Mining for charity: UNICEF campaign

Mining for charity: UNICEF campaign

A lot of social, economic and political issues need our attention and resources. Donating cash and volunteering at NGOs to help combat some challenges goes a long way. However, there are several novel methods being used to raise money for people in need across the globe. The latest attempt is UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) trying to raise money for charity through cryptoasset-mining using computing power of devices across the world. UNICEF has seen value in the tech-driven way of doing noble work.

UNICEF’s The Hopepage Campaign

UNICEF Australia launched the campaign on April 29. It allows users to lend their computer’s processing power to mine cryptoasset as a donation for charity. Jennifer Tierney, UNICEF Australia’s director of fundraising commented,

“We wanted to leverage new emerging technologies to raise awareness about current humanitarian crises and raise funds to support children caught up in them.”

In the pursuit of using advanced technologies for a good cause, UNICEF Australia has designed and set up a website called ‘The Hopepage’ which allows volunteers to donate between 20 percent and 80 per cent of their computing power.

Once you click on the ‘Start Donating’ link on the website, a pop-up appears stating that “ would like to use your computing power,” assures the user that the algorithms work through the browser’s sandbox and hence, no downloads are required. The algorithm powered by Coinhive’s Javascript-based mining tool, AuthedMine mines Monero, an alternative cryptoasset to Bitcoin. Monero is said to be more private as it shuffles users’ identifying information.


Although Monero can rarely be used to buy goods directly, it can easily be converted into fiat asset which in turn can be used to purchase ‘life-saving supplies like safe water, therapeutic food and vaccines’ for children as mentioned on The Hopepage. The top right corner of the page mentions the total hash count and the hash rate at the moment. At the time of writing 9,271 people across the globe have volunteered to offer their computer’s processing power for this noble cause. Volunteers just need to ensure that they permit usage of their processing power to an extent that suits their ability. One can select the percentage of the computing power they want to donate and click on ‘Confirm’ to set that number for the time till when they opt to keep the page open and donate.

The noble cause behind the UNICEF campaign

The campaign was designed to help the victims of the Rohingya refugee crisis. The surge of violence in Myanmar has rendered 400,000 children homeless and has forced them to flee to Bangladesh in search of shelter. UNICEF is responding to this spiralling emergency by adopting this method of helping the sick, hungry and helpless children.

This is not the first time UNICEF has turned toward cryptoassets to fund charity. In February 2018, a two-month long charity campaign called was launched asking PC gamers to mine Ethereum that would then be converted into funds for Syrian children. The effort was not very successful as it had only raised just around 1,000 euros with more than 11,000 contributors before it ended on March 31. The UNICEF campaign to help the Rohingya refugee crisis victims is an application of technology to solve a refugee crisis!.

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