I got an e-mail from a missionary friend of mine asking about how to accept bitcoin for donations to his ministry. He quickly implemented it, and I decided to donate a meal’s worth of bitcoin to him. My experience was basically flawless, and not only made me feel good in that I was doing a small part to support a friend and his ministry in third world countries, but also in the actual simplicity that has become part of donating with bitcoin.
Here, you can see Jay’s website. This is the donate bitcoin page. Simple enough, and one thing that encouraged me was a “buy bitcoins” link next to the “donate bitcoins” link, if for no other reason than the educational value to those who are curious.
Clicking on the “donate bitcoins” button brought up this first window. This is one of the things I have been noticing with bitcoin merchant processors that disturbs me a bit (and no fault of Jay’s). Part of bitcoin’s appeal is it’s privacy. There is absolutely no reason, that I can think of, why a person should be forced to submit an e-mail address. I look forward to seeing open source payment gateways appear in the future that will help to remedy this.
Update: Jay contacted me after reading this blog post and explained to me the following:
“…the e-mail screen was an option that was an option available to me. I chose to ask for it so I can keep track of donors for communications purposes. It was not required.”
That makes me feel a bit better. One of the things people looking for bitcoin donations may want to consider is the aspect of people wanting to donate privately. Understanding it is a merchant choice does make me feel a bit better about it.
The main gist of the bitcoin donation page is this screen. We are seeing here some of the common payment options, including the Coinbase link, which I have used in the past with Overstock.com and will post on soon. I know from experience how easy that is, so this time I decided to try to copy the address and instead send it directly from within my Coinbase account. Oddly, clicking the “copy address” link didn’t copy my address. So I had to double-click on it to copy it.
Once I sent it from Coinbase, I returned to the site, and clicked the “confirm payment” button. To my surprise, it showed me immediately a confirmation number. I double-checked that as well in Coinbase, and sure enough, the Coinbase transaction details had the same confirmation number. Awesome.
Here is the screenshot I had from Coinbase.
Overall, my first donation using btc was as simple as I expected it to be. So be encouraged, and have some good doing good in this world.