Northern Ontario news: Northern charities can now get donations of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies


While many charities have been able to accept donations of stocks, bonds and other investments, now more they are taking gifts of cryptocurrency.


The fundraising website, CanadaHelps, is the latest to let people donate amounts of the world’s two most popular digital coins, Bitcoin and Ethereum, to any charity registered on its site.


The website’s acting CEO, Jane Barazzutti, said the move came about to encourage more young people to give to their favourite charities.


“There is a giving gap in Canada, and the majority of donations are coming from older donors,” said Barazzutti.


“We also identified that 18 to 24-year-olds, 24 percent of them own cryptocurrency. So, we saw this as an opportunity to offer a donation option for those who are owners of crypto.”


The website converts the digital currency directly to Canadian dollars, and transfers the money to the chosen charity. The site takes a two to three percent cut of crypto donations and also charges fees for other forms of donation.


Many charities in northeastern Ontario, including the Timmins and District Hospital Foundation, stand to benefit from the new service which launched Wednesday.


Executive director, Jason Laneville, said his foundation has been thinking about setting up a crypto donation service as well, seeing this as another option to make charitable giving more convenient for people.


“If somebody walked into the foundation today and wanted to donate cryptocurrency, we’re not set up for that. But it’s something that we have to look to for the future,” said Laneville.


“I think CanadaHelps is doing a good job of being an early adopter of this form of donation.”


The website is among a handful of Canadian agencies to accept crypto donations. Others include the Canadian Red Cross, Pathways to Education, and Action Against Hunger Canada.