Blockchain-based Giftcoin to provide greater transparency for donations to 'revolutionize' charity

Startup looks to enhance transparency and trust in charities by enabling donors to track where their money goes

Ramy Caspi
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A new company, Giftcoin, is hoping to launch an online giving platform that will use blockchain technology to bring about a “revolution in charitable giving” by helping charities to be more transparent and build better relationships with donors.

The company plans to use blockchain technology – to create a giving platform using a new cryptocurrency, also called Giftcoin, to donate to charity.

Using blockchain, Giftcoin claims to:

• enable charities to showcase the value of their donations

• ensure donors can track where their money goes

• provide a new way of accepting frictionless cryptocurrency donations

• collect micro-donations for charity, e.g. through rounding-up payments

• lower transaction fees for donations to charity

Using “smart contracts”, Giftcoin plans to keep donors informed about how the charities they support are progressing and only unlock funds once certain requirements have been fulfilled.

For example, if a donor has given money to a charity planning to build a well, the project could be broken down into three stages: finding the land, building the well, handing it over to the community. After each milestone is reached, donors will be told. Once this has been independently verified, the next stage of funding will be released to the charity.

The company will also build an app to enable members of the public to donate small amounts each time they make a purchase by rounding the amount up. It will charge a fee to anyone wanting to move their accumulated tokens off the platform, or to anyone wanting to convert another cryptocurrency into Giftcoin.

The company has a number of charity advisers offering support including Jon Duschinsky, who created the Ice Bucket Challenge, Lady Astor of Hever, vice-president of the National Autistic Society and patron of a number of other causes, and Shirley Conran, author and founder of the Work Life Balance Trust. Giftcoin also has advisers from the blockchain and investment communities.

The first token event, the process of investing in Giftcoin to enable its founders to build and pilot the platform, will begin next month and aims to raise between $2m and $10m.

Giftcoin plans to test the platform in June and then launch in beta in July before rolling the final product out in September.