Swiss evangelical church allows members to donate in Bitcoins

(Reuters/Bobby Yip)A bitcoin sign is held outside Hong Kong's first bitcoin retail store during its opening, in Hong Kong February 28, 2014.

An evangelical church in Switzerland has decided to allow its members the option of contributing to the church using Bitcoin and other alternative digital currencies.

International Christian Fellowship (ICF) Zurich, one of the biggest churches in Switzerland, has announced that it will now accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in an apparent effort to keep up with the technology in doing financial transfers.

"Cryptocurrencies will be implemented, be it 'Bitcoin' or other currencies controlled by the State. We are convinced that this technology will soon belong to our daily lives," said ICF spokesperson Nicolas Legler. "Twenty years ago, no one would have believed that internet would determine our lives so much," he continued.

According to Evangelical Focus, ICF Zurich is for its use of all kinds of technologies in its worship services and has many young members who are increasingly using digital currencies in their financial transactions.

In addition to Bitcoin, ICF Zurich will also be accepting contributions in other digital currencies like Bitcoin Cash, Etherum and Ripple.

Bitcoin's value has surged in the past few years, but the cryptocurrency has been extremely volatile and its value has dropped significantly in the past few days due to news of regulatory crackdowns in South Korea and China.

The popular cryptocurrency reached its peak of $19,783 on Dec. 17, but fell as low as $9,199.59 on Wednesday before bouncing back to $11,702.74 on Thursday morning.

Cryptocurrencies operate independently of a bank or government control, and it uses encryption techniques to guarantee security in the transfer of funds.

Regulators have expressed concern about the use of alternative digital currencies due to their extremely volatile nature as well as the likelihood of its use in illegal activities.

In October, mission company Life Change launched the world's first Christian cryptocurrency called "Christ Coin" in an effort to unite the church with its own currency that offers financial rewards for the faithful.

"Christ Coin allows the faithful to have a way to approach finances that uniquely helps grow and support the global Christian church," Life Change stated in a press release. "Instead of dollars, consumers purchase or earn 'coins,' which can be used for purchasing or exchanged just like any other currency," it added.

Life Change has reportedly promised financial rewards or more coins to those who use the platform to take part in Christian activities like volunteering, joining small groups and reading the Bible.

"Christ Coin is an investment opportunity, but it goes so much farther than personal finance. We hope it will change lives, support ministries, and inspire people to grow in their faith," said Luke Forstmann, Christ Coin's co-founder.

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