The Salvation Army Accepts Crypto for Holiday Cheer

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In Brief
  • The Salvation Army is now accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum donations.

  • The pandemic has increased poverty, raising the need for charity in 2020.

  • Crypto donations use the hype of a new monetary system to help the charity meet its needs while maintaining social distancing.

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The Salvation Army has announced that it will accept crypto donations. As crypto prices rise and social distancing remains a reality, the organization is looking to take advantage of the emerging digital phenomenon.

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What Would Satoshi Do?

Maybe you’ve seen them on the streets or hanging out in front of grocery stores as their breath condenses into a willowy fog? They ring their bells, they beat red kettles, and they’re dressed as Santa Claus. They want you to donate to charity. Yes, it’s the salvation army.

Unlike holiday drives of the past, this year sees good samaritans staying home to adhere to social distancing. Likewise, there has been a rocketing of interest in digital currencies. From Central Banks to libertarians, everyone wants to send their money digitally.

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The 150-year-old charity organization is embracing the new asset class this year, seeing crypto donations as an opportunity to help the poor. On Dec 15, 2020, Engiven, Inc. announced that it would be handling cryptocurrency donations for the Salvation Army

Digital Red Kettles

Mostly in the US, the army’s converts stand on the street, wishing people happy holidays throughout December. They heartily request shoppers drop their spare change into their famous red kettles.

But with people staying home (and away from retail shopping), getting donations has been harder than usual. According to the Salvation Army, the pandemic has hit poor communities hardest, so fundraising has become an issue.

The Christian organization says it normally helps 23 million Americans a year. However, this year it expects a 155% increase over normal demand because of poverty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

Perhaps fortunate for the army, it has a backup operation: crypto. Commissioner Douglas Riley of the USA Western Territory chapter said:

 “We believe that the value and mainstream use of Bitcoin had created a wonderful donation opportunity to meet the high level of need.” 

Know-ho-ho Your Customer

As with any tidings and good cheer, there are Know-Your-Customer (KYC) restrictions. Engiven assures users that, if they follow the platform’s protocols, crypto donations will be safe, secure, and tax-deductible.

Engiven works with charities and nonprofit organizations to bring crypto to their coffers. Though the Army, a religious charity, accepts digital currency as donations, it does not appear to be a hodler. According to its website, Engiven will convert the crypto it receives into US dollars

Engiven also seeks to educate the public about giving to charity in crypto. The firm describes crypto donations as being as simple as using a credit card. It also says that people can donate to any of the 1.6 million US non-profits using the platform.  


With Bitcoin gaining mainstream traction and passing $23,000, this may be a wise year to accept crypto transactions. The charitable can send the Salvation Army Bitcoin and Ethereum, socially distanced of course, at cryptokettle.org.

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Harry Leeds is a writer, editor, and journalist who spent much time in the former USSR covering food, cryptocurrencies, and healthcare. He also translates poetry and edits the literary magazine mumbermag.me.

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