The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced that it will be funding some startups with cryptocurrencies. This would mark their most substantial cryptocurrency investment funding. According to UNICEF, eight companies in several countries around the world would use the organization’s crypto fund to develop prototypes, pilot programs, and to boost their technologies. Most of the companies are working on eliminating or reducing the hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNICEF Announces Biggest Cryptocurrency Investment
The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund revealed on Friday that it will be handing out its most significant investment to startups in developing and emerging economies. The companies that are set to receive the cryptocurrency funding are those that are using their technologies to mitigate the hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. UNICEF is a United Nations agency tasked with providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children across the globe.
According to their announcement, eight tech companies in developing and emerging economies are set to receive investments from the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund (Cryptofund) to solve both local and international challenges.
The UNICEF crypto fund has set aside 125 ETH to give to the eight companies from seven countries. These companies will try and develop prototypes, pilot programs, or scale their solutions and technologies over the next six months. The announcement further added that all investees had previously received roughly $100,000 from the agency’s Innovation Fund and are now receiving cryptos to continue the development of their digital and open-source technologies.
Chris Fabian of UNICEF Ventures commented that the investment is necessary considering the fact that the digital world is coming at us faster than anyone had anticipated. As such, Fabian stated that UNICEF has to use all the tools of the new world to help children around the world, today and tomorrow.
The Benefits of Cryptocurrencies
The transfer of the funds to these eight companies took less than 20 minutes, with a transaction fee of less than $20. “Almost instant global movement of the value, fees of less than 0.00009% of the total amount transferred, and real-time transparency for our donors and supporters are the types of tools we are excited about,” Fabian commented.
Amongst the eight companies that received the cryptocurrencies from the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund, three of them received the fund’s first crypto investment last year. The remaining five were chosen from roughly 40 startups that successfully graduated from the UNICEF Innovation Fund. The companies went through technical evaluations, evidence of impact, quality assessments of their open-source technology solutions, and other relevant tests.
From the eight recipients, two are from India: Avyantra and Statwig. The other companies are Cireha (Argentina), Ideasis (Turkey), Afinidata (Guatemala), Somleng (Cambodia), OS City (Mexico), and Utopic (Chile).
In addition to the funding, the companies will also be granted growth mentorship, open-source and UX and UI development, product, and technical assistance, opportunities to showcase their technologies, and access to experts and partners, UNICEF added.
The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund was launched in October last year. The unit became the first U.N organization to hold and carry out cryptocurrency transactions. The crypto fund is tasked with disbursing funding in Bitcoin or ETH to help finance early stage and open-source tech companies that will benefit children and young people around the world. Furthermore, the UNICEF Innovation Fund and Cryptofund are asking blockchain solutions to apply for funding of roughly $100,000 cash and cryptocurrencies.