In the wake of bitcoin groundbreaker Hal Finney's passing a few days ago, some prominent figures in the bitcoin community have teamed up in a campaign to raise funds for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Erik Voorhees, co-founder of Coinapult, Jason King of Sean’s Outpost, bitcoin evangelist Roger Ver, BitPay and the Bitcoin Foundation have collaborated to provide a way to donate bitcoin to ALS research.
Bitcoin Foundation chief scientist Gavin Andresen made the video above to kick off the campaign, named the Hal Finney Bitcoin Fund for ALS Research.
The main donation address is here. Donations will be accepted through the Thanksgiving holiday (27th November) in the US and the payment will be made on 2nd December.
Voting for a recipient
Since the ALS Association does not yet accept bitcoin donations, the Hal Finney Bitcoin Fund will accept nominations for a number of ALS organizations responsibly contributing to ALS research, and allow the community to vote on which organization will receive the bitcoins.
BitPay, which will handle the funds, has a 0% transaction fee policy for non-profit organisations, including this one, ensuring that 100% of donors' funds will go to the research organization selected.
The Bitcoin Foundation has donated the first $100 to the campaign in honor of Finney and his contribution to the bitcoin project.
Spreading ALS awareness
ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease", is a fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Over time, motor neurons degenerate and the person loses motor functionality and muscles begin to atrophy.
Finney was first diagnosed with the disease in 2009, not long after he assisted Satoshi Nakamoto in getting bitcoin off the ground. It forced him to retire from work in 2011.
ALS research is also the target of a social media campaign that has gone viral in recent weeks, in which participants dump buckets of iced water over their heads and nominate peers and associates to do the same, if not donate to the ALS Association. The campaign has drenched some of the world's most influential people, including Bill Gates and former US president George W. Bush, among others.
Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.