The lifeboat institution has become the first major charity in the UK and Ireland to accept Bitcoin donations

The RNLI has embraced the recent trend toward cryptocurrency by setting up a system to accept Bitcoin donations.

The charity is the first in the UK and Ireland to accept this alternative currency, which has grown considerably over the past 12 months.

Bitcoin is a form of currency that only exists in a digital form and is not controlled by a bank or government.

The global Bitcoin market is estimated at $8bn and UK Chancellor George Osborne has recently launched a Bitcoin review.

Leesa Harwood, deputy director of fundraising and communications at the RNLI (pictured above), has claimed that this cryptocurrency will continue grow in relevance.

“From our research into future trends, it looked likely that we would receive digital currency as a donation or as part of a legacy at some point and we wanted to be prepared for that eventuality.

“So a project team was founded to look at the feasibility of accepting Bitcoin, which has led to the pilot scheme we are launching.”

Those wanting to donate Bitcoins to the RNLI should go to the charity’s dedicated Bitcoin donation page.