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UNICEF launches crypto fund, accepting donations in bitcoin and ether

Yogita Khatri

UNICEF, the United Nations’ charity arm for children, has launched a cryptocurrency fund and is accepting donations in bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

Announcing the news on Tuesday, UNICEF said the initiative has been rolled out to fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world.

UNICEF said it will receive as well as grant donations in BTC and ETH via the fund. “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,” said Henrietta Fore, executive director of UNICEF.

The Ethereum Foundation is the first donor to the fund, having granted three startups - Prescrypto, Atix Labs and Utopixar - “which work in the areas of prescription tracking, matching investors and those needing funding, and community tokens and engagement.”

While the UNICEF did not disclose the amount of the grants, the Ethereum Foundation recently reportedly said that it sent 100 ETH (~ $18,000) to UNICEF.

“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.

This is not the first time UNICEF is exploring blockchain technology. Earlier this year, the charitable organization was in talks with the government of Kyrgyzstan to leverage blockchain technology to provide Internet access to every school in the central Asian country.

Last December, UNICEF granted $100,000 to six blockchain startups to solve issues ranging from healthcare to managing finances and resources.