On August 4th, word began to spread online of a massive explosion in Beirut. By Lebanese government estimates, a reported $10-15 billion USD worth of damage was incurred due to the blast.
The Bitcoin community is banding together in the wake of the mysterious explosion, responding by donating satoshis to a fellow bitcoiner based in Lebanon.
On August 4th, countless videos were shared online of a mushroom-cloud-like blast in Beirut, led by a shockwave that threw the individuals taking videos back many feet. By morning in Beirut, it was revealed that the explosion was purportedly caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been unsafely stored in the Lebanese capital's port.
Due to the explosion, crucial food reserves were destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes and places of work.
The Bitcoin community was quick to respond.
Just days after the explosion, a bitcoiner based in Beirut with the Twitter handle "Thomssmn" tweeted that many reached out to him offering satoshis — a term used to denote the smallest fraction of a bitcoin.
Thomssmn has since shared images of multiple care packages funded in bitcoin. The packages contain food items such as grains, pasta, and salt. The Bitcoiner later noted that he intends to spend some of the BTC on replacing the windows of apartments in the affected area.
In an interview with the BTC Times, Thomssmn said that shortly after the explosion, “the so-called bitcoiners on Twitter” were quick to reach out to him with a helping hand. Thomssmn continued that he was pleasantly surprised because he had “never even met” the individuals that offered satoshis for his charity efforts.
Regarding the amount raised, Thomssmn did not tip his hand. He did leave the BTC Times, though, with a remark that “considering the hyperinflating Lebanese Lira,” the amount bitcoiners donated can “do a lot” for the Lebanese people.
Saifedean Ammous, who grew up in Lebanon, has also announced an effort to support those affected by the explosion.
"After Lebanon's catastrophe, I am raising money for the Lebanese Red Cross & Beit el Baraka," Ammous wrote. The author of The Bitcoin Standard added that he would be giving away six signed copies of his book to those who donate.
This is far from the first time Bitcoin has been used for charitable efforts.
One early bitcoin holder who called themselves "Pineapple" donated 5,104 bitcoins over the course of 2017 and 2018 in an effort dubbed the "Pineapple Fund." The funds were distributed to 60 charities, including entities focused on crowdfunding healthcare, supporting those in poverty, and mitigating diseases like Alzheimer's.
Acknowledging the charitable streak of bitcoiners, there are now many non-profit organizations accepting satoshis to fund their operations.