Even religious groups are now accepting Bitcoin. The latest addition is Fern Creek United Methodist Church in Louisville, Kentucky which announces that it is accepting Bitcoin donations from its followers. The notification says, “Depending on your specific situation, making a charitable donation of Bitcoin may provide tax advantages over other contribution methods.”
According to the official website of Fern Creek United Methodist Church though it accepts Bitcoin, it cannot provide the donors with specific tax advice, and initial IRS guidance on Bitcoin and other digital currencies may be subject to change at any time and for that they must consult their tax advisors.
Talking to media professionals Tim Totten, the chair of the finance team at Fern Creek United Methodist Church in Louisville, who has been an active Bitcoiner for about two years, said that as he had been considering implementing Bitcoin donations for quite some time. This according to him is the opportune time; he welcomes the decision and appreciated the openness.
Tim Totten says, “I was always afraid of being too far out ahead of the curve. Once major charitable organizations such as United Way and the American Red Cross started accepting Bitcoin donations, I knew the time was right.” He informs the church has an active congregation of between 400-500 people, now accepts Bitcoin donations directly and via Coinbase.
According to Tim Totten there has been immense increase of donors since the decision of the church to accept Bitcoin as anonymous donations have started to trickle in. He confesses that whether or not the global Bitcoin community starts contributing heavily is irrelevant; eight regular members of the congregation have experience with the digital currency.
Will the Church be Able to Attract Progressive Bitcoin users?
Nonetheless, Totten is also planning to educate church members on Bitcoin when he says that he plans to teach some classes on Bitcoin in the coming months. He says that he hopes that the number of people who donate Bitcoin will go up as he educates them about the digital currency. Moreover, when the donations to church are not taxed, people may prefer it.
However, the focus of church is not just to help donors save money but also to attract hip crowd that may not be donating. With Bitcoin donations the typical Bitcoin user who is a younger adult, may feel to donate his bit to church. Interestingly, a lot of Bitcoin users are progressive and don’t believe in religion.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at email@example.com