United Way to accept donations in bitcoin currency

A sign for the Bitcoin Center New York City, located in the city's financial district, is displayed at the Inside Bitcoins conference and trade show, Monday, April 7, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — One of the world’s largest charities says it will begin accepting donations in the virtual currency bitcoin.

United Way Worldwide said Monday that it will accept bitcoin donations for the charity’s innovation fund through the San-Francisco-based wallet service Coinbase. The charity will accept donations from a donor’s digital wallet with no transaction fees.

In a statement, United Way CEO Brian Gallagher says the charity wants to make it easier for donors to support causes they care about. He says that requires innovation through technology and outreach.

The Alexandria, Virginia-based charity says 1.6 million consumers use the Coinbase platform. Coinbase has sought to shore up confidence in bitcoin currency after trouble with the Mt. Gox exchange this year.

In August, federal regulators warned consumers about the risks of using virtual currencies.

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