Crypto has often been described as ‘giving power to the people’. This is due to the decentralised nature and the ability to cut out the middle-man. Aside from the speculative nature, crypto is also creating communities of like-minded, motivated individuals. Over the past few years, the crypto community has had many charitable endeavours.
Many leading figures in the crypto space have built an online presence and gained huge followings. So much of crypto is about voicing your opinion, networking, sharing knowledge and shilling your projects. Twitter has been the chosen platform thus far and has become known by the community as ‘Crypto Twitter’.
The crypto Twitter community has been known to pull together to help others out in times of need. The most recent gesture saw users rally together to raise $800k for the family of a young boy affected by cancer. Amazingly, 6-year-old J.O won his battle against cancer but his family were left with crippling medical expenses. An Ethereum address was created by user @milkman2228 who addressed crypto Twitter to ‘do their thang’ and help free the family from debt. Funds flooded in, including a 12 ETH donation from FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
The family was extremely grateful and took to Twitter to say “J.O. continues to inspire so many, and his battle with Cancer is a message of HOPE. From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank everyone helping to support our family and blessing him with a great future.”
J.O. continues to inspire so many, and his battle with Cancer is a message of HOPE. From the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank everyone helping to support our family and blessing him with a great future. pic.twitter.com/4rGybrTVDQ
— John Zippay (@john_zippay) May 14, 2021
This isn’t the only instance the crypto Twitter community has united to help those in need. Through their love of crypto many people have a new-found wealth, which is being put to good use.
Twitch user Cameron Ferguson recently experienced the generosity of crypto Twitter. Cameron is a guitarist who was playing a Twitch live stream to an audience of zero people. Crypto Twitter users @CryptoCobain and @UpOnlyTv discovered the live stream and brought hundreds of viewers to watch. Within hours $85k had been raised by viewers, a life-changing amount for Cameron!
Vitalik donates over $1Billion to charitable causes
2021 saw the rise of dog-themed meme coins, and sadly the continuous rise of the coronavirus pandemic. In May, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin was gifted an enormous amount of meme coins Shiba Inu (SHIBA), Dogelon (ELON) and Akita Inu (AKITA). Buterin donated 50 Trillion tokens (approx $1.2Billion at the time) to the India Covid Relief Fund. India with a population of approximately 1.36 billion has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to this donation, Buterik had already donated $600k in ETH and MKR tokens to the fund along with donations to a range of other charities. Another extraordinary example of the wealth of crypto being used for altruistic reasons.
Vitalik is not the only public figure in crypto to donate to charitable causes. Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer of CoinShares, donates 1% of her wealth to charitable causes each year. Additionally, her mother runs a charity to help educate and empower young women in Turkey.
Through the rise in sales of NFT’s, charities have also been feeling the benefit from the cryptocurrency community’s compassionate side. The first-ever tweet from Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, was recently sold as an NFT. The proceeds were donated to GiveDirectly, a non-profit organisation that supports people affected by COVID-19 living in extreme poverty in Africa and the US.
Many of us have donated to charitable causes for one reason or another. We often use platforms to make our donations such as GoFundMe and JustGiving, who often take a large % in fees. In the above examples, by sending crypto directly to the recipient’s wallet you are able to cut out the middle-man and avoid the fees they charge you.
More than just financial freedom?
In Afghanistan, crypto has been used as a tool for young women to gain freedom in all aspects of their life and not just financially. In 2017, Laura Shin wrote an article bringing attention to an inspirational young woman from Afghanistan, Roya Mahboob. Roya Mahboob is a businesswomen, entrepreneur and CEO known globally for her work in building internet classrooms in high schools in Afghanistan. In 2013, she made it into the TIME Magazine top 100 most influential people in the world.
During her early career, Roya launched Women’s Annex, a company which employed young women to write blogs and make money via advertising. Due to the social construct and lack of trust in traditional banking in Afghanistan, not a lot of women own bank accounts. To ensure the young women both received their pay and could safely store it, Roya turned to Bitcoin as a payment method.
One of the young women employed by Roya found herself in a distressing situation. Away from work the young woman was facing physical abuse and having money confiscated by her husband. Being paid in Bitcoin allowed her to take control of her finances and build up some savings. Eventually she saved enough to divorce her husband and escape the abuse. Not only did crypto provide financial freedom, but independence and the ability to take control of one’s own life. A truly inspirational story.
Womens Annex, now known as Digital Citizen Fund, continues the work to empower women with education in technology, blockchain, and financial literacy.
El Salvador has become the first country to officially adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. For years, the country has suffered from rampant inflation with the president believing that adopting Bitcoin will create jobs and promote financial inclusion.
Prior to last month’s announcement, Bitcoin has and continues to change the lives of residents living in the surfing village of El Zonte. In 2019, El Zonte received a six-figure Bitcoin donation from an anonymous donor. This donation came with just one condition; it could not be exchanged for fiat. With the intention of creating a sustainable economy through the use of Bitcoin, the movement became known as ‘Bitcoin Beach’.
— Paxful (@paxful) July 19, 2021
This movement is life-changing for El Zonte, as a large percentage of residents do not own bank accounts or credit cards. Residents will now have be able to settle utility bills and purchase food and supplies using Bitcoin for payment. Besides using Bitcoin for real life purposes, there have been many initiatives set up for residents. The youth of El Zonte are contributing to community projects, incentivised by the reward of Bitcoin deposited to their wallets. During the Covid-19 pandemic as unemployment soars, Bitcoin transfers are being sent to families in need. Over 600 families have received donations, helping to provide necessities in times of uncertainty.
To pay his bills in El Salvador 🇸🇻, Milton Cabrera says he would have to "spend an hour on the bus, and another two hours waiting to make the payment" in line.
— Documenting Bitcoin 📄 (@DocumentingBTC) June 24, 2021
Bukele, president of El Salvador, expressed how his decision to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender was due to inspiration taken from El Zonte’s success. He took to Twitter Spaces to say “You guys demonstrated that a community can actually benefit from Bitcoin. Now we’re going to demonstrate it on a countrywide scale.”
It is inspiring to see hope for the people of El Salvador, who have been suffering at the hands of inflation for many years. With the adoption of Bitcoin, there is prospect for a better monetary policy for all.
Hope for the future
Not only is crypto financially empowering individuals, but we are also now seeing positive impacts on a country-wide scale. Ultimately, we have seen that as the accumulation of wealth grows in the crypto community, so too does the generosity of those involved and their will to give back.