The convenience of digitized currency exchange has established its prominence in a world fraught with important business and personal transactions. At a point when altruism is all too necessary, charities cannot say no to any form of donation — even Bitcoin. (For more, read: Does it matter where charities get their money from?)
Bitcoin, the decentralized cryptocurrency created and held electronically, remains a viable payment option and may get bigger in the future. For charities, the direct user-to-user exchange (the intrinsic aspect of Bitcoin and digital currencies) helps to connect a giver more easily and without any interruption from an intermediary. (After all, Bitcoin is not backed by a regulated institution.)
Some of the today’s largest charities are already accepting bitcoin payments, leading the way for other smaller groups to follow suit. Bitcoin is similar to credit in that it allows electronic transfer of funds, but it is like cash in that trading money comes with no additional charges. This means 100% of funds given to a charity reach that charity, and donations of any size are encouraged as penalties or additional fees will not be applied to small amounts. Bitcoin is typically filtered through a transaction service such as Bitpay which converts the monetary amount into cash—again, without taking a service fee. In a way, bitcoin is the integration of both credit and cash into one.
Most importantly, accepting bitcoin will create options for future generations who will likely use electronic currencies far more than generations before. Innovation never closes doors, it only opens them. Older, long-standing charities will have a way for renewing interest among individuals who know less about them, or perhaps have forgotten about them in the face of many emerging charities relevant to hodiernal concerns. The American Red Cross started accepting bitcoin in 2014 after efforts to help disaster relief funds flooded popular sites such as Reddit, which are well known trading reservoirs of information. Only time will tell how much of an impact the bitcoin option will have on donations in the future.