Binance to Donates $10M to Support Ukrainian Humanitarian Crisis

Binance Exchange, the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform, has revealed it is donating $10 million to support the humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. - 2022-03-01T103911.645.jpg

As announced by the trading firm, the funds will be split between the top non-profit organizations that are helping to provide succour to Ukrainians and with whom Binance exchange has prior partnerships.

These organizations include UNICEF, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, iSans, and People in Need. In addition to this funding, Binance has set up “a crypto-first crowdfunding site, called Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund, to allow people to donate crypto to help provide emergency relief to refugees and children and to support logistics on the ground such as food, fuel, and supplies for refugees.” 

The funds are administered through the Binance Charity Foundation, and per the announcement, the trading platform has bootstrapped the crowdfunding site with a total of 16,042 Binance Coin (BNB), worth approximately $6.2 million at the time of writing.

“Watching this conflict escalate over the past four days has shocked our community to its core. We are proud to have been able to quickly rally our network to provide relief and support on the ground to those in need,” said Changpeng Zhao (CZ), Founder and CEO of Binance, adding that the aid includes “providing food, fuel, supplies, and shelter for Ukrainians, which include countless Binance community members. We are using every resource and governmental channel we have to call on world leaders to end this conflict immediately.”

The ongoing regional war between Russia and Ukraine has sparked massive basic needs for the victims of Ukraine. While funding has been trickling in to aid people’s survival, global governments are intensifying their efforts to impose sanctions on Russia in the hope that to force President Vladimir Putin to order his troops to withdraw.

Amongst these sanctions is the severance from the SWIFT payment network, as reported earlier by Blockchain.News.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Surging Crypto Adoption Will Ultimately Require National and Global Regulations: UNICEF Report

UNICEF, the United Nations fund devoted to helping disadvantaged children around the globe, says the widespread adoption of crypto will necessitate national and international regulations.

In a new report, the UN agency argues digital assets have the potential to increase financial inclusion, offering “significant benefits to the livelihoods of families around the world.”

UNICEF says digital asset technology could improve remittances and make social assistance programs more transparent and efficient.

The agency also says that unregulated crypto projects pose serious threats.

“On the other hand, unregulated cryptocurrencies pose a threat to the stability of financial systems, government revenues on which many child services depend, and children directly when they facilitate unregulated transactions that underpin child trafficking, sexual exploitation, the sale and purchase of content depicting child abuse, and the defrauding and extortion of children.” 

UNICEF says “now is the time” to incorporate crypto child safeguards into online child protection initiatives.

The UN Fund also notes that 87 countries representing 90% of the world’s economy are actively exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Says the agency,

“These developments will eventually require the emergence of national and international legal and regulatory frameworks.

Developing countries will have to choose between adopting digital currencies of major economies, issuing their own and figuring out interoperability (the direction Tunisia appears to be moving in with the eDinar), or betting on decentralized cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (as Ecuador has done).”

UNICEF began accepting Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) donations in 2019, billing itself as the first UN organization to utilize crypto.

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Featured Image: Shutterstock/DomCritelli/Natalia Siiatovskaia


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UNICEF to Commemorate its 75th Anniversary of Changing Children’s Lives by Selling 1,000 NFTs

To celebrate efforts of saving children’s lives and defending their rights for seventy-five years, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) intends to sell 1,000 data-driven non-fungible tokens (NFTs). - 2021-12-10T170812.620.jpg

The NFT collection dubbed Patchwork Kingdoms includes artwork representing a subset of more than 280,000 schools across twenty-one nations. 

Part of the NFTs will be digitally watermarked to celebrate the agency’s 75th-anniversary, scheduled on December 11. The rest will be tied to events in early 2022. 

UNICEF’s executive director, Henrietta Fore, welcomed this move and stated:

“For 75 years, UNICEF has been a driving force for change in children’s lives. And as we look back at our history, we must also look forward and seize every opportunity to take innovative actions to secure the future for our children.”

Reaching out to more children for a better world, UNICEF decided to use NFTs as part of its toolbox to support its global efforts and bridge the digital divide, according to Fore.

Proceeds from the NFT auction will be channelled towards promising initiatives like Giga, an ITU and UNICEF program intended to connect every school worldwide to the internet using cutting-edge technologies like blockchain, machine learning, and low-earth orbit satellites. 

Fore acknowledged:

“There are more than 1.3 billion children disconnected in an increasingly connected world. We cannot allow these children to grow up on an information island, cut off from the wealth of information and opportunities available online, and with fewer resources to learn and grow.” 

The United Nations has been at the forefront of NFT adoption in realising distinctive objectives. For instance, through its UN-Habitat program, it is taking advantage of NFTs to create awareness about the global climate crisis using an initiative called DigitalArt4 Climate. 

Image source: Shutterstock


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UNICEF Is Investing in Several Blockchain Startups

Key Takeaways

  • UNICEF has announced funding for seven blockchain startups.
  • Those startups cater toward “unbanked” communities—that is, areas with little access to traditional financial services.
  • The startups will collectively receive over $500,000, paid out in fiat currency and Ethereum (ETH).

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UNICEF, the charity arm of the United Nations, has announced that it is funding seven blockchain startups.

UNICEF Invests in Seven Startups

UNICEF will invest in Grassroots Economics, Rahat, BX Smart Labs, Leaf Global, Xcapit, Kotani Pay, and Somish Blockchain Labs. Together, the firms will receive more than $500,000 in ETH and fiat.

Grassroots, which will receive 40.5 ETH ($104,000), allows communities to build local tokenized currencies. BX Smart Labs, set to receive 18.9 ETH ($48,000), offers a savings and loan platform that is powered by community “savings circles.”

Rahat is a Nepal-based blockchain platform from eSatya(Rumsan) that distributes tokenized aid to communities; it will receive $100,000.

Leaf Global provides Leaf Wallet, a lightweight cryptocurrency wallet that can be used on basic cellphones as opposed to smartphones. It will receive 20.7 ETH ($53,000) plus $48,900 in cash.

Xcapit is a firm that uses blockchain and AI to provide financial services in Latin America; it will receive 43.8 ETH ($112,000).

Kotani Pay is provides a way for users in Kenya to transfer money and convert crypto into fiat. It will receive 19.9 ETH ($51,000).

Somish Blockchain Labs provides a governance platform for web3 businesses called GovBlocks; it will receive $50,000.

Each blockchain firm caters to “unbanked” areas, or communities that have little access to bank accounts and other financial services.

The investments were announced on June 8 and June 9, 2021.

UNICEF’S Crypto Fund

In October 2019, UNICEF launched its CryptoFund, a pool of Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrency. Within one year, it had invested in twelve blockchain startups across eight countries.

That fund is now listed as the UNICEF Innovation Fund. It has invested a total of $920,000, according to current statistics.

Additionally, UNICEF has received donations from the Ethereum Foundation and even mined cryptocurrency in the past.

Other parts of the United Nations have interacted with cryptocurrency and blockchain as well. The UN World Food Programme has used blockchain for payments, while the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has run training programs on crypto crime prevention.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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