How Toilet Paper NFTs Erased $7 Million in Medical Debt for Low-Income Families

BY Rupendra Brahambhatt

March 08, 2022

The sales from toilet paper NFTs created by Dallas-based software developer Joshua Lapidus have helped charity organization RIP Medical Debt settle $7 million of medical debt for low-income families. These bizarre NFTs are listed on OpenSea and go by the name “Rainbow Rolls.” At the time of their release in October 2021, Lapidus had made 10,000 Rainbow Roll NFTs available for sale, but later he restricted the number to just 1,000. The latest sales figures reveal that out of the 1,000 NFTs, only 145 are now available for purchase, the rest are already sold.

Ridiculous, yet beneficial

When asked how he came up with the idea of creating NFTs based on toilet paper rolls Joshua Lapidus told The Dallas Morning News that he was joking with some blockchain experts on how ridiculous the NFT market has become. During the same discussion, they came up with the idea of launching their own ridiculous NFTs. Lapidus said, “we were making jokes about how bad the landscape was, with people selling anything to make money, and we thought we should have people buy our thing and give some to charity.”

Credit: Rainbow Rolls/OpenSea

About 69 percent of the money made by Rainbow Rolls goes to charity; 20 percent goes to RIP Medical Debt, 16 percent is donated to Gitcoin, a platform that finances communities working on Web3 related projects, and 16.5 percent of the sales amount goes to Giveth, a blockchain-powered community that carries out public-welfare initiatives. RIP Medical Debt has received $91,000 from the sales of the toilet paper NFTs, the organization used this amount to purchase debt in bundled portfolios and wipe medical debt worth seven million dollars.

Recently, Rainbow Rolls announced via Twitter that through their NFT project, they also aim to raise funds to support organizations like UkraineDAO and Unchainfund that are providing assistance to the war-affected Ukrainian refugees.

NFTs for the greater good

Rainbow Rolls isn’t the first and only project trying to bring a positive impact in the real world through NFTs. Projects like RELI3F and TimePieces’ Artists for Peace are actively raising funds to support the humanitarian ventures dedicated to helping the Ukrainian public and military. The Ukrainian government and the Come Back Alive charity organization have received crypto donations worth more than $54 million.

Moreover, NFTs are playing a role in protecting our environment and biodiversity. In March 2021, artist Beeple raised six million dollars for Open Earth Foundation via the sales of his NFT artwork named “Ocean Front”. Open Earth Foundation will use the fund for carrying out activities directed towards mitigating climate change. In July of the same year, the largest privately funded Chimpanzee sanctuary, Save the Chimps, decided to sell the paintings drawn by their chimpanzees as NFTs to raise funds for their chimpanzee care facility. 

Recently, American musician Dillion Francis joined hands with 3D artist Nicole Ruggiero and launched an environment-focused NFT project titled “I think there’s something wrong with my phone”. The artists have announced that they will plant 100 trees in the name of the collectors of their NFTs.  

All such NFT projects including Rainbow Rolls are not only helping the world overcome various political, social, economic, and environment-related issues but also indicating the rise of a whole new wave of blockchain-backed philanthropy and social good initiatives.

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