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How Should the Crypto-Rich Spend Their Money?

Like so many millionaires and billionaires before them, those who have become rich from bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will soon want to be seen to be doing good, not just doing well. And one of the best philanthropic causes to support is health care in developing countries.

LONDON – In February, Forbes published its first-ever list of cryptocurrencies’ richest people. The top ten were each worth around $1 billion, while the wealthiest – an American blockchain innovator named Chris Larsen – was estimated to be worth $8 billion. According to the magazine’s editor, the best way to pull digital currencies out from the shadows and “into the adolescence of a legitimate asset class” is to shine a light on the beneficiaries.

Once that happens, the newly famous cryptocurrency billionaires, like so many before them, will want to be seen to be doing good, not just doing well. And, one of the best philanthropic causes to support is health care in developing countries.

A few years ago, when I was working as a private health-care strategy consultant, I advised high-net-worth individuals and their companies in South Sudan, the Gambia, and Tanzania on the best ways to give back to the communities where their businesses operated. These investors – nearly all of whom had profited handsomely from the oil industry – faced intense social pressure to use their wealth for humanitarian causes.

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