How Will Bitcoin Shake-Up the Non-Profit World
There are many articles about Bitcoin and how it’s impacted the world and revolutionized the internet, and not all of it has been overwhelmingly positive. In the non-profit sector, however, an area with which bitcoin isn’t too often associated, the crypto-currency looks to be shaking it up for the better.
Here we look at three ways bitcoin seems to be helping to change and improve the non-profit world in surprising ways.
As Julian Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, his site, the eponymous Wikileaks makes full use of bitcoin’s anonymous donor feature. Springing into reality (largely as a result of having donations blocked at some point by Bank of America, Visa, PayPal, and MasterCard) the fact that non-profits can still gain funds despite the limitations and penalties fixed upon them is an important landmark in the modern world – a world in which ethical quandaries grow ever more complicated.
In January 2014 WikiLeaks claimed to have received 3,855 bitcoin in anonymous donations, taking full advantage of the non-tax deductible benefits of the currency.
Payment Processing Fees
Well-known non-profits like Greenpeace and the WikiMedia Foundation are accepting bitcoin donations. With the launching of Lightning Network there is another huge benefit, that of the decreasing of payment processing fees, so it’s another important way in which the currency continues to better the sector.
Nonprofits accepting bitcoin through the platform Coinbase can withdraw and cash out their donations for US Dollars and make one bank transfer per day at no extra cost. Compare this to the high restrictions imposed by PayPal and Visa, and it’s not difficult to see why non-profits continue to get on board.
Due to bitcoin’s format and its apparent decentralization, the currency becomes more attractive to non-profits functioning beyond the boundaries of nations and allows them greater leeway to solicit donations from all over the world (including those locations in which their work may be having the greatest impact). Couple that with the fact that ownership of the currency is written into the bitcoin itself and non-profits no longer have to answer to the international monetary fund or other slow-moving financial centers to work with funds and put them to productive use.
This also helps organizations that might struggle to raise funds by conventional means, like WikiLeaks for example, which federal and governmental departments seem enthusiastic to dismantle despite basing themselves on the freedom of information philosophy.
These benefits of bitcoin, as well as it’s increasing adoption and influence on other forms of alternative currency, promise to continue to refine the non-profit sector and impact it further. Pay attention to this to see how much further these developments go.