Beyond Merchant Advantages: How BTC is Being Used for Global Diaster Relief Efforts


Merchants flock to Bitcoin for its ease of use, built-in security and hassle-free international transactions, but this cryptocurrency is helping more than just merchants. It is also opening the door for people from all over the world to help in times of disaster.

Bitcoin Donations to Nepal

At the end of April 2015, a deadly earthquake hit Nepal, killing over 8,000 people and injuring and displacing hundreds of thousands. Two weeks later, another tremor hit the area killing dozens more people.

In the aftermath of the disaster, people were in need of shelter, food, medical treatment and clean water as well as other necessities, and relief couldn't come soon enough. In addition to the governments and humanitarian groups that stepped forward to help, bitcoin organizations begin to send relief, and bitcoin users took to Twitter and other websites to donate.

Red Cross Accepts Bitcoin

Donating bitcoins to the relief effort in Nepal or any other part of the world is as simple as taking your bitcoin wallet to the Red Cross's website, selecting the amount you wish to donate and verifying the transaction with your bitcoin wallet code.

As bitcoins have become more accepted as a secure alternative currency, an increasing number of charity and nonprofit organizations ranging from The United Way to Free Snowden have begun to accept this type of currency.

Benefits of Donating Bitcoins

Bitcoin is a neutral currency and can be accepted or spent by anyone regardless of where they reside and whether or not they have a bank account. Unlike foreign transactions processed by banks, there is no delay with bitcoins. As soon as the transaction is complete, the money is in the recipient's virtual wallet, immediately accessible for relief efforts.

Charitable givers especially like the fact that with cryptocurrency, all of their donation goes directly to the cause. Compared to credit card processing fees, cryptocurrency fees are negligible or even non-existent in many cases, and unlike fundraising done through a crowdsourcing website, there is no regulating body or parent company taking a cut of the donations.

As bitcoin and other digital currencies becomes more accepted and more widely used, its role in disaster relief could become invaluable. In these situations, time is of the essence, and bitcoin transactions certainly meet that criteria.


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