Greenpeace is taking advantage of the cost-saving potential of accepting bitcoin donations as the crypto-currency becomes more widely used.
The environmental campaign organisation has announced that it will start accepting bitcoin donations in its USA division via payment processor Bitpay.
Greenpeace only accepts donations from individuals, not corporations or governments. The cost of these individual, small transactions quickly add up because credit card companies still generally charge nonprofits the same transaction fees as corporations.
Bitpay and other payments providers do not charge nonprofits any fees, meaning that the entire donation can be made use of by the charity.
Other charities and non-profit organisations have already discovered the benefits of bitcoin. Earlier this month, United Way Worldwide, which raised $5bn last year, became the biggest privately held charity to accept bitcoin via Coinbase. Wikipedia also accepts the crypto-currency.
While bitcoin use is still minute compared to credit and debit card transactions, giving its supporters more ways to donate can only help a charitable organisation. According to Blockchain, there have been around 70,000 bitcoin transactions so far today, whereas Visa and Mastercard handle tens of thousands a second. But the lack of transaction fees could start to make bitcoin a preferable way to donate to charity.
“The majority of our support comes from individual donations made by thousands of people across the country,” wrote Greenpeace blogger Cassady Sharp. “[This] mean[s] that we have to be constantly evolving to ensure that donors are able to support our important work in the way that’s most convenient for them.”
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