The controversial donation of $3 million in Binance Coin (BNB) by Binance Charity to victims of the recent earthquake in Morocco has sparked a debate about the role of cryptocurrencies in humanitarian aid.
As reported by the Financial Times, some critics have labeled it a PR stunt, arguing that victims of such disasters need immediate essentials like food and water, not crypto.
However, CZ Binance, CEO of Binance, has taken to X to explain Binance Charity’s approach.
CZ backs Binance Charity vision.
CZ outlined some criticisms against Binance’s donation and responded to each. “People need food and water, not crypto. We agree with that,” CZ wrote. “Binance has a history of providing essential items. These take time to organize. Crypto is fast.”
According to a recent blog post, Binance Charity takes a dual approach to disaster relief, providing essential items alongside direct access to funds through crypto-based donations. However, criticisms have been raised about the exclusive nature of the donation since it primarily benefits existing Binance users.
CZ addressed this concern, stating, “We can only reach our users at this speed. We are not saying we can solve all problems, but we try to help the little bit where we can. That’s what donations are.”
The benefits of crypto-based donations stand out in terms of speed, transparency, and accessibility. BNB Chain transactions can occur almost instantaneously, providing clarity that is hard to reach with traditional financial transactions. Furthermore, they can be converted into most local currencies globally, offering versatility in crisis response.
CZ also defended the focus on existing Binance users, arguing that they already understand how to operate their wallets and convert crypto into local currency. “A non-crypto person saying crypto is not cash is like a blind person saying lights are useless,” he stated.
Binance Charity and Morocco earthquake appeal.
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Morocco, Binance Charity chose to airdrop up to $3 million worth of BNB directly to their Moroccan users.
However, Binance Charity acknowledges the role of traditional aid cannot be overlooked and pledges to continue to collaborate with local organizations, donating all funds raised from the public to a local charity in Morocco and their direct donation to users.
While positing that it can only reach its user base rapidly, Binance Charity argues that helping its users cannot hurt as the earthquake’s long-term economic impact affects the entire country. Using blockchain’s transparent and efficient ecosystem also ensures that a more significant percentage of donations directly impacts those in need.
Despite criticisms, Binance Charity is committed to refining its approach based on data and experts’ feedback. It recognizes that complaints provide opportunities for improvement and has expressed a willingness to engage with humanitarian experts to make their initiatives more effective.
Ultimately, the charity’s goal is to leverage technology to empower individuals and communities for sustainable development, and in that regard, they see immense untapped potential in blockchain.
Head of Binance Charity, Helen Hai, told CryptoSlate in 2022 that Binance Charity deploys “100% of funds to recipients,” a number far higher than most other charitable organizations worldwide.
Hai reportedly resigned from her position on Sept. 7, while her X and LinkedIn accounts remain affiliated with Binance.