UNICEF turns mining malware into good—donate computing power instead of cash

In a funny twist, the mechanism commonly used as a mining malware is now being used for a good cause: UNICEF now allows you to donate some of your computing power instead of cash.

Since last year, several organizations—including government websites—have been plagued by a series of pestilent attacks based on several hacking tools leaked from the NSA. One of these tools gave birth to the CoinHive, a malware that had gained notoriety after discreetly being slipped into users’ computers through some usability plug-ins and secretly mined Monero for the hackers.

Now, Unicef is using a similar mechanism in order to generate funds without requiring donors to shell out their own cash. According to ZDNet, UNICEF’s donation platform is powered by the same Monero mining program. But unlike the Monero miner, the website—named theHopePage.org, clearly asks users for confirmation before using anybody’s system to mine for UNICEF Australia. Users can also adjust how much computing power they are willing to donate, and can simply keep the browser tab open to keep contributing. This gives people an opportunity to “give hope, just by being here,” as their website says.

“The longer you stay on the page and the more processor power you donate, the more algorithms get solved, which earns cryptocurrency,” they wrote in their website. “Mining is perfectly safe for your computer. If you’re ever worried about power consumption, turn down the amount of processing power you’re donating.”

Upon agreeing, the website then proceeds to use the viewer’s computing power to mine cryptocurrencies, the proceeds of which go directly to the fund, the organizations says.

“The cryptocurrency is automatically donated to UNICEF Australia and is turned into real funds that reach children through life-saving supplies like safe water, therapeutic food and vaccines. Turn the Hopepage into your homepage to give every day.”

As of last check, over 1,600 people were donating to the website.

This is not the first time UNICEF turned to cryptocurrency mining to solicit computing power donations. In February, they also appealed to online gamers, who are likely to have powerful graphics cards perfect for crypto mining. The website, Game Chaingers, would allow gamers to donate their computing power to help Syrian children, although attention to the website has died down since its launch.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

UNICEF turns to cryptocurrency mining to help Syrian children

Charity organizations always look to out-of-the-box methods for increasing the money they collect for their causes. One of the world’s most well-known non-profit organizations, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), is paving the way for unique methods. They are looking to online gamers to mine cryptocurrencies for the charity.

A few days ago, UNICEF launched a fundraising program designed to raise funds to protect Syrian children. Gamer Chaingers, as the new program is called, takes advantage of cryptocurrency mining to deliver funds to the group, foregoing the need to ask the public for donations. The novel approach is expected to run until March 31 of this year.

UNICEF created a website especially for the event. From there, users can download the mining software and review the operation instructions. So far, 326 people have downloaded the software, and just over $1,000 has been raised.

Because the group typically goes to the same donors repeatedly seeking funds, it decided to try a different tactic with Gamer Chaingers. The gaming community was chosen because computer games require powerful graphics cards to provide better rendering to the games. These same graphic cards are beneficial for faster cryptocurrency mining.

Since gamers aren’t always using their computers—they have to sleep, work, stop to eat or even study—the downtime can be used to mine coins like Ethereum. This will generate the funds UNICEF desperately needs, without the user having to be hassled with money transfers.

The one obvious drawback to this solution is the current market volatility witnessed in the cryptocurrency market. The recent fluctuations in major coins like SegWit1x (BTC) and Ethereum could produce results lower than what UNICEF anticipates receiving. However, if the analysts are correct and cryptocurrencies continue to bounce back, it could be a significant whirlwind of funds.

Founded in 1946, UNICEF is one of the most well-known and well-respected charity organizations around the world. It receives donations from both governments and private citizens, and has raised over $5 billion since its inception. It joins a very short list of non-profit charity groups to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, which it was awarded in 1965.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.