go by the time they’re finished with their philanthropic goals.