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In episode 32 of the Investing in Impact podcast I speak with Joe Waltman, Executive Director of GiveCrypto and Product Manager at Coinbase on using crypto and blockchain technologies to deliver funds directly in the hands of the impoverished and the unbanked.
GiveCrypto is a nonprofit created by Brian Armstrong, the founder of Coinbase, to distribute cryptocurrency to people living in poverty. By using crypto and blockchain technologies, the organization put funds directly in the hands of individuals living in difficult circumstances around the world.
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Examples we discuss on how GiveCrypto has impacted lives around the world:
- Direct crypto payments to individuals living in refugee camps where currencies are forbidden inside the camps
- Direct crypto payments to women living with domestic violence issues and no financial means to leave their abuser
- Helping local merchants accept crypto payments
- Helping impoverished individuals set up crypto wallets
- Delivery simple financial services to individuals left behind by traditional banking systems
According to Groundswell, there is substantial evidence that unconditional cash transfers are an effective way to help people. Distributing crypto is similar to transferring other forms of money to people. The organization expects many recipients will find ways to convert the crypto into their local currency. Some may transact crypto-to-crypto as well. It may also help spark economic growth by giving access to property rights and financial services on an open network. A great deal of work needs to be done to test these hypotheses and see what it most effective.
The GiveCrypto Mission
The mission is to financially empower individuals by distributing cryptocurrency to those most in need. GiveCrypto connects donors and recipients anywhere in the world. Over the past three years, they've impacted the lives of thousands of individuals and their families via direct crypto transfers.
Over one billion people have a smartphone but don't have access to basic financial services
The organization not only identifies recipients in need and distribute funds to them - they also connect those people to a truly open financial system. All it takes is access to the internet.
Crypto democratizes the philanthropic process. As a society and donors, we can send cryptocurrency directly to any recipient and they’ll receive it instantly. This includes people without bank accounts and those living in places where fiat money is “broken”.
How will the fund operate?
GiveCrypto.org will be an evergreen fund (or endowment) that is designed to live and grow forever. It will grow in value based on new donations and if the value of cryptocurrency continues to grow.
What types of currencies will you accept?
GiveCrypto.org is cryptocurrency agnostic. The organization currently accept the following currencies: BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP and ZEC.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes. Donations through the site are tax deductible through our fiscal sponsor the Pledge Group. You will need to provide your name and email (and receive a receipt) for the donation to be tax deductible. You can also donate anonymously but the donation will not be tax deductible.
How do you prevent fraud?
The organization uses a combination of data collection validated with backchecks, verifiable evidence and blockchain analysis to minimize and prevent fraud.
Where do recipients use the funds?
The organization recruits at least one vendor that accepts payment in cryptocurrency. Additionally, recipients hold the crypto and exchange it between themselves. In the future, GiveCrypto will offer cash-out options.
Are you programs OFAC compliant?
Yes. They've have drafted a comprehensive sanctions compliance policy and screen all of our program participants against all relevant lists.
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