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The wide use of cryptocurrency’s underlying technology by public and private entities has continued to spike, with the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) the latest firm to use this technology. UNICEF is currently working on a project involving testing a prototype for the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) for the distribution of digital public goods.

UNICEF’s DAO Prototype

During the recent Paris Blockchain Week, Arun Maharajan, UNICEF’s blockchain lead, revealed that the international emergency platform is building a DAO prototype. According to Maharajan, the new tool is to help the humanitarian organization distribute publicly needed infrastructures for the global good.

It is worth noting that digital public goods (DPGs) are open-source software or standards that organizations can leverage to model their operational digital public infrastructure. According to the organization for economic cooperation and development (OECD), DPGs allowed partners in the development sector to collaborate and focus on addressing challenges like improving public procurement and supporting project continuity.

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The UNICEF’s early-stage DAO pilot is developed on the Polygon Layer-2 protocol. It is designed to enhance collaboration between DPG stakeholders in their numerous discussions on adding new features to ongoing projects.

Maharajan added that the DAO pilot phase is a closed initiative for each DPG, which seeks to bring all stakeholders together and share in the common vision of the program. However, the blockchain lead noted that the current focus is on team members.

But in the near term, it could include end users and other groups to make the DPG community more robust and efficient. Meanwhile, UNICEF is still building on its previous crypto-based initiatives and the DAO prototype.

The humanitarian aid firm launched its crypto move in October 2019 by establishing CryptoFund to enable the organization to receive donations in Bitcoin and Ethereum. Sanna Bedi, the Innovation Fund Officer, stated in a joint statement with Maharajan that the rapid rise in cryptocurrency use led to the creation of CryptoFund.

Bedi noted that with CryptoFund, UNICEF can now receive and hold virtual currencies to expand its services and opportunities to underserved communities worldwide.

Crypto For Donations

Despite a rocky period for cryptocurrency for most of last year due to the broad market correction, donations involving crypto assets keep rising. According to the 2023 Annual Report on Crypto Philantrophy, more than 1,000 non-profit organizations have joined the crypto donation frenzy for the second consecutive year.

Moreover, several charities and donor recipients worldwide are already accepting donations in digital assets, with more about to join the fray, the report added. Observers pointed out that the actions of several key players in the crypto industry, like Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, who doles out millions of dollars worth of ETH to various causes, have helped in the increasing acceptance of the tokens.

Converting crypto donations to fiats or keep as crypto has made the use of the asset attractive to recipients.

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George Ward

By George Ward

George Ward is a crypto journalist and market analyst at Herald Sheets, known for his engaging articles on the latest digital currency trends. With a background in finance and journalism, he presents complex topics accessibly. George holds a degree in Business and Finance from the University of Cambridge.