Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, DC will accept crypto donations

The archdiocese of Washington, D.C. of the Roman Catholic Church will begin accepting donations in cryptocurrency as part of an effort to grow its ministries.

In a Tuesday announcement, crypto platform Engiven said it would be facilitating donations to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. for fundraising efforts and to increase the church’s “digital stewardship initiatives.” According to the archdiocese’s website, the funds will be used to directly support 139 D.C.-area parishes as well as local programs including providing food to those in need.

“The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. seeks to leverage technology to engage parishioners in new and exciting ways, making it easier for the faithful to fulfill the mission of the Church,” said Joseph Gillmer, executive director of development for the archdiocese.

Engiven’s page for the archdiocese included the option to send donations anonymously in many cryptocurrencies, from Bitcoin (BTC) to 0x (ZRX). According to the platform, funds designated for individual parishes receive 100% of the net proceeds of donations.

Cointelegraph reported in November that Engiven had facilitated crypto donations for more than 400 faith-based organizations, including processing a single BTC donation for $10 million. Founder James Lawrence said at the time that “no faith-based organization, church or non-profit can afford to neglect its online audience, donors and seekers” with crypto becoming a part of that ecosystem.

Related: Pro-Russian groups raised only 4% of crypto donations sent to Ukraine

While certain dioceses within the Roman Catholic Church seem to be open to using the latest technology, the Russian Orthodox Church said in February 2021 that it was not planning to accept cryptocurrency for donations, nor create its own digital currency. A spokesperson suggested at the time that church members send money over the phone rather than crypto. Russian President Vladimir Putin has since signed a bill into law prohibiting digital financial assets as payments in the country.

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