Charity and cryptocurrency have developed quite a partnership over the years. The latest addition to that mix comes in the form of UNICEF, the United Nations’ organization that seeks to aid starving and impoverished children across the globe.
UNICEF Is at the Heart of a Crypto Boost
UNICEF has announced that it will begin accepting donations in both ether and bitcoin. It is the first UN-based organization to accept crypto, which could potentially mark a huge point in crypto’s development and push it closer towards mainstream territory. As it stands, UNICEF generally accepts fiat to fund its goals, but fiat typically results in heavy fees that cause much of the money to be eaten up by payment platforms and third-party middlemen.
UNICEF says that its utilization of virtual currency will allow it to potentially avoid these fees in the future and concentrate more funds on helping those in need. In addition, it also says that the transparency of blockchain will allow those giving money to see how their funds are being used.
Rather than immediately cashing out bitcoin or ether for fiat, UNICEF will instead forward whatever digital tokens it receives to a charitable cause or separate organization. Thus, the person who initially sent the money will be able to see who is receiving the funds in the end. From there, it will be up to the receiving organization to cash out the funds.
One problem that stems from crypto is its volatility, however. Despite several notable properties, currencies like bitcoin and Ethereum still remain vulnerable to price swings. To help levy this, UNICEF comments that it will only utilize cryptocurrency payments for “short-term programs,” or rather things that can be purchased quickly, such as mosquito nets to prevent the spread of diseases like malaria. Using the money quickly, it says, is the key to ensuring it cannot fall in price too much.
Among UNICEF’s first crypto donators will be the Ethereum Foundation, which says it will provide digital funds to three grantees including GIGA, a group that seeks to provide schools with internet service.
Crypto and Charity Have Come a Long Way
This isn’t the first time UNICEF has partnered with a cryptocurrency venture. Last August, the organization announced that it would work with the Litecoin Foundation to ensure children in developing regions garnered access to new educational materials. Four years ago, UNICEF also joined hands with H&M Conscious Foundation to launch Unicoin, a new digital currency designed for those looking to “do good” with their funds.
Furthermore, 2018 saw a surge in charity groups that said “yes” to cryptocurrency donations. Among them were the Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC), a non-profit that seeks to aid women who have been the victims of domestic abuse, and Save the Children, a U.K.-based organization that tries to improve children’s lives through better healthcare and education initiatives.
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