Lifeboat Foundation’s donations are a blast from crypto past

Lifeboat Foundation claims that it’s dedicated to ‘safeguarding humanity’ and has ties to Jeffrey Epstein, Vitalik Buterin, Charles Hoskinson, Tether founder J.R. Willett, and many other prominent names.

Besides its safeguarding claim, it also says it has non-profit 501(c)(3) status. This is despite the fact that it’s been on the auto revocation list for the IRS since 2020. 

Protos reached out to Lifeboat Foundation to request verification of this status, but at press time it hadn’t responded. 

This failure to clarify its non-profit status isn’t evidence that this ‘foundation’ has been abandoned, as it frequently posts updates about its members and who has been added to which of its many boards. 

Read more: Lifeboat Foundation can’t explain where its crypto donations go

Cryptocurrency counterparties

Lifeboat Foundation continues to solicit crypto donations, and unlike many groups that immediately convert all crypto they receive into fiat, it actually continues to hold significant holdings.

Previously, the foundation listed the addresses where it held its crypto. A review of those addresses also gives us insight into its counterparties. 

Lifeboat Foundation has been accepting crypto donations since 2013 when the fund kicked off with a 500-bitcoin donation from Brian Cartmell. While his bio on the foundation’s website focuses more on his work on Spam Arrest, he is perhaps better known for his work at Internet Entertainment Group, an oft-sued adult entertainment company that once distributed Pamela Anderson’s infamous sex tape.

Because of how long Lifeboat has been accepting donations, we see donations coming from long-failed exchanges like Mt. Gox and QuadrigaCX. We even see a small donation from Laxo Trade, a high-yield investment program that tried to promote itself by sending dust amounts of bitcoin to many addresses. 

A sample of the activity from some of Lifeboat’s bitcoin addresses.

We also get some insight into where Lifeboat Foundation sends its assets. These addresses, labeled as ‘Coinbase,’ ‘Binance,’ ‘Bitfinex,’ ‘Cryptsy,’ often consolidate into other Lifeboat Foundation Addresses.

Bitcoin is by far the crypto asset that has seen most activity from Lifeboat but it does accept donations on a variety of other chains, including many you may never have heard of like anoncoin, bytecoin, CryptogenicBullion, Dash, noblecoin, NXT, peercoin, and solarcoin.

The websites for many of these assets have been taken down.

The Ethereum address received approximately 190 ether from an address labeled as ‘Bitfinex’ and sent some out to Bitfinex and Coinbase. 

There are also some individual donors listed who ended up being important to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, including Jaan Tallinn, who was one of the individuals who helped originally fund Alameda Research, and Charlie Shrem, who gained true notoriety for his role in Mt. Gox, and was eventually sentenced to prison for a charge of aiding and abetting unlicensed money transmission

Tether founder J.R. Willett is listed as a very small donor who gave less than $5, but he has previously told Protos that he was not a donor. 

Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, was also a donor who gave 10 Litecoins. 

In total, the Lifeboat Foundation received over 1,100 bitcoins and 190 ether, representing the lion’s share of the cryptocurrency donations received.

Non-crypto donors

Most of the donors to the foundation at this point seem to be businesses taking advantage of the opportunity to get their names, links, and logos featured on the website, presumably to improve their ranking in search engines.

The list is littered with divorce lawyers, personal injury attorneys, casinos, dispensaries, and some suspicious firms that advertise things like ‘credit reward perks.’  

It used to be more common for Lifeboat to get donations from more prominent individuals like futurist Ray Kurzweil, but those seem to have slowed to a trickle, which makes sense when you consider the Lifeboat Foundation can’t even maintain its non-profit status.

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