Raising funds through the sale of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is not only faster, but also cheaper, according to some Kenya-based activists. The campaigners added that the digital currency also has the “potential to create new ways for young people to earn, spend, save and send money”.
Traditional funding channels are drying up
After the Covid-19 pandemic dried up traditional funding channels, some African activists responded by raising funds through the sale of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The funds raised have in turn ensured the continued sponsorship of activists’ social work unhindered by the challenges of the pandemic.
Although cryptocurrency is still relatively new to some activists, a director of a non-profit organization based in the Kenyan slum known as Kibera is quoted in a Thompson Reuters Foundation report stating that it is actually a faster way to raise funds.
“Fundraising via cryptocurrency was something new for us. But it will now inform how we implement our social protection activities, because we have seen how quickly we can move forward in fundraising. funds,” said Byrones Khainga, director of technical services at the Human Needs Project.
According to the report, Khainga’s Human Needs Project was involved in the installation of a plastic sculpture of a giant tap. The sculpture was created by Benjamin Von Wong, an artist/activist – who raised money selling NFTs – and Degenerate Trash Pandas, a Kenyan community of NFTs campaigning against plastic waste. Together they reportedly raised $110,000 through NFTs and those funds were used for the installation of the giant plastic sculpture.
Cryptography Lowers Barriers to Entry
In addition to being a faster way to raise funds, the “crypto [also] lowers barriers to entry,” said Roselyne Wanjiru, a researcher at the Blockchain Association of Kenya. She adds that more and more companies and individuals are turning to this fintech.
The report also quotes Scott Onder, Senior Managing Director of Mercy Corps Ventures, as explaining why cryptocurrencies make it easier to move funds across borders. He said:
Cryptocurrency removes this costly barrier and has the potential to create new ways for young people to earn, spend, save and send money.
While critics often point to the energy inefficiency of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Big Mich, a Kenyan choreographer and youth trainer, argued that the good things in technology should not be ignored. For Von Wong, any fundraising approach that makes it easier to move capital faster and more cheaply “is always a good thing.”
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