Bitcoin and charitable organisations go hand-in-hand, as it is much easier to accept virtual currency donations compared to traditional payment options. Wire transfers, credit cards, cash and even Paypal, are all subject to fees along the way of getting the funds to those in need. Bitcoin payments are subject to a minimal fee and funds can be sent to anyone in the world within minutes. SurBTC, a Bitcoin exchange in Chile, wants to bring out the best of Bitcoin when natural disasters take place.
Bitcoin Donation Program for Tsunami and Earthquake Victims
About a week ago, disaster struck in Chile when a major earthquake ravaged the country’s coastal area. To make matters compoundingly worse, tsunami waves followed shortly after this earthquake, getting as high as 15 feet. All over the Chilean coasts and even the US west coast, tsunami warnings have gone off.
Earthquakes around the world seem to be getting worse and worse and the Chile earthquake was the largest one recorded in 2015 so far. With a duration of over three minutes, it was an unusual event, which was followed by dozens of smaller aftershocks. According to various media reports, the initial quake was felt in Brazil and Argentina as well.
It goes without saying this earthquake has caused a lot of damage in Chile and country officials declared a state of emergency in the Coquimbo area. With an 8.3 magnitude and tsunami waves wreaking havoc on the Chilean coast, a lot of damage has been done. A lot of people are in dire need of help and financial aid and donations are needed now more than ever.
SurBTC, Chile’s first (and only) Bitcoin exchange, recognizes the need for financial aid and set up a donation program to help affected victims. SurBTC has the resources to take Bitcoin donations and convert them to local currency and use those funds to provide financial support as part of the relief efforts.
“At SurBTC we have the resources to convert to pesos the bitcoins people donate, so that’s what we’re doing. We’ve opened an exclusive account for this matter, where every bitcoin will be traded for pesos and of course, everything, both transactionally and operationally, will be completely free.” Not only is it a way to help Chile, but it could also help Bitcoin. We think that this is an excellent way to show the world what Bitcoin can do. This is the type of situation where Bitcoin can flourish.” – SurBTC CEO Guillermo Torrealba told the media.
Bitcoin for Social Good
It is not the first time Bitcoin donations will play a role in relief efforts after a disaster. Over the past few years, traditional charitable organisations such as the Red Cross, have faced the trouble caused by accepting fiat currency donations and trying to move funds to overseas locations. Transactions are taking weeks, if not months, to clear in remote bank accounts and heavy fees are charged.
Furthermore, whenever the funds arrive overseas, there is no way of tracking how the money is being used. Charitable organizations have to rely on local community members to help them get the funds to where it is needed most. As you would come to expect, most of the funds ends up in somebody’s pockets and very few relief efforts are taking place.
Bitcoin offers an unprecedented level of transparency, from the moment funds is being collected, to where it ends up in the end. Even though no personal information is associated with Bitcoin transactions, the underlying blockchain technology lets anyone in the world track how funds are being spent.
Source: News Tip Via Email
Images courtesy of SurBTC, Shutterstock