While the crypto community has been tussling over who Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto is or isn’t, the world outside of this bubble has had bigger issues to deal with. Not 48 hours ago, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a world-renowned gothic-style church located in Paris, suddenly caught on fire.
For hours, the cathedral burned, and many feared the worst as the blaze caused the building’s spire to collapse.
Photos taken after the fire was doused revealed that the innards of the historical building, including the countless pieces of art and historical artifacts inside, were practically untouched, but the damage dealt has still been deemed devastating.
And many in the international community have been left stumped as to how the aftermath of this fire should be addressed. But the answer might just be money, crypto assets included.
Notre Dame Torched In Reno Accident, Crypto Industry Responds
In spite of the collapse in the value of Bitcoin over 2018, cryptocurrency investors seem to be rather generous. In a recent series of comments on Twitter, an array of crypto enthusiasts across the map have urged French organizations and potentially even the government itself to accept digital assets for Notre-Dame’s restoration efforts.
Interestingly, the French government, or at least a facet of it, seems to be interested. Speaking to Bloomberg, France’s Minister for Digital Affairs Cedric O claimed that he’s willing to discuss the acceptance of cryptocurrencies with organizations helping to rebuild the monument.
He claimed that the website in place for donations at the moment, www.rebatirnotredamedeparis.fr, was created in a day’s time, meaning that the establishment of the acceptance of alternative modes of payment (non-Visa/Mastercard) was improbable. But, O asserted that the opportunity to donate with cryptocurrencies is logical.
Binance, the well-regarded exchange, is confirming that this thesis holds its water. The startup’s charity arm has raised 1.48 Bitcoin worth of assorted digital assets, valued at $7,750, to help “rebuild Notre-Dame.” According to the Binance Charity Foundation, the funds will eventually be “allocated to corresponding French entities responsible for restoration work.”
A Charitable Community
While the Notre Dame case is the first time that cryptocurrencies have expressed charitable tendencies in recent memory, this industry has historically been rather generous.
As Brian Armstrong, the chief executive of Coinbase explained when he opened GiveCrypto — a crypto-only charity fund that has seen Ripple’s Garlinghouse and Larsen, EOS proponent Brock Pierce, BitMEX chief executive Arthur Hayes, and countless others become donors:
“Cryptocurrency has produced a handful of billionaires already, and I suspect it may produce the world’s first trillionaires in the next decade. The Forbes list of wealthiest people is going to be shaken up by early digital currency holders… Given the enormous wealth creation from cryptocurrency, and the future potential upside, I believe there is a rare opportunity to create a large non-profit fund.”
The Armstrong-backed initiative has already raised millions and distributed cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to thousands, but what is even more impressive is the Pineapple Fund.
For those who weren’t around in late-2017 and early-2018, the Pineapple Fund was a philanthropic effort ran by a man or woman with the moniker “Pine”. In the few months that it was in operation, which came as BTC peaked at $20,000 and subsequently fell, Pine donated 5,104 BTC, which he or she purchased with “play-money” back in the crypto dark days (Mt. Gox), to 60 charities, including the Water Project, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Internet Archive, among other organizations looking to benefit humanity through science, alms, and collaboration.
If one can donate $55 million, who knows what millions can do in a few decades’ time? Because as many analysts predict, Bitcoin would then have become the next dominant store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account, imbuing early-stage investors of BTC with unimaginable wealth.