A new use case is emerging for cryptocurrency: helping women who’ve suffered sexual harassment or assault gain financial independence while also protecting their privacy.
Case in point, a sexual assault survivor used the crypto-powered payment processor Seeds to crowdfund $500 in September after the trauma left her unable to work for several months.
Had she used a traditional crowdfunding site like Kickstarter or GoFundMe, the survivor would have had to provide a government-issued ID and bank account, which someone working at the platform might have connected with her story.
Instead, using the Seeds ethereum-based token allowed this first-time crypto user to raise the money without revealing her identity to anyone directly involved other than the platform’s CEO, Rachel Cook.
The survivor received the token – which cost less than a quarter, –as a gift from Cook in order to post a “Request for Help” through 30 apps that use Seeds’ free front-end tools, such as Aura, an app for meditation. Users then donated through the in-app pop-up with their credit cards.
Usually, that money is split between app developers, Seeds’ 10 percent cut, and the end-recipient who filed the request.
But in this case, Cook waived all fees once the tokenized request was fulfilled. Cook said it only took three weeks to raise the funds, the fastest fulfillment since the token was first launched in October 2017.
“I met this woman in person, by coincidence, and we started talking about #MeToo movement,” Cook said, adding that people who experience sexual harassment or assault at work are often afraid to speak up or leave because they can’t afford to lose that job.
“Survivors have trouble giving themselves permission to ask for money,”