Bitcoin Tzedaka is a project to use Bitcoin and the Lightning Network to give people the opportunity to donate small amounts to charity on a regular daily basis, without needing to carry around pocket change or pay high credit card fees. Micro-donations (like putting a nickel or dime into a charity box) which would be otherwise unfeasible online using traditional financial methods or on-chain transactions are now possible.
Think of this as a Bitcoin/Lightning Network "pushka"!
The Hebrew word for charity is tzedakah, which actually means “justice” or “righteousness.” There is an important nuance here. In Jewish thought, giving to people in need is not something extra; it’s just the right, honest thing to do. All our money is not truly ours. It belongs to G-d, who has graciously entrusted it to us. We become partners with G-d by being his messenger and delivering money and goods to the less fortunate who are in need.
The goal is not to raise the most amount of money, but rather to make giving charity a part of our digital lives, as easy as pressing a button on a phone. This is not only good for the recipient, but brings blessings, mindfulness, and peace to the giver.
Click for more info on the concept of Tzedaka.
Q. Why did you make this?
A.There is a custom to give coins to charity every weekday (besides Shabbat and holidays) before praying in the morning and the afternoon. As someone who rarely carries around cash or change, I'm often stuck, forgetting to fulfill this important mitzvah! I wanted a way that wherever I am, I can give any amount, even a few pennies worth to charity.
There is no cut being taken here, no profit motive. It's something that I wanted for myself to use, and as a proof of concept for others.
Q Who is this money going to?
A The funds will be donated to my local food pantry Shalom Food Pantry. It is run by friends of mine who do a wonderful service for the community.
If you would rather donate to somewhere else, or make your own fundraiser for your own cause, please do so! Check out https://btcpayserver.org to learn how to setup your own fundraiser.
Q. Do they accept bitcoin donations?
A. No, their costs are in fiat. I am going to redeem all of the bitcoin which is donated here, up to $100 per month, by giving my fiat to their organization. Essentially, I am acting as a representative by buying the bitcoin and giving them fiat. I will put out reports regularly to say how much was collected and donated.
Q. How much should I give?
A. Any amount is appreciated. What's special about giving bitcoin on lightning is that you can even give a few pennies at a time.
Q Why quantities of 18?
A. 18 is the numerical value of the Hebrew word "chai" which means "life." It is a Jewish custom to give monetary gifts in increments of 18, thus symbolically blessing the recipient of the gift with a good long life.
Q Does giving such a small amount really matter?
A. First, small amounts do add up. Small amounts of charity are compared to links of chainmail which individually do nothing but when added up, bring protection and salvation. Second, the act of giving charity itself is important, regardless of the amount. Being a person who regularly practices giving to others makes you a better person.