Amid continued civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, its public library is not only staying open to offer shelter to residents – it also started to accept Bitcoin late Tuesday.
Seemingly following suggestions from Twitter users regarding donations, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library tweeted the following response:
@pmarca @fergusonlibrary Need to take BTC. I want 100% of my donation going to them, not MasterCard.— Tom Kysar (@tomkysar) November 26, 2014
BitPay then became involved, offering to set up Bitcoin integration the same evening, whereupon donations from Twitter users in the form of tips began flowing in.
An updated tweet with details of how to formally donate was published earlier this evening:
For those who have been asking how to donate to the #Ferguson Public Library using #Bitcoin -- https://t.co/m0Z0HqAn4u Thanks!— Ferguson Library (@fergusonlibrary) November 26, 2014
BitPay also released the news on Reddit, and has set up an official donations portal which can be accessed here.
The library is staffed by only one full-time employee, director Scott Bonner, who made the decision to open for business as usual on Tuesday following some of the most violent riots in recent US history.
“I spent all night agonizing about whether or not to open today,” Bonner told NBC News.
The decision to remain open was made on a day-by-day basis with announcements on the library’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Bonner further confirmed its role as a place of refuge for those affected by the violence.
We are open 9-4. Wifi, water, rest, knowledge. We are here for you. If neighbors have kids, let them know teachers are here today, too.— Ferguson Library (@fergusonlibrary) November 25, 2014
“I think that when there’s all these negative stories, seeing a story where a community comes together unified behind a common cause ... it makes people remember that, you know, we’re all human beings and we’re in this together.”
The move to accept Bitcoin could be one of the smoothest and most rapid in BitPay’s history of signups. Details of the amount raised so far have yet to be released, following the library’s confirmation of a “phenomenal amount of donations” in other forms already being received.
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