UNICEF to Accept Donations in Bitcoin, Ethereum

Bitcoinist October 9, 2019
Updated 2019/10/09 at 5:43 PM
3 Min Read

UNICEF has taken a step further towards cryptocurrency adoption by increasing its acceptance of Bitcoin (BTC) donations.

UNICEF Funds To Stay As Crypto

According to a press release on October 8, the international body has opted to allow the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to receive money in cryptocurrency.

UNICEF partnered with the Ethereum Foundation on the scheme, the latter also making an initial donation via the body’s French National Committee.

According to the press release, the scheme will welcome funding in two cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin 00 and Ethereum.

In an unusual step, UNICEF says it will not convert funds received into fiat. Instead, it will store and distribute them in their original form.

Commenting on the decision, UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore called the plan a “new and exciting venture.”

“If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer,” she continued.

“That’s why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Fund is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work.”

The Ethereum Foundation has already outlined four beneficiaries of its donations, which include three grantees of the UNICEF Innovation Fund and project to give internet access to schools.

“Together with UNICEF, we’re taking action with the Cryptofund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources,” executive director Aya Miyaguchi said.

“We aim to support the research and development of the Ethereum platform, and to grow the community of those that benefit from a technology that will better countless lives and industries in the years to come.”

Cutting Out Bitcoin Middlemen

As Bitcoinist reported, UNICEF began experimenting with crypto donations last year. The French outpost decided to accept nine different tokens, which followed other crypto-related initiatives.

The move to avoid converting to fiat nonetheless comes at a timely juncture. In recent months, several high-profile cases of payment processors delaying or denying donations due to internal policies have sparked uproar among consumers.

Among them was a $100,000 payment to a charity helping fight the Amazon Rainforest fires, which processor BitPay allegedly halted due to the charity’s account settings.

Standard practice among organizations taking cryptocurrency payments involves instantly converting all or some of the money into fiat. The policy aims to avoid volatility on the market, which has nonetheless decreased significantly in recent years.

What do you think about the UN’s latest crypto acceptance move? Let us know in the comments below!

Images via Bitcoinist Media Library

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