I donated some Ethereum to a Fidelity donor-advised fund this year. The amount was worth over $5k, which I believe means it falls under the IRS's appraisal requirement.

How can I find a "qualified" appraiser to do this? Ideally one who wouldn't charge too much, since honestly this won't be much work! (Look up the price at the time of the donation and write it down.)

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    Did you actually donate Ethereum? In most cases, respectable institutions consider cryptocurrency as a payment method, not a currency, and they cash it out immediately and consider the donation as the sale amount in USD. – cHao Dec 13 '17 at 20:47
  • @cHao Fidelity appears to accept cryptocurrency donations. nytimes.com/2017/11/06/business/bitcoin-charity-donations.html – ceejayoz Dec 14 '17 at 18:14
  • "As a result, “it may be difficult to find a qualified appraiser” with the requisite education and experience. For this reason, it may be wise for potential donors to limit their total contributions to all charities in virtual currency form to less than $5,000." pgdc.com/pgdc/… – ceejayoz Dec 14 '17 at 18:15
  • @ceejayoz: Fidelity apparently does cash out immediately, though. ("The fund uses Coinbase, a digital asset exchange company, to accept donations and convert them into dollars as soon as they come in.") If the price comes almost directly from the market, is an appraiser still needed? – cHao Dec 14 '17 at 20:01
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    @ceejayoz: Much easier, yes. But they'd also pay capital gains tax on any profit from the sale. (The alleged benefit of donating assets rather than cash is that since charities don't have to pay taxes, they can sell the ETH without taking that hit.) – cHao Dec 14 '17 at 20:10

The only appraisers I've been able to find that in this space are Charitable Solutions and Crypto Appraisers. They do qualified appraisals of Bitcoin and other common cryptocurrencies in addition to Ethereum.

You could try searching around for an appraiser at any of the major appraiser associations, but there don't seem to be any results for cryptocurrencies (as of date) so you'd have to start asking general property or business appraisers if they'd be interested in branching out a bit. Also, in my experience most of the time the fees will be in the upper hundreds, if not over a thousand, for even the most basic appraisal.

Still, given that Ethereum is up around 900% over the last year, the tax savings could be significant (thousands of dollars). Probably well worth several hundred bucks and a little hassle.

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