Category Archives: charity

Auto Added by WPeMatico

Closing Charities’ Accountability Gap Through Blockchain Technology

Humanitarian Blockchain

a BitcoinNews.com series

   Part 3: Closing Charities’ Accountability Gap Through Blockchain Technology

          Welcome to the third installment of the Bitcoin News Humanitarian Blockchain Series. Charity begins at home, but the growing question being asked over the past few years is, where does it actually go?  We try to highlight some of the current solutions being presented by blockchain technology to this essential industry

The track record of the charity industry has been, regrettably, far from exemplary, and in some instances, at worst, disgraceful. Well-publicized scandals over the past few years have seen a decline in the public donations to charitable organizations, with some of those intuitions being brought into disrepute by misappropriation of public funds or inappropriate behavior of field staff.

Even now, a US investigation is looking into fraudulent identity activity in Myanmar where refugees fingerprints from amongst the Chin minority are causing confusion as fraudsters purchase refugees’ identities for their own ends. Also, in Bangladesh many Rohingya refugees in safe-harbor there have been registered multiple times and records of family groups have been almost non-existent,

Using Blockchain to clean up the industry is possibly the only way that many charitable institutions can survive, and regain public trust by demonstrating a greater level of transparency and accountability.

The main barriers to success in the humanitarian field have been lowering the impact of administration, transportation and documentation cost on donated funds, and making every aspect of donations totally transparent from source to final delivery of the benefit to the recipient.

Charities have been slow to take up the obvious benefits that can be offered to the industry. In fact, it is no exaggeration to suggest that there could be no more obvious and beneficial use case for DLT than its solution to the accountability problems that charities are currently suffering.

Luckily some organizations are on board, but far too few. The World Food Programme (WFP) has been quick to realise the potential of blockchain solutions. As Bitcoin News reported in the first of its humanitarian series, the uses in Jordan’s refugee camps has been essential, in not only feeding and providing work for Syrian refugees but also creating a renewed feeling of self-worth, particularly against female escapees from the war in Syria.

Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, as far back as 2011, was trying to deal with how to get donated funds from a source. At the time, a massive $40 billion was failing to reach its intended recipients, the money was diverted to corrupt officials and middlemen. Seven years on, the blockchain is now being used by the WFP to tackle this problem. Gustav Stromfelt, one of the project managers working on the WFP’s program commented:

“We have this rapid ability to understand where our money is throughout the process…It improves transparency, accountability, and communication across the board.”

This UN-supported programme in Jordan uses dollars at this stage, not cryptocurrency, but through DLT every cent is accounted for right up to the purchase and delivery of physical goods.

Charities accepting cryptocurrencies, and there have been many, were badly hit by the drop in the value of Bitcoin at the end of 2017 and much of the funds were seriously diminished before funds could be dispersed. Silicon Valley Community Foundation revealed in its 2017 audit 45% of its investment assets were unable to be turned into cash in 2018 due to government restrictions.

Many of these problems are now being overcome through online mining schemes which benefit charities and straight crypto donations fund by such organisations as Children in Need and others.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by 24-hour trading volume, has recently tried to address some of these issues with the announcement of a Blockchain Charity Foundation which aims to plug the transparency gap for multiple organisations with its planned donation tracking system: Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao explains:

“Lack of transparency has been a problem for charities today. Some estimate up to 80% of donations does not reach the intended beneficiaries. With the ability to track every single transaction, blockchain technology seems tailor-made to solve this problem.”

Although the Blockchain Charity Foundation is still at concept stage, Binance suggest that the system will allow donors to give to one or as many chosen charities as they want whilst retaining anonymity if they wish: The company commented:

“Each BCF program will have its unique receiving address(es). BCF may choose to donate directly to the ultimate beneficiaries or work with other charity partners who then distributes the funds to the ultimate beneficiaries. Either way, the funds will be tracked in a transparent manner.”

Solutions to past problems are slowly being presented through new technology, but clearly, more urgency is required to reshape the face of the charity industry and restore public face so that charity can transit from home to its needy target and arrive at its destination intact, as was intended from the source.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Closing Charities’ Accountability Gap Through Blockchain Technology appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Blockchain Startup Wins Partnership Deal at British Masters Tournament

In a move benefiting levels of awareness for the entire industry, one blockchain startup has managed to secure itself as an official sponsor of the British Masters Tournament, the largest professional golf tournament in the UK.

