A trend to donate in cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly common as news comes in today of a partnership between the Request Network (REQ) and Wikimedia, the non-profit foundation behind the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Announced on Friday, the partnership will see Wikimedia onboard the Request protocol so it can accept donations in cryptocurrency.
The Foundation will first test out the blockchain technology in its French chapter before expanding it across its global platform if successful.
By providing a framework for users to develop their own financial solutions, the Request protocol enables users to send and receive payments without the need for an intermediary. Having only gone live on the Ethereum main-net just over a month ago, the network has reportedly launched 200 requests successfully.
Bitcoin Aid Is Already A Thing
There has been a long philanthropic streak running through cryptocurrency since the beginning and many key figures and companies in the industry have donated large sums of money to charitable organisations.
Back in March, the Eth-powered scaling and exchange network, OmiseGo, as well as Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, both donated $1m to refugees in “extreme poverty”.
Most famously, and perhaps most mysteriously, the anonymous donor behind the Pineapple Fund has given $86m worth of Bitcoin to a host of charities, including projects to provide safe, clean drinking water to parts of Africa; a fund to directly finance individuals to undergo expensive medical treatment; as well as conservation programmes.
However what today’s announcement indicates is a growing awareness among big and established charitable organisations of the major benefits that blockchain can bring to their donation strategies.
Being decentralised, secure and transparent makes blockchain ideal for donation management. Not only do charities immediately receive donations without the need for a centralised payments processor, receiving to a public address means that donors will be able to see exactly what the money goes to.
Although the Wikimedia Foundation is one of the most high-profile charities to adopt cryptocurrency payments to date, over the past few years other charities have also moved in that direction.
The donor-advised fund Fidelity Charitable began accepting Bitcoin donations back in 2015 and also currently accepts Ethereum as well: back in February, the charity disclosed that it had received $69m worth of cryptocurrency donations in 2017.
Wikipedia has a lot to thank cryptocurrency, and more specifically Bitcoin, for attracting large amounts of users to its site. As reported by Crypto Briefing a couple of days ago, the Bitcoin wiki entry was the ninth most popular article in 2017.