By Valeria Grekova
August 4th, 2018

Cryptocharity 101

Is it possible to put BTC towards a good cause?

While Forbes is making top lists of bitcoin tycoons and Bloomberg is shaming them for buying Lambos, the amount of donations made in crypto keeps growing.

There are many cases of crypto being used for charity, from traditional institutions to specific blockchain solutions.

Accepting BTC

Many global organizations have been accepting donations in crypto for years now. Greenpeace USA has collaborated with BitPay to put that into practice back in 2014. They didn’t abandon their positions even when the discussion of mining energy consumption (and, therefore, climate change) erupted. According to representatives, crypto mining is no different to any other energy-consuming business relying on fuel or natural resources.

Geri Cook, senior IT specialist at Greenpeace, elaborated:
The internet has the potential to serve as a critical foundation for sustainable economic growth, but its expansion needs to be powered by clean energy sources that help, not hinder, the crucial challenge of tackling climate change“.

2014 was a special year for one more project – a collaboration of Red Cross and BitPay. BitPay representative gave a remarkable comment on that: “bitcoin users are passionate people who are looking to put their bitcoin towards good causes”. Since crypto is a new fast growing industry making people rich everyday, them seeking opportunities to make this world a better place isn’t much of a surprise.

If you want to contribute to a more specific cause, take a look at The Water Project Inc. They tackle water supply problems in the Sahara region, where women and children have to carry water for miles to get it to their homes and quite often it’s not even safe for drinking.

The Water Promise program gives people access to this vital treasure and monitors the situation all over Kenya, Rwanda and other African countries. They accept donations in BTC, BCH, LTC and ETH and also have their own app so that contributors can see the impact on a daily basis.

Two sides of the coin

Pros of crypto donations are obvious.

– It’s convenient for NGOs: in the world of traditional finance cross-border funds transfer is considered a complicated procedure. Crypto reduces operational costs and facilitates the flow (not to mention transparency).

– Crypto funds transfers are convenient for the donors – especially if they wish to remain anonymous.

– Such donations can be useful in regions where banking operations are not always feasible. Anna Ladoshkina, founder of the agency that provides services for NGOs, believes: “Due to traditional payment infrastructure being underdeveloped, charitable programs in third world countries are more likely to be based on the digital form of donations”.

– Crypto based non-profit projects impact sometimes questionable reputation (thanks to scammers and criminals) of the industry in a good way.

However, where there are a pros, there are cons that should be reflected upon as well.

– Donating in crypto you won’t receive bonuses from the state in the form of tax incentives.

– The NGO may have to exchange collected crypto – which is not always convenient.

– Due to the heterogeneity of regulations, some non-profits national offices cannot legally accept such donations.

Blockchain for humanity

Charitable organizations are not just waiting for your crypto donations, they are looking into blockchain as well. For instance, this winter UNICEF announced that they will be funding blockchain startups that offer new ways to help kids all over the globe. Created solely to finance technologies and solutions on their early stages of development, it was UNICEF Innovation Fund who gave the incentive. It wasn’t their first blockchain investment: back in September, 2017 they supported African project 9Needs, a blockchain ID platform for elementary education.

Overall, crypto community largely depends on the value of equal opportunities. The growing popularity of crypto charity projects is not surprising, let’s hope this trend will continue to gain momentum.