The United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is among the few charity organizations piloting the use of cryptocurrency for charitable services. UNICEF is setting up funds to invest in blockchain startups and other open-source technology that could benefit children and young ones.
However, a recent Cryptocurrency Fund set up by the non-profit amid the COVID-19 pandemic is yet to receive significant Bitcoin donations, UNICEF blockchain lead, Christina Lamazzo told Finextra in a recent interview.
Looking back, the Ethereum Foundation had made a donation of 100 ETH toward the organization’s ETH fund when it launched in October, while UNICEF in the last month invested 125 ether (appr. $28,500) each in eight companies based in seven different countries.
But regarding its pool of Bitcoin donations, Lamazzo said,
To date, we haven’t had any large bitcoin donors, but we’re very much looking forward to bringing a large donor onboard.
She also disclosed that as part of efforts to enhance the transparency of its usage of received crypto funds, UNICEF is working towards the launch of “consumable block explorer.” Similar to other blockchain explorers, the project planned by the non-profit organization will allow members of the public to track funds effectively. At the same time, the explorer will provide tools for monitoring balances and price valuation across crypto exchanges.
Lamazzo also highlighted the primary challenge with onboarding Bitcoin donors since an identity verification process must be done. Such a process is ideally not suitable to Bitcoin folks. Still, UNICEF’s blockchain lead expressed confidence that using cryptocurrencies allows the opportunity to “have a conversation around how those barriers are being addressed and reduced.”
As noted earlier, the UNICEF isn’t the only non-profit venturing into Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. In March, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) began accepting Bitcoin donations via a partnership with open-source Bitcoin payments processor, BTCPay Server.