LIFElabs joins the ranks of TaylorMade, Adidas, and Ladbrokes as a partner of the Sky Sports British Masters tournament, also making a name for itself as the first cryptocurrency firm to make such a deal with a major golf tournament.

The startup describes its ambitions as to ”demystify the world of cryptocurrency”, assisting people in utilizing the sometimes inaccessible world of blockchain technology. It also has a philanthropic edge, donating one-third of the value of each its native tokens to humanitarian endeavors.

While benefiting from the massive exposure the partnership will bring them, LIFElabs hope they can promote the use of this token and consequently the charities that it supports.

The company has also constructed a competition for competitors in the golf tournament, with the first player achieving a 222-yard hole in one receiving GBP 12,000, matched with a donation to Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens and The European Tour Foundation.

”Both LIFElabs and the British Masters are looking to make a real difference to people’s lives, both here in the UK and across the rest of the world,” Luke Chittock, the chief executive of LIFElabs shared in a press release.

The British Masters tournament begins next week and will air on Sky Sports.

Crypto meets sports

The partnership further signals the popularity of cryptocurrency in the realm of professional sport.

In particular, it has become an increasingly popular choice for football teams to launch their own tokens. Notably, Brazilian team Avaí Futebol and top French club Paris Saint-Germain both announced their own crypto token sales last month.

Sportsbook Sportsbet.io have tapped into the increasingly popular overlap between cryptocurrency and sports, offering customers the chance to place bets on sporting events using Bitcoin.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Blockchain Startup Wins Partnership Deal at British Masters Tournament appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Binance to Share, Donate Crypto Listing Fees

Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced on Monday that it will now provide full transparency regarding cryptocurrency listings fees, while also donating these funds to charity. The changes are effective immediately.

Currently, token projects that wish to be listed on the exchange platform propose their own fees for this. In an official company blog post detailing the policy changes, the process for the project team is said to not change, but rather than being dubbed a listing fee it will now be regarded as a charitable donation.

Binance says it will not impose a figure for the token projects to pay, nor a minimum donation.

The exchange’s charity division, the Blockchain Charity Foundation, was launched in July this year with an aim of promoting blockchain solutions for humanitarian projects. Helen Hai chairs the foundation, in addition to her position as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

A large donation does not guarantee or in any way influence the outcome of our listing review process,” Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao writes in the post, who has remained throughout Binance’s history adamant that the company will not be influenced by large amounts of capital to list subpar tokens.

The platform has indeed come under scrutiny this year over these particular fees, which until today have remained nearly always undisclosed by both parties.

Just got a new @binance listing quote. 400 BTC

— Christopher Franko 🧐 (@FrankoCurrency) August 8, 2018

When the CEO of a cryptocurrency project Tweeted in August that Binance had supposedly quoted him BTC 400 in order to have his company’s token listed, Zhao denied that Binance would ever quote fees to a potential client in an email. “We don’t list shitcoins even if they pay 400 or 4,000 BTC… Question is not ‘how much does Binance charge to list?’ but ‘is my coin good enough?’” he stated.

Binance is currently the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Binance to Share, Donate Crypto Listing Fees appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Malta Charity Partners with Blockchain Charity Foundation for Improved Accountability

The President’s Trust, a state-backed charity organization in Malta, has signed an agreement to partner with the Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF), a move which has received praise from Maltese president Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.

Charity on the blockchain

As reported by local media outlet The Malta Independent on 25 September, Preca was speaking at a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) event organized by the BCF, Women Political Leaders Global Forum and Finance Center for South-South Cooperation.

At the event named “Blockchain for Social Good: Utilizing Blockchain to Aid Economic Development”, she spoke fondly of the partnership that improves transparency, accountability and reduces transaction costs for philanthropic endeavors, features of blockchain technologies that have chimed positively within the charity sector.

The President’s Trust is an organization that Preca founded and is a board member of. As written on the official website, the charity was set up to provide support for “vulnerable young people experiencing inequalities”.

Binance and Malta

The BCF is a non-profit organization initiated by cryptocurrency exchange Binance, a company that in March 2018 announced its relocation to blockchain-friendly Malta, a move that drew a great deal of attention from the global community.

Preca, who is also a chairperson of the BCF’s Senior Advisory Board, said, “In my role as chairperson of the Senior Advisory Board, of the Blockchain Charity Foundation, I believe that we will have the ability to utilize such innovations to improve the socio-economic conditions experienced by too many individuals and families who are living in precarity or vulnerability.”

