Brian Armstrong, the co-founder and CEO of digital currency service Coinbase, has announced the launch of a global effort to distribute bitcoin and other digital currency directly to people in need.
With a mission "to financially empower people by distributing cryptocurrency globally," GiveCrypto will raise funds from cryptocurrency holders and distribute small payments in cryptocurrency to people in need — with an initial focus on people living in emerging-market countries and/or who are experiencing a financial crisis. By sending digital currency directly to those in need, the organization hopes to advance the real-world usage and benefits of cryptocurrency and provide universal access to an open financial system. According to GiveCrypto, two billion people who own cell phones have no access to basic financial services.
The organization's initial goal is to raise $10 million for the fund, said Armstrong in a Medium post, with a longer-term goal of reaching $1 billion over the next two years. A total of $3.5 million has been raised to date, including a $1 million gift from Armstrong himself. Holders of cryptocurrency donate to GiveCrypto, which in turn distributes it to those in need, who can swap the digital currency for their local currency, hold onto it and benefit from any future gains, or, where local crypto economies exist, use it for crypto-to-crypto transfers.
"Crypto has potential to be a great equalizer by lifting millions of people out of poverty, while accelerating the pace of innovation around the world," Armstrong said. "This is my call to action to the crypto community: let's pool our collective resources and try this new form of philanthropy, so people all over the world can start benefiting from a more equitable and open global financial system."