The charitable savings arm of Fidelity Investments will start accepting bitcoins, signaling a wider acceptance of the virtual currency once used by money launderers and drug dealers trying to skirt authorities.
Fidelity Charitable, the second-largest nonprofit fundraiser in the country, said Wednesday that it will allow its donors to contribute bitcoins into their giving accounts. Fidelity joins United Way Worldwide, the country’s largest charity, and the American Red Cross in accepting bitcoins.
Fidelity Charitable is a donor-advised fund, which allows investors to make contributions to their accounts, take the full tax deduction, and later distribute the money to charities of their choice. Fidelity is among the first of the national donor advised funds — largely managed by investment firms — to accept the digital currency.
Fidelity will work with Coinbase Inc., a San Francisco-based company, to convert bitcoin into cash. Fidelity will later distribute the money to the charities that the client chooses.
“There’s more and more people investing in digital currency and we felt like donors would