With the recent earthquakes in Turkey having a devastating impact on the region, claiming thousands of lives and leaving many more people in need of aid and support, the global cryptocurrency community has stepped up to offer its support, with many local and international crypto exchanges pledging to provide assistance.
A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey today (6 February) killing more than 1,500 people. Hundreds of buildings have collapsed, meaning the number of victims could rise significantly when emergency services begin digging through the ruins. Several governments, corporations and firms sent their condolences to the Asian country and pledged to help amid the tragedy. Cryptocurrency exchanges BitMEX, Bitfinex and Bybit also put their names on the list.
Crypto exchanges including Binance, Gate.io and Bitfinex have said they are looking for ways to send support or have started prepping aid packages. Crypto exchange BitGet has already pledged 1 million Turkish Lira (around $53,000) to humanitarian aid, while Huobi Global has promised 2 million lira.
Crypto communities worldwide are generally quick to respond to humanitarian crises, with millions of dollars in donations pouring into Ukraine following the Russian invasion last year, and COVID-19 relief to India while it struggled with a deadly outbreak in 2021.
But crypto donations can be trickier than traditional payments or bank transfers when local authorities are less welcoming of digital assets that are in a regulatory gray area in jurisdictions across the world. Blockchain industry and research bodies in Turkey have put together a petition demanding authorities enable crypto-based donations to be accepted in Turkey.
However, making crypto donations can sometimes be more complicated than traditional payment methods, especially in jurisdictions where cryptocurrency is in a regulatory grey area. To address this, the blockchain industry and research bodies in Turkey have come together to create a petition calling on authorities to allow crypto-based donations to be accepted.
The petition, signed by more than 40 entities, requested Turkish authorities establish official crypto wallets to ensure that donations are directed to the right place and to avoid malicious aid schemes. Indeed, Gate.io’s Twitter channel said that the platform had “started to prepare aid packages to help those in the earthquake area in Turkey,” and “will deliver them in coordination with the authorities,” while Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao shared expressions of support and promise of help.
They were joined in their notion by BitMEX, which pointed it would be donating the proceeds of this week’s Trading Competition to the Red Crescent, encouraging those who can donate to do the same, with concrete steps also being taken by Bitget.