With the ongoing pandemic, organizations around the world are desperate for resources to help fight the virus and need all of the support they can get. We wanted to create a platform to quickly choose and split donations among several organizations with minimal overhead and no middleman.


Donations through our app would be globally accessible by supporting use of lightning enabled IoT hardware or mobile device wallets for sending payments. By using lightning network, any IoT device could submit a donation - in the demo we show this from an Android mobile device, but this could be any device accessing the network from around the world via a QR code.

What it does

Blockcharity is a video browsing application for charitable organizations. Users can donate directly to charities featured on the website using bitcoin either on chain or over the lightning network. Selected charities will receive the donation either on chain or over the lightning network depending on whether or not they have a lightning wallet available. This give charities the opportunity to transition to the lightning network at any time and enjoy the benefits. The lightning network provides numerous benefits:

  • Charities from around the world to receive large amounts of small donations with minimal costs for transaction fees and currency conversion.
  • Charities can continue to accept payments without fees as long as they remain in the lightning channel
  • When a desired charity is discovered, use an existing lightning enabled wallet to instantly donate to that charity (by Bitcoin address).
  • Shorter settlement times also mean the charity has more immediate access to funds.

Donation History

Blockcharity utilizes blockchain storage to save a public history of charitable donations made by a specific user. This feature was inspired by our very own president, as many of charities that he claimed to have donated millions of dollars to said they never received the money according to an extensive article in the Washington Post found HERE. Blockcharity's easily verified public records discourage donors from making claims before any transactions take place.

Make a donation

To make a donation over the lightning network, first log in with your Blockstack ID or create a new one. Select a charity from our website and follow the instructions for transferring bitcoin from your lighting enabled wallet. If you don't have a wallet, you can quickly get one following these instructions provided by OpenNode:

Get a Lightning Network enabled wallet:

  • First you'll need a Bitcoin wallet that lets you receive, hold, and spend Bitcoin on-chain (regular) and via the lightning network.
  • For the quickest and most simple mobile experience, we recommend Blue Wallet. You can download either on the Apple App store or on Google Play store.
  • If you’d like to use your desktop, you can download Bitlum as a chrome extension.
  • For advanced users who would like to set up their own non-custodial wallet, check out this guide here.

Move bitcoin into your Lightning Network wallet

  • If you don't have Bitcoin in your wallet yet, you'll need to buy some. Every country and region is different, so you'll want to do some research before choosing an exchange. Examples are CashApp, Coinbase, Kraken.
  • If using Blue Wallet, make sure to create two wallets, 1) On-chain (regular) to receive your bitcoin from the exchange or wherever else you store your bitcoin and a 2) Lightning Network wallet.
  • Select the lightning wallet in your Blue Wallet app, click manage funds, then click refill from your on-chain wallet and set your desired amount.
  • Now you’re ready to make payments over the Lightning Network.

Step 3: Make a payment

  • Open your wallet
  • Scan the QR code or tap on the “Open in wallet" button.
  • Confirm everything is correct and proceed with your payment.

How we built it

Blockcharity comprises a website built using React for Node.js and hosted on Heroku as well as a Node.js server for managing charity information and handling transactions.

  • User accounts and profiles are handled using the Blockstack blockchain authentication API.
  • Donation history are managed using Blockstack's decentralized storage.
  • Lightning network bitcoin payments powered by the OpenNode LN API.

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