Should Charities Start Accepting Donations in Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrency is popular nowadays. There’s rarely a day without news about it. There are many blogs about it. You can find many cryptocurrency related posts on social media. Even YouTube has tons of videos about this virtual currency. With this in mind, is it time for charities to start accepting cryptocurrency?

The answer is certainly yes. There’s no reason not to accept donations in cryptocurrency. Aside from the fact that it’s ridiculous to refuse a donation, cryptocurrency has value. It’s not just some exclusive currency used by a certain group of people. It has users in different parts of the world who recognise its value.

How Can Cryptocurrency Be Considered Money?

Cryptocurrency can be considered as money for three main reasons: it can be converted to cash, it can be used to buy things, and it can be sold to those who want to get bitcoins.

Cryptocurrency may not be comparable to fiat currency when it comes to acceptability as a medium of exchange but it is very much possible to convert cryptocurrency to fiat currency or cash. There are cryptocurrency exchanges in different parts of the world. Through these cryptocurrency exchanges, you can exchange your cryptocurrency with fiat currency such as the British pound or euro. You may also exchange your cryptocurrency with other cryptocurrencies.

On the other hand, you can use cryptocurrency to buy products. Many establishments both online and offline already accept cryptocurrencies, bitcoin in particular. You don’t have to worry about what to do with the bitcoin you receive. It can be directly used to purchase different kinds of things in stores in different parts of the world.

Lastly, you can convert your bitcoins into cash by selling it to those who are looking for bitcoins. It’s similar to selling PayPal funds to those who have cash but don’t have the means to fund their PayPal accounts. There are many online who post advertisements for the sale of bitcoins as well as those who are looking to buy bitcoins.

The Value of Cryptocurrency

For many, the value of cryptocurrency is equated to its equivalent in fiat money. For those who don’t see cryptocurrency as an acceptable currency by itself, its worth is based on how it compares to standard currencies, the so-called cryptocurrency price. Bitcoin, for example, at the time this article was written, had a price of GBP 4766.97 based on Coindesk’s numbers. This means that if you go to Coindesk to have your bitcoin exchanged with British pounds, you will get GBP 4766.97for every bitcoin less the associated transaction costs.

It’s important to emphasise, however, that the price of cryptocurrency is volatile. The price or exchange rate moves quickly, more than how it works with standard foreign currency exchange. Additionally, different bitcoin exchanges impose varying exchange rates. Refer to crypto reviews for a guide on which cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges are considered the best.

There’s just no reason not to accept cryptocurrency unless there are legal restrictions in owning and using this digital currency. Bitcoin, in particular, is already gaining ground. Its GBP exchange rate or bitcoin price may have already dropped from the historic highs nearing GBP 14,000 but it still enjoys good value and definitely worth accepting as a donation.

Also read: What Kind of Work Goes into Maintaining Gorilla Pens?

Saving The Congo Gorillas From Extinction

g29The Congo Basin is home to some rare fauna and is one of the best bio-diverse with a wide range of species. There are some exclusive species in the region. Among the long list of species, the most endangered are the lowland Gorilla, an inhabitant of Gabon and the Republic of Congo. This is the place where you can find most of the lowland Gorilla. Congo is devoid of anthropogenic influences, yet there is a serious decline in the number of gorillas. The reason attributed is the rise in infrastructural developmental activities happening in the rainforests, disturbing the ecosystem.

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Credit: Mahlatini Luxury Safari

The Endangered Species International (ESI) promotes conservational projects to save the planet from flora and fauna extinction. ESI has its site in the Congo basin and the study reveals around 58 gorillas live in 123 sq km. It was estimated that the density of weaned gorillas was at 0.81 individuals/sq km in the forest and no individuals in the degraded forests. In protected areas with well-preserved habitats, the gorillas were lower than expected. There is a hot spot for the gorillas. The human activities are threatening the very existence of the animals in the Congo region. It is putting tremendous pressure on the animals.

