Typhoon Haiyan: Bitcoin Startup's Philippines Appeal Tops $5.5k

A California-based startup is accepting bitcoin donations for Philippines typhoon relief.

Nov 15, 2013 at 9:33 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 2:10 p.m. UTC

A California-based bitcoin startup has been accepting donations for relief for the typhoon-stricken Philippines. Its efforts appear to be working quite well to raise awareness for the problems the storm has created in the south-east Asian nation.

"The Philippines bitcoin donation campaign that we're running got some great coverage from CNN Money which helped kickstart things," says Avish Bhama, CEO of Vaurum, which owns the bitcoin exchange Bitme that is running the donation campaign.

"We're raising bitcoins and are donating 100% of the wallet to the Philippines Red Cross. We raised about $1,000 worth of BTC in our first day," he told CoinDesk.

Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda, is one of the deadliest tropical storms to hit the country. The United Nations is estimating that 4,460 people have been killed and 920,000 people have been displaced because of the typhoon, with at least 11 million in total affected by the storm's disruptive effects.

On the Bitme donation page, the company states that its fortune in being part of the bitcoin community has influenced its decision to try and help out in the wake of such a devastating event.

"Given the exceptional performance of bitcoin this year, we’ve all been quite fortunate to benefit from its rise – both in terms of the return on our investment as well as the growth of the overall community," the statement begins.

Although the effort did quite well in its first day, increased attention has filled the donation wallet with even more of the distributed virtual currency.

On the donation page is a display of the amount of bitcoin it has received so far. At press time, there were 14.11853511 BTC in the wallet. At the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index value, that's over $5,965.

Bitme's parent company, Vaurum, is a startup building an application programming interface (API) to work with retail trading and investing. The business plan is to entice brokerages to use its technology to integrate bitcoin into their platforms, enabling investors to have access to bitcoin.

Vaurum was accepted into the Boost VC startup incubator and completed the program a few months ago. The conclusion was a graduation in the form of Boost VC's Demo Day, which Vaurum participated in, pitching its business to potential investors.

"I think bitcoin can have a positive impact on the relief efforts in the Philippines - hopefully this campaign can contribute to that," said Bhama.

Featured image source: Richard Whitcombe / Shutterstock.com

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