He gave it to her in cryptocurrency.
When Ellen DeGeneres turned 60 in January 2018, her wife, Portia de Rossi, gifted her with a wildlife foundation set up in her name: “I am bringing you and your hero Dian together by building the Ellen DeGeneres campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. You will carry on Dian’s legacy by giving them a permanent home in Rwanda.”
According to its website, The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund was established “to support global conservation efforts for critically endangered species.” It also helps to secure the future of wild gorillas in Rwanda by “building on successful field conservation efforts, while empowering the people living near the gorillas to thrive in relationship to their own ecosystem.”
On May 23, DeGeneres’ wildlife fund got an amazing boost from her friends Ashton Kutcher and his talent manager and business partner Guy Oseary. On behalf of Ripple, they presented her fund with a donation of $4 million in the form of Ripple’s XRP coin. (Ripple is a payment exchange startup that uses blockchain-like technology.)
Kutcher told DeGeneres she deserves the donation because she’s always thinking about other people. “We wanted to show we were thinking about you,” Kutcher said. The cryptocurrency was presented to DeGeneres as an immediate transfer into her account via smartphone.
The donation will go to help the mountain gorilla, a critically endangered species that’s been in decline due to poachers, civil conflicts, and human population growth.
While it was once believed the species would never make it to the 21st century, conservation efforts have brought their wild population up to about 880.