As the death toll from the series of catastrophic earthquakes that have obliterated parts of Turkey and Syria continues to rise, the cryptocurrency community has scrambled to help, with the very underlying crypto technology allowing the aid to reach those in need quickly and efficiently.
Indeed, around $5.9 million in cryptocurrency donations has poured into organizations assisting the earthquake relief, including the Turkish Ministry of Interior Earthquake Humanitarian Aid Campaign, Turkish Red Crescent, Save the Children, Project Hope, and others, the blockchain data platform Chainalysis said on February 21.
Crypto relief adds up
Notably, the recent numbers arrive as multiple crypto businesses pledged over $9 million in support of the earthquake victims, including Binance, Gate.io, Bitget, Tether (USDT), Bitfinex, Bybit, BitMEX, OKX, KuCoin, and others, adding to the efforts coming from governments, organizations, and businesses across other industries.
It is also important to note that Turkey stands out as the largest crypto market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the region that recorded the highest crypto transaction volume growth year-on-year (YoY) in 2022 among all other geographical areas in the world, assuming 12th place among all countries in Chainalysis’ 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index.
Community’s previous efforts
Meanwhile, this isn’t the first time that the crypto community flocked to help those who need it the most. Crypto users donated more than $100 million in digital assets in a single month after the Russian invasion of Ukraine started in February 2022.
Due to its usefulness in raising funds for the ongoing war effort, the country’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, Alex Bornyakov, praised crypto as an “essential tool” in Ukraine’s defense strategy, “providing flexibility and speed that literally saved our soldiers’ lives,” as Finbold reported in July 2022.
That said, despite crypto’s capabilities to facilitate monetary support more efficiently than traditional finance and banking institutions, Chainalysis advises caution when sending donations, as terror groups have been known to organize crypto financing campaigns disguised as charity projects to mask their malicious intent.