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Spreading the Love: Global Aid Group UNICEF Considers Running Its Own ICO

In another sign of coming mainstream adoption, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has officially signaled its interest in creating a cryptocurrency and thereafter running an ICO to help further the agency’s mission to bring aid to children across the globe.

This initiative is part of a wider UNICEF effort to begin engaging with, and investing in, blockchain technologies.

Indeed, Chris Fabian, the co-founder of UNICEF Ventures, sees the agency’s mission as two-pronged, relying both on development and investment.

“If we are in a place to look at designing our own token, look at others to help design theirs in a way that we can be a part of, and potentially also have a crypto-denominated investment fund, those would all be things that would be on our roadmap for the near future,” Fabian commented to CoinDesk.

With regard to development, Fabian and his team are looking at Ethereum and its ERC-20 standard in particular for UNICEF’s potential tokenization effort. To this end, his team is currently studying Ethereum’s smart contract language Solidity to get a better feel for how an ICO would go.

“We’re using that because we think it’s important for our team to understand Solidity and kind of have a sense of what an ERC token looks like, how that would work,” Fabian said.

UNICEF is doing its homework, then, and could look to other high-profile national cryptocurrency efforts, like Russia’s “cryptoruble” and Japan’s “J-coin,” for inspiration.

And if the agency’s potential cryptocurrency ends up successfully optimizing and monetizing UNICEF’s aid efforts, look for other, similar non-governmental organizations to attempt their own tokenization efforts en masse.

Such a dynamic would naturally create strong mid- and long-term upward pressure on the prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum, as droves of NGOs come to follow UNICEF’s lead in entering institutional money into the crypto space.

TLDR: UNICEF is looking at creating its own cryptocurrency and running its own ICO, showing that crypto could be on the verge of revolutionizing global aid efforts. 



William M. Peaster is a cryptocurrency journalist and copy-editor based out of El Paso, Texas. He's an avid fan of Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, and smart contracts in general.

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