When MAPS founder Rick Doblin was in Amsterdam for our event on MDMA research, he sat down with journalist Thijs Roes for a wide-ranging conversation. One of the topics they touched upon, was how recent MAPS funding had gotten off the ground.

In 2017, MAPS was a much smaller organisation. With no help from any government and no large funds available to them, MAPS had to get by on relatively small donations. Until an anonymous Reddit user called Pine suddenly announced that he had millions of dollars available to support causes that would otherwise be overlooked. She (or he) had bought bitcoins for an incredibly low price, and had had an epiphany while on Ketamine-therapy: the best way to live life was to help other people, and give as much the newly gained wealth away.

“MDMA-assisted psychotherapy will be a gift to the world from the psychedelic and cryptocurrency communities,” Rick Doblin wrote earlier. And in the interview he says the grant “changed everything for us”. Pine ended up giving $5 million dollars to make MDMA-assisted therapy a reality. MAPS is now in phase 3 studies to get MDMA approved and legal for clinical therapy.

Rick Doblin will be speaking at ICPR2020.net – the leading scientific psychedelic conference of Europe, held from September 24 until 27.