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Donating money during a conflict: crypto vs fiat

Donating money during a conflict: crypto vs fiat

Wherever you live or whatever your financial situation is, you've probably had the urge to help someone before. That's the nature of things - deep down, everybody wants to make the world a better place. Conflicts happen. But sometimes, we have the opportunity to be where help is most needed.

Apart from humanitarian aid, money transfers are also a way to support those in need. Here below, you can choose the method that suits you best.

To find the best method to help those in need, first, think through which dimension of a money transfer is the most important to you.

What is the most important to you when donating money?

Crypto vs fiat donation

When it comes to support, transfer costs may be a thing to consider for some. If you're reading this chapter because costs are the most important thing for you when it comes to transfers, we are here to share a few details.

If you are able to donate in your local currency, you will incur the same costs as for your usual local transactions. If you cannot donate in your local currency, you have to bear the costs of exchanging your local currency to the currency of your donation (e.g. USD, EUR), and you will also pay an international transfer fee, which is usually higher than local transaction fees.

If you donate in crypto and you already own the amount you would like to donate, your transaction cost depends on the cryptocurrency itself and the wallet you use.

If you have to buy the crypto first, you will incur transaction fees according to the schedule of the crypto exchange you use.

Crypto vs fiat donation

There are times when we just don't want to enter the spotlight. Anonymity can be important when you want to make your support under the hood, without stirring the waters.

Anonymity is seen as one of the main advantages of cryptocurrencies, although crypto transactions are not completely anonymous. The sending and receiving wallet addresses, as well as the amounts transferred, are visible on most blockchains. However, the level of anonymity is much higher in the crypto space, therefore donors who prefer keeping the details of their identity confidential might favor cryptocurrency donations over making donations through the traditional financial system in a fiat currency.

Keeping a high level of anonymity might be problematic in this space, so if donors are concerned about not revealing themselves, then a crypto donation could be a more comfortable solution.

Crypto vs fiat donation

Various transfer methods often involve a difference in speed. Cryptocurrencies may arrive instantly, whereas transfers in fiat currencies may take a few days. Here, we detail some differences between these methods.

If you transfer cryptocurrencies, potential beneficiaries receive them much faster than fiat currencies (although not instantly, as the given block containing the transaction needs to be validated, which takes some time). Speed in the crypto space primarily depends on the allocated transaction fees. By contrast, transferring fiat currencies is slower, usually taking 1-5 business days.

Crypto vs fiat donation

How we"re sending money is one thing. Whether that particular financial ecosystem is in a working shape is quite another. Here, you can read more about the resilience of the underlying infrastructure when it comes to crypto and fiat currency.

Putting operational risks aside, the crypto ecosystem seems to be more resilient than the fiat currency system, given crypto’s global nature. For example, it’s likely that the Ukrainian government will access cryptos more easily than fiat currencies held in other countries. By contrast, a major disadvantage for cryptos can be if the crypto wallet owner loses their public/private keys.

Regarding the resilience of fiat currency transfers, transferring to non-Ukrainian bank accounts is considered a more bullet-proof option than transferring to Ukrainian bank accounts.

Crypto vs fiat donation

If you're prioritizing control, you're probably interested in what causes you support, and/or how your money is being used. Here are some key aspects you need to be aware of.

The downside of cryptocurrency donations is that you can’t always influence how your crypto donation is spent.

Within the fiat currency space, there are numerous charitable organizations to choose from (you can see a list of such organizations here) where donors retain some control over how their donations are used, in case someone is uncomfortable with funding armed forces or supporting military activity.

Crypto vs fiat donation
Ease of use

Crypto transfers might be more cumbersome for most donors than fiat currencies. Read the details below.

It’s usually easier for donors to transfer fiat currencies. For example, you can easily add the beneficiary bank account details when you initiate a bank transfer at your bank.

To be able to transfer cryptos, you need access to a crypto wallet. For that, you need a service provider, like a crypto exchange (Coinbase, Kraken, etc.) or a hot/cold wallet. Follow these steps if you would like to transfer cryptos:

  1. Choose a crypto exchange/hot-cold wallet provider and register.
  2. Buy spot crypto by transferring fiat currency via bank transfer and converting that to crypto. You can also buy crypto via credit/debit card, but this is usually really costly.
  3. Select withdrawal/transfer, then add the address (public key) of the beneficiary wallet. Pay attention to the address as transactions are irreversible. Also, pay attention that you send Bitcoin to a Bitcoin address, Ethereum to an Ethereum address, etc.

Crypto vs fiat donation
Further reading

Of course, a conflict can’t be approached from one angle only. We at BrokerChooser have taken a look at other aspects as well, which you can find below. We'll try to keep the list updated. More on the conflict:

Author of this article

Gyula Lencsés, CFA

Author of this article

Gyula Lencsés, CFA has more than 10 years of experience in the financial industry. He spent most of his career in the wealth management business as a portfolio manager of mutual funds. He has a trading experience in a wide range of asset classes, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, commodities, forex and derivatives markets.

Gyula Lencsés, CFA

Head of content

Gyula Lencsés, CFA has more than 10 years of experience in the financial industry. He spent most of his career in the wealth management business as a portfolio manager of mutual funds. He has a trading experience in a wide range of asset classes, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, commodities, forex and derivatives markets.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology