The founder of Ottawa-based consultancy Bitcoin Strategy Group, Victoria van Eyk serves as vice president of community at social tipping startup ChangeTip, where she oversees the company’s charitable efforts.
Given that bitcoin and the blockchain are still misunderstood in the eyes of the public, industry proponents have long sought to showcase how the digital currency’s attributes can be used to the advantage of global relief and philanthropy efforts.
For incumbent financial services firms, eager to avoid the negative connotations bitcoin can bring, such efforts are often the first step in their engagement with the industry.
This year, UK banking giant Barclays and investment firm Fidelity each announced their first foray into bitcoin and blockchain. Both projects were advertised as benefitting those in need.
Still, much of the charitable giving comes not from financial firms, but the bitcoin community, which has sought to use relief efforts as a way to highlight how the digital currency offers a low-cost way to transfer value globally.
While such efforts didn’t accrue the headline-grabbing figures they did in 2013, the community signed up more than 30 charities in 2015, according to those close to the efforts.
In this article, we review some of the