A French journalist has appealed to bitcoin owners to support the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
On Tuesday afternoon, Grégory Raymond tweeted a QR code for the address of a bitcoin wallet in which he hoped to raise funds. He asked his followers to “prove to the french [sic] authorities that #Bitcoin can be an amazing way to send funds quickly, without border and for a good cause!”
The fire had been extinguished less than seven hours earlier, only after the roof had been badly damaged and the spire had collapsed.
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Raymond quickly gave the fund its own Twitter page with the slogan: “Let’s re-build block by block together.” He also shared ownership of the wallet for the sake of transparency, with French cryptocurrency community Le Cercle du Coin and blockchain developer David Prinçay.
At 4:15am EST on Wednesday, 0.05346 bitcoin had been deposited in the wallet, which could only be exchanged for $278.59. It had been 12 hours since Raymond’s original tweet (it’s not clear if that is all he raised or whether he has already converted the funds to Euros).
The conventional rich had donated more than $700 million within 10 hours of the flames being extinguished, CNN reported last night. High profile donors include Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury goods group LVMH, and the Bettencourt Meyers family, who own L’Oreal.
The individuals who control the most crypto are relatively unknown—that may be why they feel less pressure to give back to their communities.
The no-show so far by crypto billionaires points to a cynical conclusion, but it may that they simply less visible than, say, the owners of retail chains. The individuals who control the most crypto are also relatively unknown, placing less pressure on them to give back to communities.
The fire at Notre Dame is believed to have started accidentally, although the Paris public prosecutor says 50 investigators are working on establishing a cause. President Macron has promised to rebuild the cathedral within five years.