Binance may be the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by volume, but it has also utilized disasters across the globe, like the earthquake in Morocco, as an opportunity to launder its dirty reputation.
Binance Charity recently declared that it would be donating Binance’s exchange token, BNB, to victims of the earthquake. Its initial offer included classic legalese, like stating the company would donate “up to $3 million.”
The blog post that explains the process for receiving funds from Binance portrays an exceedingly difficult to accomplish mechanism — especially in an area that during the crisis lacked electricity, internet access, and even basic necessities like proper food and shelter.
Binance Charity offers highly selective ‘relief’
At least 6.6 million people were affected by the Morocco earthquakes, according to the British Red Cross. Unfortunately, to claim Binance’s ‘charity’ an individual would have to have already been an active user on Binance and proved they lived in the Marrakesh-Saif region — or, they would have had to jump through the hoops of creating an account and depositing money immediately after the crisis.
The earthquake in Marrakesh struck late at night on September 8. The deadline to provide proof of address and identification — necessary to receive the full $100 worth of BNB — was by the end of the next day.
In its blog post, Binance Charity seemed to suggest that it has 80,000 active users in Morocco. Whether or not this is explicit to the Marrakesh-Saif province is unclear, but by offering $3 million in company scrip or vouchers, Binance obviously never expected everyone to sign up.
Simple math suggests that Binance would’ve offered at least $8 million if it was going to give $100 of BNB for all known Moroccan users at the time of the crisis.
The blog post offers a caveat: if you were unable to provide proof of address during the immediate aftermath of a 6.9 magnitude, once-in-a-century earthquake, you could still provide your address before September 30 and receive a $25 voucher in the Rewards Hub if you were located in the Marrakesh-Saif region; $10 in vouchers for anyone else in Morocco. This offer, completely maxed out, seems to come far closer to the offer that Binance Charity initially portrayed (roughly $2 million worth of vouchers handed out to 80,000 individuals).
This offer is less a charitable kindness, more a generous $10-25 of rewards points, begging you to make trades, provide personal data and, of course, comes with an expiry date (and are mostly used to cheapen the price of gambling on cryptocurrencies).
Binance Charity and the elephant-sized shitcoin in the room
There are many issues with what Binance Charity has offered to those harmed by the earthquake in Morocco that haven’t been addressed yet.
What Binance offered a handful of already doxxed users was $100 worth of what amounts to Binance stock — selling for real Moroccan Dirhams to acquire aid may be difficult and annoying at best, near impossible during a time of crisis at worst.
Secondarily, to what amounts to little more than a marketing campaign, Binance offered “latecomers” (people without access to the internet for more than 24 hours after the earthquake) a voucher to gamble on their casino.
What Binance is doing flies in the very face of the concept of charity: voluntary willingness to give money, time, and energy to those who need it most, without strings attached. A voucher to gamble at a casino isn’t even close to an offer to help those who need it most, nor stock that needs to be sold to acquire funds that can then be transferred to a bank account.
Laughable attempts at reputation laundering
There are non-governmental organizations with decades of years of experience when it comes to providing for those in need in the midst of natural disasters, warzones, or other strife. What these NGOs are able to accomplish, generally, is bringing in much needed medical supplies, food, temporary shelters, and experts to help rebuild.
Binance Charity not only doesn’t have any experience in how to give to those in need, but offers a masterclass in how to take full advantage of those who are most desperate while simultaneously misleading the public into believing that it gives millions to those who need it most.
Despite the fact that Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange — an entity that proclaims the benefits of publicly verifiable blockchains as the wave of the future — it can provide no publicly verifiable data of its own donations.
The “up to $3 million” in donations to those who could desperately utilize funds to rebuild hospitals, homes, and businesses is, at press time, untraceable.