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July 30, 2020
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Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange Bybit has announced it is donating around $100,000 worth of Bitcoin to UNICEF. The donation comes as part of Bybit’s recently announced World Series of Trading Event, in which traders will battle it out for a share of a prize pool worth 200 BTCs, currently valued around $2M. UNICEF has confirmed the funds will go towards its pandemic relief efforts.

As the COVID-19 crisis has swept the globe, charities have taken on a more critical role than ever in helping those affected. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, estimates the pandemic has left a funding gap putting 1.6 billion vulnerable children at risk. While children are generally less affected by the virus itself, in many countries, they are suffering from school closures, inadequate care and shortages of food and sanitation supplies.

Bybit has now confirmed it will join UNICEF in its fight to help those children at risk, with a sizable donation of 10 BTCs, worth an estimated $100,000 at current prices. In a press release accompanying the announcement of the pledge, Bybit CEO Ben Zhou states:

"As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast its long shadow around the globe, its secondary impact is being felt by vulnerable children, who are the future of our world. We at Bybit urgently feel it is incumbent upon us to support the ongoing efforts to safeguard our future."

UNICEF NZ Executive Director Vivien Maidaborn added:

"This is an exciting opportunity to partner with Bybit and better shape the lives of children significantly impacted by Covid-19."

The donation comes from the prize pool that Bybit has allocated to winners of its "World Series of Trading" event that’s taking place for three weeks starting on August 10. The contest will see traders pit themselves against one another for the chance to win part of the 200 BTCs prize fund. Pre-registration has finished with more than 8,000 registered users, and official registration is now open until August 14.

UNICEF Moves to Embrace Crypto

The news of the Bybit donation comes after UNICEF has been taking steps to embrace cryptocurrency as part of its efforts to provide relief to vulnerable children hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis.

Earlier this month, the charity announced that it was planning to greatly expand its use of cryptocurrencies, using 125 ETHs to invest in eight different companies across seven countries. The companies are all involved in efforts to mitigate the effect of the pandemic through initiatives such as food deliveries or remote learning.

For example, one company, Chilean-based Utopic, is aiming to help improve youngster’s literacy from their home, using a virtual reality-powered learning game on the web.

A representative from UNICEF also explained how embracing cryptocurrencies would open up the charity to a wider pool of donors. It enables prospective donors who want to make a pledge in cryptocurrencies to do so without creating the barrier of having to convert it back to fiat currency first.

Furthermore, under the taxation rules in the US, it may be possible for donors to become entitled to a deduction based on their donations under particular circumstances.

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