Bitcoin is the best known of the now numerous distributed cryptography protocols that are usually represented in the form of a currency or commodity. Use in payments is probably the least of the future applications that will arise from the ability to use cryptography to solve important problems in trust and coordination - consider decentralized arbitration and escrow wherein there is no need for any third party to be trusted with funds, for example - but for now the trading of coins is where much of the attention lies.
With the growth of Bitcoin, all of the other various cryptocurrencies have seen their values rise. In effect, to my eyes, what is being valued here is the current or potential ability of a given cryptocurrency network to perform trust operations - such as payment, arbitration, escrow, validation of identity, and so forth - more efficiently than the old-fashioned methodologies, largely by removing the need for a central trusted party and single point of failure. A lot of early adopters are suddenly doing rather well for themselves, and that includes charities fortunate enough to have supporters who helped them to receive bitcoins or other cryptocoins prior to the present level of attention. The Lifeboat Foundation, for example, found themselves with several hundred thousand dollars in bitcoins, and more power to them.
Androklis Polymenis, a digital currency entrepreneur, has recently donated 1 million NXT coins to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation located in Scottsdale, Arizona. After Alcor converted the 1 million NXT coin donation by Polymenis to bitcoins (and then to dollars) the end result was an approximately $44,000 donation to Alcor. The donation will be used to enhance marketing efforts, special projects and continued day to day operations at Alcor.
Alcor President, Max More, said that "This was a wonderful surprise to our foundation. Alcor would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to Mr. Polymenis for his kindness and generous financial contribution. This donation will help us continue our research and bring greater awareness of the possibilities of cryonics to a wider audience."
The Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF) has received a one million NXT coin ($43,000) donation from the digital currency entrepreneur Androklis Polymenis. The donation goes toward supporting its research into the development of a scientifically-proven medical procedure capable of preserving a person's unique neural circuitry at death with the hope of allowing that person to eventually be brought back to life by future technology.
This large donation will be used by the BPF to help fund its electron microscopic evaluation of cryonically and chemically preserved animal brains which are provided to the BPF by the research groups competing in its Brain Preservation Technology Prize. This is a challenge prize offered to any research group which can rigorously demonstrate a technique capable of preserving an entire human brain with such fidelity that the structure of every neuronal process and synaptic connection remains intact and traceable using today's electron microscopic imaging techniques.
Mr. Polymenis' generous donation will also help fund targeted research grants to scientific labs with the skills needed to overcome current limitations in cryonic and chemical preservation protocols.
It is worth noting that NXT is very different to Bitcoin in near all of its fundamental aspects, and some of those differences are not viewed well by all within the cryptocoin community. Your opinions may differ, but caveat emptor is always the rule of the day. A great deal of experimentation is presently underway in cryptocurrencies, and I suspect that only a small percentage of those currently in circulation will survive the test of time - as is the case for most traditional ventures in business and collaboration. This is the way in which progress works; a great deal of trial and error accompanies each new discovery.