Dash Text has rolled out a new charity system which promises to be the world’s first distributed charity model.

The SMS-based Dash wallet service debuted the pilot of its charity service this week, offering an automated and distributed form of processing charitable donations. A donor can send Dash to the specified donation address, which is then instantly and evenly distributed among the pool of end recipients. The recipients have Dash Text wallets, meaning that they are able to send and receive via SMS message without an internet connection, and receive donations quickly and directly without having to wait or trust a nonprofit worker to take the requisite action.

According to Dash Text CTO and co-founder Lorenzo Rey, this is a first for bringing decentralization and transparency to charity work:

“Whenever someone makes a donation through our system, the money gets immediately and equally distributed amongst the people you’re donating to, this is completely transparent and traceable on the blockchain, the money is never touched by a human third party inside our system, it is all automated and happens in just a few seconds. Recipients receive a confirmation SMS which might include the name and country of the person who donated. There is no system like this in the world today, all charity donations, including crypto charities right now require some sort of human intermediation.”

The program is currently in its pilot phase, focusing on 50 students in need at the San Antonio school in Caracas, who are able to use the donations to buy school lunches. Prior to the program, many have reportedly gone without meals due to financial reasons. Since the debut of the program there have been a reported 60 transactions per day, and recipients have reportedly used the donations to buy over 1,000 lunches and 900 beverages.

Dash Text’s ecosystem-first approach to charity

The charity program is the latest step in Dash Text’s innovative approach to providing relief to the people of Venezuela struggling from poor economic conditions and infrastructure issues. Earlier this week, Dash Text launched a donation campaign partnering with mobile top-up and gift card service Bitrefill (which indicated they had begun working on integrating Dash Text as a payment method) to buy phone credit for those unable to reach loved ones during recent blackouts, with the goal of raising enough for 1,000 refills. The goal was quickly met, and the initial Spanish-language announcement gained significant social media traction.

While several other cryptocurrency-focused projects operate in Venezuela, Rey believes that Dash’s projects in the region are set apart in their approach to grow the crypto ecosystem:

“Yes, many crypto projects have been making charitable donations for Venezuela, and we applaud those efforts, but most of them are giving people food, not crypto. I’m a big believer in giving people the fishing rod, not the fish, and for the first time we can give cryptocurrency directly and automatically to those people so they can use it by themselves. They are buying food, but they’re also learning and using crypto in their daily lives, how amazing is that, Dash is helping people out while at the same time getting new users, more transactions and more adoption!”

Currently, around 2,500 merchants across Venezuela are known to accept Dash payments, including major brands such as Church’s Chicken, Papa John’s, Subway, and a variety of regional franchises.

Closing the Venezuelan crypto-economy loop

Dash-based charity efforts in Venezuela have the added benefit of helping to close the local adoption loop by providing liquidity into the Dash economy. While the Dash-accepting merchant count in the country remains high, several infrastructural barriers remain restricting the supply and access of digital currency in the country. Streamlining the process for donations and remittances directly in Dash provides much-needed liquidity and access to the currency by those who need it most, providing a secondary benefit beyond the assistance provided directly to the needy.

Additionally, remittance programs further increase the supply of Dash available in the country. Spain-based cryptocurrency service Bitnovo recently partnered with Dash Text to allow for purchased Dash vouchers to be sent directly to Dash Text accounts rather than a traditional Dash wallet. This means that anyone in Venezuela with an SMS-capable phone can receive and use Dash, and anyone in Spain can buy Dash and have it sent directly to that phone number, significantly reducing the friction and cost for cross-border remittances.