The crypto community has become a prominent contributor to relief efforts for natural disasters, providing direct support to affected regions by utilizing the borderless nature of cryptocurrencies. When tragedy struck two North African countries, Morocco and Libya, in early September, the crypto community was among the first to announce plans to aid affected people via donations.
How Binance is Helping Morocco and Libya
Morocco was shaken by a devastating earthquake, and Libya is dealing with the aftermath of a massive flood. Both caused the death of thousands. To join the relief efforts, global crypto exchange Binance announced last week that it will airdrop free cryptocurrency via its philanthropy arm, Binance Charity.
Moroccan and Libyan citizens affected by the disaster can complete the Proof-of-Address (POA) check and receive Binance Coin (BNB-USD) directly to their Binance accounts. In both countries, users from the disaster area will receive $100 worth of BNB, and users from outside can get $10 in BNB.
The company has dedicated up to $3 million for Morocco and another $500,000 for Libya. Binance expects to reach around 70,000 users in Morocco and support over 13,000 users in Libya with the airdrop process. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, simply known as CZ, asked that exchange users who receive donations but are unimpacted by the earthquake pass the funds on to those in need.
What are Crypto Airdrops?
Airdrops are a common practice in the crypto world that are used to deliver free crypto assets to early supporters of any given project. However, Airdrops have also become a practical tool in the growing crypto charity efforts as an effective way to directly distribute aid to a much bigger audience without any geographic restrictions.
Given how difficult it becomes to access any traditional financial services following a natural disaster, donations using cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity, as they can provide cross-border financial aid to disaster victims in a fast, transparent, and cost-efficient way.
In the latest instance, disaster victims from Morocco and Libya can complete a simple address check and receive BNB funds. To validate proof of address, users need to verify their Binance accounts and upload a document proving their residential address.
Crypto’s Role in Global Relief Efforts
Aside from making it easy to get everyone on board for aid, crypto donations also open a new channel for traditional aid organizations. After an earthquake hit Turkey and Syria in February 2023, more than $10 million in crypto was donated to the crypto wallets shared by major relief aid organizations.
Numerous companies from within the crypto ecosystem, including crypto exchanges, Web3 companies, and DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations), raced to announce support for the relief efforts. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin alone donated 99 Ethereum (ETH-USD) to Ahbap, a local nonprofit organization in Turkey.
During that time, Binance also provided financial aid to its users residing in the region hit by the earthquake in the same fashion —by airdropping $100 worth of BNB tokens to their wallets. A number of local and global crypto exchanges immediately opened public crypto aid wallets for Bitcoin (BTC-USD), Ethereum, Binance Coin, and Binance USD (BUSD-USD) to make it easier for users to join the relief efforts.
Crypto can lend a hand to people struggling with human-made disasters as well. Since the Russian invasion started in February 2022, Ukraine has raised over $225 million in crypto donations. As blockchain provides a transparent flow of funds, it’s easy to track where the funds are used. According to Crystal Blockchain, humanitarian initiatives accounted for the majority of donations, with $134 million going to aid people in need, while military-related campaigns raised $91 million.
Blockchain, the underlying technology that powers up cryptocurrencies, opens new horizons for global relief efforts by enabling the transfer of any assets globally with negligible costs. By making transactions publicly traceable, blockchain can address the accountability and trust issues of traditional philanthropy.
The global and instant characteristics of crypto donations are quickly embraced by both individuals and businesses, triggering significant growth in crypto donation volume despite the long-lasting bear market. Since funds are delivered directly from contributors to those who are in need, crypto charity eliminates the need for any centralized organizations and makes personal donations as efficient as organizational efforts.