Launched in beta this June, bitcoin remittance service BitPesa has launched a new service that aims to help NGOs operating in Nairobi, Kenya receive donations in bicoins with ease and faster.
BitPesa says it’s already working with three Kenyan NGO’s to help them receive donations in form of bitcoins.
“With BitPesa, an NGO can receive Kenyan shillings directly into their corporate mobile money wallet, which it can immediately use to spend on operations,” explained BitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello. While there are a few other companies starting to facilitate the receipt of Bitcoin donations, Rossiello says, “It doesn’t make sense for an NGO to receive Bitcoin donations and then have no way to cash out the Bitcoin into local African currency. BitPesa allows NGOs to receive Kenyan shillings without even having to touch bitcoins.”
BitPesa is working with Tunapanda Institute, a digital skills education NGO, Heshima Children’s Center, a welfare home for children with disabilities, and Reaching Out with Compassion in Kibera (R.O.C.K.), a scholarships and tutoring services NGO targeting at-risk youth in Kibera.
“We’ve already received Bitcoin donations in the past, and look forward to receiving more through the BitPesa platform,”said Jay Larson, Founder of Tunapanda Institute. “These funds will help us build an open source platform to deploy learning content in low-bandwidth areas globally.”
Donors who want to donate and have no bitcoins can purchase them from a Bitcoin ATM, a Bitcoin exchange such as Coinbase or BitStamp, or a peer-to-peer marketplace such as LocalBitcoins.com said the firm.
Bitcoins are becoming more popular for donations both globally and on the continent with non-profits such as Wikipedia, United Way, Safello, among others. In Africa the Botswana Children’s Charity, the Water Project, among others giving to both the fight against Ebola and wildlife poaching in Africa.