The dilemma recently presented by the organization Bitcoin100, created in November 2011, reveals that most of the institutions that survive through charity are still afraid of accepting cryptocurrency. In this particular case, Bitcoin100 has the goal to donate $1,000 worth of Bitcoins to several charities, but they don’t want it.
“It’s like you beg people: please, take my $1,000. It’ll be very quick and easy”, explains Dmitry Murashchik, the volunteer treasurer for Bitcoin100. In his opinion, people still don’t believe that digital coin is fair game. However, to try and change that, he assures that every transaction Bitcoin100 makes for charity institutions are publicly visible. Maybe that will help change the current problem: begging people to take their donations.
According to Dmitry Murashchik, “any unauthorized expense will be instantly seen by everyone. We can’t funnel money to personal expenses or hide it through accounting shenanigans, like some shady charities have gotten accused of before. Being able to easily verify and keep tabs on an organization that chooses to be public, without needing to necessarily trust the people behind it, is another benefit of Bitcoin”.
Back when Bitcoin100 was born, their goal was to donate 100 Bitcoins per charity, but now this amount of digital coin is worth way more than the previous $1,000. It’s now closer to $10,000! “Since Bitcoin has gone up in price, we switched to $1,000 instead of 100 Bitcoins per donation. I guess we’ll keep giving out money until we don’t have any more”, says the treasurer.
But, how did the organization gathered all this money? After some initial requests, a lot of contributors ended up giving money directly to the group’s fund. Until today, Bitcoin100 has received almost 1,600 BTC from about 110 donors. This group of supporters includes the German group BUND Berlin e.V. or, more recently, The Fessler Foundation, which funds research on the spinal cord field of expertise.
According to the opinion of Stephanie Murphy, from the Bitcoin-friendly institution Fr33 Aid, “there are so many advantages to accepting donations in Bitcoin. It’s easier to start accepting Bitcoin — just post an address — than to set up bank accounts, PayPal and other legacy banking system options. I think this lowers the barrier for starting charities and non-profit organizations because they can focus on their mission rather than dealing with banking hassles”.
Besides, charities have benefits when it comes to receiving Bitcoin donations: there aren’t transaction fees, the digital currency is accepted worldwide and there’s no fraud possibilities like in the case of credit cards.
Once this obstacle is overcome, Bitcoin100 will be able to focus on its main goal: “to spread awareness of Bitcoin and the benefits of Bitcoin”. Dmitry Murashchik says the organization is now “focused on getting as many charities as possible”.