UNICEF launches cryptocurrency fund – with Ethereum Foundation the first contributor


UNICEF has launched a cryptocurrency fund focused on Ether and Bitcoin, enabling the agency to receive, hold and disburse donations.

The move makes UNICEF the first UN organisation to hold and make transactions in cryptocurrency, with the first major contributor being the Ethereum Foundation. According to reports, the figure donated will be $18,000.

Under the structure of the UNICEF cryptocurrency fund, contributions will be held in the cryptocurrency of choice – here of course Ethereum – then held and be able to be taken out in the same currency.

“This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF,” said executive director Henrietta Fore in a statement. “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.

“That’s why the creation of our cryptocurrency fund is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work,” added Fore.

It’s evidently a tough time for the United Nations right now, with rosary bead rattling and hands in pockets aplenty. Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, told member states earlier this week that ‘work and reforms’ were at risk. The concerns are around “the worst cash crisis facing the United Nations in nearly a decade,” Guterres wrote. “The organisation runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month and defaulting on payments to staff and vendors.”

Two thirds of member states have paid their regular annual dues, yet the UN warned others need to pay up ‘urgently and in full.’

The Ethereum Foundation will make its initial donation through UNICEF’s French national committee, with committees in Australia, New Zealand and the USA also able to accept cryptocurrency.

Interested in hearing more in person? Find out more at the Blockchain Expo World Series, Global, Europe and North America. 

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