UNICEF Australia Asks Users To Donate To Rohingya Refugee Aid Through Cryptocurrency Mining


Those seeking an immediate and secure way to donate to the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh have a new avenue thanks to UNICEF Australia, which is continuing its foray into the cryptospace like a growing number of its fellow UN branches.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has created The Hope Page, a UNICEF Australia-affiliated website that utilizes part of the computer processing power from users who visit it to mine cryptocurrency for donation to the organization.

According to The Hope Page, cryptocurrency mined via a user’s web browser “is automatically donated to UNICEF Australia and is turned into real funds that reach children through life-saving supplies like safe water, therapeutic food and vaccines.”

The Hope Page uses an opt-in variation of mining software from German-based Coinhive to mine the privacy-centric cryptocurrency Monero. The software allows users to select how much of their computer’s processing power they want to allocate to mining for UNICEF on a custom range scale between 20 percent and 80 percent. The website states that mining calculations are quarantined and “securely executed in your browser’s sandbox” without the need for installing any additional software.

In its current configuration, The Hope Page is a digital donation pipeline for users to directly support UNICEF Australia’s efforts to combat one of the fastest growing and most severe refugee crises on our planet: the displacement of an estimated 720,000 Rohingya people from their homes in Myanmar to one of the world’s largest refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Nicole Lawrence, UNICEF Australia’s external communications manager for fundraising, brand, and emergencies, told ETHNews, “The Monero goes into a crypo-wallet owned by UNICEF Australia and is then converted into cash before going directly to our emergency response to the Rohingya crisis.”

In a press release, UNICEF Australia’s director of fundraising and communications, Jennifer Tierney, explained, “We wanted to leverage new emerging technologies to raise awareness about current humanitarian crises and raise funds to support children caught up in them.”

In February, UNICEF piloted another program similar to The Hope Page, called Chaingers.io, which mined Ether. That website helped raise donations for Syrian children. While it’s too early to gauge the success of The Hope Page, UNICEF might receive parallel user interest to that of Chaingers.io, which has raised 990.54 euros (the equivalent of just over $1,165) so far during it’s ninth and current fund raising session. While the amount raised might seem insignificant, by profiling blockchain technology, UNICEF, like other UN agencies, may be positioning itself for the challenges of the future. 

Although UNICEF Australia does provide avenues for traditional donations, The Hope Page – like Chaingers.io before it – offers a fresh take on soliciting donations from the public through the ease of in-browser mining. Other UN branches, such as the World Food Programme and UN Women, have also been wading into the cryptospace to capture the new deliverables made possible by cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in general.

Note: It is the policy of ETHNews not to link to websites that are known to mine cryptocurrencies, but if you would like to visit The Hope Page, you can do so at http://thehopepage.org/.

Jordan Daniell is a full-time staff writer for ETHNews with a passionate interest in techno-social developments and cultural evolution. Jordan enjoys the outdoors, especially astronomy, and likes to play the bag pipes and explore southern California on foot in his spare time. Jordan lives in Los Angeles and holds value in Ether.

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