As COVID-19 pushes hospitals in the worst-affected countries towards breaking point, nonprofits are rallying for donations in cryptocurrency.
The Giving Block—a crypto payment platform for nonprofits—launched a campaign last week asking for cryptocurrency donations for charities fighting the virus. And Brave, Gemini, and several other big names have already contributed.
This follows a successful fundraising scheme from Italy’s Red Cross, which used blockchain-powered charity donation platform Helperbit to raise funds for a pre-triage facility in record time.
Bitcoiners get philanthropic
Tax deductions, says COO at Helperbit Davide Menegaldo, are one factor that could be "helping to boost bitcoin donations." But right now he suggests, the biggest appeal is relative anonymity, with more than 90% of Helperbit donors preferring to remain anonymous.
The recent downturn might make now a bad time to ask for bitcoin donations, but "bitcoiners are moved by philanthropic sentiments," regardless of the price, says Menegaldo.
Italy’s Red Cross campaign which launched on March 12th proves his thesis. This set a high benchmark for subsequent efforts by raising $10,710 (€10,000) in just three days. Now the charity is aiming to raise almost $26,000 for emergency equipment and has been joined in a similar effort by The Dutch Red Cross.
The Giving Block—another crypto charity platform—launched a fundraising campaign for nonprofits on Monday under the Twitter hashtag #CryptoCovid19 alliance, and has partnered with Gitcoin to match $100,000 of donations made in ETH and DAI.
The official World Health Organization (WHO) donation platform, however, doesn’t accept bitcoin. But this hasn’t stopped scammers turning the situation to their advantage and impersonating the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund with phishing emails aimed at extracting bitcoin from unsuspecting holders.
CoronaCoin meanwhile, the controversial token project taken by many to be a scam, has managed to raise a small amount for the Red Cross. A report on the token’s website claims that approx $235 in Ether had been donated as of March 6th.