UNICEF launches crypto fund backed by ETH Foundation

09 Oct 2019

Ethereum UNICEF has launched a cryptocurrency fund to support open source technology “benefiting children and young people around the world.”

As per the official announcement unveiled on Tuesday, UNICEF has become the first UN organisation “to hold and make transactions in cryptocurrency,” namely Bitcoin and Ether.

UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore stated: “This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF. 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."

According to the announcement, Swiss non-profit organisation, the Ethereum Foundation, became the cryptocurrency fund’s first contributor.

The Foundation’s executive director, Aya Miyaguchi announced that 100 Ethers – amounting to $18,000 at the time of writing – had already been sent to UNICEF through the partnership.

These funds “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,” according to the announcement. 

Miyaguchi went on to say: “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 UNICEF announcement added: “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.”

As reported by Coin Telegraph at the end of last year, the UNICEF Innovation Fund invested $100,000 in six firms for developing blockchain projects.