A global bitcoin donation drive is gaining steam just as the 2014 FIFA World Cup gets underway. To date, 10 companies from across the world’s regional bitcoin economies have pledged their support to the 2014 Bitcoin Donation Cup.

Companies from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and the US have joined forces to sponsor the event, including BitPay, BitGive, Xapo, Mercado Bitcoin and Unisend, plus MexBT, ALTIS and Bitso.

Also participating are local support groups like the Colombia Bitcoin Foundation and the Fundacion Bitcoin de Argentina.

The Bitcoin Donation Cup enables fundraisers to generate donations by bringing scannable QR codes to locations where the World Cup is being viewed.

Sharing it round

Seventy percent of donations will be sent to a participating charity while the remaining 30% will be used to support the fans who are collecting donations by helping them pay for food, lodging and travel expenses.

Thanks to bitcoin’s open nature, donors are also able to track their donations in real time for the duration of the event. Information on how to register and participate is available on the program’s Facebook page as well as its own home page.

Alberto Vega, BitPay’s Regional Manager for Latin America, said:

“This is a great opportunity for BitPay to support many important charities throughout the world while introducing bitcoin to fans throughout South America.”

Charities are chosen by participants in the donation drive, with BitPay processing the donations and approving the charities that get involved. As well, the BitGive Foundation is also raising funds to use for its charitable causes.

Mr. Bitcoin

Connie Gallippi, founder and Executive Director of BitGive, remarked in a statement that the project is bringing out the best of the bitcoin community, saying:

“It’s amazing to see bitcoin users around the world support not only our cause but many other charities.”

Grassroots donation drive

The Bitcoin Donation Cup demonstrates how community-level fundraising is possible through the use of bitcoin. QR codes enable fast transactions between donors and receivers, and as the images in this article demonstrate, participants are relying on creative flair to drum up support.

Most notably, the donation drive’s self-styled mascot ‘Mr Bitcoin’ can be seen (above) interacting with passersby and football fans in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.

Other passionate fans have also adopted flashy means of attracting crowds and, hopefully, raising some bitcoin for a good cause.

World Cup BTC Donation

In addition to the donation drive, the Cup is a good means of spreading the word about digital currencies to consumers who are gathering around the world to watch the games in Brazil.

How you can get involved

The Bitcoin Donation Cup offers participation in three different ways.

Firstly, football fans can make their own posters and raise bitcoin, with special prizes (ranging from 0.2 to 0.5 BTC) being offered for those who can gain significant amounts of attention on both national TV and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. A real-time donation tracker on the Cup’s official website should make it all the more fun, too.

Secondly, community members can opt to simply donate to a charitable cause.

Lastly, those interested can take part in World Cup-related bitcoin celebrations happening at a number of bars in countries across the Americas. Those who happen to be in Brazil have the added bonus of being able to meet Mr Bitcoin himself.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay

Images via Facebook

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