For most people, the word “blockchain” is closely associated with cryptocurrencies and the world of digital finance. Indeed, since the appearance of the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2010, over the past 8 years, thousands of cryptocurrencies have appeared, thousands of whitepapers have been written, dozens of crypto exchanges have been created that allow anyone to enter the crypto market. However, cryptocurrency instead is just a measure in the blockchain industry. If to talk about blockchain technologies more globally, today we can safely admit that its usage has long gone beyond the financial sector. The range of blockchain-based applications is expanding every day. Centralized institutions begin to realize how blockchain can improve areas and industries that, at first glance, have nothing to do with the world of crypto technologies. One of such areas is charity, which is the main subject of discussion in today’s material.
Why Blockchain-based Donations
According to the corruption level of many centralized authorities, blockchain technology comes to the rescue. Now that people had enough of rolling on a volatility roller coaster of the crypto market, it’s time to think about the real benefits we can bring to society and our entire planet with the help of blockchain. To date, there are countries that have already adopted cryptocurrency for the purpose of decreasing taxes for benefactors. Thus, in this range of countries, cryptocurrency donations are as legal as fiat.
The obvious advantage of blockchain technology is that it eliminates data theft or fraud. The blockchain is primarily designed to eliminate corruption and non-transparency from areas that are difficult to control due to a large number of participants.
The other serious argument for blockchain donations is the ability for benefactors to track the donation life-cycle. In other words, whether a person donated $10 or $10000 in cryptocurrency equivalent, he or she can monitor the routing of funds from the moment of donation creating until it reaches the destination address.
Blockchain can completely change the principles of charitable platforms, allowing NPOs (non-profit organizations) not to waste energy on accounting, but to provide real help to those who need and restore donors’ credibility about how their money is being spent.
Proven Charity Cases
A high level of social responsibility, large amounts of money, complicated bookkeeping, and work with documentation — all this complicates the activities of any organization. Therefore, many charitable foundations around the world have already adopted the blockchain and achieved their first results:
- The Internet Archive is a non-profit with a huge mission: “Universal Access to All Knowledge”. Based in San Francisco, CA, with servers and bookscanners around the world, the Internet Archive building the digital library of the future — a place where anyone can access the books, web pages, audio, television, and software of our shared human experience, forever. For free. To date, the Internet Archive has fixed more than 6 million broken links on Wikipedia using the archives of the Wayback Machine. You can Donate to the project in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Z cash. And if you don’t have the listed crypto assets that is not a problem, as you can choose the “Donate with Altcoins” button and exchange any crypto or even fiat for BTC in just a few clicks using Changelly built-in exchange widget.
“We’ve been accepting Bitcoin since 2011. Last year over 30% of our donations came from cryptocurrency.” — says Katie Barrett, development manager from Internet Archive, — “I believe that the ability to donate with all kinds of altcoins provided by Changelly will allow us to expand.”
- Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of blockchain-enabled philanthropy towards achieving global sustainable development. BCF aims to transform philanthropy by developing the world’s first decentralized charity foundation to build a future where blockchain technology can be used to end all forms of poverty and inequality, advance sustainable development and ensure that no one is left behind.
The foundation is initiated by Binance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, headed by Helen Hai, UNIDO goodwill ambassador, with Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta as the Chair of its senior advisory board.
- The British blockchain platform Alice.si is a social tool, that allows charitable organizations to increase donations and at the same time demonstrate the impact of donors by letting them monitor where their money actually went. In the title Alice.si the “si” abbreviature means social impact. Using Ethereum-based smart contracts, Alice.si freezes donations until charitable organizations can demonstrate concrete results that are verified and confirmed by an independent third party, which means that the donation is guaranteed to reach its goal. If not, the money gets returned to the donor.
“A lot of non-profits are doing great work, but need easier, more immediate ways to feed their impact back to donors, and our tool is one way for them to do that,” — said Raphaël Mazet, CEO of Alice.si, in the interview for CNN.
