Unicef calls on consumers to donate compute power for cryptocurrency

Charity looks to tap into cryptocurrency craze in order to generate funding for vulnerable children

Unicef is tapping into the cryptocurrency craze to generate much-needed funding for vulnerable children worldwide and is calling on Australian consumers to hand over their computing power to help.

In what it claims is an Australian charity first, the not-for-profit has launched a website that allows consumers to share their computer processing power in order to help mine for cryptocurrency. The digital money is the converted into funding for Unicef’s global efforts to help children.

To do this, consumers just open up the new HopePage on their Web browser, which is currently prioritising funding to support Unicef’s response to the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. The group said an estimated 720,000 Rohingyans have fled their homes to Bangladesh since August last year, half of which are children. Unicef is working to supply safe water, food, medicine and immunisations to these people.

Unicef Australia director of fundraising and communications, Jennifer Tierney, said the team wanted to make it easy and digital for people to help.

“We wanted to leverage new emerging technologies to raise awareness about current humanitarian crises and raise funds to support children caught up in them,” she said. “The HopePage allows Australians to provide help and hope to vulnerable children by simply opening the page while they are online.”

Related: 5 brands latching onto the cryptocurrency craze

Users can specify how much of their computing power they want to donate to currency mining. As at 10.30am today, nearly 1500 people were donating.

Unicef has been working with digital agency VML to create the HopePage website. A spokesperson said 

the approach aims to target new people through traditional social and traditional media stories, as well as search marketing. 

"We don’t have a target in mind as it is the first time a product like this is developed for this market. We’re hoping to raise thousands, and we’re asking people in Australia to make the Unicef HopePage their home page," the spokesperson added.  


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