The contentious donation of $3 million in Binance Coin (BNB) by Binance Charity to aid victims of the recent Morocco earthquake has ignited a debate on the role of cryptocurrencies in humanitarian relief efforts.
Critics and the PR Stunt Debate
Critics have characterized Binance's donation as a public relations maneuver, contending that disaster victims require immediate essentials like food and water rather than cryptocurrency. This viewpoint has triggered a lively discussion within the crypto community.
CZ Binance's Response
CZ Binance, CEO of Binance, has offered a response to these criticisms. He acknowledges the importance of providing essential items like food and water but emphasizes the swiftness of cryptocurrency transactions. In a blog post, CZ explained that Binance Charity follows a dual approach, delivering both essential items and direct access to funds through crypto-based donations. However, concerns have arisen about the donation's exclusivity, primarily benefiting existing Binance users.
CZ addressed this concern by stating that they can reach their users more rapidly and that their goal is to help where they can, even if it's just a small contribution. He underscored the advantages of crypto-based donations in terms of speed, transparency, and accessibility. Cryptocurrency transactions on the BNB Chain can occur almost instantly, offering a level of clarity that traditional financial transactions struggle to match. Additionally, cryptocurrencies can be converted into local currencies globally, enhancing versatility in crisis response.
CZ also defended the focus on existing Binance users, arguing that they already possess the knowledge to operate their wallets and convert cryptocurrency into local currency. He drew an analogy, stating that a non-crypto person dismissing crypto as not being cash is akin to a blind person deeming lights as useless.
Binance Charity's Commitment and Approach
In response to the Morocco earthquake, Binance Charity chose to airdrop up to $3 million worth of BNB directly to its Moroccan users. However, Binance Charity recognizes the significance of traditional aid and vows to collaborate with local organizations. All funds raised from the public will be donated to a local charity in Morocco in addition to their direct donations to users.
Despite criticisms, Binance Charity is committed to refining its approach based on data and feedback from experts. The organization acknowledges that complaints provide opportunities for improvement and expresses a willingness to engage with humanitarian experts to enhance the effectiveness of its initiatives.
Binance Charity's overarching goal is to leverage technology, particularly blockchain, to empower individuals and communities for sustainable development. It emphasizes its commitment to deploying 100% of funds directly to recipients, a notable distinction from many other charitable organizations worldwide.
While Helen Hai, the former Head of Binance Charity, reportedly resigned from her position on September 7, her affiliation with Binance remains apparent on platforms like X and LinkedIn.