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UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund invests 125 ETH in eight tech startups

UNICEF uses cryptocurrency to invest in tech startups.

Wikimedia Commons

Mon, 22 Jun 2020, 05:10 am UTC

Cryptocurrency is slowly inching closer to mainstream adoption as people and companies are getting more appreciative of the ease and security of using digital currencies in their transactions. For instance, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) recently used Ether to fund its investments in eight technology startups.

Eight technology startups recently received funding in cryptocurrency from the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund (CryptoFund). The companies, which come from seven different countries, received 125 ETH, valued at around $28,600, as investment from the United Nations agency, according to Cointelegraph.

The eight companies that received the funding are Afinidata, Avyantra, Cireha, Ideasis, OS City, StaTwig, Somleng, and Utopic, UNICEF revealed in a post. The 125 ETH investment each company received is for developing prototypes or scaling the technologies over the next six months.

The UN Agency also revealed that the eight startups have already received up to $100,000 in fiat currency from UNICEF’s Innovation Fund. They were selected from around 40 firms that graduated from the Innovation Fund and were assessed based on their “open-source tech solutions, evidence of impact, and more.”

The startups aim to lessen the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the youth and children worldwide. Their projects include tracking rice deliveries to vulnerable communities, creating remote learning programs to improve children’s literacy despite social distancing measures, treatment of isolation and pandemic-related anxieties, and collaborating with local and national governments for sending vital COVID-19-related messages to the public.

The UN agency is embracing the use of new technologies to achieve its goals. “We are seeing the digital world come at us more quickly than we could have imagined – and UNICEF must be able to use all of the tools of this new world to help children today and tomorrow,” UNICEF Ventures co-lead and Senior Adviser Chris Fabian said.

He noted that one of the advantages of using cryptocurrencies in fund transfers is the speed and the low transaction cost. “The transfer of these funds – to eight companies in seven countries around the world – took less than 20 minutes and cost us less than $20,” Fabian added. “Almost instant global movement of value, fees of less than 0.00009% of the total amount transferred, and real-time transparency for our donors and supporters are the types of tools we are excited about.”

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