A Turkish singer known for his charitable personality, Haluk Levent, reached out to the country’s financial watchdog (MASAK) and convinced them to allow collecting crypto donations to help with earthquake relief.
Opening a crypto wallet to collect donations is not currently legal in the country. Knowing this, Levent reached out to his fan base and used a Twitter poll to ask if he should try opening a crypto wallet registered in his name to collect donations.
After most voters supported this idea, Levent reached out to MASAK to ask for permission. Ten hours later, the watchdog said it allowed three wallets to actively collect donations for a week.
At the time of writing, the wallets have been active for two hours and collected over $140,000, which equates to 2.5 million Turkish Lira. Levent said he would facilitate the liquidity process and transfer them to “Ahbap,” an NGO helping with disaster relief.
Crypto community unites
A Turkish crypto influencer, Stevedabitcoin, said he and BitFinex CTO Paolo Ardoino is facilitating a joint effort between the Steve Group, BitFinex, and Tether (USDT) to help people who were affected by the quakes.
Hours after this, BitFinex and Tether announced they were donating 5 million Turkish Lira ($265,508) to help with the disaster. A portion of this amount will be sent to the regions affected by the earthquakes, while the rest will be saved to aid the rebuilding phase.
The news also caught the attention of the leading crypto exchange Binance, and its CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ). On Feb. 6, CZ said the Binance team has been working on a project to help Turkey. He didn’t disclose any additional information since then.
We are truly saddened by the earthquake in Turkey . Our team has been working on a solution to help the people. There are quite a few details. I have had 4 meetings on it today. More details to come. Stay strong.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) February 6, 2023
Southeastern Turkey was hit by three major earthquakes on Feb. 6. The first earthquake, 7.7 in magnitude, was recorded at 04:17 am. A size 6.4 aftershock followed it at 04:26 am. Then, at 13:24, a third shock hit the same region with a 7.6 magnitude. Over 180 aftershocks have been recorded since the first earthquake.
Turkish Crypto community has been on duty since the first hours of the catastrophe. Turkey declared a level-4 alarm and called for international assistance after the third earthquake. The current numbers show that over 11,302 buildings were demolished, affecting 13.5 million people.