A growing number of charities in South Asia are accepting donations via cryptocurrency, in the hope that this will increase contributions from those working in the finance and tech sectors.
‘Donations of all kinds are important to our work across South Asia, helping to tackle widespread poverty, inequality, and injustice,’ a spokeswoman for the British Asian Trust said. The British Asian Trust was founded in 2007 and carries out projects in South Asia.
Other charities which have moved into the digital world include WaterAid, which carries out work in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and accepts money from dozens of cryptocurrencies via its crypto wallet Gemini.
Penny Appeal, a UK charity which raised funds after the floods in Pakistan last summer, also accepts crypto donations through a tool on its website.
Penny Appeal’s founder Adeem Younis said: ‘It is making a huge difference. Rather than having a crypto wallet, transferring it to a sterling account, liquidating the crypto then transferring it. Crypto is easy, one click. You can do it on your mobile phone, it’s so simple.’
Crypto donations are still widely considered risky, given the wildly fluctuating value of different cryptocurrencies. Charities that accept a crypto donation would have to decide the best way to handle their crypto.
But the charities that have chosen to start accepting crypto see the risk as worth it – and a way to engage younger donors, especially young donors in the tech industry. And several high-profile charity organisations – including United Way Worldwide and UNICEF – accept crypto donations, legitimising the practice for other charities.