A little bit of context: I send 10% of my profit (the tithe) to a church. Along with the tithe I send money for different projects.

I guess they can be considered donations. This church is a non-profit organization.

Recently I started to get profit in Bitcoin (weekly, I'm paid in Bitcoins for the work I do). It's not a small amount. Now, obviously, the next idea that came in mind was: how do I send the tithe now?

Since this non-profit does accept other currencies (such as EUR, USD etc) I think it would be a good reason to accept Bitcoin too. Currently it doesn't and I didn't talked to them about this.

I'm beginner in understanding Bitcoin, but I know the basics. Most of them are non-technical people and I believe it will be very hard for them to understand how this works. I have to admit I had a lot of questions I had to find answers for as well.

What would be the reasons I should present them to support my plan: sending Bitcoins to this non-profit?

Some things I have in mind:

  • There are quite a few shops that do accept Bitcoins in our country.
  • It's not controlled by the state or any organization (personally I find this pretty huge, for obvious reasons)
  • Some other people send to this non-profit even things that are not money (e.g. they work with bees and they get a lot of honey, they can choose to send 10% to the church). I think this is a thing that will help them realize a little bit that Bitcoin is a value as well.
  • Since they accept other currencies, why won't they accept Bitcoins too?
  • Related to the previous one: if I'd convert my Bitcoins in other currencies (e.g. EUR), since the Bitcoin value is still changing quickly it won't be a stable thing for both parts

Are these good enough to start with? What others points should I present? Given the context, how can I explain them in simple words how this would help?

From my understanding, they will simply have to create a wallet and share an address with the world.

3 Answers 3


My best approach would be to show them coinbase.com or xcoins.io or gemini.com and show them how its similar to a bank account. They can log in and check their balance or withdraw to a bank account directly from their wallet.

Tell them that Bitcoin + Coinbase is less costly compared to PayPal: With Coinbase the church can create its own donation button for its website and accept up to $1 million in transactions with no fees (and only 1% after that, compared to PayPal's 2.9% + 30¢/transact. fees). Of course if they accept Bitcoin without any intermediary like Coinbase, there wouldn't even be a 1% fee, either.

Really they're probably not going to know what your talking about unless you visualize it for them. For example in my xcoins.io account it shows my Bitcoin in a dollar amount too so they could see that and not get confused if you know what I mean.

  • I use blockchain.info and I think it's pretty similar too. Yes, good idea. Are there any other theoretical things I would have to point to help them understand this? Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 19:31
  • Are you able to explain how the blockchain works and the advantages of it? Because if you could wrap their heads around that it would be advantageous. Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 19:50
  • Sorry if I'm missing anything, but aren't xcoins.io and gemini.com alternatives to Blockchain Wallet (https://blockchain.info/wallet/#/login)? From my understanding, each person can choose whatever service they want for their wallet. Thanks! Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 3:05
  • Yes. You can choose your wallet. But don't get the phrase blockchain confused with bitcoin, or wallet. Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 20:20

I think you should proceed very carefully. I'm guessing that church finances are managed by older members, and it's a strange paradox that older people are much more likely to believe whatever disinformation they're fed by authority figures. Your treasurer may have been taken in by the gibberish that he/she reads in the newspapers:—

  • the factually wrong claims that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme (no, a Ponzi is quite different)

  • the irrational claims that Bitcoin's transparent & public ledger is good for criminals

  • the factually wrong claims that Bitcoin isn't regulated (no, it's regulated by competition between miners and by use of cryptographic signatures to authorize every transaction!)

  • the lazy/incompetent journalists' conflation of cryptocurrency-themed scams with the cryptocurrencies themselves

  • the unproven dogma that money cannot work unless its supply is subject to manipulation by self-interested politicians and commercial banks.

You could ask why the church doesn't accept bitcoin donations. If you're given any of the above reasons, then nod politely, and accept (privately!) that you're on a hiding to nothing. Unfortunately, Bitcoin provokes irrational anger from people who don't understand that they're prisoners of their social conditioning, and you don't necessarily want to ruin your friendship with them over a lost cause.

On the other hand, if you have the patience to debunk the above fallacies (a slow and delicate task), your fellow parishioners may appreciate the intellectual stimulus.

I'll disagree with the other answers here, by suggesting that for your use case a multi-sig wallet is required (I know Electrum has this functionality, haven't tried any others). But you would need some redundancy in the distribution of signing power, since there's no central authority to help you out if one signatory forgets everything! If the church's bank account requires 2 signatures for any expenditure, it makes sense for the church's BTC address to be equally stringent.


Usually, as I know, the media tells us that bitcoin is a means of buying illegal drugs, money laundering, and contracting with assassins. But at the same time, there is a downside - a religious organization has decided to accept donations in cryptocurrency. As an example, the Swiss evangelical church ICF is located in Zurich. It has its own website, where it lists cryptocurrencies, which are accepted as donations. Based on this news, I decided to try to promote our church a little bit into civilization and published such an idea on its website https://firstchurchlove.com. As the opinions are formed, we will see in a month, and maybe even something will be done.

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