Direct Relief and ChangeTip’s new eight-day campaign, launched yesterday, asks for bitcoin (BTC) donations to buy vitamins for pregnant women in Africa.
Bitcoin, first launched in 2008, is a form of digital currency that allows peer-to-peer payments to be made online.
The charity, which provides medical assistance to people affected by poverty or emergency situations, has teamed up with digital currency transfer service ChangeTip to avoid fees associated with traditional payment methods, such as credit card transactions.
The lack of fees involved in digital transfers makes them perfect for small payments, with Direct Relief asking for $5 or 0.02 BTC to provide one bottle of prenatal vitamins. At the time of publishing, the appeal had raised 5.53 BTC of its 40 BTC goal – equal to $1303.
This is not the first time that the charity – rated 100% for accountability and transparency by Charity Navigator – has accepted bitcoin payments. In May it started taking donations through ChangeTip for its Nepal Earthquake Relief programme.
Direct Relief’s website says: “Every two minutes, a woman dies from pregnancy and childbirth complications. Micronutrient deficiencies are a leading cause. But you can make a difference. With just a bottle of vitamins.
“Healthy mothers and babies lead to stronger communities and a brighter future for all. Direct Relief’s Prenatal Vitamin Program helps deliver the micronutrients that women and infants in the developing world need to stay healthy: iron, folate, vitamin A, and iodine.
“From 19th August to August 26, Direct Relief and ChangeTip are teaming up to provide 2,000 expecting mothers in Liberia and Sierra Leone prenatal vitamins – $5 or 0.02 BTC provides one bottle of prenatal vitamins for one healthy pregnancy.”
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