President Preca praised other ongoing efforts by the BCF to utilize blockchain technologies in order to meet the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She believes that blockchain can be transformative for the creation and regulation of charitable organizations in the future.

Humanitarian

Reflecting on the growing potential of blockchain technology for businesses and other organizations, the president drew comparisons between the tech and trust saying that they were “at the core of our socio-economic interactions, thereby boosting transparency and emphasizing the importance of an economy and a society which is built upon trust”.

Preca is confident that such transformations will provide a positive impact for most people, saying, “This is what real justice and effective social solidarity is all about.”

The president described the “ongoing” national development of blockchain legislation, the efforts of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, as well as “the Virtual Financial Assets Act, and the Technology Arrangements and Services Act”, which are all proving to be transformative forces on the island, encouraging those present at the side-event to explore Malta as a leader in blockchain regulation and what it this offers to businesses.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Malta Charity Partners with Blockchain Charity Foundation for Improved Accountability appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Namibian Crypto Fundraiser to Save African Wild Dog

A traveler to Namibia has decided to raise funds in cryptocurrency in order to save African wildlife.

When she was in Namibia, Nadja Leroux first accounted cryptocurrency when she was sent a small amount of Bitcoin Cash, enabling her to make transactions even while in the African bush. On returning home, she has now decided to put her new-found knowledge to good use by raising funds towards saving 4,500 African wild dogs.

The African wild dog, also known as African hunting dog, African painted dog, painted hunting dog, or painted wolf, is a canine native to sub-Saharan Africa. It was classified as an endangered species in 2016 and the global population is now down to around 6,000 adults in total.

Leroux now intends to buy an iPad for analysis and record keeping while she attempts to raise the funds needed for her donation of USD 1,600 for the equipment needed, which is likely to be used for tracking the animals and ensuring their safety. She has spent 121 days in the field setting up her project, and so far she has raised USD 33 in cryptocurrency.

Still in Africa, Zimbabwe’s new government is examining cryptocurrency after commenting that it appears that governments who are crypto positive, like Switzerland, are in good shape. The country’s new finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, believes that cryptocurrencies may have a role in bringing the failing economy back on track.

In Uganda, RightMesh AD has listed its token on the country’s Golix exchange with the aim to bring online more Ugandans also Africans throughout the continent. The company has been giving crypto handouts as an incentive to participate in the project which aims to increase connectivity.

A new report by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has outlined that Africa will need to invest more in internet connectivity in order to maintain the continent’s current pace of cryptocurrency adoption.

The popularity of Bitcoin in Africa continues to grow as a result of the presence of cryptocurrency exchange platforms. There are benefits to cryptocurrency ownership that are unique to the African continent, many devolving from the widespread unstable economic conditions.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Namibian Crypto Fundraiser to Save African Wild Dog appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

China Tracks Charity Donations with Blockchain

The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) in China has commented that the government is planning to implement blockchain technology in order to track charitable donations.

The Chinese plan is very much in line with many governments and NGOs around the globe, many of whom are already utilizing the technology in the sector.

While technological innovations have been boosting capital in practically every other industry, the charity sector has fallen behind. Millennials especially just don’t seem to have confidence in an industry that has had scathing media coverage of improper practice, damaging commercial partnerships and a lack of transparency when it comes down to seeing how donations are distributed.

MCA has just released its four-year blockchain plan for charities, principally to enhance supply chain transparency in the sector, promising to integrate blockchain into charitable institutions systems by the end of the year. The ministry appears to be moving very quickly on this, suggesting that online charities will be connected to government charity databases in the oncoming months, promising to build:

“… a tamper-proof charity organization information query system and enhance the authority, transparency and public trust of information publishing and search services.”

A report conducted by independent think tank Charity Futures concluded that charities have yet to engage with blockchain with the kind of urgency required to keep up with technological advances. The study, ‘Nothing to Lose (But Your Chains)‘, was clear in pointing out that the charity sector had as yet failed to tap significantly into available blockchain technologies.

The report recommends the use of DLT by creating a transparent, end-to-end supply chain for each project. This means that all those involved – government departments, NGOs, funders, charities, local offices, delivery partners, and the individuals receiving the benefit have access up to the moment information regarding the funds or supplies donated.

