Team teamwork business join hand together concept Power of volunteer charity work Stack of people hand

Blockchains in Charity – An improvement?

Over the years, decentralized systems have been used several times for charity funding. A large number of charities and fundraising foundations have started to implement blockchain technology for their donations. Usually, those are the two main networks of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, Bitcoin and Ethereum. The charities belong to various and significantly different sectors of society. Many of them are trying to solve issues regarding food, education, and humanitarian crises.

Blockchain Implementations

There are a couple of organizations worth mentioning when speaking about blockchain use cases for Charity. The list includes organizations such as The World Food Programme, the Red Cross, Wikimedia, EFF, Save the Children, or Alice, which all have participated in various blockchain-based projects.

Most notably, technologically advanced organizations like Alice have used the Ethereum platform to facilitate donations in the past. It is a platform where everyone can start a fundraiser for a charitable cause. It is easy to host your own project, and foster cryptocurrency donations to solve the issue. Additionally, they offer an excellent feedback platform that helps donors to trace the impact of their contribution, giving them an edge over other fundraising platforms. Also, the World Food Programme (WFP), which started as an experimental project in 2017, has been able to raise funds for over 10,000 Syrian refugees using cryptocurrencies. These funds are used to provide food and essential social amenities for the refugees.

Arguments for Blockchain Charity

Blockchain charity prevents a whole lot of problems associated with fundraising. When funds are raised in a conventional way, sometimes money goes missing in transaction fees or organisation costs, before it reaches its destination. Blockchains cancel this risk, as transactions are traceable and organized. They offer safe, transparent, and remote transactions. The main worry about charitable giving is often the negative influence of organisation fees. Many administrators and middlemen involved with charity foundations might take “their share” or be outright involved in corruption. As such, they are not dedicated to the safety and management of fallible human beings.

In the event of a theft, blockchains would provide the necessary information that something is going wrong. These worries can hang on the shoulders of blockchain technology. Blockchain-based charity helps to cut out all excesses, and produces the maximum benefit for the people that are in need of help. Last year in March, Britain’s Start Network teamed up with the social enterprise startup Disberse to use blockchain technology for charitable purposes. The network comprises of about 42 leading aid agencies such as Oxfam, Care International and Save the Children.

Disberse is a fund management platform owned by the British, that aims for transparent and efficient financial aid. The agency allows donors, governments, and NGOs to transfer and trace funds using distributed ledger technology. It helps them by providing detailed information for auditing, reporting and compliance trials. Recently, The English Heritage Organisation, a UK-based charity that oversees the care for historic sites, saw the great features that blockchains had to offer and implemented them to develop new ways of interacting with donors. The charity partnered with Giftcoin to allow donors the tracking of payments from the time they were made to when the funds are being spent.

Decentralisation of technology has proven itself to be efficient. It can help catering to war refugees, help provide support for natural disaster survivors around the world, or be used to send the less privileged to school by giving and raising funds via blockchain payments. The application of blockchains for charity purposes has brought grand innovation schemes to the technology as it allows donations for charity to become traceable and comprehensible, thereby making the whole system protected and fool-proof.

Featured Image via BigStock.

Authored By Zoran Spirkovski

First published: June 2, 2018 on




After an initial flurry of interest among merchants in accepting bitcoin in their retail or online stores, interest has largely died down as increasing bitcoin transaction fees and volatile price movements made it less attractive as a means of exchange

That doesn’t mean that there are no outlets to spend your bitcoin, however, far from it. It’s just that bitcoin volumes at these outlets has generally not met expectations, and by the time you read this, some may have discontinued that option.

At time of writing, however, you can still buy a wide range of goods and services with the cryptocurrency. Among the advantages of doing so are the ease of cross-border transactions, and anonymity (unless you want physical delivery, of course). By accepting bitcoin, merchants get access to a broader market, and don’t have to worry so much about chargebacks (where the buyers cancels the payment after receiving the product).

If you want to use bitcoin to buy presents, the most obvious solution is gift cards, via Gyft or eGifter. The recipient will then be able to spend the gift card at one of a wide range of retailers.

You can pay for flights and hotels with bitcoin, through ExpediaCheapAir and Surf Air. If your ambitions are loftier, you can pay for space travel with some of your vast holdings, through Virgin Galactic.

Microsoft accepts bitcoin in its app stores, where you can download movies, games and app-based services.

Some musicians (Bjork, Imogen Heep) will let you download their music in exchange for cryptocurrency.

Need to furnish your house or buy a special present for someone? Overstock was one of the first big retailers to start accepting bitcoin, back in 2014, and its founder – Patrick Byrne – is still one of the technology’s most active proponents.

Fancy some gold? Sharps PixleyAPMEX and JM Bullion will take bitcoin off your hands in exchange for bullion.

And if you’re hungry and live in the US, PizzaforCoins will get a pizza delivered to your door (depending on where you live) in exchange for bitcoin.

If it’s knowledge you’re hungry for, several private and public universities as well as a couple of New York preschools accept bitcoin.

Some legal and accounting firms also accept payment for their services in the cryptocurrency.

Of course, you could always buy yourself some happiness by donating to one of the bitcoin-accepting charities or crowdfunding sites, such as BitHopeBitGive or Fidelity Charitable.

For a list of offline stores near you that accept bitcoin, check an aggregator such as SpendBitcoins or CoinMap.

(Note: specific businesses mentioned here are not the only options available, and should not be taken as a recommendation.)


Authored by Noelle Acheson.

Last updated: 20th January 2018