$6 Billion United Nations Agency Launches Bitcoin, Ethereum Crypto Fund

$6 Billion United Nations Agency Launches Bitcoin, Ethereum Crypto Fund

$6 Billion United Nations Agency Launches Bitcoin, Ethereum Crypto Fund

Bitcoin – When Christina Lomazzo was a teenager, she used to hop back and forth across the U.S. Canada border for fun. A native of Ontario, with a father born in Italy, Lomazzo grew up speaking French, English, and Italian, and when things were slow in her home town she and her friends would pile into a black SUV, cross the Detroit River to the United States and watch all-star Rasheed Wallace and the Detroit Pistons. Instead of buying each other presents when she was a kid, Lomazzo’s family took trips around the world.

Now the 28-year-old former project coordinator for the Bank of Canada and co-founder of Deloitte’s government blockchain practice is leveraging her international background at the United Nations, where in September 2018 she was hired as the United Nations Children’s Fund’s first head of blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, that makes transactions across borders as easy as if borders didn’t exist at all. After 14 months’ work at the imposing United Nations Plaza in New York, Lomazzo and her international team, today announced the UNICEF Crypto Fund, a prototype that lets the agency accept bitcoin and ether donations and invest them directly into blockchain startups

In addition to investing cryptocurrency into early stage, open-source companies working with children, the fund represents the first time any UN agency, much less one that generated $6.7 billion revenue last year, will be able to accept bitcoin and ethereum donations. The prototype launched today with a donation of 1 bitcoin and 10,000 ether from the Switzerland-based Ethereum Foundation has already signed agreements with agencies from four nations, UNICEF USA, UNICEF France, UNICEF Australia, and UNICEF New Zealand to start accepting cryptocurrency donations immediately.

As the United Nations, which last year received $15 billion in donations, kicks off a new phase of development where it sees itself as much a financial innovator as a dispenser of aid, the ability to accept cryptocurrency donations and track exactly how they were spent could pave the way for a new, more transparent agency, leading to more donations than ever.

“We don’t see the Crypto Fund so much as being crypto,” says Lomazzo, speaking from the UNICEF office of innovation in New York. “What we really see it as is being ready for a digital future. We’re going to need to be ready to deal with digital assets whether that be bitcoin, or ether, or some other government-backed digital currency. It could be any of those, but this is really helping us build up the muscles to understand how to live or how to on-board digital assets.”

As the United Nations, which last year received $15 billion in donations, kicks off a new phase of development where it sees itself as much a financial innovator as a dispenser of aid, the ability to accept cryptocurrency donations and track exactly how they were spent could pave the way for a new, more transparent agency, leading to more donations than ever.

“We don’t see the Crypto Fund so much as being crypto,” says Lomazzo, speaking from the UNICEF office of innovation in New York. “What we really see it as is being ready for a digital future. We’re going to need to be ready to deal with digital assets whether that be bitcoin, or ether, or some other government-backed digital currency. It could be any of those, but this is really helping us build up the muscles to understand how to live or how to on-board digital assets.”

This article originally appeared on forbes.com To read the full article and see the images, click here.

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