Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin made a significant contribution to help with the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
On Feb. 6, a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey, leaving a devastating impact on the region. The quake has resulted in over 9,000 fatalities, making it one of the deadliest earthquakes since the Fukushima in 2011. The disaster has not only claimed lives but has also caused widespread destruction, with thousands of people injured and left homeless.
The situation remains dire for those affected by the earthquake, as search and rescue efforts continue in the wake of this tragedy.
Buterin’s Contribution to Victims in Turkey and Syria
Transaction data from EtherScan shows that Buterin donated 99 ETH, which is worth approximately $150,000, to Ahbap Earthquake Support.
The transfer of ETH from Buterin’s wallet address “vitalik.eth” to the recipient wallet labeled “Ahbap Yardım / earthquake Support” (0xe1935271D1993434A1a59fE08f24891Dc5F398Cd) was confirmed. The recipient wallet holds about 393 ETH, which is valued at almost $600,000 based on current market prices. The combined value of the wallet’s holdings is greater than $1.55 million.
The donations are being collected by Ahbap, a non-profit organization working to support the victims of the earthquake disaster. According to the official website of the organization, it has collected $4,207,562 in crypto donations to date.
This significant contribution from Buterin is expected to make a positive impact on the efforts of the organization to help those affected by the disaster. The donation also highlights the increasing adoption of crypto as a means of making charitable contributions. It allows for quicker and more efficient transfer of funds compared to traditional methods.
Crypto Donations Pour In
Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis has estimated that over $5 million in crypto donations have been sent to Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the quake. This sentiment has been echoed by local artist and AHBAP founder Haluk Levent. He took to Twitter to express his excitement at the outpouring of crypto support.
These estimates have been corroborated by Chainalysis rival Elliptic. The firms found that more than $10 million worth of crypto tokens have been pledged by various crypto firms. Perhaps most notably, Binance has promised a total of $5 million in donated funds.
Despite the good intentions behind this outpouring of crypto support, the reality on the ground in Turkey is more complicated. With the country facing economic strife even before the earthquake, many locals are eager to embrace the potential of crypto as a store of wealth and hedge against inflation.
One local resident named Tolga told Financial Times that while people are excited about crypto, the reality is that it’s not yet a practical solution for everyday life.
“You can’t use crypto in daily life,” Tolga explained. “Locals need to convert their crypto to the Turkish lira and withdraw newly converted fiat to their bank account.”
This process, hardly the type of financial gymnastics needed in the aftermath of a natural disaster, highlights one of the key limitations of crypto: real-world utility.
BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.