How to Harness the Power of Crypto to Aid Communities Rebuilding After Natural Disasters

The industry's swift response in times of need highlights the need for compatibility between crypto and the traditional financial system.

AccessTimeIconFeb 22, 2023 at 8:39 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 2, 2023 at 9:22 p.m. UTC
AccessTimeIconFeb 22, 2023 at 8:39 p.m. UTCUpdated Mar 2, 2023 at 9:22 p.m. UTC
AccessTimeIconFeb 22, 2023 at 8:39 p.m. UTCUpdated Mar 2, 2023 at 9:22 p.m. UTC

Crypto's impact in the wake of the tragic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria was felt not only through large donations, but through this global community's responsive manner. Key crypto leaders and companies directed contributions to nonprofit organizations providing aid to victims and their families and supporting local rescue operations. Even more humbling was the fact that nonprofits like AFDA and Red Crescent, which usually accept fiat donations, turned to crypto for its efficiency.

The use of technology is not an end in itself but a means to an end, which is to help people in times of crisis. We must never forget that it is people who need our help the most. The crypto industry's response to natural disasters highlights the need to improve the compatibility between a crypto infrastructure and traditional financial processes.

The article is part of CoinDesk's "BUIDL Week." Johnny Lyu is the CEO of KuCoin, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency exchange launched in 2017.

When a natural disaster strikes, it can leave entire communities devastated and in dire need of support and aid. While people all over the world want to help, the process of traditional donation methods can often be frustratingly opaque, leaving questions about where the resources are going and whether they're actually getting to the people who need them the most.

Immutable ledgers provide an unparalleled level of transparency that traditional donation methods simply cannot match. With trust in institutions at an all-time low, according to the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer, this level of transparency is desperately needed. In our complex society, trust is being buried deeper under mountains of obscurity. This apparently vague sentiment can be quantified; the report says that only 44% of people surveyed have trust in institutions, down from 53% in 2019.

But it's not just transparency that makes crypto donations so impactful. With the ability to provide traceability and efficiency, blockchain technology offers a unique solution to the issues that plague traditional donation methods. With the use of smart contracts, which ensure that funds are only released once predetermined conditions specified in the contract are met, crypto donations provide an unprecedented level of accountability.

The power of crypto donations has already made a significant impact, bringing hope and relief to those in need. UNICEF has recognized the potential of crypto donations and launched a cryptocurrency fund to receive, hold and distribute donations in bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

By leveraging emerging technologies for the good of society, we can make a real difference in the world. And as we inch towards blockchain's ubiquity, the crypto community is more than willing to assist with current issues and make a real impact on the world.

However, it's not just about building critical use cases and striving for transparency and accountability. It's about building trust and confidence among those who are in dire need of support. By doing so, we can harness the power of technology, including crypto and blockchain, to create a stronger, more equitable and safer world for everyone.

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Johnny Lyu is the CEO of crypto exchange KuCoin.