Crypto Community Pledges over $9M for Earthquake Relief in Turkey and Syria
In today’s dispatch we have:
Crypto rushes to help Turkey
Damus wants to give you Satoshis
Nokia wants Metaverse revival
After aiding Ukraine's government in raising millions of dollars for its war effort after Russia invaded in February last year, the crypto world is now coming together to lend a hand to those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Crypto power players step up:
Binance, Tether, Bitfinex, OKX, and Kucoin have all pledged over $9 million to aid the victims.
Avalanche Foundation donated $1 million, with AVAX making up 55.56% of total donations.
Binance announced a $100 BNB airdrop to Binance users in 10 cities affected by the earthquake. Total donations are estimated to be around $5 million.
Bitfinex, Keet, Synonym, Tether, and other companies pledged a collective $266,000 for the earthquake recovery effort.
Ahbap, a charity led by Turkish singer Haluk Levent, is leading the response with roughly $2 million in crypto donations raised on the Avalanche, BSC, and Ethereum blockchains.
Haluk Levent asked his Twitter followers if he should open a crypto account for donations to Ahbap, and 82.9% responded positively.
Tron founder Justin Sun pledged to donate $1 million in TRX from the Huobi Global cryptocurrency exchange.
A multi-sig wallet on BNB Chain has been opened for earthquake support, and over $170,000 in donations have been made, mainly in BUSD.
A year ago...
In February 2022, the crypto community, including Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, rallied to support the Ukraine government and NGOs in response to Russia's invasion, known as "the world's first crypto war." Subsequently, several decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) have been set up to aid in humanitarian efforts. However, as with any rapid response to disasters, there are concerns about potential scams seeking to deceive donors.
When India was dealing with the second wave of the pandemic, cryptocurrency donations poured in. Among the contributors was Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who gave around $1 billion to India's COVID-19 relief effort in shiba inu (SHIB) tokens, which skyrocketed in value around the same time.
Crypto and Philanthropy…
It's exciting to see the growth of crypto in charitable giving and the possibilities it holds for the future. Companies like The Giving Block, Crypto for Charity, and Daffy have made it their mission to streamline the process and make it easy for organizations to receive crypto donations.
Many crypto projects have their own charity arms, such as the Binance Charity Foundation and Gitcoin, and many charities accept crypto donations, including the Electronic Freedom Foundation, UNICEF, Greenpeace, and the Human Rights Foundation.
Turkey and crypto...
Turkey has had a tumultuous relationship with cryptocurrencies. In April 2021, the use of digital currencies as a form of payment was banned in the country. However, despite this ban, the ownership and usage of cryptocurrencies in Turkey saw a significant increase, rising from 25% to 40% of the population, according to the 2022 Statista Global Consumer Survey. This increase is largely due to the country's high inflation rate, which makes cryptocurrencies an attractive option for those looking to protect their assets.
In December 2021, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that a bill regulating digital assets was ready. More recently, the central bank of Turkey reported the successful execution of the first payment transactions on the Digital Turkish Lira Network, with pilots set to continue throughout 2023.
Damus wants to give you Satoshis
Damus, the decentralized Twitter alternative, is shaking things up with their latest feature - allowing users to earn some sweet satoshis based on their post engagement! This news has got the community buzzing, with some calling Nostr, the protocol used by Damus, the future of monetization.
And get this, even Twitter's own Jack Dorsey is all in on the project, donating a whopping 14 BTC (that's around $250,000!) to the developers. On Feb 1st, Damus made its debut on the Apple App Store and Jack couldn't help but share the news on his very own Twitter account. It's a huge step forward for open-source protocols and a big win for decentralized alternatives.
Remember when Jack proposed a decentralized alternative to Twitter after the recent censorship scandal? Well, it looks like his vision of a platform resilient to control, where the power of removing content lies solely with the author, and moderation is done through algorithmic choice is becoming a reality with Damus.
Nokia wants Metaverse revival
Nokia, formerly known for consumer mobile devices, has pivoted to developing technology and equipment that “delivers the internet”, including the metaverse. Last year, Nokia began collaborating with an Australian university to deliver a 5G-connected microbrewery using metaverse technology. They have also been using the metaverse to potentially assist Cessna aircraft technicians at remote airports.
Nokia global chief strategy and technology officer Nishant Batra believes the metaverse will have the biggest immediate impact on industries, rather than the consumer market. Joyce agrees, expecting the “consumer metaverse” to take off until 2030. By next year, there will be five times the revenue spent on the “industrial metaverse” compared to the consumer or enterprise metaverse.
NFTs come to WeTransfer
WeTransfer is partnering with blockchain platform Minima to launch non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the network, allowing users to generate NFTs directly from their phones. The blockchain uses the Minima coin as its native currency to enable peer-to-peer transfers between users without the need for a third party.
The partnership will explore the practical use of NFT technology and demonstrate the potential for wider adoption. Several Web 2 file-sharing services have been delving deeper into blockchain technology to expand their offerings, such as Google introducing its cloud-based blockchain node service for Ethereum and Amazon's cloud service, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and hiring staff to build out its Web 3 products.
Dubai makes the crypto play
Dubai has released a set of rulebooks from the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) that require crypto firms to obtain authorization and relevant licenses to operate in Dubai. The rules cover everything from cybersecurity norms to compliance and risk-management standards, as well as separate rulebooks for activities such as issuance, advisory, custody and exchange services. All activities and firms fall under the supervision of VARA, with plans to publish a comprehensive rulebook by the end of 2022.
Global regulations: Other countries are embracing cryptocurrency, with the UK proposing new regulations, the UAE creating a legal framework, Brazil legalizing it as a payment method, El Salvador making it a legal tender, and the Central African Republic legalizing its use and launching a local digital currency.
The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) DAO has passed a vote to liquidate 10,000 ether (ETH) for USDC to cover operating costs for the next two years.
Argentina's National Securities Commission (CNV) to establish and regulatory requirements to be followed by crypto companies.
Sean Wotherspoon has released his first collection of digital wearables through his new virtual goods community MNTGE.
Yuga labs settled a lawsuit with one of the developers behind a copycat collection known as RR/BAYC.
Millions in China's central bank digital currency (CBDC) have been distributed during Lunar New Year to increase adoption.