Not enough is said about charity and the blockchain revolution, nor, not much is said about the power cryptocurrency holds in terms of its potential to issue finances to people who need it most.
Within humanity, the need for charity often means that you have reached a last resort. With no finances to hand, often no address or registration documents, getting hold of a bank account is almost impossible. Without a bank account and a place to call home, getting a job is equally difficult. But without these things, how is a person or a community expected to look after themselves, never mind those around them.
Because of this, it can often be logistically very difficult to offer direct financial help to people in need, they don’t always have the infrastructure around them that allows them to deal with cash donations, that’s why charities take donations on behalf of communities and trade them for things like volunteers, aid packages and the likes. Essentially, its much more viable to provide help to someone in need than it is to give them the finances to help themselves.
This obviously doesn’t apply to every case of charity, keep in mind charities for homelessness, humanitarian crises after natural disasters and refugees and what I’m saying does stand up.
Donating via the blockchain is not a novel concept, it’s been done before, but I still don’t think enough people know about it.
That’s where companies such as GiveDirectly come into play. GiveDirectly is a charity catalyst that locates people in need of financial support. After putting them through a series of testing to ensure their needs are genuine, GiveDirectly will appeal for donations through their website. When a person donates, the finances go directly to the appeal they are donating to, the money goes into the hands of the people in need and not through a charity representative, campaign or other initiative.
GiveDirectly also allows donators to send messages to those they are donating to, personalising the process somewhat. The difference with GiveDirectly comes via two aspects, first of all the people who receive the money can spend it on whatever they like, generally something they need, as opposed to something a charity says they need. But also, and most relevantly to this article, GiveDirectly allows donations via Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum.
There are loads of advantages to donating in cryptocurrency, aside from its transparency, traceability and high value, cryptocurrency donations can be given to people who don’t have traditional bank accounts. Provided the receiver has the right knowledge and access to the internet, they can do something with that cryptocurrency, GiveDirectly are able to issue mobile phones to those who need them, to allow this sort of donation to have an effect.
Overall this area needs to be explored further, I for one am very interested in whether or not people feel like they can donate more in cryptocurrency than they would in standard currency. Like with many cryptocurrency services, the application of donating money in cryptocurrency does need to be simplified before it reaches the mainstream, teams like GiveDirectly are certainly contributing to this, lets hope in the long run they make something of it.
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