Paying and receiving cryptocurrency has become commonplace in many organizations, and churches are now also switching to accepting donations in the form of digital currencies like bitcoin. This increases the options for parishioners to give offerings or pay tithes and poses the question: what are the do’s and don’ts of accepting bitcoin at your church? Let’s find out!
Educate yourself about crypto
Before you accept any bitcoin donations, conduct thorough research on how it works, its risks, pros, and cons. Generally speaking, cryptocurrencies are safe, convenient, and easy to use. In addition, because you can accept the donation in your digital wallet and then deposit it in your bank account, it’s similar to receiving other types of offerings.
Securely store your digital asset holdings.
As soon as you receive bitcoin donations or other digital assets, storing your holdings in a secure digital wallet is imperative. There are many wallets to choose from, but, as we reported before, Engiven is your best option becuase the company specializes in church donations. Engiven has created a platform for churches to create an account and allows you to accept any bitcoin donation, immediately convert that donation into cash, or deposit it directly into your bank account, just like any other type of donation.
Use Two-factor authentication
To protect your account from unauthorized access, use two-factor authentication. Always set up 2FA for cryptocurrency exchanges and avoid text message authentication if possible. You can, instead, use Authy, the Google- or Microsoft authenticator, or others, which are integrated into password managers like Lastpass. However, the most secure 2FA solution is a Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) via special hardware devices like a ledger or yubikey, developed by the open-authentication industry consortium known as FIDO Alliance.
Invest only as much as you are willing to lose
If you plan on investing your bitcoin tithes as part of your church’s financial strategy, it’s essential that you never invest more than you are willing to lose. Although bitcoin has been on the rise and many experts believe it will surpass its previous highs sooner than later, the reality is that bitcoin is a volatile asset that can easily lose 50% of its value in a short period of time. Therefore it’s best for you to only commit a small percentage of your overall investment portfolio to digital assets if you want to invest in the asset class.
Don’t fall for a scam.
Unfortunately, there are several different crypto scams to look out for when it comes to investments. Follow this simple rule: “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Don’t invest in any type of schemes or plans as they will most likely turn out to be Ponzi schemes. Instead, buy and hold the assets you want to buy directly if you want exposure to bitcoin, etc.
Don’t listen to mainstream media.
If you were to listen to mainstream media, you would believe that bitcoin is dying out – it has been claimed over 300 times. At the same time, mainstream media also loves to report about bitcoin whenever the price is skyrocketing, which drives views and clicks from interested investors. Therefore, it’s wise for you to generally be cautious towards mainstream media regarding any sort of financial advice. The same also holds for investment in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Always select reputable crypto media sources for the latest and most up-to-date information.
Don’t let the volatility scare you.
You may be hesitant to accept bitcoin donations due to its volatility. The price of bitcoin can quickly go up or down ten percent in a matter of days or even hours, so it is essential to keep that in mind and stay calm when it happens. Because cryptocurrencies experience big intraday price swings, it may be wise for you not to check the value of your digital asset portfolio daily.
Don’t leave your funds on exchanges
Because exchange hacks are still widespread in the crypto-asset market, you must transfer your digital asset holdings off exchanges and into your wallet as soon as you have executed any trades. Unfortunately, once an exchange with your funds gets hacked, it may take weeks for you to get your funds back. Furthermore, if the exchange doesn’t pay for the security breach, you can lose all your funds with little legal chance of recuperating them.
Don’t search for “the next Bitcoin.”
There are currently more than 2.000 coins or digital tokens being traded. Unfortunately, many of these are useless, dead copycat projects, or worse, scams. A common mistake of new crypto investors is trying to find “the next Bitcoin” but, instead, falling for a scam. If your church is new to accepting cryptocurrencies, stick to bitcoin donations and avoid any seemingly profitable investment opportunities. Regardless of how lucrative a new investment seems, your chances of losing your money are simply too high.
Allowing church members to donate online with digital currencies may come with many advantages for your House of Worship. As long as you educate yourself on cryptocurrencies and follow this list of do’s and don’ts to protect your church’s digital assets, your church should accept bitcoin offerings. This way, you can accept more donations while at the same time giving your church members more ways to pay their tithes.