Italy and Spain are two of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and perhaps two of the countries whose health workers are now in most pressing need of financial support. But the Red Cross organizations in both countries are taking a very different approach to cryptocurrency donations – with Italian charities raising thousands of dollars’ worth of bitcoin (BTC) and the Spanish Red Cross saying it cannot accept crypto funds.
Last month, Italian startup Helperbit set up a blockchain-powered bitcoin donations platform in conjunction with an agency affiliated with the Italian Red Cross.
The donations platform has already met its original target of raising USD 11,000 to “purchase the core infrastructure and medical equipment” for a medical center “for COVID-19 pre-triage,” with any excess funds used to “provide medical staff with the personal protection they need.”
The center is now being set up.
But after meeting and exceeding their original target, the organizers now say they want to expand the scope of the campaign, and raise a total of BTC 4.1024 (USD 27,389), which they say will and will grant the new facility the capacity to host emergency operations – and fit it with equipment such as a defibrillator and diagnostics monitors.
A total of 77 donors have so far contributed BTC 3.2131.
However, per a report from Diario Bitcoin, across the sea to the west, the Spanish Red Cross is not even accepting cryptocurrency donations.
A spokesperson for the organization has told the media that the Spanish Red Cross is not planning to launch any campaigns to collect donations in cryptocurrencies, and currently only accepts credit and debit card-powered fundraising.
The Dutch and American Red Cross also accept crypto donations, and some media outlets believe that regulatory hurdles related to the legal status of crypto in the country may be preventing the Spanish charity from following suit.