Here is Why UNICEF is Now Accepting Donations Through Cryptocurrencies Ether and Bitcoin

UN Children’s agency (UNICEF) has become the first United Nation's Organization to hold and make transactions in cryptocurrency.

UNICEF logo via

On the 9th of October, 2019 UNICEF announced via its website, "it will now be able to receive, hold and disburse donations of cryptocurrencies ether and bitcoin, through its newly-established UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund."

The move is the first for United Nations organizations as UNICEF will use cryptocurrencies to fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world.

Under the structure of the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund, contributions will be held in their cryptocurrency of contribution, and granted out in the same cryptocurrency.

According to Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director,

 “This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF. If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer. That’s why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Fund is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work."

The first contributions to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund will be received from the Ethereum Foundation and will benefit three grantees of the UNICEF Innovation Fund – and a project coordinated by the GIGA initiative to connect schools across the world to the internet.

“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.

“We aim to support the research and development of the Ethereum platform, and to grow the community of those that benefit from a technology that will better countless lives and industries in the years to come. We'd like to thank UNICEF and the UNICEF family of national committees for their leadership as we create real progress together.”

The Ethereum Foundation will make its initial donation through the French National Committee for UNICEF. UNICEF national committees of USA, Australia and New Zealand also accept cryptocurrency.

The launch of the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund is part of UNICEF’s ongoing work with blockchain technology. UNICEF co-leads the UN Innovation Network with WFP. The network is responsible for researching the potential and pitfalls of blockchain and other emerging technologies.

In an interview with cointelegraph, Sunita Grote, Program Funding Manager for UNICEF Innovation, said Cryptocurrency Could Revolutionize Humanitarian Aid.

According to her “At UNICEF’s Office of Innovation, we explore various technologies to see if and how various applications can benefit children.

We have been exploring the use of blockchain for a few years, and there are three key benefits: 

  • It lets us tap into a new resource base for UNICEF and expand our network to receive contribution,

  • Blockchain can improve efficiency and transparency by tracking the flow of resources and transactions in a more transparent way.  
 Blockchain makes us more accountable and has the potential to reduce the amount of resources we need to do our work.

We’re a $7 billion global organization that conducts a lot of transactions between various parts of our organization, so we are looking to see how blockchain can help us manage and track these in a more efficient way. 

  • We are exploring how how blockchain can disrupt and improve systems that deliver programs for children. Blockchain may allow us to make payments in a new way and improve how cash transfers are made.

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