Crypto Companies Rush to Help Turkey and Syria Earthquake Victims – Blockchain Beyond Borders?
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake sent shockwaves across Turkey and Syria on Monday. The incident has been coined the 'deadliest in a decade'.
Caused by a 100km rupture at the East Anatolian fault, the epicenter was 26km East of Nurdagi. Only the third earthquake on the strike-slip fault to measure above 6 on the Richter scale since 1970.
So far authorities have confirmed 3,700 deaths. Expectations of this number rising are abundant as survivors battle freezing winter conditions.
How are the crypto community responding?
Twitter has rallied around the disaster. And crypto Twitter is no exception as influencers rush to offer support and prayers.
One Turkish crypto trader has even begun soliciting crypto donations. Claiming they will be sent directly to local friends of NGOs.
A smart move, Giving Block says that $11,000 is the average size crypto donation. This far exceeds traditional fundraising efforts.
The CEO of Binance, CZ, (the world's largest exchange) was quick to offer reaction on the platform.
After briefly expressing his sadness at the incident, CZ made a surprise announcement. CZ is working on solutions.
Things are moving fast, and details are sparse. But it can be confirmed there is now a team at Binance working on providing disaster-scale relief, according to the announcement.
CZ added that he had four meetings today (Tuesday, 7 February) to push things along promptly and get help where it's needed.
What are CZ & Binance doing to help humanitarian relief?
This isn't the first time that Binance has jumped to step into international incidents.
Acting through its philanthropic arm - Binance Charity - the leading crypto exchange, has become an actor in a plethora of theatres.
Most notably in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Specifically, in response to 12,000,000 displaced or refugee people.
Binance offered an initial $10m to aid international humanitarian relief efforts. This saw the exchange act as a funding partner for a handful of local NGOs on the ground in the conflict zone.
This was followed up with a much more innovative 'solution'. That might help to illuminate what CZ might do in response to the Turkish' earthquake.
'Binance Refugee Cards' launched in April 2022. The card acts as a pass that enables vulnerable people to access the exchange and corporate philanthropy efforts.
This enables the offering of cash-based interventions (CBIs). These intend to provide short-term financial relief with the intention of 'buying time' for people to start rebuilding their lives.
Over 15,000 people were provided with Binance Refugee Cards and granted access to the Binance 'Crypto-To-Cash' program.
In effect, this meant 75 BUSD per month, for a three-month period.
This could likely form the backbone of Binance's disaster relief support offering to Turkey.
Binance has worked extensively on 'blockchain for good' since 2018.
This has included working with CARE to help Sudanese refugees and working in Afghanistan to help retrain Afghan women to access tech jobs.