Philanthropy has been one of the most notable use cases for cryptocurrencies since early in its history. Many early adopters saw crypto donations as a way to spread awareness of Bitcoin and other digital currencies, with millions of dollars (hundreds of millions, if adjusted for current market rates) being spent to support healthcare, human rights, and other causes that captured the community’s interests.
Sadly, there has been little infrastructure in place for these organizations to take custody of their crypto donations, and it is still most common for funds to be converted immediately to fiat. In these cases, some might benefit from having the means to store and manage their bitcoin funds with ease, while others will simply need more control over their invoicing and accounting. Giving these groups the support they need to make cryptocurrency accessible and convenient will pave the way for greater adoption, as well as open the door to more funding and more time to focus on effective change.
This week, we kick off Universal Human Rights Month with the announcement that Trezor has partnered with the Tor Project to help philanthropic organizations such as NGOs and non-profits that wish to use crypto for a greater cause, to accept and secure custody of cryptocurrency donations, without necessarily needing to cash out for fiat. This marks a huge milestone in institutional crypto fund management, targeting the groups who stand to benefit most and whose work is helping the world become a better, fairer place.
We are open to hearing from any organization, but we believe our efforts will be best applied to those organizations operating in the spheres of personal data protection, cybersecurity, development of open-source initiatives, human rights protection, reduction of state censorship, or support for prisoners of conscience and political prisoners. Where there is overlap in one of these areas, we would be very glad to hear from you.
As a security company, SatoshiLabs’ initial efforts will be focused on those organizations which show significant overlap with our area of expertise, so we can be most effective when assessing the best approaches for each use-case. The Tor Project, with whom we have partnered to make this possible, embody precisely the type of organization we intend to help, and will contribute their eighteen years’ experience to support this initiative.
All you need to do to be considered for this pilot project is to fill out our application form, available on the SatoshiLabs website. If your organization is aligned with the areas mentioned above, we will contact you to discuss the scope of cooperation and how Trezor can help secure and manage your funds. For the purposes of security, we will provide Trezor hardware wallets for your organization to use, as well as an onboarding webinar with the Tor Project and Trezor team to help get everything set up safely.
This is not just about keeping the lights on, this is about leveraging the potential of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to help bring more sustainable, effective change to the world. Previous campaigns involving cryptocurrency and charitable causes have been effective in spreading awareness and raising emergency funds, but have largely failed to establish a long-term strategy toward crypto enabling a more equal, compassionate future.
As part of this pilot project, Trezor will work with the Tor Project and collaborating institutions to draft, review and publish a methodology that any eligible institution can follow to enable, secure and manage custody of cryptocurrency donations. We hope to onboard at least 20 institutions and provide them with the necessary Trezor hardware and software for free, so they can work with us to refine this methodology over the course of the next two months.
Institutions that take part in this open call will be given the following, in exchange for their feedback and collaboration in developing the methodology:
- A set of Trezor hardware wallets.
- An onboarding call with Trezor support specialists, covering set up and best practices for managing cryptocurrency donations.
- Access to the project’s community to foster ideas and share experiences.
- Acknowledgement in the published methodology.
For now, there is no limit on the number of organizations that can subscribe so please, do your bit and share this with any charity or non-profit you believe would stand to benefit from participating. Based on the response to this open call, we reserve the right to close applications prior to releasing the methodology.
Our recent collaboration with the Tor Project to implement the Tor Switch in Trezor Suite revealed the need for professional support when it comes to cryptocurrency payments. Businesses and organizations that accept bitcoin donations rarely have the necessary procedures in place to hold on to these donations and see them realize their long-term growth potential.
While we encourage all businesses to implement a crypto payment gateway, we want to help those philanthropic projects with limited budgets to make the most of cryptocurrencies, attracting new donors for whom crypto is a preferred way to donate. The convenience, accessibility and privacy afforded by using bitcoin to donate could encourage a new inflow of funds to help recover from the strain of the global COVID pandemic, and could attract individuals wishing to give back to the community after a profitable year.
Paying with bitcoin is commonplace, but much is done through gateways that immediately exchange cryptocurrency for fiat. As institutional investors turn to holding bitcoin and using cryptocurrencies, charitable causes should be helped to do the same. Not every cause will fit one model so we must assess the environment and provide solutions that can assist all manner of organization. This is a unique opportunity to enable nonprofit organizations to become more financially sustainable by taking advantage of the digital economy, in a way that best suits them.