UNICEF announced a Cryptocurrency Fund that will receive contributions in cryptocurrency and grant out in the same digital currency, this being a first for United Nations organizations.
Unicef’s new Cryptocurrency Fund is the most recent effort by aid organisations to try to incorporate digital currencies into their operating model. Cryptocurrencies have the potential to transform charitable giving and increase financial transparency.
This new type of decentralized value transfers offers non-profit organisations the advantage of avoiding extra transaction costs and middlemen that are usually required to move large amounts of money overseas quickly. While these features are useful in a wide array of industries, it would appear that UNICEF is willing to apply the new technology.
Christopher Fabian, principal advisor at UNICEF Innovation, stated the initiative would prepare the organization for the future while also maintaining existing donor systems.
“We see this as a piece of learning that we need to go through to prepare for the next decade,” he said.
The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund is a new pilot developed to allow the agency to accept cryptocurrencies, which initially includes Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). For aid and charity organizations, cryptocurrencies make tracking donations easier, and have the potential to allow donors to see how their money is used.
The organization already started receiving cryptocurrency donations following the launch of the fund, with the first one coming from the Ethereum Foundation itself. The Foundation donated 1 BTC and 10,000 ETH.
“The Ethereum Foundation is excited to demonstrate the power of what Ethereum and blockchain technology can do for communities around the world. Together with UNICEF, we’re taking action with the Cryptofund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources,” said Aya Miyaguchi, Executive Director of the Ethereum Foundation.
Furthermore, the new initiative is already discussed with agencies from four nations, including UNICEF USA, UNICEF Australia, UNICEF New Zealand, and UNICEF France.
The importance of aid organizations like UN around the world is growing for an array of countries. As a dispenser of aid, the acceptance of cryptocurrency will certainly be helpful in becoming more transparent and attract more contributions.
Alongside UNICEF’s work with blockchain technology, the UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, also published a strategic plan which shows how the UN might become a leader in solving world problems through the use of new technologies. Part of the plan includes the creation of affordable access to financial infrastructure and digital networks for every adult in the world by 2030.