New York — UN Children's agency becomes first UN Organization to hold and make transactions in cryptocurrency
UNICEF will now be able to receive, hold and disburse donations of cryptocurrencies ether and bitcoin, through its newly-established UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund. In a first for United Nations organizations, UNICEF will use cryptocurrencies to fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world.
Under the structure of the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund, contributions will be held in their cryptocurrency of contribution, and granted out in the same cryptocurrency.
"This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF," said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. "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."
The first contributions to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund will be received from the Ethereum Foundation and will benefit three grantees of the UNICEF Innovation Fund - and a project coordinated by the GIGA initiative to connect schools across the world to the internet.
"The Ethereum Foundation is excited to demonstrate the power of what Ethereum and blockchain technology can do for communities around the world. Together with UNICEF, we're taking action with the Cryptofund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources," said Aya Miyaguchi, Executive Director of the Ethereum Foundation. "We aim to support the research and development of the Ethereum platform, and to grow the community of those that benefit from a technology that will better countless lives and industries in the years to come. We'd like to thank UNICEF and the UNICEF family of national committees for their leadership as we create real progress together."
The Ethereum Foundation will make its initial donation through the French National Committee for UNICEF.
UNICEF national committees of USA, Australia and New Zealand also accept cryptocurrency.
The launch of the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund is part of UNICEF's ongoing work with blockchain technology. UNICEF co-leads the UN Innovation Network with WFP. The network is responsible for researching the potential and pitfalls of blockchain and other emerging technologies.