Thanks to the cryptocurrency and blockchain boom, 35,000 classroom dreams were fulfilled this week.
Chris Larson, co-founder and former CEO of Ripple, a company that uses XRP cryptocurrency to make international financial transactions easier, donated $29 million worth of the crypto cash to DonorsChoose.org, a charity that allows teachers to request funding for various classroom needs.
The $29 million Larson donated was enough to fund all 35,000 funding requests currently in the DonorsChoose database. According to the charity, the site has never had zero project requests until Tuesday evening.
“In 18 years of doing DonorsChoose.org, we have, honestly, honestly, never been this excited,” Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose, told The San Francisco Chronicle. “I would say it’s the dream coming true, except we never had this dream because it would have been too crazy to even say.”
The $29 million will be converted into cash, and DonorsChoose will purchase and ship the needed supplies to classrooms—along with a $30-per-project fee and an “optional fee of 15 percent to help fund the organization,” according to the Chronicle. According to CCN.com, the company actually made the donation in January, which would have equalled to about 7.5 million XRP, according to the exchange rate at the time.
A statement from Ripple said that “nearly 30,000 public school teachers in every state and approximately one million students” will be affected by the donation, which will go towards buying “books, school supplies, technology, field trips, and other resources vital for learning through DonorsChoose.org.”
In a tweet, the charity said it would send 3,500 computers, almost 3,000 packs of construction paper, and hundreds of other school supplies to 27,000 classrooms across the country.
According to Best, Ripple founder Larson had been a fan of the nonprofit for years. He says DonorsChoose got the big donation simply by asking via email.
“I kind of dared myself to send an email pitching an idea 10 times bigger than I’ve ever pitched before,” Best told the Chronicle. “I was almost anxious that they would be offended by the ridiculousness of my ask.”
Teachers on social media celebrated using the #BestSchoolDay hashtag and shared the impacts in their local classrooms. A total of 260 projects were funded in the Atlanta Public School system, totaling $282,056, while 145 Boston Public School projects were funded through the donation—totaling more than $198,000.
Maria Hernandez, a teacher from Helms Elementary School in Houston, posted a video on Twitter announcing that her project to purchase Spanish-language books for her dual-language classroom was fully funded. She said she was losing hope because her project remained unfunded up until now.
“I got the email, I made sure it wasn’t a hoax,” Hernandez tearfully recounted. “I am truly, truly excited and I am very thankful for the donation… Thank you so much to Ripple. I don’t know much about your company but I just know that you just made a lot of us teachers very, very happy.”