These days, doing charitable work does not require anything from the donor other than visiting a website. But rather than making an online donation, Unicef Australia is joining the crypto mining bandwagon and wants its visitors to merely donate the processing power of their PCs to help them mine cryptocurrencies.
It’s all for good cause of course. UNICEF, after all, is a United Nations program based in New York City that was put up to provide humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.
While other branches of the agency used more traditional methods in sourcing funds for their various projects, UNICEF Australia is a bit more innovative in its approach. The Australian branch just launched what it aptly named The Hope Page which allows visitors to donate not in money but by letting the agency use a bit of the computing power of visitors’ computers for mining cryptocurrencies. Proceeds will be used to fund the agency’s projects concerning Bangladesh children.
UNICEF used Coinhive’s opt-in version where users can turn on Monero mining for the site they are visiting. But unlike those shady mining scripts from other sites, however, UNICEF Australia’s site will need the consent of the visitor before it can commence mining.
Visitors can also select how much processing power they wish to donate during the visit. Options range from a low of 20 percent to a high of 80 percent.
Anyone who has been following the news would know that Coinhive is exactly the firm which was in the spotlight very recently for using a crypto-jacking script that mined digital currencies without asking the consent of the PC owner. At the height of the malware epidemic, more than 50,000 sites were affected.
Since then, Coinhive has been trying to shake off the negative publicity and has now included an opt-in feature which would only activate the mining activity if the user chose to.
While the idea of anyone using your PC’s resources to mine cryptocurrencies for themselves is a little bit unsettling, UNICEF Australia doing it for humanitarian reasons makes it more acceptable to visitors.
“We wanted to leverage new emerging technologies to raise awareness about current humanitarian crises and raise funds to support children caught up in them,” UNICEF Australia’s Director of Fundraising and Communications Jennifer Tierney explained. “The HopePage allows Australians to provide help and hope to vulnerable children by simply opening the page while they are online.”
Technology is inherently amoral; whether it is good or bad depend only on the intention of the one who wields it. While crypto mining scripts have accrued some negative connotation lately, UNICEF Australia’s project shows that it these scripts can also be used for the greater good.
Speaking of greater good, most cryptocurrency investors would agree that the repeal of net neutrality rules is not a good thing for netizens. For those who want to maintain a net neutral browsing experience, take a look at the products being offered by d-net. The company is known for taking a stand on the net neutrality issue and has vowed that it would treat all types of content equally.