We have seen numerous examples just in recent months of how Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general can be powerful tools for charities. Charitable drives from just the last eight weeks include money for the Balkan floods and money for a Filipino infant’s liver transplant.
The quick, frictionless transfer of money and border agnosticism Bitcoin affords can rally people around the world behind a cause and help support it financially.
This is the backdrop for a cooperative effort between Australian Bitcoin merchant services provider BitPOS and the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, which together are raising Bitcoins to combat poaching in Africa.
BitPOS founder Jason Williams described the genesis of the partnership in a release:
“I got in touch with Ian [Mackenzie-Ross, IAPF’s managing director in Australia] asking if there was some way BitPOS could help, and before I knew it, we were providing the means for Bitcoin donations. The Bitcoin community is known for its generosity, and the IAPF is doing great work. It’s a natural fit.”
Now, the IAPF’s donation page has a Bitcoin option.
Williams noted that IAPF will convert the donated Bitcoins to fiat to pay for training, operations and IT.
IAPF’s Damien Mander, a former Special Forces sniper who is now applying his skills to protecting rhinos, hosted a popular AMA on Reddit over the weekend:
“IAPF’s mission is conservation through direct action,” he wrote. “We aim to stop the hemorrhaging at the front lines of the world wildlife war. We do this by adopting a structured, military–like approach to conservation. This includes using correct levels of force to capture hardened poachers.
“Since taking over security operations in Victoria Falls, not one rhino has been poached and the population of critically endangered black rhino has increased by 133% since 2010.
“We now run operations covering more than 1 million acres and have supported 28 other initiatives. With your support, we can shift it up a few gears.
“I have gotten a private donor to match donations made over the next few days so that up to a total of $10K will be matched. This will help us support rangers at ground level along the South Africa/ Mozambique border who are fighting to protect the world’s largest remaining rhino population. AND you asked for us to accept Bitcoin, Reddit, so we listened.”
The intersection of Bitcoin and charity has made for a number of great stories in recent months. BitGive’s Connie Gallippi told Cointelegraph in May that charitable activity “is a great way for Bitcoin to reach the average person and show them things they can relate to and they care about and how Bitcoin can help:
“Demonstrating the social value of Bitcoin can help us bridge the gap from early adopters to mainstream by reaching the average person.”