Global humanitarian agency UNICEF (the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), received a $1 million donation in Bitcoin last week, it said a release shared with CryptoSlate.
Behind the donation was the charity arm of Huobi Global, a crypto conglomerate best known for its crypto exchange and institutional trading services.
It was one of the first such moves in the agency’s history—one that paves the part forward for more such crypto donations in the future.
Bitcoin for the world
The BTC donation was made to the UNICEF CryptoFund, a new financial vehicle allowing UNICEF to receive, hold, and disburse cryptocurrency, and UNICEF’s Innovation Fund, a pooled fund specifically designed to finance early-stage, open-source technology that can benefit children.
The Innovation Fund has, so far, received contributions of $34.9 million USD, 2267 ETH, and 8 BTC. Both funds aim to help foster global blockchain development and innovations with the potential to impact children and young people globally.
They further provide both fiat and cryptocurrency investments to early-stage startups to help accelerate technological innovation to benefit children around the world.
By distributing funding in cryptocurrency, UNICEF, donors, recipients, and the public can track where the assets are going and how they are being spent, providing an unprecedented level of transparency in the funding and NGO space.
Why did UNICEF accept crypto?
Thomas Davin, Director, Office of Innovation at UNICEF, shared with CryptoSlate about why the agency chose to accept donations in cryptocurrencies.
“The UNICEF Innovation Fund is a $34.9M pooled Fund investing in early-stage, open-source, emerging technology with the potential to impact children on a global scale,” he said, adding the Huobi Charity’s donation will support early-stage, open-source projects and UNICEF’s ongoing explorations toward a digitally financed future.
“We have seen no other technology cluster with a steeper growth over the past years – or more potential to solve any conceivable problem – than that of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other blockchain technology applications,” he added.
Davin shared the CryptoFund has, so far, made over 12 investments in technology companies to help developing and emerging economies that have previously received up to $100,000 from UNICEF’s Innovation Fund.
These cryptocurrency-denominated investments are aimed at helping the companies continue developing their open-source and digital public goods, said Davin. “The startups receiving investment denominated in crypto must use the cryptocurrency in cryptocurrency. This allows UNICEF and our donors to better understand where the investment is being spent,” he explained.
A fitting use for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies considering their core ethos—that of making money accessible and free-for-all.
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