Several charities have been exploring this concept with some success.
Over 59 days at the start of 2018, UNICEF launched an initiative called Game Chaingers, which aimed to inspire young people to do something good for society.
The children’s charity appealed to people with powerful graphics cards in their PCs, such as gamers, to use their spare computing capacity to mine Ethereum.
More than 12,000 computers were aggregated during the appeal and a total of 85 ETH (roughly $36,000 at today’s rates) was raised. The funds went towards helping children affected or displaced by the Syrian civil war.
For charities, this can be a way of attracting supporters who may not have the make a financial contribution, but still want to help.
However, such schemes aren’t necessarily perfect. Mining can be energy intensive and even harmful to the environment, meaning charities walk a fine line in doing more harm than good. UNICEF stressed that its initiative didn’t result in additional electricity usage, preventing participants from racking up hefty bills.