Seeds Cryptocurrency Crowdfund Platform Benefits Sexual Assault Survivor’s Privacy
Cryptocurrency has been looking for use cases since it was created. Everything from pizza to cab far is starting to make it possible to accept these payments. In a new report on CoinDesk, it seems that cryptocurrency is now getting involved in the #MeToo movement as well with the use of Seeds.
Seeds is a payment processor that is powered by cryptocurrency, and it was recently used by a sexual assault survivor who found herself unable to go to work after the event. Through the use of Seeds, she was able to crowdfund $500 in a matter of weeks in September.
The biggest advantage with using Seeds for this situation is primarily the privacy. On Kickstarter and GoFundMe, there’s a need to prove identity with a government issued ID, along with a bank account. Essentially, she would have to reveal her identity, which could expose her story to individuals that work with her or associate with her, which defeats the purpose of anonymous crowdfunding.
The survivor, who hadn’t ever used cryptocurrency before, only had to reveal herself to the CEO – Rachel Cook. She was then able to post a “Request for Help” with 30 different applications that are integrated with Seeds, like meditation app Aura. From there, participants had a chance to donate to needs with a credit card. In a typical arrangement, Seeds takes 10% for the fee for the listing, while app developers also take a cut. However, Cook opted to waive the fees, considering the situation. This has been the quickest crowdfunding effort since the opportunity was created 13 months ago.
Cook said, “I met this woman in person, by coincidence, and we started talking about #MeToo movement.” She explained that women and men who experience assault at the workplace often silence themselves, out of either fear of the repercussions or the fear of losing their income. Continuing, Cook said, “Survivors have trouble giving themselves permission to ask for money. The next logical extension I saw in that [#metoo] was we need to talk about how this economic [crypto] system can meet this need.”
In the future, Cook, who is also a survivor of sexual assault, wants to make anonymous requests more available to these kinds of legal or mental health costs. While speaking with CoinDesk, she said, “We have to let people know that this is available, and that people can use it without feeling uncomfortable…We want to fill that gap.”
This is just one of the ways that cryptocurrency is being made into a way to help women that have survived such an intimate trauma in their life. In Argentina, there is at least one survivor who use Bitcoin with the help of Roya Mahboob to get a divorce.
An anonymous North American cam model confided in CoinDesk about her experience as well, though she has complete access to her private keys to make the process easier and anonymous. She said. “Crypto has definitely provided me with tools to overcome obstacles. I want women to feel like crypto can help empower them because of the accessibility of it.”
A developer, who is a survivor of domestic abuse, is presently trying to create a money management suite that involves multiple decentralized applications to help with stability. She said to CoinDesk, “Being financially stable was the key reason why I was able to leave [the abusive husband]. Survivors, like other disadvantaged folks, lack wealth-building vehicles.” She brought up how there’s often financial abuse involved with an abusive partner, controlling how much a victim can get involved with their combined resources. She added,
“The main reason why women stay in abusive relationships is because they are dependent upon their partners.”
Going forward, Cook is making it possible for survivors to cash out their tokens in fiat currency without the need for personal data to be released. As she puts it, “We’re reaching a lot of people that don’t think of themselves as crypto-savvy.” So far, there have been about a dozen Requests for Help, but there’s only been one connected with trauma.
Cook added, “Crypto allows us to create systems that transcend broken, centralized, power structures. And that's what we need more of.”