Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has launched GiveCrypto, a new charity platform which will hold and distribute cryptocurrencies to people in need, according to a Medium post, published June 27.
Armstrong said that while he believes cryptocurrency has the potential to create more innovation and change the world, the reputation it has involves flashy cars and luxurious living.
While you can’t control what people spend their crypto earnings on, Armstrong believes the crypto ecosystem can impact the world more by pooling resources together so others can benefit from an “equitable and open global financial system.”
Armstrong, who has always advocated for charitable giving, said GiveCrytpo would be funded solely by cryptocurrency and used to empower those who are in need financially.
The fund aims to raise $10 million for the first phase, and it has secured $3.5 million so far, including an initial donation of $1 million from Armstrong. The non-profit also has a long-term goal of reaching $1 billion fund size in the next two years.
Armstrong sees GiveCrytpo.org leading an advance real world usage of cryptocurrency where people in need can receive money directly from donors, and the platform can also provide universal access to an open financial system.
While there has been a reasonable amount of research which points to the effectiveness of direct cash transfers in ending poverty as against running large programs, Armstrong sees GiveCrytpo going a step further. This is due to the uniqueness of cryptocurrency which allows it to avoid high fees, delays in cash transfers and access to the unbanked.
“We’ll start with direct-cash transfers in the form of cryptocurrency,” Armstrong said. This form of giving helps “increase people’s income, boost food consumption and dietary diversity, and are tied to improved school attendance, health care visits, household savings, and investments in productive assets.”
Using the Funds
Armstrong believes recipients will do one of three things when they receive cryptocurrency from GiveCrypto. They might exchange it to their local currency so they can meet a need, hold on to benefit from a potential upswing in prices, or initiate crypto-to-crypto transfers, especially in denser regions which could also “spark local crypto economies.”
The project will have a pilot phase where the non-profit will rely on local ambassadors who will find recipients in need and distribute cryptocurrency to them.
Other distribution models the company will experiment with, going forward includes partnering with other non-profits within the targeted markets and using a mobile app to streamline the distribution process. Armstrong believes the pilot phase will help them get a clearer picture of how to reach recipients, how they exchange to their local currency and use the funds.
As CCN reported, a variety of cryptocurrency firms — and anonymous individuals — have launched philanthropic initiatives in recent months, including Ripple’s $29 million education fund.
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