OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) -Your smartphone is slowly becoming your wallet. Each Sunday most churchgoers are paying either offerings or tithes, but not always using cash.
While online giving has been an option at many churches, one South Mississippi church is taking its giving method a step farther into the future.
Inside many churches, you rarely see cash anymore.
“We stopped passing around an offering basket when COVID hit,” said Pastor Adam Bennett. “We actually have a little basket in the back of the room.”
Instead, you typically see more devices, especially at Back Bay Baptist Church in Ocean Springs. As technology continues to grow, that means more and more people are getting more tech-savvy. The church launched its cryptocurrency giving method on September 26, now accepting tithes and offering in this way.
“This is different,” said Pastor Adam Bennett. “This is cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a new technology called the blockchain and it’s a network,” he said. “Basically, in order to use this network, you have to have crypto assets or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Theorem, Litecoin. And so, with these assets, you can use the network.”
According to the Baptist Press, Back Bay is the first southern baptist church to offer cryptocurrency. Pastor Bennett describes assets as arcade game tokens.
“In order to play the video game, you have to exchange your U.S. dollars to their personal tokens, said Bennett. “You can’t use their video games unless you buy their tokens, it’s kind of like that.”
The Ocean Springs church has everything set up for digital donations. Members only have to determine the amount they would like to give or invest.
“You can give as much or as little as you want,” said Pastor Bennett. “Cryptocurrencies can actually be divided down to the 16 digit. So, people can choose how much they want to give. You can give as little as $10 worth of what’s called Litecoin if you want to. Or you can $10 worth of theorem or you can give $100,000 worth of theorem.”
The church takes seven different assets: Bitcoin, Theorem, USD coin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Die, and Bitcoin cash.
Since this is something new, very few members have donated using cryptocurrency. The currency the church has received so far is being held in a special account to see if it goes up or down in value.
“Adopting these technologies early on. I realize this is not a common thing. But I’m of the opinion that in 20 or 30 years cryptocurrency is going to be a way of life and using the blockchain technology and hopefully our church will be leading the way.”
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