On April 18 2016, the Bitpay compliance team approved the Tier upgrade request of the account of Geo-Environmental Resource Association (GERAS) Cameroon to tier 2. GERAS can therefore receive donations in Bitcoins on its website and on the customized web page provided by Bitpay. The CEO of GERAS got in touch with digital currency in the form of a small grant in a Twitter Wallet from The Grantcoin Foundation in early 2015. In trying to make use of the grant, he was advised by the Founder and Executive Director of the Grantcoin Foundation to create an account on Bittrex in order to be able to exchange the Grantcoins (GRT) for Bitcoins (BTC). This process was successful and the next step was to transfer the BTC value to another exchange platform, from where this value can be exchanged for the currencies of one’s choice (USD, EUR, GBP etc…). Bitstamp was a preferred platform to this effect. In order to have a long term fundraising strategy put in place for GERAS, a bitcoin payment processor with donation button for non-profit organization’s website was needed. Bitpay was the preferred destination to this effect. The compliance exercise lasted for six months due to the lack of some essential documents requested by the Compliance Team of Bitpay during the process. Use the link https://bitpay.com/272650/donate
Bitcoin is a payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the invention in 2008 and released it as open-source software in 2009. The system is peer-to-peer; users can transact directly without needing an intermediary. Transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the block chain. The ledger uses its own unit of account, also called bitcoin. The system works without a central repository or single administrator, which has led the US Treasury to categorize it as a decentralized virtual currency. Bitcoin is often called the first cryptocurrency, although prior systems existed. Bitcoin is more correctly described as the first decentralized digital currency. It is the largest of its kind in terms of total market value. Bitcoin is an instrument of alternative finance, which has emerged outside of the traditional financial system. The simplest definition of Bitcoin is the one provided by Andreas Antonopoulos, a world renowned digital currency expert, in his book Mastering Bitcoin:
“Bitcoin is a collection of concepts and technologies that form the basis of a digital money ecosystem”.
As a charity organization, having a donation button on the website makes it easier for donors and supporters to act instantly once on your homepage. Non-profit organizations can further maximize the donations sent in the form of Bitcoins since these transfers are done directly without the mediation of a financial institution, therefore avoiding significant transaction fees. An organization which receives Bitcoin payments or donations cannot be billed chargeback for those transactions. It is impossible to fraudulently spend someone’s Bitcoin without the approval of the owner. You can accept Bitcoin donations and have them automatically converted to national currencies and many Bitcoin payment processors offer free processing for non-profits, meaning that they allow non-profits to convert Bitcoins into national currencies without charging a conversion fee. Bitpay donation options make it simple to accept bitcoins on organization’s website. Accepting bitcoin payments through Bitpay is fast and reliable.
BitPay is a global bitcoin payment service provider headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. It was founded in May 2011 by Tony Gallippi and Stephen Pair. BitPay provides payment processing services for merchants, and is one of the largest bitcoin payment processors. In 2014, BitPay started processing $1 million USD daily. BitPay has partnered with many large merchants over the past year including Microsoft, NewEgg, TigerDirect, and Warner Bros. Records. BitPay has also partnered with PayPal as well as Merchant Acquirers such as Global Payments and Alternet Systems. BitPay has developed many open source bitcoin projects. BitPay’s merchant processing offerings mitigate the risk of bitcoin price volatility by allowing the merchant to accept bitcoin and immediately converting it to US Dollars, Euros, or the currency of the merchant’s choice. Bitpay works across 30 currencies and because it is non-reversible, it makes it valuable for merchants who are working internationally. In 2013 it was announced that merchants could accept Bitcoin and receive fiat currency the next day for a low 0.99% fee
According to a 2015 post by The Paypers, the Cameroon government started to experiment with Bitcoin technology in a pilot project, in order to transform its payment ecosystem. The government wanted to illustrate the feasibility of a peer-to-peer, decentralized alternative in order to assign entitlements and benefits directly. Cameroon’s president in his traditional Youth Day message on the eve of the 10th of February 2016, called on youth to engage in agriculture and digital economy; to seize the many opportunities available in the ICT sector in order to contribute to the economic development of the country. March 3 – 4, 2016 marked the first edition of the “Digital Economy Days in Cameroon”. The workshop took place in Yaounde; the Cameroonian political capital city, and was organized by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication. Furthermore, a development plan is under preparation for the development of digital economy in Cameroon. To this effect, an inter-ministerial committee led by the Minister of Post and Telecommunication, met for the first time in Yaounde on March 23, 2016 to discuss on the short and long term plans on boosting the development of digital economy in Cameroon.
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