In the study site of 123 sq km, the ESI protects the lowland gorillas as part of the conservation activities. Other endangered species in studied in the project includes mandrills, forest elephants. African dwarf crocodiles among others. There is some plant life that is also threatened. The major cause of concern was illegal wild meat hunting and deforestation happening for the past 2 decades. Now these concerns have been contained to a certain extent. ESI works in close coordination with the forest hunters and has started a cooperative named the Hunter for Gorilla Conservation program. Moreover, with the help of ESI, an ecotourism on a small scale is being conducted along with awareness seminars.

Read also : Simple Trekking Rules To Follow During Gorilla Tourism

How Climate Change Affects Gorilla Population?

gIt was the World Environment Day, and the university students of Goma were enlightened on the climate change and its effects on the ecosystem by Tuver Wundi. The Great Lakes is the home to some exotic and threatened species, and it is the abode of mountain gorillas. It is also home to diverse ecosystems. The extreme use of natural resources at the border of the Virunga National Park can have adverse consequences on the ecosystem. The loss of the habitat is attributed to the illegitimate fuel market. It is the greatest threat gorillas are facing. The species depends on plants for both food and shelter, and the destruction of the forest is threatening their livelihood.

777AC506-9076-46CF-8742-EBE22410D6C2_mw1024_mh1024_sThe habitat loss can also be attributed to being the reason for the problem. The major cause for the climate change is illegal deforestation globally. It is only in the recent past that people have started to notice the problems faced in Africa due to the changes in the climate. The weather patterns change, and the harvest is disrupted. If this act of negligence is not stopped, it could be detrimental to the ecosystem. It is important to act now before everything goes out of control informs Tuver.

The university students were listening intensely to the speech, and their reception was cordial says Tuver. The interest shown by the students is a good sign that the future is in safe hands. The awareness of the climate change and its dangers in the eastern Congo region is on the rise, and it is no more the interest of a few environmentalists and gorilla conservationists who look for immediate action but also the student community. The students have to get engaged in environmental activities and should take an active part in educating the communities on protecting the forest, saving the gorilla and save the planet from destruction, ended Tuver.

Read also : Facts On Gorillas

Protecting The Great Apes Of Congo

CGJIWbUUsAAissaEffective conservation is teamwork, and it can be achieved with only working in coordination with government authorities and NGOs. This fact is true to the Congo basin that is driven by insecurity and poverty along with the red-tapism of the bureaucracy. The special awareness event at Goma was organized by the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN) along with NGOs supported by the funds from Arcus Foundation. The workshop had a huge turnout and elaborated on the functioning of the governments and the civil society in protecting the great apes from extinction in the Congo region.

programme_chimpanzes_3The lecture of Jean-Claude Kyungu Kasolene was information, and he runs the conservation project at Mount Tshiaberium. JC has completed the master’s degree in Gorilla behavior and can tell the genetic difference among the four types of gorillas, their behavior and habitat patterns and how it can affect the conservation process. There was sufficient information on how the local communities benefited from the protection of Gorillas and primates. It may be noted that the southern part of Nigeria and Cameroon benefitted immensely by the protection of the species. It has helped in developing the forest.

Once JC finished his speech, prominent official from the region pledged their support to protect both chimpanzees and gorillas. Anselme Kitakya, the Provincial Minister of the Environment from the North Kivu and the Vice President, inked the agreement for the protection of flora and fauna in the region that remains to be the last habitat for the gorillas and other primates. With this done, the team is all set to roll out the SafeZone Project where two million trees will be planted, and a safe habitat will be created for the Gorillas away from human interference. The saplings will take the time to grow into trees, but nevertheless, the beginning is made.

