Sun. Apr 11th, 2021

Global children’s charity UNICEF is looking to greatly expand its use of cryptocurrency as it aims to respond to the demands of donors and better support companies around the world in their fight against the effects of Covid-19.

UNICEF announced last month that it is to invest 125 ether (worth around $28,500) in eight companies from seven different countries as part of its cryptocurrency fund (CryptoFund) aimed at addressing global challenges.

This could be followed in the months ahead by a similar fund which using bitcoin, according to UNICEF blockchain lead, Christina Lomazzo.

“To date, we haven’t had any large bitcoin donors, but we’re very much looking forward to bringing a large donor onboard,” she tells Finextra Research.

In addition, UNICEF is looking to build a “consumable block explorer”, which would allow the general public to follow the trail of funds, as well as a set of internal tools to track balances and valuations across different crypto exchanges.

“This would help us work with cryptocurrency better as an organisation and further enable the crypto funds to support the companies that we’re working with,” Lomazzo adds.

Benefits of crypto

The eight recipients of CryptoFund have already been provided $100,000 in fiat money from the UNICEF Innovation Fund to develop open-source digital services that can tackle economic, health and educational problems in the recipients’ home countries.

The CryptoFund is aimed at supplementing this initiative to help companies specifically address the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has brought to a head the problems that UNICEF’s funds are seeking to tackle, such as food supply and education.

Investees have sought to mitigate some of the damaging effects of the pandemic on children through collaboration with governments and other local organisations in tracking delivery of food, offering remote learning and tending to other problems caused by lockdown and isolation.

Among the companies receiving 125 ether are StaTwig from India which is piloting a blockchain-based app designed to track the delivery of rice to impoverished communities and Utopic from Chile which aims to help improve children’s literacy from their homes using a WebVR-powered learning game.

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