- In 2013, American Connie Gallippi founded BitGive, which became the first registered NGO using bitcoins for a donation procedure. The user directing the cryptocurrency to charity can monitor in real time how it is used.
- Code to Inspire (CTI) was established in Afghanistan in 2015. The Foundation organizes classrooms for Afghan women who are interested in educating programming and online business. CTI opened the first school in Herat, Afghanistan, and trained approximately 50 women daily. Since its inception, the organization has achieved significant results — hundreds of Afghan women have received technical education.
- The Common Collection is a Canadian organization that uses Bitcoin donations to help refugees and people in need. Many of the individuals listed on the Common Collection website have suffered from the effects of natural disasters.
The Obstacles to Crypto-charity
The biggest obstacle of blockchain-based charity, as well as the whole crypto industry, is the lack of cryptocurrency mass-adoption and the need for convenient laws and regulations in this area. That is the reason why so few charity organizations are ready to receive donations in crypto to date.
The other valid point that prevents charity authorities from adopting blockchain as well as preventing donors from contributing funds is lack of knowledge in the field of blockchain.
The blockchain is at about the same level as was the Internet in the year ’95. It is evident that mass adoption of the World Wide Web was not achieved in 1995 yet, though there has already been a lot of hype around the Internet at that time.
People have already heard a lot about blockchain, they can imagine the overall picture of what blockchain and cryptocurrency are all about. However, they still need more convenient instruments to enter the market and more understanding of the subject.
The Promising Statistics
Though blockchain mass adoption hasn’t come yet and, unfortunately, to date, there’s still lack of statistics on charitable crypto, those available numbers of cryptocurrency that has already been contributed to charity aims are encouraging.
One of the most extraordinary charity cases that merit attention is Pineapple Fund, which started as an experiment in philanthropy with cryptocurrency wealth. The project was launched in December 2017 by an anonymous donor, whose crypto funds worth 5104 BTC, timed with the 2017 crypto bubble, turned into $55 million for 60 charities.
How to Donate
Another tricky thing preventing many people from making donations in crypto is that many of them don’t actually know how to implement such kind of donations.
If you think that blockchain in charity worth existing, all you have to do is follow a range of simple steps to make your first and hopefully not the last crypto-donation:
- First, you need to get yourself a crypto wallet where you will store your crypto later. Here’s the article about some worthy multi-currency wallets.
- The easiest way to get yourself some crypto is to buy it for fiat with a credit card using special tools which are created to simplify the whole process of entering the crypto world for a newbie.
- Now that you already have a wallet with some crypto-asset in it just choose a Charity blockchain-based organization you truly believe in and open the donation section on their website. Usually, you will have to copy the bitcoin address where to donate and send your funds for charity purpose to that address.
- After the sending, you can monitor the ‘donation-life-cycle’ to be sure your contribution is used properly.
However, what to do if you already have crypto you want to donate, but it doesn’t match the crypto accepted by the charity fund? The best option, in this case, is to exchange your crypto asset for the needed one in just a few minutes using instant cryptocurrency exchange service.
Let’s say you have some XRP, but the charity foundation accepts donations only in BTC. Thus, you need to exchange your XRP for BTC. And the easier this process will be — the better.
- Open Changelly service main page, set the amount of XRP you want to donate. Choose BTC as the final asset. You will see the estimated amount of BTC you get after the exchange. Click the exchange button.
- You will be redirected to the exchange page. The whole process consists of 5 steps and will take from 5 to 30 minutes of your time.
- Now that BTC transferred into your crypto wallet, you can use it for the donation purposes!
In the digital age, every crypto enthusiast has the opportunity to take part in shaping the future we all dream of — a future where a person does not depend on centralized bank institutions and can freely dispose of his funds for both: personal and charitable purposes, along with the ability to see how these funds work for the benefit of those who are in need.