Read also : Mountain Gorilla- Gorilla Beringei Beringei

Tips To Safeguard The Mountain Gorillas

gallery_snowflake_3Tourists and animal lovers are always thrilled spotting endangered species and are often enthused to feel these creatures. But animal activists say that it is not wise to have close contact with the endangered species. Mountain gorillas are threatened by the disease transmission that happens during contact with the humans. This has been a cause of concern for activists who work for the preservation of these species. Though, it cannot be denied that research and work of the scientists along with tourism play a vital role in the survival of these endangered species.

There are some tips offered by the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. The good news is tourism protects the species from going extinct. The DR Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda are the home to the mountain gorillas. The mode of livelihood is farming in Africa. The government has restricted agriculture in the gorilla’s volcano surroundings as an effort to protect the species. This extreme step has been taken because the funds coming from tourism is more than using the park for other purposes. Gorillas are susceptible to disease that affects humans and therefore it is advised not to trek when you are sick.

While on gorilla tourism ensures that you do not alter the behavioral pattern of the ape. It is advised to stay 7 meters away from the animal. Younger gorillas do not know the rules and try to touch the humans, so it is safe to stay 7 meters during the interaction with the animal. The best way to be part of the effort of saving the endangered species is to donate for the cause. The conservation project runs mostly on donations and grants. While donating, evaluate the organization and offer your contributions. Apart from gorilla trekking, there are other activities available in the park that also needs your attention, like visiting the Nyiragongo volcano, My Karismibi, seeing golden monkeys and more.

Simple Trekking Rules To Follow During Gorilla Tourism

gorillaGorilla trekking is popular among the safaris, and various national parks exhibit gorillas in their natural habitat. The most prominent among them include Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, Virunga National Park in the DRC, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Despite the best government and private efforts, there is a lot to be done for protecting the species. Some of the ways to support the case include, spreading the work about gorilla tourism. It helps create awareness and generate funds for the cause. Befriend a gorilla at the Friend a Gorilla campaign helping to protect the gorillas. The initiative was started by the Uganda Wildlife Authority at a cost of $1 to become a friend of a gorilla at the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network and the International Gorilla Conservation Programme have launched the Gorilla Friendly Pledge to create awareness on minimizing the risk of transmitting diseases from humans. Share your feedback about the trip. Your gorilla safari experience could be an eye opening experience to many others. It helps to promote Gorilla tourism. There are NGO, Inter-Government organizations and other bodies working towards protecting the species. Take part in the effort by donating to the cause of protecting mountain gorillas from extinction.

Facts On Gorillas

CdyDZFZWEAA-ZfoAbout five million years ago, the African apes like the gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees diverged from a common ancestor, and they all belong to family Hominidae. They walk on all fours, which is called quadrupedalism. They carry their head and torso’s weight with the help of their knuckles. There are two species of gorilla. They are the Western gorilla and Eastern gorilla. Western has two subspecies called Western Lowland and Crosses River Gorilla whereas the Eastern gorilla has the subspecies of eastern lowland and the mountain gorilla.

It has been proved that gorillas portray individual personalities. They are also found to be capable of expressing emotions like grief. The gorillas live in sociable groups which are often led by male gorilla called silver back. This name is because the male is old and has silver hairs on its back. The group has females and infants. When other male gorillas grow up, they move away from their group to form a new group or join other groups. Different groups are found to live and co-exist in the same area peacefully.

Social bonds are reinforced by a group by social grooming. They groom each other by combing them using their teeth and fingers. They are mostly herbivores, and their diets comprise mainly of leaves, stems, fruits, shoots and sometimes include caterpillars, snails, grubs, ants, and termites.

The females start reproducing at around ten years of age and reproduce every 3-4 years. When a female is in estrus cycle, she can be conceived only for 3 days in a month. They also have gestation period like that of humans, which extends up to 9 months. The young gorillas weigh around 4 pounds, and the growth rate is twice as fast as human offspring. They all nest in the ground and have the ability to our simple tools like stones and sticks. They are usually quiet animals but use various noises to communicate whenever necessary.