Is the blockchain ideal for tracking charitable giving?

Last month, I requested help from the BiblePay members (and crypto community at large) to fund holiday gifts for two supported charities: 1) CameroonONE, and 2) Kairos. I set up a receiving BiblePay address to receive the BiblePay crypto. I also set up credit card, PayPal, and Coinbase Commerce to receive other crypto. By the far, the best trackability was crypto both sender and receiver. Every transaction is public and you can clearly see when the funds were received, how much, and when they were moved.

For credit card or other online payments, the transparency is not clear. You have to trust the receiver that they are handling the funds correctly. The sender can also keep records to show they submitted a donation. With the credit card payment (fiat) after a 3% CC fee, I had to onramp it to Bitcoin (BTC) on GDAX (Coinbase Pro) which again is not public.

All funds were converted to Bitcoin (BTC) and the total fund was split sent to the respective charities. That is also public so you can see the funds were actually sent. The one charity is in Cameroon (Africa) and the other in the Philippines so trying to coordinate and send in the native fiat would add more time and fees. This makes the giving less effective (and less efficient).

From this experience, blockchain helps transparency to a degree, but having to convert to crypto (fiat to crypto, or crypto to crypto) you lose some visibility. Finally, you have to trust the recipient that the funds sent to the charity are used properly. You have no way to know publicly how the funds are used. This is no different from today and you need good accounting and trust to keep working with the charities.

Blockchain an incremental advantage to current financial system to track the movement of transactions, but there’s still a big gap when cryptocurrency is converted to fiat or other crypto. There are certainly many advantages to giving with crypto, so I highly recommend it over fiat, but there’s still a lot more work to be done for full automated transparency.

If you want to see more details, I wrote about experience:

holiday gifts drive: https://whitewalr.us/2019/cameroonone-kairos-children-gifts.html

funds collected and disbursed: https://whitewalr.us/2019/2019-holiday-gift-305.html

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