East Africa-based philanthropy GiveDirectly has ventured into digital currency with a $1 mln gift in crypto tokens from decentralized payment network OmiseGO, it announced Tuesday, March 27.
The donation, which OmiseGO contributed together with Ethereum prime founder Vitalik Buterin, will see GiveDirectly proceed with a trial plot scheme straightforwardly at refugees, giving 12,000 grants to families in Uganda.
A pilot scheme has just observed 4,400 families get $650, TechCrunch announced Tuesday, with the digital currency explore expanding the independence of the procedure and lessening dependence on intermediaries.
“This is a major new chapter for us, entering the humanitarian space with a service to give money directly to refugees,” GiveDirectly’s head of communications Catherine Diao told the publication:
“While cash transfers have been used in humanitarian contexts before, this initiative is a significant departure from the status quo because we’re giving families transformative amounts of money versus small, subsistence amounts.”
The concept neatly fits in with OmiseGO’s own roadmap, which focuses on decentralization of banking and giving inclusivity to those traditionally shut out from the financial world.
Both before and since the Ethereum ICO boom, multiple successful projects have launched targeting the world’s least fortunate. These have included Vinny Lingham’s ID startup Civic, which funded its initial stages through an ICO last year, as well as payment-focused operations such as BitPesa, based in Kenya.
OmiseGO and GiveDirectly are meanwhile appealing for donations from prospective investors, who can send both Ethereum (ETH) and ERC20 tokens to a dedicated address.