The next time you see a sidewalk Santa ringing his bell and asking for donations, ask him if he takes bitcoin. If he looks at you funny, tell him that UNICEF does and it may be the future of philanthropy.
UNICEF announced today that it has created the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund, a first for a United Nations organization. The new fund can receive, hold, and disburse donations of cryptocurrencies. Under the structure of the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund, contributions will be held in the type of cryptocurrency they were received in and given out in the same cryptocurrency. UNICEF will use those generous donations of bitcoin and ether to fund open-source technology that will further its mission of helping children and young people around the world.
“This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF,” Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director, said in a statement. “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. That’s why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Fund is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work.”
Per the release:
“The first contributions to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund will be received from the Ethereum Foundation and will benefit three grantees of the UNICEF Innovation Fund as well as a project coordinated by the GIGA initiative to connect schools across the world to the internet.”
The Ethereum Foundation will make its initial donation through the French National Committee for UNICEF, but if you have some stray cryptocurrency lingering in cyberspace and want to make it do some good in the world, you can donate it to UNICEF branches in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.
This story has been updated.