As the number of casualties continues to rise—more than 12,000 killed and over 40,000 injured—the collective effort demonstrates that the crypto community is again ready to step up to support humanitarian efforts.
Following the series of apocalyptic earthquakes and aftershocks in Turkey and Syria, crypto firms including Binance, OKX, KuCoin and Bitfinex have collectively pledged $11.7 million as a part of relief measures for those affected. Addressing the difficulty of people in resorting to the traditional banking in the aftermath of natural calamity, Binance airdropped its BNB tokens worth $100 to each of its customers. Another crypto trading platform BitMEX announced contributing to Turkey’s Red Cross organisation through its recently held trading competition.
Binance is not alone in its endeavours. Crypto exchange, Bitfinex, along with Keet, Synonym, and Tether has donated five million Turkish Lira, which amounts to around $250,000. Chinese crypto exchange, Huobi, has also piled onto the relief effort, contributing one million Lira or $106,000 towards rescue efforts and aid.
The third-most visited centralised crypto exchange, ByBit, has also announced a $100,000 donation for those affected by the earthquake. Additionally, crypto derivatives exchange, Bitget has also pledged $53,000 in aid, which will be sent in fiat, not cryptocurrency.
Further, Haluk Levent, a popular Turkish singer, has also set up a crypto wallet to accept donations from his fan base all over the world. Until now, the wallet has seen over $570,000 in crypto funds pour in over the last couple of days. Seeing these efforts, thousands of people have signed a petition asking Turkish officials to create an authorised crypto wallet for relief funds. This will allow more users to send donations directly to Turkish relief efforts.
This is not the first time the crypto community has come to the rescue of those in need. In 2022, crypto users sent millions of dollars’ worth of aid to Ukraine. Some reports suggest that upwards of $100 million worth of crypto was sent to the war-stricken nation. A couple of years before that, Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin donated 500 ETH and 50 trillion worth of Shiba Inu tokens to India to help fight COVID-19. In all, these donations were worth a whopping $1 billion.
More recently, on February 7, Binance donated $250,000 worth of cryptocurrencies to the Auckland flood relief efforts. As such, several cryptocurrency exchanges also have their own individual donation drives. For instance, Bybit has tied up with UNICEF to support girls’ education in East Asia and the Pacific. So far, the exchange has donated nearly $800,000 worth of Bitcoin towards this initiative.