There are several ways to accept donations in bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Use a Payment processor
The simplest and fastest way to accept donations in bitcoin is using a platform that deals with the immediate conversion in local currency (Euro or Dollar). These services charge a transaction fee, in addition to setting a bitcoin exchange price that is usually higher than what can be found on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Some platforms that work all over the world are BitPay and Coinbase.
The former has been active since 2013 and has transacted more than $1 billion in bitcoins, but uses a payment protocol proposed in the BIP70 that is not compatible with all bitcoin wallets. This implies that a large number of cryptocurrency holders are unable to make transactions to who is using this service. BitPay allows people to donate using Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum.
Another payment processor is Coinbase Commerce, that supports 5 cryptocurrencies ( BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, USD Coin). The platform, a leader in the crypto exchange sector, is becoming the reference point also for e-commerce world.
Both of them were at the center of the Bitcoin scalability debate, as supporters of the model which later proved not to be adopted by the network. The so-called “bitcoin maximalists” do not appreciate those companies that at the time supported this proposal and this could partly reduce the possibility to receive donations.
All these platforms are centralized services, which therefore require several documents to complete the KYC and AML procedures.
No blockchain traceability can be provided, as the addresses used to receive payments change every time.
Open your personal wallets
Instead of using centralized platforms, you can directly manage donations by opening your own bitcoin wallets.
Wallets can be generated online (web wallets), by downloading desktop software or using physical devices (hardware wallets).
The third type, sold by companies like Ledger and Trezor, turns out to be the simplest and safest method for users of all levels, as the devices are able to manage multiple cryptocurrencies through the same device. The first two solutions, instead, require much more attention, as there are multiple vectors of attack by external actors. Furthermore, it is necessary to open a wallet (and save the related private key) for each cryptocurrency, making it difficult to manage safely all the keys.
This approach does not require the verification of wallets’ owners. It is possible to provide blockchain traceability to donors, as the addresses to receive payments do not change, so exploiting the blockchain of each crypto you can give partial information on the use of the funds.
Hybrid solution: platforms for cryptocurrency donations
There are several platforms that help non-profits to accept cryptocurrency donations, providing them solutions that are between the economic independency and a centralized management. They designed better user experience interfaces in comparison to personal wallets and are focused also on donation traceability features, matching payments information with blockchain transactions.
Some services are GiveTrack (1 crypt accepted), Binance Charity (4 crypto accepted), Helperbit (30 crypto accepted).
The latter differs in the use of a non-custodial multisig bitcoin wallet, thus leaving complete financial autonomy to the beneficiaries.