Some charities and NGOs are getting it right, however. Along with IBM, both the UN and the World Food Programme (WFP) are now proactively using blockchain to record transactions.

The Chinese government has announced that it also intends to integrate blockchain into a range of social services programs.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post China Tracks Charity Donations with Blockchain appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

NGO in Tanzania Registers First Babies on Blockchain

A Dutch-based NGO working in Africa has teamed up with AID:Tech on a women’s aid project in Tanzania by using blockchain tech to assist pregnant women.

AID:Tech is an award-winning company that focuses on the delivery of digital entitlements, including welfare, aid, remittance and donations using blockchain and digital identity. The company was the first in the world to successfully deliver international aid to Syrian Refugees in Lebanon using blockchain technology, according to Wikipedia. The Dutch NGO, PharmAccess, works on projects in Africa and uses blockchain to make aid delivery more efficient.

The AID:Tech platform describes itself as a company which offers digital identity, represented by a blockchain wallet address. Each identity profile is unique and documents every transaction associated with it. Each digital identity can also be used to receive, send and hold digital entitlements. Each profile is both an identity solution and a built-in tool for managing social and financial entitlements.

The Tanzanian project’s main focus is not simply targeted at pregnant mothers, as it also ensures that beneficiaries receive supplies and services including pharmaceutical necessities. The blockchain program being used by the team ensures that individual women can be tracked for receipt of benefits, vitamins, doctor appointments and medication through AID:Tech’s digital ID system. This ensures that funds arrive at the nominated source correctly and that post-natal treatment is being properly delivered.

Postnatal treatment is clearly not the only thing that the program can deliver, as this month, using the new digital system, the births of three babies were recorded on the blockchain, reportedly the technology’s first of its kind.

Charities are currently receiving poor press because of recent developments, particularly reporting that sexual predators are working for international aid organizations where they can abuse children, young girls and women from vulnerable communities. Little appears to be done despite reassurances from the UN that charities such as Oxfam and Save the Children will take immediate action.

Another problem has been aid actually reaching its designated beneficiaries or donations being carelessly monitored and utilized. CEO of AID:Tech Joseph Thompson was reportedly inspired to launch this latest fundraiser due to a charity in the past losing his donation, which ended up not reaching those it was targeted for. A more successful project in 2015 saw it successfully deliver 500 food vouchers to a Lebanese camp for Syrian Refugees.

Such programs can go a long way to restoring much of the trust that has been lost in charitable organizations over recent years, also reminding the public that new technologies will be the key to making NGOs and private charity activities far more transparent and trustworthy.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post NGO in Tanzania Registers First Babies on Blockchain appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Blood, Lambos, Earn Kevin Abosh $1M from Crypto Art

An artist’s desire to experiment with conceptual cryptocurrency art connected to elements of his physical body, including his own blood and luxury icon Lamborghinis, have made Kevin Abosch over USD 1 million.

Kevin Abosch is a conceptual artist and photographer that lives in New York and has been experimenting with cryptocurrency art. One of his artworks, Forever Rose, is considered the most valuable virtual artwork in history and the most expensive piece of art ever stored on a blockchain.

In January, he created 10 million IAMA Coin tokens using the Ethereum ERC-20 protocol, and had the desire to not just let these tokens be pieces of digital art, but to somehow connect them to his physical body. He accomplished this by drawing six vials of blood, and then stamping 100 blockchain addresses where the IAMA Coins reside onto 100 separate pieces of paper using his blood.

There is a notion in the cryptocurrency world that profits from Bitcoin’s colossal rise are being used to buy Lamborghinis, the popular and extremely expensive Italian sports car, and Kevin Abosch made a piece of art based on this. He created an ERC-20 token named YLAMBO, short for Yellow Lamborghini, and turned its blockchain address into a glowing yellow neon sculpture. The sculpture was purchased by Michael Jackson – former Skype COO and not the deceased singer – for USD 400,000.

The most expensive piece of cryptocurrency art that Kevin Abosch has created has no physical presence, but a digital ERC-20 token named Forever Rose. The Forever Rose token was purchased by 10 collectors who spent USD 100,000 of cryptocurrency each. Payments were made via IAMA Coins and GTO Coins on the GIFTO platform, which is a decentralized exchange of virtual gifts. Each collector received a tenth of the Forever Rose. All the money collected from the sale of Forever Rose was donated to CoderDojo, which teaches children programming for free.

