US Bail Funds Are Seeing an Uptick in Cryptocurrency Donations

Tuesday 27 October 2020, 5:02 AM AEST - 1 month ago

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For many people arrested, especially low-income citizens, bail funds are their best hope for freedom while they await trial. Now, some of those funds are accepting cryptocurrency donations.

Facilitated by crypto payment processor The Giving Block, the Bail Project, the Chicago Community Bond Fund and the Nashville Community Bail Fund, for example, accept cryptocurrency including bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and even basic attention token (BAT). Theyve taken in thousands of dollars in crypto donations since the summer, according to The Giving Block, which could be a sign of larger adoption in the space of bail funds.

This summer saw a rise in civil action against police violence in the U.S., with thousands of protestors taking to the streets over the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Numerous protestors were arrested. Around this time, Alex Wilson, co-founder of The Giving Block, started hearing from bail funds that were interested in using The Giving Block to process cryptocurrency payments.

According to the director of the Community Justice Exchange, Pilar Weiss, not many of the organizations member bail funds accept crypto. She said that is based on the grassroots nature of many crowdfunding actions for bail funds. While a handful of their member funds accept crypto, including the Richmond Bail Fund, if they do its usually because they have some back-end administrative capacity to accept.

Weiss said she could see that change, however, as fundraising platforms like PayPal, for example, move into accepting cryptocurrency donations.

The traditional kind of nonprofit donor, which some nonprofits rely on, are on the older side, in their fifties and sixties, and often even retired, said Wilson. Sometimes [nonprofits] have a hard time connecting with younger donors. So they see this as one of those ways of doing that. I ...

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