A group of anonymous Italian Bitcoin enthusiasts is leveraging the cryptocurrency to help victims of the earthquake that has devastated parts of the country.
No financial services
The 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the village of Amatrice late August. According to BTM operator Luca Dordolo, the disaster took out even the most basic of services:
“Right now we know of 300 deaths and everything is destroyed: no bank and financial services, lack of everything, even water and electricity.”
Acquaintances of Dordolo have taken the initiative to launch a campaign to help out the victims of the earthquake:
“An Italian Bitcoiner group is launching a crowdfuding campaign to help central italian populations and villages devastated by the recent earthquake. They think that restoring internet would help a fast return to normal life in those zones, and they want to raise funds in Bitcoin to do that and subsequently teach to those populations to use Bitcoin for trades.”
Opportunity to teach about Bitcoin
A group of Bitcoin enthusiasts are combining their passion with a desire to help the victims by raising funds, re-establishing essential services, and teaching about cryptocurrency. Mike Tringali, spokesperson for the Italian Bitcoiners Anonymous Group Earthquake Aid (IBAGEA), shared the project’s vision via a press release:
“The tragic earthquake of August 26, 2016 that devastated the oldest inhabited villages in central Italy with a magnitude of 6.2 and caused 291 deaths, did immediately put in action the machine of national and international relief efforts with the entry into the field of many forces to bring first aid and the restoration of the minimum conditions of life to the affected populations. While still digging to clear the rubble and save those who still are left buried, as well as tent camps and reception services for the homeless are building, they also seek to make the count of the damage and determine the priorities for a return to normal life. A group of Italian Bitcoiners at the forefront of this situation met to decide how to bring concrete help to the earthquake victims, believing that one of the key priorities for the reconstruction is precisely to intervene in the restoration of communications and technology so to speed up as much as possible the return to normalcy in the places tortured by the earthquake.
To do this it was decided to hold a collection of international funds into Bitcoin, the digital currency that has the ability to make donations almost anonymous and that, because of its many features, it can be a fast and transparent form of intervention, seen that deposited funds are publicly verifiable at any time, without intermediaries or costs (exchange office, banks, etc.). This anonymous for now Italian Bitcoiners group has entrusted to an experienced Scottish IT company (particularly in cryptocurrency field), the Berkshter LP from Edinburgh, the task of effectively organizing this fundraiser action through a web site that publishes updating the situation on the ground and the progress of fundraising. The funds in cryptocurrency will be stored on a hardware Trezor wallet and then made available for projects and deployment of technological infrastructures on site by the Italian bitcoiners group, from the installation of radio and wi-fi repeater antennas to restore immediately the Internet in the affected areas, educational courses to spread use of the cryptocurrencies and get restored trade and production activities in this period of lack of bank services and financial institutions and structural measures as classrooms and technology rooms when the reconstruction phase will be really operative.
At the moment and for those willing to show immediate solidarity, the Berkshter LP has provided an address wallet and QR-code where to send Bitcoin: 1KBPod31YMGYDe2QcQDEussjVJH22GRhi1 together with their email firstname.lastname@example.org for infos and contacts also for whom wishes to cooperate in the development and updating of the online website of the initiative.”