Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, in collaboration with USDT issuer Tether, recently launched a digital asset fund and donated over $1 million in bitcoin to assist families in El Salvador affected by the ongoing gang violence in the country.
Crypto Relief Fund Initiative is Bootstrapped With 25 BTC
Bitfinex chief technology officer (CTO) Paolo Ardoino revealed that the company teamed up with Tether to support El Salvadoran families who have been hit by the violence perpetrated by “pandillas” – a Spanish word for “gangs” – in the Central American country.
Both Bitfinex and Tether created a cryptocurrency relief fund to support victims, and have also contributed 25 bitcoin (worth over $1 million at the time of writing), to bootstrap the initiative. According to Ardoino, families in El Salvador are in dire need of support from the crypto community.
A statement from the Bitfinex CTO said:
“Over the past months, I have seen a number of leaders from our community knocking on the president’s door, taking selfies and publicly announcing support. It’s now time to act. Helping families affected by pandillas > buying jets and Lambos.”
Ardoino also urged people to make crypto donations, while stating the firms will partner with the local government and community groups to ensure that the donations will be fairly distributed under strict monitoring.
In a recent tweet, the Bitfinex executive revealed that close to $2 million in BTC have been donated to assist El Salvadoran families affected by the gang violence.
Bukele Employs Tough Measures to Tackle Gang Violence
In El Salvador, on March 26, 2022, there were 62 deaths that the government attributed to criminal gangs, which was said to be the most violent 24-hours in almost 30 years. Consequently, the country’s parliament approved a state of emergency the following day, March 27.
Earlier in April, President Nayib Bukele wrote a letter stating he would not be in attendance for the Bitcoin 2022 Conference, citing “unforeseen circumstances” in El Salvador that require his presence.
Bukele, meanwhile, has employed “severe” measures to crackdown down on the spike in gang-related violence in the troubled Central American nation. On April 12, the President of El Salvador tweeted that authorities have captured over 10,500 terrorists in the past 18 days.