UNICEF initiative mobilises gamers to mine cryptocurrency for good cause

Gamers become crypto-mining activists under UNICEF’s Game Chainger project

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) is exploring unconventional means to engage the youth in volunteerism, and what better way to do that than through cryptocurrency?

One of Unicef’s recent initiatives is Game Chaingers, a project which combines cryptocurrency mining and gaming as a novel force for change. Their target audience: gamers.

Game Chaingers turns graphics cards into a humanitarian tool and organize [sic] the first ever blockchain fundraising by mining Ethereum for Unicef,” Unicef says on its website.

The project hopes to appeal to gamers by enabling them to “generate Ethereum that will go directly to the Unicef e-wallet” as they “make available the computing resources of (their) computers”.

As computing power is contributed and transactions are validated, cryptocurrency is generated in proportion to the computer’s level of involvement in the calculation.

By leveraging such technology, Unicef looks to “borrow PCs’ processing power instead of straight-out appealing for cash”, technology blog Engadget reported. “Even those who wouldn’t usually give to charities could contribute.”

This is not the first time the programme has worked with cryptocurrency and certainly not the last.

Unicef made its “first block-chain investment” in 2017 and had a hand in the “creation of an investment fund backed by cryptocurrency”, according to digital currency news site CoinDesk.

“It would be open to exploring how it could issue custom cryptocurrencies, either to further its mission or the goals of its partners,” the report added.

Need for new volunteers

This revolutionary movement by the humanitarian program comes in the wake of its currently shrinking pool of ageing donors.

“Unicef says it created the project out of a need to find new donors, since most of its benefactors are already over 50,” according to Engadget.

A diminishing donor supply is not the only reason for appealing to the young gamer demographic. Unicef has targeted gamers because they are seen as “activist, supportive, and because (they) have the largest number of powerful graphics cards”.

By eliminating the restrictions of physical money, gamers and eSports enthusiasts can contribute to a good cause by simply signing up on the Game Chaingers website and staying connected.

Contributors do not have to fear spikes in electricity usage and damage to hardware as only a partial amount of processing power is used and “punctual and brief participation” is required.

Where the money ends up

Game Chaingers has currently raked in 1970 euros from more than 600 contributors as of 9 February 2018.

According to Unicef, money generated by Game Chaingers is used to help 8.3 million needy children in Syria and neighbouring countries hosting refugees.

“These efforts are critical not only for defending the rights of children, but also for safeguarding their future,” the organisation said on its official website.

It added that aid is provided via four “fields of action” – water and hygiene, education, children’s protection and health.