Molly, ecstasy, MDMA, whatever you call it: the illegal psychedelic drug is one step closer to becoming a legally regulated treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, thanks to a $4 million matching grant from the Pineapple Fund.
The donation will benefit the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS, a nonprofit research organization that will use the money for their third phase of clinical trials on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Phase 2 trials were conducted in the US, Canada, Israel, and Switzerland.
The Pineapple Fund will match the next $4 million in donations MAPS receives before March 10. This follows a separate donation of $1 million from Pine in December 2017, recorded on both Pineapple Fund’s and MAPS’s websites.
“Prescription MDMA could be a gift to this world from the bitcoin community,” The Pineapple Fund wrote on Reddit. “This is a scalable and financially sustainable structure that could kick start a renaissance in research into the therapeutic applications of many different psychedelics.”
With the goal of donating $86 million worth of bitcoin to charity, the Pineapple Fund was started by an anonymous online benefactor who struck big after investing in bitcoin in its early days. Bitcoin, the first digital, decentralized currency, has been almost consistently spiraling up in value since its launch in 2008. Currently, one bitcoin is worth roughly $13,300.
Phase Three of MAPS’ trials will cost approximately $25 million. If it succeeds, MDMA could be approved as early as 2021. The drug, labelled as a breakthrough therapy by the FDA last year, would only need to be administered a few times, as opposed to other drugs, like Zoloft and Paxil, which must be taken continuously, according to MAPS.
“Many subjects reported deeply meaningful therapeutic experiences and ensuing improvements in their lives,” researchers wrote in the original pilot study.
As of Thursday, Pine has donated $20.1 million in bitcoin to 23 charities, according to their website, including Professional Transformation Sports Development, which treats veterans with PTSD through outdoor sporting.