Charities Are Turning to Bitcoin amid the Global Fight against Coronavirus
ECONOMICS, 13 Apr 2020
6 Apr 2020 –In the war against the novel coronavirus, cryptocurrencies are emerging as a much-needed tool for charity and fundraising projects. Already there are a number of large nonprofits accepting Bitcoin donations. Plus, some blockchain and crypto firms are contributing medical supplies to hospitals in an attempt to curb the virus, while others are setting up fundraisers and charities that are aimed at helping its victims.
As a number of nonprofits continue to accept cryptocurrency donations, they are starting to realize that crypto transactions significantly reduce costs in terms of fees. Here are a number of charities and fundraisers that accept donations in crypto.
The rate of coronavirus infections in Italy is astonishingly high. For this reason, the Italian Red Cross moved to accept Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto donations on March 12 with the goal of using the proceeds from the campaign to set up second-level advanced medical posts. The medical posts would be used to pre-triage coronavirus patients.
The project turned out to be such a success such that its fundraising goal of $10,710 was achieved by the third day of the campaign. Since then, the charitable organization has moved to raise even more funds through Bitcoin and other crypto donations with the goal of $26,000. The funds from the second round of funding are set to be used to buy emergency equipment. So far, the organization has achieved around 85% of its goal.
The Water Project
Apart from social distancing, one of the frequent calls by hygiene experts has been to wash hands. Without a doubt, hand washing is one of the crucial ways of fighting the spread of the coronavirus. Charitable organizations such as The Water Project have been at work installing and repairing water points all over impoverished regions in Africa.
They have also been teaching communities how to wash hands and how to keep their water sources free from germs and other pathogens, as well as how to begin and maintain other good health practices. With coronavirus spreading through various countries in Africa, charitable organizations like The Water Project are crucial for the containment of the virus.
For the first time, the organization has launched a fundraising project called WaSH — an acronym for water sanitation and hygiene — with the aim of raising funds to provide clean water and hygiene. Aside from standard methods of donation, the water project also accepts crypto donations in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC).
Binance Charity Foundation
Binance, one of the biggest crypto exchanges, recently launched the Crypto Against COVID initiative through the Binance Charity Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that aims to build a united front within the crypto community against the pandemic. So far, $1 million has been raised through the foundation with an overall goal of raising $4 million by the end of the campaign.
Apart from accepting crypto donations, Binance Charity will also record all transactions on the blockchain to improve transparency. All crypto donations will then be converted to fiat and displayed on the organization’s website. The exchange arm of Binance has also pledged $1.4 million to help in the fight against the virus.
Houbi, a major crypto exchange based in Singapore, also announced that it has established a charity organization with a pledge of contributing up to $1.4 million. In a tweet, the company stated that the money would be used to “purchase protective equipment and donate to the medical staff working at the frontline.”
According to a tweet from Huboi’s charity wing, it has already completed its first round of the fundraising campaign, and the protective medical equipment has been delivered to hospitals.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Wuhan in China was the most affected area. The huge number of people who contracted the virus in the area overwhelmed medical resources in the province, leading to a shortage of protective equipment for medical staff.
As a result, the blockchain marketing firm Krypital launched a charity foundation with the aim of acquiring medical supplies for coronavirus victims. The firm’s charity campaign is built on a blockchain-enabled donation system that promotes efficiency and transparency. When asked in an interview about the company’s motivation for launching the charity, Krypital’s CEO and co-founder, Margie Wu, replied that the aim of the effort was to safeguard medical staff.
Save the Children
While communities all over the world are encouraged to wash hands, have access to a strong health system and maintain social distancing, refugee communities where people are densely packed in camps cannot enjoy such luxuries. In areas such as Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, children are the most vulnerable.
Save the Children is one of the charitable organizations helping to spearhead efforts to protect children from the coronavirus. The organization is present in over 100 countries and works to ensure that children grow up safe and healthy.
In conjunction with the company The Giving Block, Save the Children has the ability to accept Bitcoin and donations in other cryptocurrencies while staying committed to its purpose of giving kids a certain future.
United Way Worldwide
In an effort to make it easier for donors to support causes that matter to them, United Way Worldwide started accepting Bitcoin as far back as 2014. This was achieved through a partnership with Coinbase, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
United Way Worldwide is a nonprofit organization that focuses on solving the most critical problems in communities around the globe. During the global coronavirus pandemic, the charitable organization has been part of a lobby group advocating for the passing of a law to bring relief to coronavirus victims. Now, the United States Congress has signed into law a bill that includes some big wins for nonprofit organizations fighting the spread of the pandemic.
The Giving Block
With the U.S. Internal Revenue Service treating crypto as property, those donating cryptocurrencies to charitable foundations within the country obtain huge tax incentives. With this in mind, The Giving Block has emerged as a solution that helps nonprofit organizations accept Bitcoin and other crypto donations to the benefit of both the donors and the organizations.
In addition to helping nonprofit organizations accept crypto donations, The Giving Block is also running its own campaign called #cryptoCOVID19. Through its partnership with Gitcoin, an open-source work platform for crypto enthusiasts, The Giving Block is working to unite the most important crypto stakeholders in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. One of the goals of the campaign is to raise $100,000 in crypto donations.
No Kid Hungry
No Kid Hungry is a campaign organized by the nonprofit Share Our Strength, and as the name suggests, this charitable organization aims to end childhood hunger and poverty in the United States. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization has begun to accept both fiat and crypto donations. With kids unable to attend schools and benefit from the school meals they depend on, No Kid Hungry is using the donations to serve 1.7 million healthy meals to children in need.
Waves’s charity campaign
On April 3, the crypto exchange Waves launched a controversial campaign aimed at raising relief money for coronavirus victims through betting pools that speculated on the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
The betting platform allows users to purchase tokens on the exchange specifically assigned for speculation. For instance, if a user thinks the number of coronavirus cases will rise, that user would buy the “COVID-UP” token.
Apart from winning prizes, users will have a chance to share their gains with charity organizations. According to the platform, all proceeds from the event will go to fund projects by nonprofit organizations.
Field Ready provides people in crisis with the most important tools for survival by spreading skills and knowledge of how to make safety equipment, including manufacturing appropriate medical supplies that help people to stay healthy during the coronavirus crisis.
Amid the current global pandemic, the charitable organization will soon be accepting crypto donations that will go into disseminating knowledge about workable solutions toward preventing the spread of the virus. Examples of the open-source products the organization plans to design include unique protective items, face masks, locally made medical equipment repairs and oxygen splitters.
Crypto donations help finance nonprofit projects
As the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry continues to grow, more innovators, creators and millionaires will appear. This means that registered nonprofits that accept crypto donations are set to have a competitive edge in the market.
Aside from the fact that crypto donations open up new opportunities for project financing, they also reduce fees that nonprofits may incur during transactions. This makes it easier for nonprofits to move funds around and finance projects, especially in remote areas that lack financial infrastructure. In the long run, nonprofits can free up more funds to put toward more projects. At a time when the whole world is in crisis, solutions like the ones provided by cryptocurrency donations are much needed.
Jinia Shawdagor is a fintech writer based in Sweden. She is passionate about cryptocurrency, blockchain and iGaming. Since 2013, she is contributing unique articles to different publications.
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