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Helperbit raises Bitcoin donations for Italian earthquake relief

Helperbit raises Bitcoin donations for Italian earthquake relief

charity platform Helperbit has conducted its first charity trial, helping those affected by last August’s earthquake in Italy.

Helperbit partnered with Italian charity Legambiente to raise funds to support reconstruction efforts following the earthquake.

As well as helping with traditional fundraising in euro, Helperbit provided the infrastructure to create a multi-signature Bitcoin wallet for the charity, with the aim of providing an international tool with greater transparency than traditional fundraising methods. The wallet is a secure for managing Bitcoin with three keys managed by Legambiente and a backup key managed by Helperbit.

The wallet verifies the amount raised and also notifies donors how funds have been spent. The document certifying the request for funds and the transaction are linked in the platform’s public register, enabling the verification of the sender, the recipient and the reason for the request.

Donations to the Bitcoin Italian Earthquake Relief Fund included five Bitcoin from Swiss Re. The first beneficiaries were the owners of Società Agricola Etiche Terre S.S.: local producers of saffron, garlic and black truffle who lost everything in the earthquake. The service enabled the farmers to ask for funds by uploading Helperbit’s first invoice onto the platform, which activated a refund request to Legambiente.

Legambiente was able to verify the request through the platform, and then transferred an amount in Bitcoin equal to the value in € of the refund. The operation was visible in the public , and also showed proof of expenditure, with a cryptographic reference to the invoice.

According to Helperbit, Legambiente is the first major non-profit organisation in Italy to accept donations in Bitcoin as well as the first NGO in the world to autonomously use Helperbit’s multi-signature wallet to manage Bitcoin.

 

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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