Iran Crypto Devs Launch Platform for Flood Victims in Light of US Sanctions

IranRescueBit reportedly allows donors to dodge American sanctions that have insofar prohibited international donations to the Iranian Red Crescent Society, which is a non-governmental humanitarian society within Iran.

Volunteer cryptocurrency developers in Iran have created a blockchain platform called IranRescueBit, which allows people to make charitable cryptocurrency donations to aid regions in the country in recovering from destructive flooding.

Al Jazeera shared the news in a report on Aug. 14. According to the report, the platform supports donations in Bitcoin, Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC). The government is reportedly not involved in the project.

According to the report, the advantage of cryptocurrencies in this case is that no centralized authority is needed to verify the transactions due to the decentralized nature of crypto confirmations.

IranRescuebit executive director Hamed Salehi told Al Jazeera that the platform’s campaign is hoping to facilitate one month of crypto donations before using local exchanges to convert the cryptocurrencies into Iranian rials.

Once the conversion is complete, Salehi said the proceeds would be sent to a local bank account of the Iranian Red Crescent Society. Salehi commented:

“We hope that IranRescueBit can turn into a platform that could be employed either by the community or by the IRCS should the need ever arise again in the future.”

Record rainfalls in April gave way to destructive flooding that resulted in 70 deaths in 13 provinces with the highest casualties in Fars, Lorestan, Golestan and Hamedan, according to CNN.

Blockchain platforms for charity

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the South Korean holding company SK C&C recently unveiled a scheme for a blockchain-based donations platform. As per the report, the platform will allow users to make donations and in return receive incentives tokens, which can apparently be used to buy merchant items.

However, regulations and technological challenges pose barriers to an official launch. SK C&C head Lee Sun-min explained:

“Since SK is a company, we cannot pursue profits in won stablecoins. Regulatory issues are not solved, too … It’s hard to build a platform ecosystem … Not just a single company can do it. We are currently looking for a company to build a platform ecosystem.”

Kraken OTC Desk Head: Trading Volume Has Increased 2,000% Since 2018

Nelson Minier, head of over-the-counter (OTC) trading at major cryptocurrency platform Kraken, has stated that the OTC desk’s trades per month have increased by a factor of 20 since the beginning of last year.

Minier gave his remarks in an episode of The Block’s podcast, The Scoop, on Aug. 20. Minier further remarked that “Bitcoin and Ether are the big – the whales of our desk”, additionally estimating that Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Monero (XMR), and Tether (USDT) were the top five cryptocurrencies traded by volume.

Minier also gave his projections on BTC price, saying:

“I don’t see demand for this asset going down. But I do know that supply is gonna get cut in half, some time May 2019. And I think another thing I know about Bitcoin is that higher price is the best marketing tool we have.”

Kraken’s lawsuit regarding OTC location

In April, former Kraken employee Jonathan Silverman sued the platform for upwards of $900,000. Silverman reportedly managed Kraken’s trading desk in New York, but was not compensated in accordance with an oral agreement with Jesse Powell, Kraken’s founder. Silverman additionally specified that Kraken was lying about not operating in New York. In his lawsuit, Silverman said:

“Misrepresenting to the public and government regulators that it was not operating in New York; when in reality, Kraken’s OTC practice, and OTC trading (including logging into the Kraken exchange and negotiating wire transfers) occurred almost exclusively in New York.”

However, a spokesperson for Kraken, Christina Vee, retorted that Silverman was “both lying and in breach of his confidentiality agreement.”

Kraken’s website troubles

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Kraken has recently seen some troubles with its website and application programming interface (API). On Aug. 13, Kraken announced on Twitter that it was receiving reports of connection issues, both for the site as well as its API.

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