Couple Set Up Bitcoin College Fund for Baby Girl

Readers of a recent edition of The Times newspaper were surprised to see a particularly unusual birth announcement in which the parents asked their fellow readers to send them Bitcoin for their newly-born daughter.

Wioletta and Peter Bowles from London, who already have a son called Philip, proudly announced the birth of their new daughter, Izabella Anna who came into the world on 6th January 2019 weighing 2.2kg. However, it was not their choice of name or the baby’s size that grabbed the attention of eagle-eyed newspaper enthusiasts, but the advertisement’s title and Bitcoin address. “Bitcoin Baby” took the place of the child’s name as the title while the bottom of the announcement included an address where readers could donate the popular cryptocurrency to Izabella’s “Bitcoin College fund”.

At the time of writing, the proud parents have received no less than 152 donations, totalling 1.035 BTC. Using today’s conversion rates, baby Izabella has already gained the equivalent of £2,845 to put towards her chosen university course when she turns 18. According to online sources, the average UK and EU-born student has to pay up to £9,250 in university fees per year, which means that the Bowles’ daughter has already saved nearly a third of what she needs to get her through Year 1.

In the past couple of years, more cryptocurrency crowdfunding websites have launched, allowing non-profit and charity organisations (as well as private users) to raise funds in alternative ways.

BitGive is one of the most popular US-based Bitcoin charities, and it currently helps Save the Children and The Water Project through its tax-exempt Bitcoin crowdfunding campaigns.

The popular “Dummies” series has even gone so far as to include a dedicated section in its “Bitcoin for Dummies” book called “Crowdfunding with Bitcoin”, in which it gives readers helpful tips on how to create a successful campaign. For example, it points out that because cryptocurrencies are not taxable in most countries, people can view them as a “safe haven for tax-free funding”.

Other tips from the Dummies team include “when crowdfunding, never list a fake project or claim to do something with the money that you never intend to fulfil” as, even though Bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed, “people will hunt you down if you try to run off with their money”. The book also points out that those who choose to donate to campaigns are doing so “in order to make someone’s dream come true”, and should not take part in a crowdfunding campaign to qualify for a reward.

In November 2018, a new crowdfunding platform with a social mission called WHIRL was launched, and it’s exclusively powered by blockchain technology. According to WHIRL, users can obtain funding for just about anything, provided it’s legal, including a “start-up company, a charitable project, a gift, a holiday or a new car”.

By backing other peoples’ projects using any major cryptocurrency, users can earn Karma points that can be used to set up their own crowdfunding campaigns on the WHIRL platform.

By Laura Kilby

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