His next project is tokenizing Manhattan; he has created a token for every street on the island and printed ERC-20 contract addresses on a 6-foot high map. Collectors will be able to send a few dollars of Ethereum to each address in order to purchase the associated token.

Abosch’s Yellow Lambo sculpture and a picture of an IAMA Coin address stamped with his blood can be viewed in this New York Times article. He is planning on continuing his experimentation with cryptocurrency art.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

The post Blood, Lambos, Earn Kevin Abosh $1M from Crypto Art appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Charities Must Embrace Blockchain to Make Genuine Impact, Report Says

A report conducted by independent think tank Charity Futures concluded that charities have yet to engage with blockchain with the kind of urgency required to keep up with technological advances, writes Live Bitcoin News.

The study, ‘Nothing to Lose (But Your Chains)’, was clear in pointing out that the charity sector had as yet failed to tap significantly into available blockchain technologies.

Asheem Singh, former interim chief executive of the charity’s lead body Acevo, who commissioned the report, said that blockchain held great potential for charity organizations. “Blockchain could herald the sort of seismic changes in the charity sector as the digital revolution before it,” he wrote.

The report suggests that there is one area of significance where blockchain could make the most impact should it be employed. Foreign aid was singled out, noting that aid distributed by the UK government currently stands at 0.7% of GDP, which in 2016 was GBP 12.7 billion. International aid has been susceptible to corruption and bureaucracy in many receiving countries, which are exactly the kinds of problems that blockchain’s accountability can address.

Many charity organizations are dragging their heels regarding the new technology according to the report. “Despite the potential benefits, the charity sector is currently behind the curve on blockchain technology,” the study said.

The report recommends the use of DLT by creating a transparent, end-to-end supply chain for each project. This means that all those involved – government departments, NGOs, funders, charities, local offices, delivery partners, and the individuals receiving the benefit have access up to the moment information regarding the funds or supplies donated.

Some charities and NGOs are getting it right, however. Along with IBM, both the UN and the World Food Programme (WFP) are now proactively using blockchain to record transactions.

As previously covered by Bitcoin News, WFP has been employing the blockchain in a number of its projects and making a significant impact in the field as a result. In just one of its recent programs, the organization has distributed cryptocurrency-based food vouchers to more than 100,000 Syrian refugees living in Jordan, bypassing bureaucracy and getting aid to where it’s needed.

Singh feels that it is time charities came together with those actually creating the technology, in order to fully draw on its potential across the whole sector.

“It may be time for the sector to convene a high-level task force that brings together charity leaders and technologists… to articulate the contribution blockchain can and should make to the charity sector and the problems it is trying to address.”

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

The post Charities Must Embrace Blockchain to Make Genuine Impact, Report Says appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Refugee Charity Receives Huge Crypto Donation

The New York-based charity Give Directly has announced that it has received a donation of USD 1 million from startup OmiseGo and Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.

Give Directly uses publicly available data on poverty to enroll recipients, region by region, using GPS technology in order to establish genuine cases of extreme poverty. Once no irregularities are discovered, a payment is sent using SMS of around USD 1,000, or the nearest equivalent to a year’s living costs, via local money agents in the recipient’s town or village. Safeguards have been put in place to ensure that electronic funds have been received correctly. The current focus of the charity is the refugee crisis in Uganda.

The charity has been appealing for support since 2013 and to date has received donations totalling over USD 200 million. Companies such as Google, eBay, and Facebook are just some of the charity’s donors. Give Directly now plans to align itself to the crypto industry and seek its support, encouraging both high profile figures and the general public to engage in its charity raising projects. The most simple way to donate is by using the charity’s crypto wallet.

Jun Hasegawa, CEO of Omise, OmiseGo’s parent company, recently reflected on just how much the crypto economy had grown over the course of a year, often “bringing a great deal of wealth to many people and organizations” and suggested that “extravagant generosity” was the way to go for the future rather than harboring newly found wealth.

There’s been a significant rise in recent years in charities which are now supported by cryptocurrency donations. Some of these have joined a growing establishment of charities accepting Bitcoin donations such as: Electronic Frontier Foundation, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, WikiLeaks, Antiwar.com, Watsi, Water Project, Code to Inspire, Bitgive and Epic Change.

Charities trialling Bitcoin donations are on the rise. More familiar High Street names include such well-known organizations as the Red Cross and Save the Children.

 

The post Refugee Charity Receives Huge Crypto Donation appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.