The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched a campaign to encourage gamers and cryptocurrency miners to help raise money for Syrian children through the use of blockchain technology. The campaign, which was launched on February 2, 2018, aims to collect funds through mining that will be used to help provide services to children.
By connecting to the blockchain to use processing power to add additional blocks to the existing blockchain, thus expanding it, the miner will earn payment in the form of ether, the Ethereum cryptocurrency. These proceeds will then go to charity, to be used in Syria to help the 9 million children there who are lacking access to resources.
As of this writing, the project, called “Game Chaingers” currently has 786 participants. The project has raised over €2700 thus far. Anyone who wants to participate can go to the website, install a third-party mining program called Claymore, and then let their processor go to work. The payments will be made to UNICEF through the Ethermine mining pool.
This is an excellent example of the myriad uses of blockchain technology. UNICEF is not the first organization to use blockchain to raise funds, and most certainly will not be the last. The United Nations World Food Programme has used Ethereum to provide food to refugees in Jordan’s Azraq camp. By doing so, these charities also cut out middlemen, saving additional money by not having to pay costly fees.
We expect to see more of this going forward, as it could prove to be valuable for both the blockchain as well as charities and other organizations while also providing a way for more people to easily contribute to causes without expending significant time and effort, which seem to be in short supply these days. By utilizing blockchain to raise funds, charities are also able to increase the transparency of the transactions, which is important to contributors and helps to provide clarity as to the uses of the money.
In addition to the mining, UNICEF is also accepting donations in more traditional forms, including cash and online. UNICEF is also looking to expand into the cryptocurrency market, and is currently accepting applications (through February 28) for startups who would like to receive seed money for their projects.
Hopefully this will prove to be a successful endeavor, and will provide some financial relief to children in Syria who are struggling, and will further empower aid organizations to source funds, increase transparency, and cut down on costs related to fundraising as well as transactions.