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UNICEF Unveils Blockchain Ethereum Fundraising To Help Syrian Children


UNICEF is asking gamers and eSports fans around the world to help raise funds to support children in the war-torn Syria, using the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

The UN agency has launched a project that asks gamers to join an effort called "Game Chaingers", which aims to raise funds by mining the cryptocurrency Ethereum, which ranks second after Bitcoin.

The project, which was launched on January 30, will run until March 31.

Cryptocurrencies are peer-to-peer and decentralized, and exists on a network of computers that validates transactions on consensus. Mining is the process by which computers on a network validate transactions and earn a fixed amount of cryptocurrencies as reward.

While Bitcoin mining is an expensive process as it requires intensive power use and powerful computer graphics cards, rivals such as Ethereum can be generated in a relatively cheaper way.

In the "Game Chaingers" fund-raising project, mining will consume only the computer power that is required to play a video game, UNICEF said on the project website. And, miners are expected to contribute only a "punctual and brief participation".

This is the first ever blockchain fundraising by mining Ethereum for UNICEF. Nearly 8.3 million children need help in Syria and neighboring countries, the UNICEF said.

The agency is targeting 50 contributions and has received EUR 50.51 as on 8.49 am ET on February 2. Sixteen miners have already joined the network.

Anyone with a computer that has a graphic card can join the network. Participants have to furnish some basic information regarding their computers on the project's website and install a mining software called Claymore to generate Ethereum directly into the UNICEF's wallet.

Professional gamers such as France's Antoine "Dayshi" Stievenart and Brazil's Gabriel Toledo, and eSports teams such as Germany's SK Gaming and the USA's Team Envy are among the project's ambassadors.

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is also planning to make $50,000-$90,000 equity-free investments to provide early stage finance to for-profit technology start-ups that can benefit the humanity. The agency is currently looking to invest in start-ups developing software solutions on open blockchains.

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