German bitcoin exchange and wallet provider Cubits is offering a charitable donation service in Bitcoin, to help deal with the current refugee crisis in Europe – minus credit card transaction fees.
Cubits has done tie-ups with four refugee charities in Germany: Aktion Deutschland Hilft, Islamic Relief Deutschland, Pro Asyl and Care. The new service will provide online donations in bitcoin to help people from Syria, Iraq, Albania, Serbia and many other countries get to Central and Western Europe.
Each charity will have their own bitcoin wallet so that donors can send them donations directly. The money is transparently collected by Cubits and converted to the fiat currency of each charities' choice.
Charlotte Bonorden, marketing manager at Cubits told IBTimes UK: "We accept the bitcoin and immediately change it into fiat currency for the charities so they don't hold any bitcoin; they don't have any volatility risk."
Donations can be made on the site, where donors can find an individual QR-code for each participating charity, which can be scanned via smartphone or tablet. The web-based payments process runs similar by manually entering the bitcoin address of the charity.
Cubits said bitcoin is well suited to charitable donations because money can be moved in seconds and to any place in the world without any regulatory hurdles and cross-border fees which can particularly help in crisis situations.
Bonorden added: "Right now we are addressing people who are actually using bitcoin. It's also to educate people about a new way to donate to charity. The advantage is that in the end we can raise more money and the charities don't have to give transaction fees to the credit card companies. This is something we want to make people aware of."
Germany has an appetite for bitcoin; Fidor Bank announced a tie up with German exchange bitcoin.de - the first such agreement in mainland Europe. In addition, there is a part of Berlin known as 'bitcoinkiez' - a "bitcoinhood" or district where many bars, restaurants and other businesses accept bitcoin.