Iran Rescue Bit is an organisation which accepts Ether (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC) online as flood relief for affected Iranians. The website accumulates cryptocurrency through the campaign which is then exchanged into Iran’s national currency, the rial, through credible crypto exchanges. The funds, after being converted, will be transferred transparently to the local Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) bank account.
The crypto community is promoting the use of cryptocurrency due to the economic sanctions posed on Iran by the United States after the nation unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018. The IRCS and the Iranian government have confirmed that the bank accounts of the IRCS have been blocked and cannot receive financial aid due to these sanctions. This is occurring despite the fact that humanitarian causes are non-sanctionable under international law.
Cryptocurrencies are thus a mechanism through which people around the world can donate funds safely, securely and credibly. Moreover, it allows donors to remain anonymous. Cryptocurrency as a way to overcome sanctions is a tool currently being used in Venezuela as well.
Iran suffered from several massive floods that affected more than two-thirds of the country in early 2019. The floods occured from mid-March to late April and severely affected 28 out of Iran’s 31 provinces. They hit more than 5,000 villages as well. The devastating floods caused 78 people to lose their lives, injured more than 1,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.
The infrastructural damage is estimated to cost a near $2.5 billion USD, something which the government was not fully able to afford. It was thus forced to tap into its sovereign wealth fund. Unfortunately, this has not been enough, with much of the damage yet to be repaired. The life of many Iranians has been direly affected and many are still trying to regain their footing after the disasters.