Binance.you-name-it is currently a domain with a purpose. There's Binance.com, as well as Binance Jersey- and soon there will be Binance US. Then there are the Bitcoin exchange's many projects, including Binance Research and Binance Charity.
Binance.charity launched a new effort this week with an initial goal of tackling "period poverty."
The project is simple enough. In some countries, feminine care products are expensive, and people are poor. Together, these factors mean that many women are held back by their natural bodily cycles. (Even in developed countries.)
In the US, in fact, women have recently pushed to have these products exempted from sales tax.
According to Binance's paper on the subject, the project should be able to help about 1 million young women around the world.
But Binance's "Pink Care" token, a Binance Chain token one purchases by way of donating, is not like traditional philanthropy at all.
How Blockchains Handle Donations
With the Pink Care (PCAT) token, you can track your donation throughout its life cycle. You give the money, and the money gets converted to Uganda's Shilling.
Then one of the one million eventual recipients can redeem a token for a full year's supply of feminine products.
The differences don't stop there.
You're also able to see proof that your money actually went to underprivileged recipients. The model stands in contrast to many old world charities, which often remain utterly opaque.
The mechanics of the project are also pretty simple.
Parents sign up their daughters and provide information on who will be supplying the sanitary products.
Then the tokens are redeemed and burned off, meaning that the pool of tokens represents the amount of direct aid available to an otherwise marginalized group.
The out-of-the-box charity project is no surprise, coming from Binance, arguably one of the more innovative actors in the crypto space.
With competitors patiently awaiting their fall from grace, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange chugs on even after a massive hack and days of associated fallout.
Binance's 'Pink Care Token' Doesn't Smack of Virtue Signaling
Binance addresses multiple issues in the very selection of its champion cause. "Women in crypto" is a subject unto itself, with deeper roots in the broader technology industry.
Data shows that fewer women enter the tech industry than men, which some view as problematic for several reasons.
Binance, a company on the bleeding edge of deep-geek technical culture and finance, has chosen to ingratiate itself with a perhaps ignored demographic: women.
Simply giving women and girls access to learning tools and alleviating certain expenses – such as Binance is doing – might drastically change the situation. It might not.
The point of charity is not always to achieve a positive outcome. Very often, the charity organizer or philanthropist only seeks to boost its reputation. However, the straightforward and somewhat cheeky nature of Binance's "Period Poverty" token doesn't smack of the same sort of virtue signaling.
"By launching the Pink Care Token -- the first tangible application of cryptocurrency for young women empowerment in social impact industry, we aim to use blockchain for social good and transform traditional charitable giving in a fully transparent and accountable manner. By actively responding to the 4th industrial revolution, we attempt to shape a brighter future of all human beings, especially the bottom billions, humanity into a shared sense of dignity. After all, it comes down to human and values."
Instead, it reads like a common sense approach: find the most significant problems, solve them one by one.
Binance isn't the only exchange with efforts in Uganda and Africa generally. Paxful, a peer-to-peer exchange which does massive volume on the continent, is building dozens of schools with crypto donations.
Beyond a charitable effort, the token gives utility to Binance Chain – not to mention exposure to 1 million people most likely not already in the crypto economy.
Changpeng Zhao invited other CEOs to promote the cause on Twitter: