The United Nations Children’s Fund, more commonly known as UNICEF, recently announced plans to use cryptos to fund internet in public schools. This can be a difference-maker since about 364 million children are falling behind without the internet, according to a UNICEF report.
According to UNICEF, this fund represents the first time any agency in the UN umbrella has accepted cryptocurrency.
More About the Plan
According to reports, the organization intends to use cryptos donated by a number of organizations, including the Ethereum Foundation, to fund the project.
UNICEF introduced a crypto fund that can distribute, hold, and receive Ether and Bitcoin donations at the recently held conference, Devcon.
The Ethereum Foundation initiated the funding by donating 100 ETH and 1 BTC to the fund – worth a little over $25,000 collectively.
UNICEF blockchain lead, Christina Lomazzo and the head of UNICEF Ventures, Chris Fabian, explained that the funds will initially go to an initiative called Project Connect. Its goal is to provide and improve internet access in public schools around the world. Fabian discussed the thought behind the project. He said:
“Paying for school connectivity, seeing a light go on for a school [on the Project Connect map] and being able to record that on a ledger … this gives you a full cycle [of accountability]. I don’t know many other things that can show the power of a truly distributed financial system in that way.”
Things Are Already Looking Good
The project has already received immense support from different countries, including Kenya, Kazakhstan, Sierra Leone, and Kyrgyzstan.
Digital payments are the “need of the hour”, according to Fabian, and are the way of the future for UNICEF and the UN.
He talked about the importance of having a secure financial system while highlighting the importance of blockchain:
“We spent the last two years building up this capacity [of setting up a crypto fund],” said Fabian. “We’re sharing that capacity with other [UN] organizations, so they don’t have to the same legal and finance work we did.”
Fabian also spoke about the precedence that this initiative sets not only for organizations in the UN umbrella but also for non-profits in general.
“Not only can we take crypto assets on board, but we can also hold them as crypto and then disperse them in the same way. That’s important because we don’t need to convert them to fiat, we don’t lose the ability to have monitoring, accountability and programmability of value.”
Learn more on how blockchain technology is being used to track minerals in Africa :