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OCTOBER 22nd, 2019

Use of Cryptocurrency Extends to Greater Humanitarian Cause as UNICEF Launches Cryptocurrency Fund

When people hear the words cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and more, they immediately think about online investments, crypto trading platforms, bitcoin mining businesses, and wealth generation activities. But are cryptocurrencies really just about growing your investments and becoming rich?

For many years since Bitcoin and blockchain technology have been introduced to the world, innovators have also discovered wonderful ways to use the technology behind cryptocurrency for the benefit of various industries such as healthcare, transportation, banking and finance, economy, governance, and logistics, among others.

Because of the proven benefits of adopting cryptocurrencies and using blockchain, even the humanitarian aid industry is starting to acknowledge them and even promote crypto's use in their efforts to alleviate global poverty, prevent human diseases, and improve the living conditions of the marginalized sectors.

On October 8, 2019, the UNICEF launched its Cryptocurrency Fund which essentially makes it as the first United Nations Organization to ever hold and make transactions in cryptocurrencies. According to their press release, the United Nations Children's Fund uses cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to fund open source technologies that benefit children and young people across the globe.

As a matter of fact, the very first cryptocurrency donation that the UNICEF received was from the Ethereum Foundation and will be used to fund projects that aim to connect schools across the world to the internet. Because of blockchain technology, the organization is hoping to see a great improvement in the lives of children by equalizing access to basic rights and living resources.

As of the moment, there are only four UNICEF National Committees that are authorized to receive crypto donations - UNICEF France, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. All these national committees have been ordered to follow the standard protocols in the financial technology and the crypto industry such as the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) regulations. Because of the KYC, it is therefore clear that the UNICEF will not be accepting Ethereum or Bitcoin donations from anonymous sources. According to Sunita Grote, UNICEF's Fund Manager, they aim to improve the funding processes and also hope to increase the national committees that accept donations in cryptocurrencies soon.

So how will UNICEF go by the disbursement of such funds? Will they be converting Bitcoin according to the prevailing BTC price or exchange crypto for government fiat? Will they use crypto funding like Bitcoin traders who exchange the digital asset for fiat and other currencies?

As Sunita Grote asserts during an interview by CoinTelegraph,

"No, cryptocurrency-based donations will not be converted to government-backed currencies. The idea is to receive, hold, and disburse crypto as crypto. At no point in the process does it get converted into any other currency. This allows us to fully leverage the benefits that crypto offers.

We can track all transactions via the blockchain and can see how recipients use the funds. Recipients have also agreed to not convert the funds into any other digital asset or government-backed currency. UNICEF appreciates that all transactions are stored in the blockchain, and this is part of the reason why we prefer to leave crypto as crypto."

The launch of UNICEF's Cryptocurrency Fund is definitely a step forward to further blockchain and crypto adoption of the public across the globe. This only proves that digital currencies are not merely for wealth building through crypto trading but also for a greater humanitarian purpose such as this.

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