Two top crypto industry leaders have reined in their support towards ongoing relief efforts in the aftermath of the Turkey-Syria earthquake. The region, which remained MENA’s most crypto-friendly country, was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the 6th of February, resulting in over 30,000 confirmed deaths, making it one of the most devastating natural disasters in the last century.
Changpeng CZ Zhao, the CEO of Binance, kicked off relief donations by airdropping $100 worth of BNB tokens to registered users within the affected cities. Beneficiaries, which include all Binance customers registered as residents of the affected region before February 2023, will be identified using Binance proof of address. According to Binance, over $5 million have been earmarked for the relief effort, and they’ll go to Binance users living in Malatya, Gaziantep, Adana, Kilis, Adiyaman, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Osmaniye, Diyarbakır, and Şanlıurfa—ten of the most affected cities.
Added to its generous donation, Binance also set up a platform to fund approved charities on the ground. Citing the lack of access to traditional finance as one of the negative impacts of natural disasters, Binance sought to highlight the relevance of the cryptosystem as a reliable vehicle for seamless international financial transfer and has been joined by other notable exchanges like Bitget, Gate.io, Bitfinex, BitMEX, pulling over 2 million Turkish liras in aid donation.
Vitalik Buterin also Donates
Ethereum’s co-founder recently upped the ante on his humanitarian support, adding to the growing list of donations from the crypto sector. With the addition of 50ETH worth over $70,000 to 99ETH earlier donated to the Ahbap Yardim Earthquake Support, Vitalik’s total support inches closer to $230,000.
Beyond the $10 Million Mark
Reports from on-chain data analytics platforms, Chainalysis and Elliptic put the total crypto donations at $10 million. While institutional investors continue to drum support, private individuals have also added significant crypto donations to help the crisis. Following the outpouring of support, the country’s government has been forced to lax its rules around crypto. Turkey, before the earthquake, had faced a severe economic crisis with inflation rates close to 60%, leading many locals to embrace crypto as a hedge against eroding value.
The reality on the ground, however, is that widespread adoption is still unavailable. Crypto users still have to swap their tokens for Turkish Lira to pay for most services or purchase items at the store. Hopefully, the aftermath of the earthquake will drive a much-needed improvement.