The Web3 community responds to Turkish–Syrian earthquake tragedy

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In the aftermath of a deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake in southeastern Turkey, the Web3 community has come together to raise awareness and aid for victims of the disaster.

A massive earthquake hit southeastern Turkey along the border with Syria on Feb. 6, which has so far caused the death of more than 5,000 people. The quake had a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, which is internationally categorized as a “major” earthquake, and occurred along 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the fault line.

Infrastructure in the area suffered major damages, resulting in a deadly cross-border humanitarian disaster.

However, the world was quick to respond. Across the internet and various social media platforms, people have been gathering funds for local and international aid organizations to provide relief to those in the affected areas.

Two of the largest aid efforts in Turkey, AFAD Turkiye, the government agency for such disasters, and the NGO Ahbap, led by philanthropist Haluk Levent, have been at the head of organizing an influx of aid.

Levent announced that his organization has opened up crypto addresses in order to accept aid in various forms of digital currencies.

Refik Anadol, a Turkish artist and art director, also started a crowdfund via an Ether (ETH) address, in which he will transfer the collected funds to both AFAD and Ahbap. 

Within the Web3 space, various companies in the industry have stepped up to provide help, be it in the form of crypto or fiat donations or even physical aid.

Crypto derivatives trader Bitget announced that it would commit 1 million Turkish liras (~$53,000), while Bitfinex, Keet, Synonym and Tether pledged 5 million liras (~$265,500), and Gateio pledged 1 million liras (~$53,000).

Local Turkish crypto exchange Bitci sent an aid truck to the earthquake zone while announcing that all commission income for the month of February will be donated to Ahbap on behalf of the Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquake. Icrypex announced coordination efforts with AFAD and Ahbap.

BtcTurk told Cointelegraph that, aside from donating 6 million liras ($318,000) to the Ahbap and Akut organizations, the Turkish crypto exchange sent 1.2 million liras ($62,000) worth of clothing aid to the zone in coordination with local governments.

The Turkish branch of ByBit and OKX have both committed to send $100,000 and 1 million liras (~$53,000) in aid, respectively.

Related: DeFi, DAOs and NFTs: Crypto is redefining how charities raise funds

Cointelegraph also spoke with Sebastien Borget, co-founder and chief operating officer of The Sandbox, about his efforts with The Sandbox Turkey to provide on-the-ground support for the local communities. 

“Our thoughts are with the Turkish people today. Together with The Sandbox creator community in Turkey, we are in touch with relevant non-governmental organizations to create a relief fund and support earthquake-affected areas.”

He said together with The Sandbox Turkey, they’ve helped fill a truck with urgent supplies for the victims and people affected and look for options for more long-term support.

Source: Sebastien Borget

Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have also been mentioned as a possible way of fundraising for the disaster. 

Turkish NFT artist Pak tweeted about an ETH donation to Ahbap, along with plans for an NFT initiative for long-term support. Gate.io, in its proposal, also mentioned developing an NFT aid initiative for additional support in the near future.

This is a developing situation that Cointelegraph is monitoring. This article will be updated with any relevant information.

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