In brief

  • Binance is donating $3 million to Caribbean first responders.
  • The CEO of Binance has already donated $2.4 million toward the fight against coronavirus.
  • There are currently 1,400 confirmed cases and 86 deaths on the islands.

Crypto exchange Binance today announced that it has pledged an additional $1 million to coronavirus relief efforts, and promises to match a further $2 million in public donations. The money will go towards personal protective equipment to hospitals and first responders in Puerto Rico and neighboring Caribbean islands.

Binance is matching donations from Puerto Rican charity Integro Foundation two-to-one. Integro is donating $333,000 USD; Binance is giving a cool $1 million—in cryptocurrency of course.

The donations come out of its Crypto Against COVID pot. Launched on March 24, the campaign aims to raise $5 million worth of cryptocurrencies from customers. Binance will match the first $2 million of donations, and said it will primarily spend the funds on buying medical campaigns. 

On April 3, the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, disclosed that he had already donated $2.4 million to the coronavirus cause. This brings the total amount Binance has pledged to date at $3.4 million. The total amount in the fund, which gathers donations from over 40 crypto companies as well as Integro, is $3.8 million.

Binance CEO Chanpeng Zhao. Image: Decrypt

Puerto Rico’s medical infrastructure crumbled following a series of natural disasters—two hurricanes in September 2017, and an earthquake in January 2017, Binance claims. 

Compared to other places, the pandemic hasn’t hit the island’s 3 million inhabitants particularly hard; there are 1,400 confirmed cases and 86 deaths, according to data from Worldometer. In comparison, the state of New York has 301,450 confirmed cases and has left 23,144 dead.

“The most important element of human life is to show compassion and help others as we can, without the limitation or restriction of borders,” said Helen Hai, head of Binance Charity Foundation, a self-described “Asian Tiger” who made the bulk of her fortune setting up shoe factories in Africa. 

Hai’s foundation has already fed starving Ugandan schoolchildren and helped put out the Australian bushfires. Who said crypto couldn’t save the world? 

Tips

Have a news tip or inside information on a crypto, blockchain, or Web3 project? Email us at: tips@decrypt.co.