Blockchain start-up Giftcoin has announced English Heritage as the latest charity to sign up to its platform as it launches an official token sale.

Giftcoin aims to bring transparency to charities in a digital age where trust in them seems to be at an all-time low.

Donations are converted into GIFT tokens, allowing the subsequent path of the contribution to be tracked from end-to-end using blockchain, while providing immutable proof of transactions.

Funds are released as charities reach project completion of milestones, and uniquely, donations not used by the charity can be passed back to the donor.

Giftcoin will close the feedback loop by sending donors a notification when their gift is spent and, crucially, informing them about how their money has been used.

Giftcoin will bring a beta version of its platform to market this year. It is working with a number of charities as part of its testing phase including Ourmala and The Optimum Health Clinic.

Giftcoin has also signed a collaboration with Charity Checkout to make the platform available to its 2,000 registered charities.

Alex Howard, co-founder of Giftcoin, said: “Technology has transformed almost every part of our lives in recent years, and yet the way that we give money to charity has barely changed.

“Now, through the power of blockchain, we have the potential to see exactly how our money is used and when we donate it to good causes.

“We believe this has the potential to bring dramatically more money to good causes, and we are committed to building the platform that makes this possible.”

Giftcoin has also begun its official token sale, having already raised more than $1.25 million. The Initial Coin Offering will be capped at 100mn GIFT tokens – valued at $10m – with payment accepted in Ether.

English Heritage is the charity charged with managing the National Heritage Collection, which comprises over 400 of England's historic buildings, monuments and sites.

Spanning more than 5,000 years of history, the collection includes famous national landmarks such as Stonehenge, Dover Castle and Hadrian’s Wall.

The charity received close to £2.5 million in donations in 2015/16, and a key strategy in its aim for financial sustainability by 2023 is to reach out to new kinds of donors and make fresh arguments for the value of its work.

Embracing the latest technologies that attract more millennial donors, who demand increased transparency from charities, will be crucial in achieving this goal.

“English Heritage cares for the places where England's stories were forged and where they can be retold,” said its development director Luke Purser.

“To do this we often use the latest technologies and so we're pleased to see the new initiative from Giftcoin, which will help charities communicate to donors how and where their funds are being used.

“We hope this will be a great new way to raise more funds to support our important work."

Enjoy extra content and videos in the interactive digital magazine below

E-edition cover