Children with UNICEF backpacks
Children with UNICEF backpacks filled with essential learning materials, delivered in a partnership with Amazon. UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has created its own cryptocurrency fund to support open source technology benefiting children around the world, the organization announced on 8 October.

According to the press release, through this venture the Children’s Fund became the first U.N. organization to receive, hold and distribute donations in cryptocurrency, namely Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

The structure of this new fund is such that donations will be distributed in the same cryptocurrency they were donated in.


Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s Executive Director, said:

“This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF. If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer. That’s why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Fund is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work.”

The announcement further revealed that the first organization to contribute to the new fund is the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss non-profit organization.

The Executive Director of the Ethereum Foundation, Aya Miyaguchi, has reportedly said, during a keynote speech at the DevCon event, that 100 ETH have already been sent to UNICEF.

The press release also added that the funds will be received by a project “coordinated by the GIGA initiative” and “three grantees of the UNICEF Innovation Fund”, namely Prescrypto, Atix Labs and Utopixar.

Miyaguchi said:

“The Ethereum Foundation is excited to demonstrate the power of what Ethereum and blockchain technology can do for communities around the world. Together with UNICEF, we’re taking action with the Cryptofund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources.”

As previously reported, in December of 2018 the UNICEF Innovation Fund invested $100,000 in six blockchain startups that were trying to solve challenges such as healthcare delivery transparency and managing finances and resources.