UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has launched a crypto fund to receive, hold and distribute donations of bitcoin and ether in its aim to back open source technology for children around the world.
UNICEF said in an announcement on Wednesday that in a first for United Nations organizations, the Cryptocurrency Fund will receive contributions in cryptocurrency and grant out in the same digital currency form.
The organization added the first contributions to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund come from the Ethereum Foundation and “will benefit three grantees of the UNICEF Innovation Fund.”
It said the three grantees that will receive the initial donations are Prescrypto, Atix Labs and Utopixar, focusing on the areas of “prescription tracking, matching investors and those needing funding, and community tokens and engagement.”
Aya Miyaguchi, executive director of the Ethereum Foundation, said in a keynote speech at the DevCon event that 100 ether, worth about $18,000 at its current price, has been sent to the UNICEF via the new partnership.
“This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “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. ”
“Together with UNICEF, we’re taking action with the Crypto Fund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources,” Miyaguchi said in the announcement.
The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund is the UN children agency’s latest push to adopt blockchain technology for its wider goal. Earlier this year, it was in talks with the government of Kyrgyzstan to use blockchain to provide internet access to schools in the country via the so-called Project Connect initiative.
In December last year, UNICEF said it was investing $100,000 in six blockchain startups in order to solve global challenges via blockchain, ranging from healthcare delivery transparency to managing finances and resources.