The Italian Red Cross has reportedly started accepting donations in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to help fund the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and surpassed their initial goal.
According to a blog post announcing the campaign, it had an initial target of €10,000 ($11,200) to purchase and set-up a “Second Level Advanced Medical Post for pre-triage of COVID-19 cases,” with the funds going to purchase the medical equipment necessary for the project.
Any surplus from the fundraiser were set to be used to provided medical staff “with the personal protection they need.” At press time, the fundraiser has raised over $13,330, and the team behind the fundraiser has claimed it set up a new goal.
The new goal, the fundraising page says, is to complete “the AMP core structure with the accessories necessary for emergency operations.” The goal appears to have been raised to $25,000. The President of the IRC Colli Albani Committee, which is managing the fundraiser, Bruno Pietrosanti, was quoted as saying:
We believe that an innovative fundraising tool like Bitcoin can help us find the necessary economic resources, that are very difficult to obtain in this historical moment.
Blockchain data shows that most of the funds came from a single donor. Out of a total of 2.84 BTC raised so far, one transaction 2.64 bitcoin ($12,000 at press time) were received in a single transaction.
The COVID-19 pandemic has so far infected over 170,000 people throughout the world, and claimed the lives of over 6,600 so far. In Italy, data shows that out of 24,700 infected, 2,335 have recovered and 1,800 have lost their lives.